Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 8 Review: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan

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

“You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself. “

When we last left Ahsoka and Martez Sisters their failed escape attempt landed them right back into the Pike Syndicate’s prison. However this time Ahsoka’s plan for escape is different and she urges the sisters to trust her. Ahsoka then makes a deal with the Pikes who send the Martez Sisters off to go get the promised spice. Will the Martez sisters get the spice or will they leave Ahsoka to the Pikes? And what is Ahsoka’s full plan?

Building a story arc is very tricky and the writers on Clone Wars have shown over and over that they are up to the task. This last piece of this arc is really well written and brings it to a very satisfying close.

And there are three reasons why I liked this episode. First this episode focused more on Ahsoka. I feel that the expectation for this whole arc was it would be focused on her but the first three episode were mainly focused on the new characters with very little time for Ahsoka herself. While I don’t consider it a bad thing or a strike against the last three episodes this one was different, it was all about Ahsoka. Her growth as a character with the realization that while not being part of the Jedi anymore the better parts of the Jedi’s teaching are still a part of her was a great next step in her characters evolution. My second reason is connections the larger galaxy. While I don’t believe that you always have to make connections to have a good Star Wars story it’s always nice when it can happen without taking away from the story the writers are trying to tell. A good example of this is when a certain character mentions Crimson Dawn introduced in Solo. Thirdly, this episode again like the last sets up for the next arc. Which is the arc that all fans of The Clone Wars, including myself, have been waiting for. I feel the writers knew this which is why they added these connections which I feel pay off explicitly in this episode. Whether or not those connections in this arc were originally intended I am not certain but I feel it works very well regardless.

As stated last week I don’t think the wider audience will like this story arc as a whole, but speaking for myself though I enjoyed it. Also I am both excited and sad that we are a week away from starting the last arc of The Clone Wars. Excited because I know of a few things that are going to happen but I am uncertain how we get there. Yet I am also sad because that means saying goodbye (for reals this time) to a series that I have loved for a long time. As they say though all good things must come to an end and I hope that this end will be one to remember.

Episode Review Score: A

Story Arc Review Score: B+

DuckTales Season 2 and Star vs The Forces of Evil Reviews: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan
NOW-stalgia on Disney+ is all about reviewing modern animated shows that you can find on the Disney+ streaming service.

DuckTales: Season 2 (2018)

Scrooge McDuck is the richest Duck in the world and a world famous treasure hunter. Along with some of his family Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, his maid Mrs. Beakley and her niece Webby, there is no treasure too hard to find or an ancient city too hidden to find.

I grew up with the original DuckTales and I was amazed how great season one of the reboot was. Season two continues this trend with great episodes and a great season story arc that comes to a satisfying end. I love both the legacy characters brought back with a slight twist and the new characters they introduce. Everything about this show is so much better than it should be. You can tell the writers have a love for the original while putting a new spin and update to the rebooted cannon. I can’t wait till next season where according to reports is going to add a plethora of characters from the original Disney Afternoon characters like Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and Goofy from Goof Troop. Let’s hope that the great story telling continues with all of these new characters.

Review grade for season two: A+

Star vs The Forces of Evil: Entire Series (2015)

Star Butterfly is a Princess from another dimension known as the Kingdom of Mewni. After turning 14 she is given the royal magic wand which she immediately shows She is not entirely ready to use responsibility. So her parents do the only sensible thing and dump her on Earth to learn how to use her powers. There she meets Marco, a guy who likes to keep his life clear of any danger, orderly, and without too much excitement. Once Star comes into his life though everything is turned upside down. Through their adventures they encounter different dimensions, different foes to fight, and uncover the dark past of the Butterfly royal line.

At first glance this show is weird and trippy similar to Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. It even has a similar progression as the show goes on the world gets bigger as you uncover more secrets. More than anything however Star is a love letter to what is known as the Magical Girl sub-genre of anime that include shows like Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura. You can definitely see the influence all over the show’s design and even story structure. I feel that Star’s biggest strength is in its main cast. They really make you feel for every character and give a lot of them interesting character arcs. My only problem with the show is near the end where it seemed to have stretched the story out too far and I lost some of my interest till the very end. Finally, I am aware that a lot of fans were not pleased with the series’ end but in my opinion (without spoiling it) I feel it was both wacky and heartfelt. To summarize Star vs The Forces of Evil is a wacky and interesting series with interesting characters and story arcs that can delight a lot of people but not please everyone and is perfect for binging.

Review grade for the entire series: B

Liked these reviews? Then check out our others
Click here for my review of Milo Murphy’s Law and season one of Big Hero Six The Series.
Click here for my review of Big City Greens Season One and Amphibia Season One.
Click here to start reading the episode by episode review of Star Wars The Clone Wars as they air on Disney+

Big City Greens Season One and Amphibia Season One Review: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan
NOW-stalgia on Disney+ is all about reviewing modern animated shows that you can find on the Disney+ streaming service.

Big City Greens Season One (2018)

The Green Family are simple farm folk who are having a hard time. So much so that Bill Green decides to sell the farm and move in with his grandmother. Along for the ride is Bill’s two kids Cricket and Tilly. Cricket is a high energy, super confident, and at times a bit too selfish but lovable kid and living in the city is what he’s really excited about. In contrast is his younger sister Tilly, while Tilly shares a mischievous side with Cricket she is much calmer and is more inclined to follow the rules. Together The Green Family has some fun and wacky adventure as they learn to adapt to their new surroundings.

 In my opinion The Big City Greens is like an updated version of the classic television series, The Beverly Hillbillies mixed with character designs straight out of The Muppets. Not only is the character designs influenced by The Muppets but It’s humor is too, very smart, quirky, and imaginative. Another great thing but Big City Greens is the fact there is no season long narrative. Unlike shows like Gravity Falls or Big Hero 6 you can just kind of leave for a bit then come back to once you’re finished bingeing something else. It’s just a fun time as you watch and enjoy this family’s misadventures.

The only criticism I have is that of Cricket, while I don’t mind his character Cricket is very selfish which comes off as being a little of a jerk and almost being unlikable. Whether or not this is intentional by the writers or it’s just me but since he is the main character of the show and it can hurt my enjoyment of Cricket and be a little too much. These times however are few but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Altogether The Big City Greens is very fun and can laugh out loud funny and a great show to jump in and out of between other shows you can watch on Disney+.

Review grade for season one: B+

Amphibia Season One (2019)

After Anne is peer pressured into stealing and opening a weird music box, she is transported to a new world filled with intelligent Frogs, Toads, Newts,etc along with dangerous giant insects and birds. It’s here that Anne meets Sprig, a young and super energetic frog whom she befriends. Together with Sprig’s Grandpa Hop Pop and his younger tadpole sister Polly, Anne tried to live in this beautiful yet dangerous world while trying to find a way back home.

Since Amphibia’s announcement I’ve been very interested in seeing what kind of show this would be. It turns out it has similar humor and mystery as Gravity Falls with an interesting and unique world like Adventure Time. The main cast is also very interesting and I like that the writers are taking their time to get the audience to care for them even if this slows the story down a bit near the middle of the season. Other than that I feel this series has really great potential and has a very satisfying end to season one.

Review grade for season one: B+

Liked these reviews? Then check out our others
Click here for my review of Milo Murphy’s Law and season one of Big Hero Six The Series.
Click here to start reading the episode by episode review of Star Wars The Clone Wars as they air on Disney+

My Life as a Teenage Robot – Cartoon Connoisseur Review

 

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My Life as a Teenage Robot went under my radar when it premiered in 2003, in fact it wasn’t until much later that I even knew it existed thanks to Nickelodeon’s so called retirement home for its cartoons shows NickToons Network. That is due to the fact that unlike other cartoons on Nickelodeon at the time Teenage Robot didn’t really have the popularity of shows like Spongebob Squarepants or Fairly Odd Parents. Which I feel is a little undeserved because it had a unique art style and characters, even if the set up itself was a little cliché.

For those who have never seen it My Life as a Teenage Robot the basic premise is this: X-J9, or Jenny as she likes to be called, was created by her “mother”, a scientist named Nora Wakeman to defend the world against evil aliens and mutant monsters that attack the world and almost a daily basis. However being a teenage robot Jenny wants nothing else than to be a “normal” teenage girl. She gets that chance after meeting her neighbors Brad and his younger brother Tuck who befriended Jenny and convince her mother to let her live her dream. From then on the show is all about Jenny trying to live a “normal” teenage life while still defending the Earth from villainous foes.

The show was created by Rob Renzetti, who has worked on other cartoons shows like Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, and Gravity Falls. The show has an amazing voice cast including Janice Kawaye as Jenny, Eartha Kitt as the villainous Vexxus, Quinton Flynn as Sheldon, and Billy West as the Vice Principal as well as various other characters in the show. Teenage Robot was both critically praised and nominated for a bunch of awards including a Prime-time Emmy Award and several Annie Awards. Unfortunately as stated before it just didn’t get the popularity that shows like Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents had and was cancelled before the third season aired which led to it only being shown on NickToons Network.

I feel that this is a shame because Teenage Robot has that same feel as shows like Dexter’s Lab or Powerpuff Girls but had its own identity especially in the design department as most of the show took inspiration from the Art Deco designs that were popular in the 30’s. I believe another shortcoming is that fact that people get to hung up on details and can’t just enjoy it. We don’t ask why Bugs Bunny wears gloves and walks and talks or how Dexter can have an enormous Lab under his house that would cost over a billion dollars to create, we just accept it and enjoy it because it’s a cartoon and not real. While it fun to question things sometimes I feel people can just over analyze things which makes things less enjoyable. Overall I feel Teenage Robot is fun and and hilarious even causing me to pause the show to laugh at some of Its jokes. Teenage Robot is also very self aware as it makes fun of it’s own silliness at times. For example there is a scene where Jenny is sunbathing and my first thought was why is she sunbathing she’s a robot if anything her metal body would just get super hot and probably burn everything around her. No sooner did I think this then it actually happened on screen causing me to laugh. Even though Teenage Robot is a comedy It also has cool fight scenes and weapon designs. I would also be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention the awesome theme song too, definitely one of my top ten favorite cartoon show theme songs. I would highly recommend the show to anyone like myself that loves cartoons shows. Just remember that like most of the classic cartoons this show just requires you to turn off your brain and just enjoy.