Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures Season Three

This past weekend saw the start of the third season of Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, and even though season two left off with a perfect hook to show the girls traveling around by bus, it instead opened with the girls back in Berry Bitty City, ready to welcome another new addition to the cast:
That's right, Huckleberry Pie finally makes his BBA debut, and unlike when Cherry Jam joined the cast, the official site wasted no time adding him, along with a few video clips, and coloring pages of his puppy pals.
While Huck's design here strikes me as a little bland, I do like him as a character (or at least, from what I've seen in just two episodes).  I'm not that crazy about all the girls getting puppies, but at least Orange Blossom's pays homage to her original pet, as it's named Marmalade.  And it's nice to see the original Pupcake design back on the scene, too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Upcoming SSC DVD coming on September 11th

So the SSCBBA DVDs skip ahead to season two, and I can't say I blame them.  Not only is there a severe lack of HQ Cherry Jam, season two is tailor-made for DVDs.  It wasn't until the season was actually over that I realized it was almost perfectly split into three episode story arcs, which is the exact number of episodes each DVD has had so far.  Which means, though, that this upcoming DVD will probably not have Cherry Jam's debut episode, since that's part of the first story arc, and the episodes described all come from the second.
To clarify, here are the arcs of season two as I see them:
1. Berry Bitty Market
2. Cherry Jam in BBC
3. Sunshine Girls or The Island Vacation
4. The Long Winter

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to Care-a-Lot - Episode 5

When AGP took down the Welcome to Care-a-Lot preview episode from their website, I promised someone I'd do a write up with screenshots, but in the time it took for me to do so, AGP put the episode back up.  However, they didn't simply put the episode back up, but instead put up a premix cut.  The only difference I can tell is lower quality, plus a timeclock and title stamp on the video.  So I figure I might as well continue to post this, since at the very least I'll have better screenshots.

Compassion Not
So, Funshine has all manner of fun stuff planned, but none of the other Care Bears are able to join him: Cheer has to weed her garden, Share has to clean her house before teatime, Harmony has to soundproof the birdhouses in the forest, and Grumpy is too hungry to care (plus he has errands).  Bummed out, Funshine just flops out where he is, which is where Tenderheart finds him.  He admits to the older bear that he can still have fun on his own, but it would be so much better with someone else.  And so Tenderheart summons a girl named Penny to Care-a-Lot, explicitly to hang out with Funshine, but also to learn a lesson.  Penny, it seems, is more than just a little self-centered, as her first act is to crow about how so many kids want to visit Care-a-Lot, but too bad for them 'cause they're not her.
Funshine is immediately taken with this girl, as he and Penny bond over their shared love of roller blading and extreme sports.  Though Penny continually jumps into things without listening and makes sure she gets to do everything first, Funshine just brushes this off, so glad is he to finally have met his perfect match.
Meanwhile, Grumpy traverses Care-a-Lot in his camper van, and comes across a shortcut that is, unfortunately, forbidden.  But this matters not to Grumpy, and he just continues on his way.  His disobedience seems to be rewarded when he comes across a dragonbeehive that's devoid of dragonbees.  As he rides his cherrypicker attachment up to the hive, he muses:
It's moments like these I think "what would Tenderheart say?"
*imitating Tenderheart* "Grumpy, I have a feeling that dragonbees wouldn't like that."
To which I think back, "I have a feeling that I don't care."  'Cause when I get home, I'm gonna have the feeling of sweet, sweet honey in my belly.
(No matter the version, Grumpy is the best.)  He plucks the hive from its perch and tries to continue on his way, only to find his van is stuck in the mud.  And not just any mud, but stick-til-you're-stuck-sand.  With a bit of effort, he manages to push his van back onto dry ground, but at the cost of sinking into the sand himself.  In this vulnerable state, he's approached by Beastly, though not the one from the 80's series.  I'm not sure what this guy's deal is, but no doubt that'll be explained in the first episode.  From this episode alone, he appears to be the king of some kind of creatures, as he has both a crown and two minions who lack proper speech.  Hearing that Grumpy got stuck while getting honey, Beastly makes off with the hive, leaving Grumpy stuck.
Left alone, Grumpy attempts to use his belly badge to call for help, but he's sunk too low into the sand for that. Fortunately, his cries for help are loud enough to be heard by Harmony in the forest, and she wastes no time in gathering everyone together.  Everyone except Funshine, that is.  Cheer heads off to find Funshine while the others go to find and help Grumpy.  But as Funshine and Penny are still hanging out at Adventure Beach, it doesn't take Cheer too long to find them, though it does take some doing to get them both to come and help.  Funshine has already begun to succumb to Penny's bad influence, you see, but not entirely, and so the three of them set off, though Penny happens to notice a certain vehicle floating in the water as they go.
Meanwhile, the others (including Wonderheart) search for Grumpy, finding his van before finding him.  Share spins the many possible things that could have happened to him, ending with "...maybe he's wandering the earth as a lost vagabond, seeking redemption for all the horrible things he- oh, wait, there he is." (I just love that line.  Especially the fact that she includes "horrible."  Grumpy, what kind of things are you up to in this series?)  Sure enough, Grumpy's still stuck in the sand, and not too pleased with the slowness of the other bears to help him get out.  So Tenderheart starts to reach out for Grumpy, but realizes that Grumpy is far enough in that they can't get him out without getting themselves stuck, too.  But there's rope in Grumpy's van, and soon the bears have a jerry-rigged pulley to get him out.
As the others pull, Cheer, Funshine, and Penny arrive.  Cheer immediately joins in the pulling, but Penny pulls Funshine back, pointing out that the power of five bears is bound to be enough to get Grumpy out, and since they're not needed, it's time to get back to the fun!  Funshine hesitates, but all-too-soon agrees with her, and the two split.  As they arrive back at Adventure Beach, Funshine starts to have second thoughts about leaving his friends, but Penny assures him that Grumpy will be fine.  Plus, she has an awesome idea....
However, power of five bears was, in fact, not enough to get Grumpy out of the mud, and Funshine and Penny's absence is quickly noticed.  While thinking about what else to try, Share passes out some tea and shares some gossip with Harmony (apparently Tenderheart was in a band back in his younger days).  Cheer proposes that they build a house around Grumpy, and Harmony latches onto that idea, as she has numerous housing designs she'd love to try.  Grumpy objects to this train of thought, and to the tea, but takes the crumpet Share offers.  Tenderheart asks the million dollar question (that is, what was Grumpy doing in a forbidden area anyway), and Grumpy is forced to admit that he stole the dragonbee's honey.  And there just happen to be a couple of dragonbees above them to hear that confession and take it straight to the queen.
The need to get Grumpy out of the sand gets a lot more urgent once Harmony hears the dragonbees approaching, so Wonderheart suggests using the van to pull the rope.  Unfortunately, the van is a stick shift, and only Grumpy knows how to drive it.  Still, Share volunteers to try, but even instruction from Grumpy can't help her.  Harmony remembers that Funshine has an ATV, but when they go to retrieve it, they are shocked to find it missing.
Not for long, though, as it's obvious who took it.  Tenderheart and Wonderheart head one way, and Harmony and Share head the other, hoping that between the two groups, they'll find Funshine and Penny before the dragonbees arrive.  Cheer, meanwhile, is keeping Grumpy company, though he'd rather she didn't.  Funshine and Penny, on the other hand, are oblivious to the danger, just having a good time in the ATV.  Funshine proposes he jump the ATV over the hill, so Penny climbs out to watch.  She uses a rope ladder to get a better view on the branch of a tree, but when she reaches the top, she almost loses her footing, accidentally knocking over the ladder in the process.  She calls for Funshine to help her, but the ATV is too loud for him to hear her.  Assuming Funshine forgot her in all the fun, Penny resigns herself to life in a tree, until she's spotted by Harmony and Share.  Harmony, to Share's surprise, suggests leaving the girl in the larch, and the irony of this is not lost on Penny.  She agrees that she deserves to be left there, but begs forgiveness, which Harmony gives.  With a little help from the birds, the ladder is soon back in place.  Penny climbs back down and thanks her saviors, now ready to help Grumpy.
But first they need the ATV, which Funshine is just then jumping over the hill.  His landing leaves something to be desired, but he himself is okay, and so is the ATV.  Funshine revs up to try again, but Penny stops him, telling him they need to help Grumpy now.  Funshine is confused by her sudden turnaround in ideals, but Penny explains the lesson she learned (it's selfish not to help your friends), and Funshine also begins to feel remorse for his behavior.  But there's no time for that, Harmony points out, as she quickly explains the situation.  And so the four drive in the ATV to where Grumpy is stuck.
Unfortunately, the dragonbees arrive before the rope has been tied to the ATV.  To buy a little time, Harmony uses her badge to create a flower illusion that distracts the bees.  With the rope attached at last, Funshine drives the ATV, pulling Grumpy out, then goes to apologize for not helping sooner, as does Penny.  Grumpy's just glad to be out of the mud, with everything all wrapped up.  Except the dragonbees are still there, and Harmony's illusion fades.  The bees, however, do not immediately attack, but instead ask what's up with stealing the honey?  (with Share translating, as she's the only one who understands dragonbee, I guess.)  Grumpy boldly sets the record straight that only he was involved in the honeystealing, and the queen demands the hive back.  The other bears are all, "Yeah, just give it to them already," unaware that Grumpy is no longer in possession of it.  And when Grumpy admits that Beastly stole it from him, the dragonbees immediately vacate the premises to go chase after him.  They even chase him after he returns the hive, presumably because he'd already eaten all the honey by then.  Happy ending!

So yeah, that was actually better than I was expecting.  There were some parts that made me laugh, and a number of good lines.  And this is probably just me, but Penny's obnoxiousness made her a pretty entertaining character.  That, and her corrupting of Funshine.  Animation-wise, it's not the greatest, but I like the textures, especially how fuzzy the bears are.  Obviously I'm going to need to see more episodes before I can make a real verdict on this show, but at least I'm not feeling as much trepidation as I was before.

Misc. Screenshots
Harmony's stylin'
Jumping on a bridge
Grumpy's victory pose
Harmony balks
Who knows how to drive a stick?
The dragonbees are coming!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot is coming soon

So the latest Care Bears series finally has a release date.  Though previously said to be coming Fall 2012, it's actually debuting in one month exactly.  There's a short promo already:



The website has also been updated, with character profiles and color pages, with videos coming next week.  However, AGP's official site has a full episode up, if you're curious.
Edit: Scratch that, they took it down.  Was it put up too early, or was it because I linked to it? (That's happened before.)  Stop doing that, AGP!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lorax Storyboards

Didier Ah-Koon has a few storyboard sequences from The Lorax on his site, and while most of them are just extended versions of what ended up in the movie, Sequence 2102 is a sequence that was completely cut.  It is also required reading for any Once-ler fan.  Go to it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Evening Video: J. Tiara Jameson


Yeah, we were all thinking it.  I love this anyway.