The Addams Family (2019)

They’re kooky and they’re spooky, but will this latest adventure of The Addams Family be at all memorable? An animated story, which presents itself in a great old-school way, but will modern audiences connect with it? Furthermore, will they get the characters right? A huge proponent to the 90’s films and before was how every character had a role within the family; so will this still be the case, or will this now be washed down? I’ve gone ahead and watched the trailers, seen the promo’s out there and I have to say, this is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Here’re my reasons why – And let’s see how much you agree (or disagree) with.

They’re kooky and they’re spooky, but will this latest adventure of The Addams Family be at all memorable? An animated story, which presents itself in a great old-school way, but will modern audiences connect with it? Furthermore, will they get the characters right? A huge proponent to the 90’s films and before was how every character had a role within the family; so will this still be the case, or will this now be washed down? I’ve gone ahead and watched the trailers, seen the promo’s out there and I have to say, this is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Here’re my reasons why – And let’s see how much you agree (or disagree) with.

Continue reading “The Addams Family (2019)”

Tales of Alethrion – Season Two Kickstarter

Very early in my D&D playing career, I ran a heavily sea-focused campaign in Eberron. Among my players was a man by the name of Eddie, one of my all time favourite players and dungeon masters. I cannot remember the name of the first ship they sailed in, I remember that it was a rundown junker, splintered and warped wood, ragged sails and frayed rope, but the figurehead was pristine, and clearly made of different material, a pale narwhal complete with ivory horn. Might have been the Icebreaker? Can’t recall. The first thing Eddie’s character – a druid called Wren – did was straddle the narwhal. Continue reading “Tales of Alethrion – Season Two Kickstarter”

CGI Nostalgia

We all remember ReBoot, right? Early CGI cartoon that brought to life the inner workings of computers and the anthropomorphic data living within, excellent story, great characters and villains… I mean, it was kind of trashy, but for a kids show in the mid 90’s it was good stuff, and ran until 2001. And let us not forget Beast Wars which ran from ’96 to ’99, casting fuel on the fire of CGI’s rise to prominence on the animation scene.

But here’s the thing, shortly after these series ended there was a flurry of new computer-animated shows that attempted to ride the popularity of the new and revolutionary animation style available. Today they look dated, the graphics have been outdone a thousand times over, the animation is poor, textures are all plastic and reflect light oddly, and object interactions are entertaining to say the least.

But they’re still well worth a watch! Some of them are approaching twenty years old, and to see the difference in animation quality now compared to then is something truly staggering. The series below have some serious pros and cons, but as fragments of animation history, they are well worth dredging up… if you can find them.

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future

The serialised adventures of a science fiction hero torn straight from the pages of the 1950’s comic strip, and keeping all of the worst science involved, like manta rays that filter feed through the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, advanced civilisations on Mars capable of strip mining Venus, complex and technologically advanced creatures living on orphaned planets that survive by steeling the water of others, and the idea that punching a monitor actually hurts The Mekon.

Each episode was one of a two-parter, embracing the serialisation of stories in the old pulp comics, and racking up suspense to keep people watching. It also meant that slightly longer tales could be told of daring adventure, in which our hero always comes out on top through superior aim, ace piloting skills, and being generally good at being the protagonist.

Max Steel

Josh McGrath became the cybernetically enhanced superhero Max Steel to sell toys for Mattel. A nineteen year old son of a weapons engineer and scientist involved in an accident involving nanotech, imagine a cross between DCs Cyborg, the Borg, and the Energiser Bunny, because his biggest weakness is a limited power supply that causes him to grow weak and potentially die. Don’t forget kids, even superheroes need batteries. Oh but he came with one hell of a battery of villains, Psycho, a heavily modified cyborg with a love of violence and ill-gotten gains, John Dread, the man-behind-the-curtain who craves the tech powering Steel, Bio-Con the man-snake, and John de Lancie!

This one got resurrected, and even had a few films to its name, but the rebooted series and live action film are far better known than the more obscure series that ran from 2000-2001, and it’s hard to come by those old episodes now.

Xcalibur

Here’s my favourite of the lot, a Canal+ import from French-Canada. Though taking the name, the series is wholly fantasy and removed from the Arthurian mythos, combining heavy amounts of magic with some wholly created components. A plucky and upstart heroine is accompanied by a mystic monk, a mighty warrior woman, and an irritating miniature pet dragon as they attempt to free a kingdom from the yoke of an evil sorcerer who dwells in a flying castle. It’s a D&D adventure pure and simple, and I watched it religiously about seven years before I ever played the game.

The people sound like typical fantasy NPCs, in fact you may hear a few familiar voices, I’m fairly sure I heard one or two. You may also notice how tiny the hands are of most characters… uncomfortably small, and there are a lot of cunning uses of hats, bald characters, and skin-tight metal armour so that things look “right”.

Mobile Game Review: Looney Tunes World of Mayhem

When I go looking for a new game, I am often on the lookout for new and novel ideas. Perhaps a rarely- or never-seen-before mechanic; or how about something which captivates on an already engaging mechanic and makes it truly spectacular? That’s my usual tastes, so it was my surprise when I found my thumb itching to press the “Download” button for Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, of which there is very little of new, or never seen before, or even improvement on mechanics. However, if there’s one thing that definitely made me click onto it, it was the Looney Tunes brand itself. Sometimes, brand awareness really is best – And here is what I think about World of Mayhem.

When I go looking for a new game, I am often on the lookout for new and novel ideas. Perhaps a rarely- or never-seen-before mechanic; or how about something which captivates on an already engaging mechanic and makes it truly spectacular? That’s my usual tastes, so it was my surprise when I found my thumb itching to press the “Download” button for Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, of which there is very little of new, or never seen before, or even improvement on mechanics. However, if there’s one thing that definitely made me click onto it, it was the Looney Tunes brand itself. Sometimes, brand awareness really is best – And here is what I think about World of Mayhem.

Continue reading “Mobile Game Review: Looney Tunes World of Mayhem”

Review – The Dragon Prince

I may have mentioned I’m a bit of a late-to-the-party Avatar fan, I marathon’d the entire series a few years ago, and it’s become something of a node, a go-to point in my creative reference library whenever I create something fantasy. It’s an off-piste and indirect approach to the classical westernised fantasy of elves and dragons that Tolkien drew together from Arthurian, Norse, and Christian mythologies. The series embraced eastern viewpoints and philosophies, the notions of household and local gods or spirits, the Qi-like elements of elemental bending, and with it brought profoundly human elements, and rich political analogues.

That’s a tall order for a kids show! Continue reading “Review – The Dragon Prince”

Remembering Trap Door

I feeling wistful, in a mood to reminisce about moments from my youth, and I find myself pondering a little stop-motion animation that ran for a short time in the 80’s, and though it was originally released before I was born I was fortunate enough to experience a great deal of it thanks to the miracle of VHS.

The forty episode run featured the young manservant of dark and clearly haunted castle, Berk cleans, cooks and generally tends to the every whim of The Thing Upstairs, a disembodied voice with generally disgusting body parts. Berk’s only company is Boni, an animate skull prone to headaches and pessimism, and a fat and hyperactive arachnid called Drut. The regular five-minute interludes into their lives and their daily activities always coincide with the appearance of some terrible entity or dark monstrosity that has emerged from the dread portal in the cellar, The Trap Door. Continue reading “Remembering Trap Door”

Re-watching Akira

Recently, Chris took a trip to Bristols Cube Cinema to watch Akira. How did he find watching it on a big screen again after all this time? Chris tells us all!

I watched my first anime back in my early teens, I think I started with the bizarre and rather extreme Fist Of The North Star. Now I am no Anime aficionado, but I like to think I know great animation and story when I see it. Akira (the film) was adapted from a comic book and released in 1988 and I remember renting it from a local video store in the early 90’s and I remember distinctly being blown away by the entire film. I will say that I didn’t exactly understand the movie when I first saw it but since then I have seen it several more times and now understand the storyline and appreciate the whole movie just a lot more than I did in the first place.

Continue reading “Re-watching Akira”

Film Review: Finding Dory

Just keep swimming folks, I went to go and see Finding Dory in the cinema this past week. Whether you remember the Pixar classic Finding Nemo, or whether this is your first venture into the great big aquatic adventures of these fishy friends, this film is a must see before it’s too late. Join Timlah as we look at Finding Dory and what makes it so great.

Just keep swimming folks, I went to go and see Finding Dory in the cinema this past week. Whether you remember the Pixar classic Finding Nemo, or whether this is your first venture into the great big aquatic adventures of these fishy friends, this film is a must see before it’s too late. Join Timlah as we look at Finding Dory and what makes it so great.

Continue reading “Film Review: Finding Dory”

Top 10 – Internet Cartoons

GeekOut Top 10s

Media as we know it has changed, for better or for… No, better! The internet has provided us with countless hours of amazing content with flash games and of course our favourite, the animators, who are highly underrated in what they do. Yes, the internet is really, really great – For a lot of things, but this Top 10 isn’t the best things the internet has produced: It’s the best cartoons it’s produced.

So whether you’re sat there spitting out dank memes, or just thinking about how the internet has provided you with some of the most nail-biting, fear-induced sweats you’ve ever had, it’s time to face this week’s list: It’s GeekOut’s Top 10 Internet Cartoons. Continue reading “Top 10 – Internet Cartoons”