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Podcaster, Artist, and all around Nerd!

Ubernerd’s Top 5 Pac-Man Movie and TV Cameos

Article by Joshua Jordan

Continuing Pac-Man Month here’s another special post celebrating our favorite dot muncher. Since Pac-Man’s creation 40 years ago he has become an intricate part of pop culture. It’s only inevitable that movies and television pay homage to our favorite yellow protagonist. The following are my top five favorite Pac-Man cameos in movies and television:

5. Pixels (2015)


Pixels | Pac-Man Wiki | Fandom

Though I don’t hate Pixels as most people on the internet do, I not a huge fan of it either. One of my favorite parts of the movie is near the middle of the film where the invading aliens take the form of Pac-Man and start destroying the city. It’s up to our heroes to become the ghost and stop him. The best part of it though is one of the people who join the main cast is the real-life creator of Pac-Man Toru Iwatani. He wants to stop Pac-Man and tries to appeal to Pac-Man as a Father. I won’t spoil what happens even though it is in the trailers but I feel it’s one of the funniest parts of the movie. Bonus fact: Iwatani also appears earlier in the movie working as an arcade tech working on a Pac-Man Arcade. 

4. Tron (1982)


Tron is one of my favorite video game movies. I believe this movie is so underrated due to the subject being ahead of its time. As for Pac-Man, his cameo is more of a blink and you’ll miss it one. The picture above shows Stark, the movie’s antagonist looking at a map of The Grid. Taking a close look and you’ll see our little yellow friend. Furthermore you can also hear the Pac-Man noises hidden in the soundtrack. This is one of the greatest video game movies and to have Pac-Man make a cameo just two years after his premiere is just a testament to Pac-Man’s impact on pop culture. 

3. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (2004)


 

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures Series Review: A Pac-Man Month Special

Reviewed by Joshua Jordan

Pacopolis is under constant attack by an army of ghost from the Netherworld and there’s only on yellow hero who can stop them, Pac-Man! Along with his friends Spiral and Cylindria and a slew of other allies Pac will have to face off against Lord Betrayus and his underlings to save the city and quite possibly all of PacWorld from certain doom.

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures is a very interesting example in how to have a good foundation of a story but not use that foundation to an advantage. On the positive side this animated series looked pretty good. It had imaginative world that looked both colorful and bright but also used iconography from the real Pac-Man games as intricate designs for everything from the streets to the buildings. Another thing I enjoyed about the show is Pac-Man’s powers. I like how he eats different berries to gain different abilities and I also liked that his friends could eat them too but the berries effected them differently than Pac-Man. All of Pac-Man’s transformations look pretty cool even if they kind of looked like another round video game character named Kirby. One of the more unique aspects of show was a really good set up for the characters with compelling backstories that took a lot of great liberties that could have led to attention grabbing storytelling.

The negative side of Ghostly adventures is a lot of wasted potential. Something that could have been great but turned out not so much. The biggest problem I have with the show is that it never reaches its full potential story wise. Instead of building on the wonderful foundation that the creators of the show made with compelling backstories that could had led to potentially fascinating episodes. They almost completely ignore it and only refer to it occasionally. Another example is the humor. There is a lot of good jokes in this show that made me laugh. My problem is when they start focusing heavily on burp and fart jokes that over stay their welcome. Another good example of wasted potential is the animation. While the animation looks good at times the lip sync isn’t right and most of the time breaks the illusion. Finally, and I know this might seem like a minor gripe but the theme song isn’t good. A lot of shows have great theme songs that either set up the premise of the show or are such a great ear worm that you can consistently hum it to yourself. However Ghostly Adventures doesn’t have one, in fact, it seems like the theme was either thrown together quickly or edited so poorly that it just doesn’t work. So much so that I just tried to skip the theme song every time so I didn’t have to hear it. The Pac-Man games all have a wealth of amazing music and it would have been so much better if they’d just used one iconic tracks and just gave it a remix. As you can see Ghostly Adventures has a ton of wasted potential that stops it from being great.

Is Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures worth watching? If you’re a very young kid like five or six years old, the answer is yes. The colorful world and characters are enough to grab any young kid’s attention. For older kids and adults however I can’t really recommend it. Which is sad because of the potential you can see in the show. A potential that could have reached a wider audience with its story and characters. If you want to check it for yourself out the easiest way is to stream it on Netflix or watch it the reruns on Discovery Kids. There are better shows out there that masterfully bridge that gap between kids and adults but Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures isn’t one of them.

Series Review Score: C+

The Legend of The Three Caballeros – Series Review: Now-stalgia on Disney+

The Legend of The Three Caballeros – The Entire Series (2018)

Donald Duck’s birthday was a disaster! In the span of a few hours he lost his house, his job, and his girlfriend. But things might be looking up for Donald when he gets word that his Great-Grandfather, Clinton Coot left him a cabana and a bunch of priceless artifacts. Though as Donald’s luck would have it he wasn’t the only one Coot gave all of this to. As two others also co-inherited the cabana, a Mexican Rooster named Panchito Gonzalez and a Brazilian Parrot named José Carioca. Together they discover a mysterious atlas that releases a goddess named Xandra. She tells the trio that they are the descendants of a group of legendary heroes known as The Three Caballeros who had long ago defeated an evil sorcerer name Lord Felldrake. Meanwhile, the trio’s new neighbor, a stuffy aristocrat and descendent of Felldrake’s named Baron Von Sheldgoose discovers the evil sorcerer imprisoned in a staff and the two hatch a plan to conquer the world. Can Donald, Panchito, and José stop Felldrake and Shelgoose from conquering the world by becoming the new The Three Caballeros?

When I was growing up one of my favorite VHS tapes was The Three Caballeros, a classic Disney movie from 1944. I would watch that movie over and over and enjoy it every time, even if it was a bit trippy at times. As I grew up I was always delighted to see the trio pop up in various other Disney shows throughout the years. Fast-forward to about a year or so ago and I heard news that there a series was in production and was genuinely excited till I heard that it wasn’t available in the US. Then Disney+ launched and I was very happy to see that they released the show on their streaming service. I felt thrilled as I started to binge the show but I thought it could never live up to the high standards the new DuckTales reboot had set but boy was I wrong.

The Legend of The Three Caballeros is a fun and funny show for all ages. My favorite parts being The writing, jokes, and voice acting. The writing is very funny, inventive, and most surprising of all is that the three protagonists actually have a really interesting and strong character arcs throughout the shows 13 episodes. The jokes are funny and they even throw an occasional one for the adults watching but it’s nothing crude as this is a Disney show. Thirdly, and honestly this is no surprise since Disney isn’t a slouch when it comes to voice acting but it is top-notch with really big voice talents like Jim Cummings, Dee Bradley Baker, Grey Griffin, Wayne Knight, and of course Donald himself, Tony Anselmo. Everyone in this cast gives it their all and brings a lot of fun, heart, and even serious moments in the show.

I do have two minor grievances with the show. First the visuals, which are a mixed bag for me. Though it does look like a traditional animated show there small points in the animation that can be a bit stiff and not as lively as those in the new DuckTales. You can only see that stiffness every once in a while in the animation but it still bugged me a bit when I was watching it. Second, the choice to add April, May, and June, Daisy’s nieces to the show was a great idea. The execution however only made me wished they would have done something more with the characters. Even though I knew The Three Caballeros are the focus of the show it would have been nice to get to know these characters a bit better. We never get that though they just end up being girl versions of Donald’s nephews. Just to reiterate though these are two very small problems that I had with the show. None of these problems I mentioned mess with the very interesting story they are trying to tell.

The Legend of The Three Caballeros is a great addition to the Disney+ service. As of the writing of this review there isn’t any plans, at least none that I have heard of, to continue the series. Which is why this review is a complete series review. In the future though if they decide to continue I will review those as a separate season. Regardless of whether you’re a young Disney fan or an older one I would highly suggest this show. There are a few hiccups here and there but overall it doesn’t hinder the experience.

Series Review Score: A+

Clone Wars Season 7 – The Siege of Mandalore Part Four – Victory and Death: A NOW-stalgia on Disney+ Review

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

Ahsoka may have saved Rex but now they must escape together. Also did we forget to mention that Maul is still on a rampage?

Action is what this episode is all about. There is little to do with character growth or leaving hints of what is to come. The funny thing about this episode is that I know where our two characters end up, I know they survive but the action is so intense and done so well that I’d almost forgot that from the very first second. It was nail biting from start to finish and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t really know how I pictured the end of the series going down. Though the ending we got, which I won’t spoil here, was satisfying if not a bit sad and it ended the series well.

As an arc The Siege of Mandalore exceeded all of my expectations through all four episodes. With an amazing story topped with beautiful animation and great action this episode delivers. These episodes are Star Wars at its best.

Next I’ll be writing a complete series 7 review but before it’s up I want to know what you thought of season 7. Where there any episodes you liked better than others? Where there any episodes you didn’t like? Comment below

Episode Review Score: A+

Story Arc Review Score: A+

Clone Wars Season 7 – The Siege of Mandalore Part Three – Shattered: A NOW-stalgia on Disney+ Review

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

Now that Ahsoka has captured Maul it’s time to bring him to the Jedi Council or at least that was the plan until Order 66. Now Ahsoka has to fight to survive as the clones that once served her are now trying to kill her. What will Ahsoka do?

The second the episode started you could feel that something was different. The music was different, there wasn’t much dialogue, and you could just feel it like a soda about to pop. Usually an audience already knowing what’s going to happen could potentially be a detriment to the story. Yet the biggest strength of this episode for the audience is the anticipation, it helps amp up the tension and drama. Once the chaos starts I thought it was going to transition into a race to survive and nothing but wall to wall action. Instead the episode actually takes some time to focus on our main characters and even uses very important things set up in earlier episodes to finally pay off in this one. My only complaint about the episode like previous reviews is that it ended with no resolution but luckily I won’t have to wait long to know the ending.

Episode Review Score: A+

Skywalking Through Neverland Podcast Appearance

One of my favorite podcasts to listen to every week (besides our own) is Skywalking Through Neverland. Just recently I was asked if I could join the hosts Richard and Sarah and a bunch of other amazing listeners (or Skywalkers) to talk about the many creative things we are doing during quarantine to keep us busy. I had a great time and I want to thank Richard and Sara for asking me to come on.

Check the video below or go to their website (link also below)

https://skywalkingthroughneverland.com/287-skywalker-quarantainment/

Clone Wars Season 7 – The Siege of Mandalore Part Two: The Phantom Apprentice: A NOW-stalgia on Disney+ Review

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

Trapped by Maul and his forces in the underground beneath Mandalore Ahsoka faces off with the former Sith Lord for the first time. Rex and the other Clones save Ahsoka after she finds out that Maul was trying to lure Obi-Wan and Anakin to Mandalore. During the rescue they are unable to capture Maul and he gets away. Ahsoka continues her pursuit of the former Sith while Maul himself kidnaps a Clone trying to learn more information about Ahsoka and starts preparing himself for the on-coming storm that about to sweep the Galaxy. Will Ahsoka catch Maul before his plans for her come to fruition?

You know that moment before a really bad storm hits? When the skies are dark grey or even black, the wind has picked up, and there might be a light rain. You can almost just feel the on-coming storm in your bones. That’s how I felt through this entire episode. You know what’s about to happen and you can just kind of feel it in your bones. It’s the anticipation that makes you both excited and a little scared for what’s to come.

Like the previous episode this week’s felt so very cinematic and the writing is just as impressive. I want to give a specific shout out to the Motion Capture they used with Ray Park. For anyone that doesn’t know Ray Park is a famous actor and stuntman that played Maul in Star Wars Episode One and Solo and he is known for his cray amazing martial arts skills. They used motion capture of Ray to get Maul’s movements just right and it really paid off. Though if I could make a small gripe there were tiny seconds of time where the animation looked a bit off from the visuals. Yet it didn’t distract too much from the episode it was just slight moments of weirdness.

Next Friday we will get part 3 of this 4 part arc but even better is that we don’t have to wait long for the finale as the last episode will premier three days later on May the 4th, which is Star Wars Day. I foresee the storm of Order 66 being in the next episode and a lot of sadness going forward but this excites me none the less.

Episode Review Score: A+