Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jane Lynch is in it

Back before Camp Rock came out, I saw the soundtrack for Another Cinderella Story at Walmart and was intrigued by the logo.  Hoping for a musical with maybe some good songs, I put the movie in my Blockbuster queue and forgot about it until a week or so ago when it made it to the top (or rather, was the first 'available' movie near the top).  I mention Camp Rock because if I'd known who Selena Gomez was I probably wouldn't have bothered.  Despite that, the movie was not horrible, although it was not nearly as much of a musical as I thought it would be.  Le sigh...
Anyway, the real point of this post is about the stepmother character in the movie, Dominique.  About halfway through the movie, I had to run to the IMDB because I knew that I knew who she was, but I just couldn't place her.  Turns out that she's played by Jane Lynch.  At first glance, I didn't really recognize anything she had done (and she's done a ton of guest spots), but on the second time through, the sole thing I recognized her from suddenly leapt out at me: A Mighty Wind, where she played Laurie Bohner, the porn star turned folk singer. (Sidenote: I love A Mighty Wind.  If you haven't seen it, go watch it right now.)  I'm also partially amused to learn that she plays the mother in the new Holly Hobby DVDs.  So yeah, finding that out bumped my enjoyment of the movie up a level, and I even got the song that her character sang in her youth(?), Hold 4 U, off of iTunes.  'Cause Jane Lynch can definitely sing (another reason to go watch A Mighty Wind right now).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adventures in Care-a-lot Episode 21

Belly Blanked 
For whatever reason, the episode starts off with four of the core five meeting up with Funshine in that park that isn't Rainshine Meadows and is apparently above Care Square, as they take a cloud (courtesy of Grumpy's belly badge) to get there.  Funshine uses his belly badge to create all kinds of fun, from beachballs and spinny discs to a waterslide.  Grumpy balks at the slide, so Funshine takes it upon himself to prove its safety.  He slides right into the river, whereupon he is hit (unbeknownst to him) by a ray from a mysterious (and apparently waterproof) machine.  He emerges without his badge, which Grumpy blames on the slide.  It's Oopsy who spots Funshine's badge floating down the river, but all their attempts to grab it fall flat.  Although Grumpy and Share are awfully cute as they fail at paddling a canoe together (and Grumpy even tells Share, "You're doing it wrong!").  Funshine understandably freaks out as his badge goes over the waterfall, and he considers it gone for good.  Grumpy, however, is adamant that belly badges "don't just slide off like that" and while he, Share, and Oopsy head offscreen, UR-2 and
 Rocketbottom rise up from the lake, holding the mysterious machine, a Peeler Beam, and report to Grizzle (at the bottom of the waterfall), who takes Funshine's badge for his own.
Back in his lair, Grizzle reveals his plan to his minions, who are recovering from their time at the bottom of the river: instead of taking all the Care Bears' belly badges, he just needs one.  So he sticks it to himself with glue, and predictably gets stuck to the floor.  So predictably, in fact, that UR-2 is able to finish Grizzle's sentences as he calls for a crowbar.
Meanwhile, the other Care Bears are worried about Funshine, who has spent all his time since losing his badge just moping around.  Share figures someone should tell Funshine that he's still the same with or without his badge, but doesn't think of the obvious candidate, although Cheer does.  So they get Oopsy and Wingnut to go cheer up Funshine, since neither of them have belly badges to speak of.  Funshine, however, is having none of it, stuck in an existential quandary of who he is without his badge.  Oopsy tries to lead Funshine to the right conclusion for this episode by prompting him, "You don't use your belly badge all the time, do you?" to which Funshine replies, "Well, no, not every minute." (Hey, I liked it.)  Eventually Funshine starts to come around, and the three of them engage in a montage of the kinds of physical activities that can be achieved without use of a belly badge.
Shortly after that, Grizzle has his minions lower him into Care-a-lot while he uses a snazzy new headset to communicate with them.  Unfortunately, he gets dropped too soon, losing his headset in the process.  And while he lands on his feet, he once again regrets ever installing nerve sensors in his suit.  He happens to land in front of Funshine and Oopsy, and he demands the Care Bears fear him, although Oopsy cutely points out a bad wording choice on his part.  Funshine soon notices Grizzle has his badge, and demands it back.  Grizzle, of course, does not comply with his request, but instead announces his intention to use the badge for evil, not fun, and demands the badge give him rays of light to fry all of Care-a-lot.  Instead, the badge gives him rays of light that brighten everyone's day.  Suitably confused, Grizzle tries again, but his demand for "sunbeams of power" only ends up with him tied up in powerful beams.  Not so powerful that he can't break out of them, though.
Funshine, tired of seeing his badge being abused, demands to know how Grizzle got it in the first place, and Grizzle all too readily reveals the Peeler Beam, brought down by Sargent Rocketbottom.  Funshine also demands, for like the third time, that Grizzle give his badge back, but Grizzle simply tells him that it's stuck onto his suit with 50 different kinds of glue.  So Funshine reminds him that belly badges can only be used for good, and Grizzle uses this to his advantage by using the badge to create a barrage of balls for a 'game.'  
The Care Bears take cover, but Funshine knows he has to stop Grizzle somehow.  Oopsy gives him a quick pep talk, and then Funshine enters the fray, challenging Grizzle to a game of Targetball.  At first, Grizzle doesn't take the bait, but after Funshine pulls the old "if you don't think you can win..." line on him, he goes at it with gusto.  While Grizzle is distracted, Funshine sneaks behind him and snatches the Peeler Beam away from Rocketbottom and uses it on the stolen badge.  It melts off Grizzle's midsection and Funshine quickly returns it to its proper place.  Since he wasn't paying attention, Grizzle needs a recap of what just happened, and is chagrinned when he realizes his mistake.  Rather than take direct revenge, Funshine startles Rocketbottom, resulting in the robot getting stuck to Grizzle's still-sticky middle.  Grizzle retreats to get some glue solvent.
The others congratulate Funshine for saving the day, and Oopsy points out that Funshine did it all without his badge.  Funshine has learned his lesson, and they end the episode by playing a round of Targetball with all the excess balls left behind by Grizzle.

What I want to know is 1. why didn't Oopsy comfort Funshine both sooner and without being asked by someone?  Maybe he felt awkward bringing it up?  And 2. why didn't any of the other bears with badges help defeat Grizzle this time around.  Yes, I know that it was so that Funshine could save the day without using his badge, but realistically (as realistic as a cartoon gets, anyway), there are myriads of other Care Bears who could have lent a hand, at least, even if Funshine was the one who got to be the big hero.

All Give and No Take
One fine day in Care-a-lot, Love-a-lot unveils her new fountain in her backyard.  Cheer and Share express a desire to see it all the time, which gives Love-a-lot an IDEA.  She gets Grumpy to move the fountain, and he in turn gets Wingnut to do the actual moving, and it lands with a splash in Care Square (but there's already a fountain in Care Square...).  McKenna shows up out of nowhere, and she just can't wrap her mind around the idea that Love-a-lot would rather have the fountain out where everyone can share it rather than keep it to herself.  
She would never give up anything of hers, she says, like her new favorite heart-shaped ring.  Share explains that it's better to give than to have sometimes, which inspires Cheer to put that principle into practice by organizing a Care-a-lot-wide giving spree.  Everyone is enthusiastic about this idea except McKenna, who eyes her ring worriedly, as if she knows that one way or another, she's not leaving Care-a-lot without giving it up.
Later, Grumpy attempts to wedge a part into his latest invention, but with no success, so he's in no mood to see Share.  Until she whips out the bumbleberry pie that she made, that is.  Seriously, he's all over that pie.  As Share leaves Grumpy's garage, she runs into McKenna, who still can't quite get why anyone would want to go to all the trouble of making something for someone else.  So Share takes her along to witness more selfless giving.  They come across Funshine playing with his "favorite" ball, which he gives to the two cubs (whose names are finally revealed to be Hugs and Tugs in canon) to stop them fighting over another toy.  Again, McKenna is stumped on why anyone would give away their favorite thing, but Funshine just tells her he knows the ball is in good hands.
Meanwhile, Grizzle has been watching the whole thing, and he is sick of all the 'giving and love stuff' (as is Mr. Beaks).  But he decides to use the Care Bears' giving to trap them by giving them something himself, and then luring them back to his lair.  Back in Care-a-lot, Cheer rewards all the Care Bears for going along with her idea by conjuring up a slide, which McKenna rushes to use first, despite her not doing any giving, nor even understanding why the bears were doing what they did.  Perhaps it is fitting, then, that her ride is cut short by Grizzle (literally, he sticks is foot out to stop her).  The Care Bears are suspicious, but Grizzle feigns innocence and hands Funshine a dripping package, which he announces is for everyone.  Funshine opens the package to reveal a dripping pipe with macaroni glued on it (nice touch).  Grizzle tells them it's part of a bigger gift, which they can pick up at a special party at his lair.  While not entirely sure, Cheer and the others decide to give Grizzle another chance, and go to his party, despite McKenna and Grumpy's hestitation.
While the Care Bears make their way to his lair, Grizzle has UR-2 test his plan to capture the bears once and for all.  That plan involves a lever that activates the fake package and grabs whatever is in its immediate vicinity.  And the codeword for pulling the lever is "Surprise."  With the plan all set, the Care Bears arrive and Grizzle ushers them into his lair.  Cheer spots the present and is impressed by its size; Grizzle fakes niceness and tells her that it's to make up for all his plots in the previous episodes.  As his guests head to the present, McKenna notices Mr. Beaks.  Grizzle tries to stop her from getting too close, but McKenna tells him how Mr. Beaks reminds her of a bird she used to have as a pet.  Touched by the resemblance(?), McKenna asks Grizzle if she can give Mr. Beaks something.  Grizzle agrees, and she gives him the ring as a little crown, getting that plot point out of the way.  The other Care Bears are pleased that McKenna finally gets it, and Mr. Beaks is so pleased by the gift that Grizzle is touched and starts to cry, which Cheer calls him out on.  Grizzle tries to deny it, but the sincerity of McKenna's caring for Mr. Beaks took him by surprise, and he tells Cheer so.  Which is the codeword, UR-2 rationalizes, and throws the switch.
The package grabs them all, even Grizzle, and traps them inside the box.  The other bears accuse Grizzle, but McKenna interprets their situation as Grizzle giving them "the gift of togetherness."  Grizzle, seeing an easy out, is quick to agree with her, and tells UR-2 to open the 'present' so they can get the party started.  UR-2 shrugs and does as he is told.  At the actual party, Grizzle busts out some funky dance moves, and even hops out of his suit so the two of them can dance together (I love it!).  UR-2 comments that Grizzle will probably regret it in the morning, but for the time being, everyone just has a good time.

This was actually a pretty decent episode, all things considered.  There were tons of crazy expressions, though (just check out the screenshots below).  I'm just wondering how Grizzle was going to take over Care-a-lot when the only bears who showed up where Funshine, Cheer, Share, Grumpy, and Love-a-lot.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt is Dead

I just heard that Eartha Kitt died earlier today of colon cancer.  She had 81 years of being awesome.  Seriously.  She was Catwoman on the 1960's Batman series, she was Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove, and even had a guest spot on The Magic School Bus series, among many other things.  And she sang "Santa Baby" better than any of the others.  Rest in peace, Ms. Kitt.

Christmas edition: Cricket on the Hearth

I recently picked up that DVD of "The Original Christmas Classics" from Rankin/Bass, although it dubiously includes "Frosty Returns" as one of those 'classics' (why not "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" instead?  At least that one is old enough to be thought of as a classic).  It also included a special from 1967 that I had never heard of, "Cricket on the Hearth," which is based on a story written by Charles Dickens.

In this special, an old cricket tells the audience about his younger days, and how he came to live with the Plummers, father Caleb and daughter Bertha, who make their living making and selling toys.  As it usually is with these stories, Bertha is engaged to a young man named Edward, who is commissioned in the Royal Navy, but is lost at sea near the beginning of the story.  This news renders Bertha blind, and Caleb spends all his money on doctors for her, but to no avail.  Eventually they end up just one step away from the poorhouse, until Caleb gets work with a crooked toy factory owner, Mr. Tackleton.
For Bertha's sake, Caleb pretends that they are doing better than they are, making him and the cricket effectively living in two different worlds.  I don't really get how Bertha was fooled by this, especially since they were eating Tackleton's scraps.  Then again, she may have been aware of what her father was doing and just humored him, but this isn't made apparent in the special.  Anyway, things get moving again when Caleb runs into an old, homeless man and takes him in.  The way he says Bertha's name makes her gasp, though she can't explain why.  Hm...

On Christmas Eve, Tackleton proposes to Bertha, but gives her some time to think about it.  She's of a mind to accept, since her father has described Tackleton as a better man than he actually is.  The old, homeless man comes to tell her something, but loses his nerve after Bertha announces her intentions to wed "the most wonderful man in the whole world."  Determined not to let Bertha marry Tackleton, the cricket gets in the way of the couple that afternoon, so Tackleton commands his pet crow to eliminate the cricket.  The crow, meanwhile, hires some thugs from an animal bar to get rid of the cricket.  The thugs capture the cricket and mean to sell him to a sea captain who sells crickets on the black market in China, but the captain shoots them both instead.  Meanwhile, the cricket manages to escape and makes it back to the shop just as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, which makes the toys magically come to life for one hour.  The cricket rallies them to help him stop Bertha from marrying Tackleton.  They lead him to the old, homeless man, sleeping just outside the shop, and they take off his disguise, revealing Edward! (The cricket is shocked.)  The toys also start telling the cricket about how Edward came to be where he is, but their time runs out before they can tell the whole story.  

Fortunately for the cricket, Edward wakes up, his face chilled by lack of beard, and tells the cricket the rest of the story.  Apparently he felt guilty about Bertha being blind, and took up a disguise to be near her without her knowing, but everytime he tried to tell her the truth, something got in the way.  The cricket doesn't buy his story, nor does he accept Edward's excuse of him being poor for why he should let Bertha marry Tackleton.  To prove that Bertha still loves Edward and only Edward, the cricket wakes her up and the two have a happy reunion, getting married first thing the next morning.  Tackleton is outraged when he hears this, but Bertha melts his heart by calling him kind, noble, and handsome (since no one has ever called him this before), and he leaves them be, full of Christmas spirit.  And that's how the cricket earned his right to be a lucky cricket on the hearth.

The special is bookended by live-action scenes of Danny Thomas, who played Caleb, while Bertha was played by his real life daughter, Marlo Thomas (of That Girl fame).  Hans Conried (whom you may recall from the post I made about him) played Tackleton, but what really made this special enjoyable was Roddy MacDowall as the cricket.  He made a very lively (and occasionally full of rage) character.
Unfortunately, he doesn't get to sing any of the songs, and it's really a shame, since only two of the songs really have anything to do with the plot.  I mean, a saloon cat gets to sing a song, but the cricket doesn't?  Not even part of his own theme song (sung by the Norman Luboff Chorus instead)?  That's just wrong.

Merry Christmas

Click for full-sized Unshelved!  And have a merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spanish DirectTV Christmas Horror(?) Ad

I found this, and well, I just had to share it. Happy early Holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some tidbits I've been saving

I have had that professor, seriously. We were all begging him to be more specific about a certain assignment, but he refused to give us anything more than the base description (it was a core course, so all the sections were exactly the same, regardless of who taught it). And then after the assignment was graded, he berated us for doing it wrong. -_-

Trolling the Jim Hill Media archives, I found this little sidenote in an article from 2004, and thought I'd share it:

Speaking of Disney & money ... There's a fascinating story about that "Mission to Mars" movie. The Walt Disney Company actually let the first director that they hired for that film -- Gore Verbinski -- go because he wanted "M2M" to be a special effects extravaganza. A film with no less than 600-700 effects shots.

Disney wasn't willing to spend the money necessary to to make that version of "Mission to Mars." So they let Gore go and replaced him with Brian DePalma. Who significantly pared down the scope & proposed cost of the project so that his version of the film would only feature 240 effects shots.

Long story short: Brian's low budget version of "M2M" failed to really wow audiences. So -- the next time that Disney hired Gore Verbinski to direct a motion picture -- they let him have all the special effects shots he wanted.

That picture turned out to be much more popular than "Mission to Mars." Maybe you've heard of it? "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"?

I was actually looking in the archives for a story I figured I read there, that gave a brief synopsis of how the Tinker Bell movie (then occasionally called "Tinker Bell and the Ring of Belief") was going to be about.  Turns out I was thinking of an article on a completely different site that was linked through Animated News.
I was thinking about 'what might have been' because the movie that did come out, while probably better than the one planned, felt a little lackluster to me, and all because of one particular plot point.  Now, the meat of the movie is that Tinker Bell, brand new fairy on the block, wants to go to the mainland (London) with the nature fairies, but since she's a tinker fairy, she can't, so she tries to make herself be a nature fairy instead.  However, it's never explicitly stated that she can't go.  All that's really said is that tinker fairies don't go to the mainland.   I mean, if there had been a scene where she asked if she could go and was turned down, then maybe I wouldn't feel so 'meh' about the rest of the movie, or even if there had been a reveal later, a kind of "All you had to do was ask" scene.
And personally, I just don't buy the whole "Tink was the only tinker to ever think of using 'lost things' to make things" bit.  I do, however, believe that Fairy Mary was able to quash any other tinker fairy who tried to, though.  Heh.  But I am glad for the version that we got, because if the original version had come out, there wouldn't have been any Vidia in it, and that would have been tragic indeed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The More, the Yummier - Maryoku Yummy

Today I am going to talk to you about Maryoku Yummy.  You may or may not recognize the name, but if you do, it's because you remember it from descriptions of American Greetings' licensed brands.  That's how I know of it, anyhow.
Now, for a good long while, next to nothing was known about this mysterious and strangely named property.  Only the very basics of the character were revealed: Maryoku looks after wishes that are made before they get granted.  Not exactly all the interesting, but good for birthday cards.  At least, that's what I thought until I discovered that, just like with the revamp of Strawberry Shortcake, AGPbrands.com put a handful of videos of the animated show based on this property, and while only three episodes are up, I think I love it already.

Maryoku Yummy takes place in Nozomu, and as you might have derived from that, the majority of the characters have psuedo-japanese names.  I say pseudo because while some of the names actually mean something relevant to the character (maryoku means magic power/charm), some of the names are unintentionally hilarious (one character's name, Hadagi, means lingerie), but most of them are either too broad (Shika can mean any number of things, including the price of paper or Japanese poetry) to have actual meaning, or just sound japanese-y without actually meaning anything coherent.  I should note here that nozomu means "to wish," but the characters all pronounce it no-ZA-mu instead of no-zo-mu.  Basically, nothing is pronounced the way it would actually be pronounced in Japanese, but is pronounced the way someone looking at Japanese would pronounce it (especially egregious in Maryoku, which is pronounced ma-ryoku, but all the characters call her mary-oku).

Bad pronunciations aside, the show is delightfully cute.  The characters (called Yummies as a group) all have a minimalistic design that was inspired by Japanese silkscreening.  The characters also tend to replace parts of words with 'yum' (as in 'yumderful,' 'yum's the word,' etc.), and they all have some sort of crazy design going for them.
While all kinds of Yummy live in Nozomu (doctors, bakers, handymen, police), the focus is on the wishsitters, groups of three Yummy that keep an eye on ungranted wishes and supposedly help them come true.  (I'm not entirely sure how this is done, even though one of the episodes details the process.  Apparently there are things a wish needs to know before it is granted, and hugs are part of it, too.)  The wishsitters live in a group of three and take care of up to eight wishes at a time.  When there's a deficit, it's usually filled pretty quickly by Bob, who brings the wishes in from somewhere else.  As the show description indicates, Maryoku is head of a wishsitting group, along with her timid friend Fij Fij and boisterous underling Ooka.  Maryoku is one of the those can-do-no-wrong main characters that tend to show up in these kind of shows and is generally the voice of reason in her little group, but she's also a terrible meddler (seriously, in the two episodes posted that focused on someone other than her wishsitting, she went out of her way to check in on the other wishsitter on multiple occasions).  Her touchy-feely approach to wishsitting tends to clash with the by-the-books police officer Shika, whose frequent flaunting of the rules inspires both fear and annoyance from the general population.  Still, he is the one they go to in a crisis.  There's also some kind of wiseman character named Tapu Tapu that the other characters go to for advice, but I'm not entirely sure of his complete role yet.

The wishes themselves are treated as a mix of pets and very young children.  As in, they're obviously sentient, but they don't really understand anything except having a good time, yet the Yummies talk to them as if they could understand, but probably don't.  I have to admit, I just don't get the whole wish concept here.  I mean, the conceit of the show is that when wishes are made by children, they become these candle-like entities and show up at some kind of HQ.  Wishsitters keep an eye on them and teach them what they need to know to be granted, but what about the wishes that can never be granted?  I mean, what if a kid wishes for an elephant for a pet?  Seriously, that kid is never going to get one, so that's a wish that will never get granted.  I guess I'm thinking too hard about it.  This is just a kid's show, after all.
The show is aimed at preschoolers, in fact, but the lessons are not hamhanded, and generally flow in a fun manner.  For instance, in one episode, Hadagi, a member of another wishsitting group, takes it on herself to try and get an enormous wish granted without any help (so she can claim all the credit), and the majority of the episode shows the messes she gets herself into as she tries to keep the wish out of trouble.  (Granted, I could be biased because this was the episode that made me love Hadagi, and not just because she's obviously voiced by Chiara Zanni, who also voices Kani on Sushi Pack.)

The series is slated to come out "sometime in the future" which has been officially stated as 2010, but since it was stated earlier to be 2008 and 2009, there's really no telling when this series will debut.  Which is too bad, because it looks like a fun little series, and I for one am looking forward to seeing more of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sushi Pack - An Ode to Oleander

Can I say how much I love Oleander?  Because seriously, next to Titanium Chef, she's my favorite villain.  Probably because she isn't really a villain at all.  Oh, sure, to the Sushi Pack she is, and she occasionally teams up with the bad guys to get at the Sushi Pack, but only because she wants to eat them.  Obviously, she can't ever succeed, because then there'd be no show, but sometimes, I think I would like to see her actually do the deed.  Maybe a dream sequence or something?
There isn't too much that we know about Oleander, but from what we do know, I can easily map out a history for her.  The way I see it, she got her start as a restaurant critic, worked her way up to having her own TV show, mostly due to her adventurous eating habits (you don't get a nickname like "The Gulping Gourmet" by being picky).  But shortly before the series begins, she'd basically run out of exotic and/or interesting foods to sample, and was growing bored.  So when she heard about living sushi (not just raw, but alive), naturally, she had to give it a try.  And has yet to succeed.  Must be frustrating for a lady used to getting what she wants.  (Seriously, do you want to get between Oleander and her desires?  I didn't think so.)
Which brings me to the episode "Sushi Pack vs. The Fried Food Fighting Force," the first Oleander-centric episode of the new season.  Very lovely Oleander action here, as you will see.

The episode starts with the Pack, as usual, talking about the lower crime rate, which is a little unusual, but gives them some extra time.  Tako suggests that they use this break to redesign the Sushicraft, but no one can agree on what to do: Maguro wants to make it more open, Tako wants to make it more artistic, Ikura's all for painting huge teeth on it (which would be pretty cool, actually, in a kitschy sort of way), Wasabi wants a huge fly bathtub instead, and Kani just wants to keep it the way it is.  She is the one who built it, after all.
Skip over to Oleander in her kitchen at the TV studio, trying to cook up a plan to get at the Sushi Pack.  Since her previous schemes haven't worked, she decides to make her own fighting foods (ala Titanium Chef), which she plans to eat once they've served their purpose (see, that's just awesome right there).  So she fries up a potato, chicken nugget, corndog, mozzerella chunk (not a stick, a chunk), and a glob of ketchup to complete the group.  Then, to bring them to life, she adds a bunch of other stuff, but most importantly, a whole can of hazardous material.  The resulting explosion gives her a new 'do, but also brings forth The Fried Food Fighting Force.
Back with the Pack, they still can't decide on what to do with the Sushicraft, nor can they compromise.  Ben points out that they have differences of opinion because they're all naturally different from each other, but they need to remember that it's their similarities that make them a team.  (a quick animation note: while Ben gives his spiel, Wasabi scratches his nose, or where his nose would be if he had one.  Just a little thing I liked.)  The Pack reflects on this briefly, and are able to put their differences aside long enough to check out the scene of a recent crime.
The chief of police fills in the Pack about a suspicious grease fire in a rock quarry, leaving the Pack puzzled on how rocks can catch fire, especially a grease fire.  It was all the doing of the Fried Food Fighting Force (here on abbreviated F4), of course.  Oleander congratulates them on their successful first mission, but instructs them to do something bigger for the next time if they want to defeat the Sushi Pack.  The F4, however, has an inkling that as living foods similar to the Pack, they shouldn't fight.  Oleander squashes this attitude by filling them with Fried Pride, and they take off for another mission.
Later, The Pack shows up at the newspaper printers just after the F4 leave.  The head printer shows off the greasy finger prints left by the still-unknown-to-them gang, but Maguro recognizes the prints as footprints and hypothesizes that the group responsible for tainting the Late Edition is about the same size as the Pack.  Not only that, but there's a smell of corndogs in the air...  Back with the F4, Oleander details their final mission to defeat the Sushi Pack, after which will be the banquet of honor.  She nearly lets it slip that she's planning to eat them, but manages to cover it up with none of them the wiser.  The final battle will take place at the old clock tower.  After she sends them on their way, Oleander calls Wharf City News and leaves an anonymous tip, using her superior voiceover skills.
While not chasing after the elusive F4, the Pack stays home and fumes at each other over their inability to agree on the Sushicraft (not that they have the time to modify it now, anyway).  Finally, Kani has enough and manages to bring the rest of the Pack together, just in time for Ben to tell them about the anonymous tip.  And so the Sushi Pack is off for the clock tower, which appears to be deserted.  Tako senses a trap, and sure enough, the F4 attacks!  Kani, still in reconciliation mode, tries to stop the two groups from fighting.  She points out all the things they have in common (being made from foodstuffs and taking their jobs seriously, among others), and the members of the F4 add a few themselves.  Kani still has to seal the deal, though, and asks the F4 why they're all there.  It's at that moment that Oleander shows up and announces her intentions to eat them all (and she actually says "There's only one way out -- in my belly!").  An unwise move on her part, since with her deception revealed, the F4 have no reason at all to fight the Sushi Pack, and they all band together to take her out.  Using eerily similar powers, they trap her under a large bell.
With the main plot wrapped up, the F4 decide to head off to other parts and get into modeling for restaurants.  Kani can't keep from spieling some more, seeming way too chipper for her character, but a tearful goodbye between Wasabi and Ketchup is all it takes to bring her back down to her usual self.  And the episode is over.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Omake - Shugo Chara Doki recap, aka I've been waiting a while to do this

My Nikaidou-sensei doll isn't any fun any more.

Neither is my Utau-chan doll...

That's why I got the new Utau and the Black Diamonds Playset!

And I just love my new Kairi doll with bonus Black Diamonds CD!

I love these guys, seriously.  At first I thought they were too goofy, but now, I love that about them.  Yay for the comic relief ^_^

Friday, November 21, 2008


Pushing Daisies is Cancelled!!!

Augh, why?  Pushing Daisies was my favorite thing to watch on primetime, even more than Ugly Betty and even House. (Yes, I do watch things other than cartoons.)
What really bugs me is that ABC said they "gave it the best they could" which was seriously not true.  First, they pulled it for two weeks during NOVEMBER (sweeps, and all that), and then, when it finally was back, they did ZERO advertising to let people know it was back.  And that Fred Willard was the guest star (come on, it's Fred Willard!). *sigh*  The article mentions the possibility of a movie or comics to continue the story, but it just wouldn't be the same.  Although a movie would be pretty cool, I must admit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

SSC 2009 series Pilot - A Berry Grand Opening

Because I tend to be the last one to find out these things, I had no idea that American Greetings had added a page to each of their brands for video clips until yesterday.  And even though they by no means had to do this, they posted an entire 11 minute episode of the new CGI Strawberry Shortcake series, which won't debut until next Fall.  I'm assuming that this is the pilot episode, so there's no telling what elements will show up again.  Overall, I thought it was cute, although there were a few things that I know are going to bug people.

The plot of this pilot concerns itself with the party Strawberry's throwing to celebrate the grand opening of her new cafe.  With just a few hours to go, Strawberry delegates some of the preparations to two of the three berrykins that hang out around town.  I know a lot of people are not going to like them, and in fact, I wasn't that crazy about them myself, until I looked up the definition of nebbish (AGP describes them as "nebbish creatures"), which turns out to mean pitifully ineffectual.  Heh.  Anyways, Strawberry sends them off to get favors from her core friends, and Custard tags along to keep an eye on the Berrykins and try to keep them from messing up, but since she doesn't talk in this incarnation (Thank you!), she isn't too good at that.

First stop is Plum Pudding's dance studio.  Although she doesn't have any glasses this time around, she's still too cute.  Now, since Strawberry didn't actually tell them what she wanted from Plum Pudding, and only actually said, "Who loves dancing more than her?" the Berrykins assume (as I did the first time around) that she wanted Hula Dancing at the party, and ask Plum to teach it.  Improvising a hula skirt from a nearby flower, Plum Pudding is on the case! 

Next, the Berrykins head to Raspberry Torte's dress boutique to borrow a dress for Strawberry to wear (guess she used up all her savings on opening the cafe), but can't remember which one she wanted.  It was the one with the bows, but the one with the rose looks much nicer.  And apparently Raspberry is so allergic to flowers that even one made of cloth is enough to send her into a fit of sneezes.  There's a quick interlude at the cafe to show Plum Pudding showing up, and Strawberry realizing the Berrykins mistake.  Neither seems too worried about it.  

Moving on to Orange Blossom's general store, the Berrykins can only remember that Strawberry wanted something orange and sparkly (sparkling orange juice, actually), so Orange Blossom pulls out all the things that fit the bill, including vases and a tablecloth, and even her Orange Brand laundry detergent (to make clothes sparkly clean).  The Berrykins tell her to bring all of it, just in case.  

Again, Strawberry was too vague about what she wanted from Blueberry Muffin's bookstore.  She just told them that Blueberry put all the recipes Strawberry uses at her cafe into one book, but not whether she wanted one copy to display, or a copy for all her friends (which doesn't make good business sense when there's only five or six inhabitants of the city to begin with).  The Berrykins assume she wants one book per friend, but don't remember which cookbook Strawberry was talking about.  Fortunately for Custard (who hasn't been able to let the others know how wrong the Berrykins have been about things), Blueberry easily intuits that Strawberry probably wants copies of her own book, not someone else's.

Back at the cafe, Orange Blossom shows up with everything but what Strawberry wanted, and Strawberry "smells a little trouble" (I hope that's not a recurring catchphrase or anything).  Meanwhile, the Berrykins are at the last stop, Lemon Meringue's Beauty Salon, and I admit, I had totally forgotten what Strawberry told them she wanted from there by this point, so it's no wonder the Berrykins forgot, too.  The best they can come up with is having Lemon give Custard a "cute clown" makeover (in reality, Strawberry wanted Lemon to make fruit crowns as party favors, although why she'd be asking that so late in the game I have no clue).  And Custard does make a very cute clown once Lemon is done with her.

With all that taken care of, the Berrykins return just as Blueberry Muffin finishes telling Strawberry about their inability to remember stuff, and Strawberry gives them a quick lecture about actually listening to people when they tell you stuff.  Which is when Raspberry Torte and Lemon Meringue show up with the last of the Berrykin's mistakes.  Strawberry makes the best of it, though, as Lemon Meringue ties some dandelion puffs to Custard's neck ribbon for the finishing touch.  Which make her start to float away.  You'd think it would take more than three to do that, though.  As the girls watch in horror, the dandelion fluffs start to blow away in the wind, and Custard drifts ominously closer to the ground.  But Strawberry "smells a plan" (seriously, that better not show up every episode), and grabs the tablecloth.  She instructs everyone to grab an edge, and even the Berrykins help out (no doubt, the other girls are confused as to why Strawberry keeps telling them to "hula to the left" and "hula to the right" as they follow Custard's trajectory, since only she, Plum, and the Berrykins know about the hula/who loves incident).  And thus is Custard saved.  The Berrykins claim it was because of their listening skills, but Strawberry reminds them that it was actually teamwork that saved the day.  And just like that, it's four o'clock, time for the start of the party (kind of late for a grand opening...) and the end of the episode.

So generally I liked the episode.  The moral wasn't overly anvilicious, even if the Berrykins' rhyming talk got annoying after a while.  But seriously, Strawberry brought it on herself by not writing it all down, anyway.  BTW, I'm 89% sure that Orange Blossom is voiced by Janyse Jaud.  There aren't any end credits, so I don't know who else does voices here, although there are stills that are definitely where the end credits will go when it actually airs.  I have a sneaky suspicion Ashleigh Ball is one of the Berrykins, but their voices are so sped up that I could be wrong.
It seems a little odd that after all the talk of harkening back to original series, no one had their original personalities.  But then, we didn't really get to know anyone all that well.  The actual series and upcoming movie will probably flesh out the other characters a little more, but I can tell you this, the original Raspberry Tart would never own a dress shop.  


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comics - It's so easy...

(Click for Full-sized We The Robots)

I definitely know the feeling.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Adventures in Care-a-lot Episode 20

Night Shift - "I dont have to take that from pudding!"
While I may have described "Good Knight Bedtime" as a day night in the life of Bedtime, it's this episode that really gets that honor.  The episode begins at the dawn of a new day in Care-a-lot, and Bedtime is just about done for the day.  Funshine comes up, obviously a morning person, and begins regaling Bedtime with all the plans he has for this beautiful day.  Bedtime just wants to get some sleep, and tells Funshine so.  Funshine essentially says "Sleep?  Pshaw!" and Tenderheart (whom they happened to be walking by at the time) calls Funshine out for picking on poor Bedtime.  Funshine is rightly confused at this, as he was just joshing around with Bedtime like he always does.  Tenderheart accuses Funshine of having a one-sided conversation, and Bedtime's all "Dude, now that you mention it, he's right.  You should see what I do at night, then you'd know a thing or two."  Funshine is contrite for exactly one second before coming up with a fantastic idea: he'll shadow Bedtime tonight and see what he does.  Share and Grumpy show up for absolutely no reason at all except for Share to say this is a good idea.  Funshine invites the others, but only Tenderheart and Oopsy (who has been in the scene, but hasn't said anything yet) take him up on it.  Bedtime doesn't seem to mind.  Funshine likens the idea to a slumber party, which apparently gives Grumpy and Share an idea of their own...
Skip ahead to that evening, just as the sun is going down.  "And now, it begins," quotes Bedtime.  First order of business, put those cubs that may or may not be Hugs and Tugs to sleep.  Cheer tucks them in, but the rest is all Bedtime.  He picks out a lurid romance novel from the shelf, but since his audience is under the approved rating, he bowlderizes it something fierce.  Magic pajamas indeed... Watching Bedtime, Funshine is once again convinced of the simpleness of his job. With the story over and the cubs asleep, Bedtime tries to sneak out, but the floor creaks and the cubs are awake, demanding another story.  Funshine offers to do the honors this time, and picks out the same romance novel Bedtime did (seems he wanted to read the actual story himself, hm?), but the cubs are not fooled and demand something different.  Funshine goes for sci-fi this time.  A screenwipe later and all the stories from the shelf have been read and the cubs are finally asleep again.  As are Tenderheart and Oopsy.
Funshine is starting to see the difficulty of working at night, but Bedtime tells him that their work has just begun.  He uses his belly badge to send them all the dreamland with him, and they are instantly bombarded by a sigh.  They go to investigate and find Surprise, who accuses them of visiting her again.  The four bears are confused, since they just got there, and Surprise is not pleased when what happened four other times already happens again.  Bedtime easily deduces that Surprise is have a nightmare, albeit a tame one.  Funshine doesn't get it, so Tenderheart enlightens him: since Surprise loves surprises, obviously the scariest thing in the world is something turning into wood happening over and over.  To help her out, Bedtime reminds her that she's just dreaming (as Grizzle goes by in the background), but Surprise is not reassured, since she already dreamt Bedtime came and said that.  Case in point, the dream-Bedtime shows up, annoyed that the real Bedtime is intruding.  Funshine points out the weirdness of two Bedtimes, only to be confronted by the sight of two of the rest of them, too.  Nothing comes of this, though, as the cubs bounce by on huge rubber ducks and Bedtime sees this as something that should be monitored.
The cubs bounce around Care Square, creating havoc, before blinking out of existance.  The others are confused, but Bedtime knows what's going on: they woke up, and thus Bedtime and the others have to follow suit.  Back in the real Care-a-lot, Bedtime and the others check on the cubs, who want a drink of water.  Tenderheart and Oopsy get them each a cup of water, with nothing untoward happening to Oopsy's cup (not enough time in the episode, I guess), and then they set off again.  As Bedtime flips out the light, the pink cub demands light, which goes against Bedtime's bedtime code, so instead he gives her a lecture about how the dark is not really scary, and makes a nightlight from his belly badge.  But the blue cub refuses to sleep without darkness, so Funshine, inspired by his earlier stint, piles up all the storybooks to make a barrier.
Bedtime congratulates Funshine on his quick thinking, and Funshine tells him he's getting the hang of it.  Good news to Bedtime's ears, since there's still plenty of work to be done.  Tenderheart and Oopsy are not enthused.
Back in dreamland, the four bears observe the various dreams, and Grizzle goes by again, this time seen by all four of them.  Shouldn't Grizzle have his own dreamscape?  Does he sometimes dream of defeating the Care Bears and succeeds, even with Bedtime there?  I guess it would all depend on who had the stronger dream power, or something.  Anyway, Bedtime suggests they split up to keep an eye on their friends' dreams, but Tenderheart and Oopsy stay together anyway.  Funshine, on the other hand, gets the definition of "split up," and tells Bedtime that he's got the hang of working in dreamland, and goes off.  As he leaves, Bedtime cryptically says, "I hope he's right," (seriously, he's all dramatic about it, or as dramatic as Bedtime gets, anyway).  Meanwhile, Tenderheart and Oopsy come upon Grumpy dreaming about fixing stuff, and complain about how mundane a dream that is, until they see the real point of Grumpy's dream: telepathic tool fetching powers!
Grizzle goes by again (he's having some strange dreams from the looks of it),
 and Funshine is called to Share's dream by a shriek.  Seems she was dreaming about making pudding for all of Care-a-lot, but instead she created a sentient (and more importantly, animate) pudding monster.  Funshine doesn't quite see the gravity of this, since it's just pudding after all, but he prepares to defend Share's dream, just like Bedtime would.  He attempts to tough-talk the pudding back into the bowl, but the pudding monster is having none of that, and it soon has Funshine surrounded.  He breaks free, and he and Share head for the hills.
The Pudding Monster starts invading the other available dreams.  It starts grabbing Grumpy's tools as they appear in his hand.  Grumpy is unfazed by this, and tries to enlist its help in fixing whatever it is he's working on.  The pudding monster takes off for less boring dreams instead, causing Grumpy to remark, "Figures.  Just try getting a pudding to help with anything."  The pudding monster soon finds easier bears to scare, sending everyone else to join Funshine and Share in the hills.  Bedtime stops Amigo Bear to find out what's going on, but since Amigo's voice actor wasn't available that day, he just points to the monster.  Tenderheart and Oopsy show up to find out what's going on, and Bedtime fills them in.  He tells them the first step to getting rid of the monster is to figure out whose dream it came from.  At that point in time, Funshine and Share finally make it to the hills and let the others know what's going on.  Since it's Share's nightmare, only she can really get rid of it, so Bedtime advises her to think about how to get rid of pudding.  Bedtime already knew the answer, but apparently Share had to be the one to think of it: eat it, of course.  As soon as Share has the answer, spoons appear in everyone's paws, and all the Care Bears converge to gobble down the chocolately menace.  During the puddingfest, everyone starts to wake up, and indeed, the night is over.
As day dawns in Care-a-lot, Bedtime congratulates the others on a job well done, but points out that they could have just asked him what he did all night.  But by then the other three are already asleep, so Bedtime joins them for a well-deserved rest.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, but these bears have some pretty boring dreams.  I mean, when the majority of it is something you do all day in real life (and I'm not just talking about Grumpy here.  Wish was shown flying on her starboard, which is about the only thing we ever see her do period), there's gotta be something wrong there.  Maybe Bedtime should give a seminar on "How to have exciting dreams" or something.  Of course, mundane dreams probably make his job easier.
When this ep first started, I thought it would be about the debut of Sweet Dreams Bear.  Like, Bedtime feels lonely because he's the only bear that stays up at night, so Sweet Dreams shows up to fill the void.  But I guess since he interacts with everyone in dreamland, that's not a problem for him.  But still, it would have been cute.

No Snow Day - "His arms are made out of sticks.  That's even dumber!"
Once again McKenna has come to play with the Care Bears, although she doesn't seem that enthusiastic about it.  Probably because she's been bundled in a helmet and plenty of pads so she doesn't hurt herself rollerbearing.  This doesn't actually involve rolling of any kind, actually.  It's more like sliding on a "sunny sidewalk" made by Funshine.  Funshine demonstrates his fancy technique, and McKenna is less enthused than before.  Share and Cheer assure her that she just has to slide, regardless of any tricky moves Funshine may pull off, and they drag her on the sidewalk.  Without a word of warning, they let go of her, and she falls right on her patukis and off the sidewalk.  McKenna is rightly annoyed at the others, though Cheer claims their intentions were good.  Grumpy shows up, even more bundled than McKenna, and the two bond over their lack of rollerbear skillz.
Since rollerbearing is a no-go, the others try to find something else fun they could all do, but McKenna shoots them all down.  Cheer accuses her of having a negative attitude, but the only downside of this she can think of is "not learning new things."  McKenna is not swayed by this argument (and I can't blame her), and points out that Grumpy has a negative attitude, too, and nobody complains about him.  Funshine counters that Grumpy is grumpy, not negative, so McKenna changes the subject.  She does like playing the snow, but since it's not winter in Care-a-lot, she's out of luck.  Or is she?  For as she and the others leave, the trash can that she threw a piece of trash into suddenly sprouts eyes.  Yes, it was a numbnut Nimbit all along (and there was much lamenting on my end of things).  The two cloud beings wonder what the big deal about snow is, so they prove they have yet to learn anything from any of the episodes they've been in and make it snow all over Care-a-lot.  Elsewhere, McKenna wishes for snow, just as the snowflakes start falling.  She takes this as a new property of Care-a-lot (wishing for things makes them come true), but Cheer sets her straight.  Grumpy goes on a tirade against snow, but the others just go to get their snowsuits.
Unlike in most episodes, the Nimbits' involvement in the episode is revealed right away, and by themselves, no less.  No one seems very worried, though, as Funshine, Cheer, and Share start building a snowman, and McKenna goes off to sled.  Meanwhile, Grumpy makes his way through the snow, thinking maybe this time it'll be fun.  Little does he know that he's trudging up the same hill McKenna is sledding down, and the two are on a collision course!  He ends up on top of her, covering her eyes just as they're about to hit a huge snow bank.  And hit it they do, but rather than be shook up and upset, they just laugh it off and head back up the hill to do it again.  This is suspicious, especially for Grumpy.  No way would he ever be that happy...
The three snowman builders are not pleased with their handiwork (although I laughed when Funshine got annoyed because it had sticks for arms), and sit in the snow and sulk.  Grumpy and McKenna sled down to them and confuse the Nimbits with their cheery greetings.  When the Nimbits point this out, Grumpy puts it all together: those who were positive earlier are suddenly negative, and those who were negative earlier are positive, which can only mean one thing: the "snow" is actually No Snow, which makes everything negative (and two negatives make a positive, pretty clever for a kids show).  The Nimbits repent, but I bet you anything they'll be at it again the next time they show up (oh, please, let that never happen!).  Seeing the others so downbeat, Grumpy asks the Nimbits to melt the No Snow, but since they're clouds, they can't do that.  So Grumpy asks Funshine to make a sun, but Funshine refuses.  Grumpy tries to convince him by rubbing Funshine's belly badge, but Funshine has a negative reaction and distances himself from his friend.  McKenna, who has been sledding during all this, notes that the others aren't very happy, and Grumpy explains about the No Snow.  McKenna suggests he build a machine that will melt the No Snow, and they're off!
By the next scene, the machine is ready.  McKenna and Grumpy take it to the top of the hill, and McKenna muses on how she must have seemed when she was negative.  No time to really think about it, though, as the machine doesn't seem to be working.  McKenna doesn't really care, since she loves snow, and she gushes on about it.  Her extra-positive attitude melts the snow around her feet to Grumpy's amazement.  The snow around him starts melting, too, which is a start, but to with so little time left in the episode, they need more than just the two of them.  So they sled down the hill to where the rest of the core four are.  McKenna's attempt to cheer them up en masse fails, so she takes them on individually, reminding Cheer of her cheer, and soon the two of them have the No Snow melting away.  With Cheer's example, it doesn't take much to get Funshine and Share in a better mood, and even the Nimbits get in on the act.  Funshine makes a sun that sweeps away all the snow, and there are cheers all around.  Except from McKenna, who is in a negative mood again with all the snow gone.  Cheer reminds her to just focus on being positive, and this apparently works.  Funshine adds that a positive attitude can be catching, but does not give her a badge this time.  Although he does wonder what they'll do now that Grumpy's back to normal (that's a joke, son).  And the episode ends with everyone laughing as per usual.

I seriously thought this episode was going to be horrible, horrible!  Not only does it feature McKenna being a brat again, but it also has magical mishaps thanks to the Nimbits!  If ever there was a recipe for a disaster, that is it.  But thankfully, the episode managed to lift itself above these elements (mostly thanks to a lot of Grumpy cuteness) and just be a middling episode (the end dragged it down again, sadly.  Everyone got positive way too conveniently).

Bonus Screenshots:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Whyyyyy?  Why are the only shows I actually watch being not shown this week?  I can understand Heroes and House being pre-empted by election related programming, but there is no reason to not show Pushing Daisies in favor of Dancing with the Stars!  At least I still have Ugly Betty to look forward to...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shugo Chara Doki!! Episode 3 - X Eggs are *so* last season

Of course, once I finally get caught up with Shugo Chara, the latest episode is late.  And of course that episode would be the first actual plot-related episode of the season (the first two were glorified recaps).  This season's enemy was revealed, along with the ? Egg.  As Yaya points out in the image, if the first season eggs were called X (batsu, or wrong, as in a wrong answer) Eggs, then this season's eggs are called ? (nazo, or riddle) Eggs.  
That just makes me think of if this scene were dubbed, the eggs might be called Why Eggs, with Yaya explaining that since it's not an X Egg, it must a Y Egg.  But maybe that's just me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Sushi Pack Game

There's a new game up on AGkidzone.com, but I'm really only pointing it out because it is totally a reworked version of Chip's Challenge, only with way fewer levels (149!  I never got that far.  I don't think I even made it to level 100...).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Adventures in Care-a-Lot Episode 19

I have this one and the next one all set up, so you'll see episode 20 up within a day or two.  The first ep this time around was all kinds of cute (and makes me think that Trueheart needs a paramour, seriously), but the second one bugged me to no end (no pun intended, though).

Harmony: Unplugged
What better way to kick off a Harmony episode than with a song?  Accordingly, Harmony and Trueheart just happen to be walking around Care Square, and Trueheart spurs Harmony on to sing about all the friends they meet.  That includes Share in the candy shop (where Trueheart explains about the 'singing about the bears we meet' thing, and Love-a-lot doles out some praise that Harmony modestly dismisses), and Funshine and Cheer, who are playing a pong-like game of Belly Ball.  Later, Trueheart has an inspired idea: Harmony should give a concert of all the songs she sang that day for all of Care-a-lot!  Harmony likes the idea, since she apparently got a lot of ego-stroking during her tour of Care-a-lot.  Trueheart adds to this by sucking up to her a bit, and gets the honor of being Harmony's manager for her trouble.  A little later, the two brainstorm ideas for the concert, and Harmony sings an uninspired song about Trueheart, but Trueheart says it was good anyway, and continues to suck up to her as Harmony declares herself the best singer in Care-a-lot (just wait until Heartsong Bear shows up, honey).
The next day (or maybe later the same day), Trueheart and Harmony are handing out flyers for "Care-a-lot Concert Time" and Harmony's ego continues to grow, as she claims to be the only one singing, even though Trueheart thought she'd be a back-up singer, and what about all those birds that have been hanging around Harmony lately?  Still, Harmony insists that since she's the main attraction, she should get her name in the title of the concert, and what does she need back-up singers for?  As Harmony skips out on flyer duty, Trueheart starts to see the damage all her sucking up has done, but is powerless to stop it.
In preparation for the concert, Harmony gets a new wardrobe, including an Elvis-style cape.  She tests it out by flinging it dramatically at the (imagined) crowd, and then orders Trueheart to pick it up.  Trueheart complies for reasons that probably have to do with her being the manager, but still feels a bit spineless to me.  Harmony also demands water, and retires to her trailer.  Tenderheart can't help commenting on the change in Harmony, and tells Trueheart that if she doesn't like it, she should say something.  Trueheart tells him that she doesn't want to upset Harmony before the concert, since everyone's looking forward to it and all.  Later, she runs into Cheer on her way to Harmony's dressing room with her latest demands (including only green gummy bears).  Cheer commends Trueheart on her commitment to friendship, but Trueheart is starting to think she's just being used by Harmony, as she displays the mile-long list of demands Harmony wrote.  Cheer confides in her that she knows some bears have decided not to go to the concert because of Harmony's new conceited nature, and Trueheart can't blame them, since Harmony changed all the songs to be about herself instead of others (not to mention very loud).  Cheer also tells her to tell Harmony how she feels, and by now, Trueheart is more receptive to the idea.
Trueheart approaches Harmony as she rehearses and pours her heart out about being left out of the concert and only fulfilling Harmony's impolite demands, but Harmony is having none of it
stating that it's her right as the star of the show to be pampered. Trueheart tries to put her talent in perspective by reminding her that it's just her character trait to be a singer, like it's Grumpy's to fix things, and Oopsy's to continually fall down without actually getting hurt (seriously, she says that).  Harmony sees her point, but is distracted by cupcakes, and nearly misses Trueheart telling her about the bears who won't be coming to her concert.  Harmony claims the others are just jealous, and Trueheart tells her, no, it's because she's gotten a big head.  Harmony flips out at this and kicks Trueheart out, but Trueheart's all "You can't fire me, I quit!" and the two go separate ways.
The night of the concert arrives, and the only one in the audience is Trueheart.  She explains to Harmony that she tried to get the others to come, but they were so turned off by Harmony's ego that they declined.  Trueheart also reminds Harmony that she tried to warn her, and Harmony finally sees the results of her ego-tripping.  She spouts out the typical "I've learned my lesson" stuff, and denounces her cape.  She wonders if she can be forgiven (and I'm with Trueheart's expression there.  The situation does not call for that level of dramatics), but Trueheart forgives her, which is a start.  Harmony wishes she could get everyone to come to concert so she could apologize all at once; Trueheart puts her mind to the task and comes up with a plan!
Later on, with everyone gathered at those picnic tables, Trueheart gives Harmony a short introduction, and then Harmony rips off Oopsy's song from Oopsy Does It as her apology song.  But everyone forgives her anyway, although Wingnut is visually aroused by her song, strangely enough.

King of the Gobblebugs
This episode begins at night, with Grumpy chasing Grizzle in his garage for some reason.  Somehow Grumpy flips Grizzle into a barrel of sticky glue and chatises Grizzle for trying to steal his tools.  What?  Turns out this was all just a story Grumpy was telling to the others around a campfire.  Oopsy proclaims it the best story yet, and so 
Cheer tells him to tell a story, too.  Unable to think of anything, 
he tells the others about the ladybug he saw the other day.  From the bears' lackluster reaction, he realizes that they weren't looking for true stories (and Grumpy's story was obviously not true, c'mon), so he adds to the story, telling how the ladybug was really a huge gobblebug (the titular king).  At the end of his story, Grumpy declares it time to go home (but I thought they were camping?  There's a tent in the background and everything), so they do.  This was the first sign of the stupidity of this episode, which, up to this point, I had assumed would be about all the bears telling campfire stories.  Not so, unfortunately.
The next day, Funshine organizes everyone into a mob to go find the king gobblebug, and there's the obligatory shout-out to the original gobblebug episode.  Wait, they thought Oopsy's story was true?  When they were pratically begging him to embellish his story?  Oy, oy.  Just as everyone leaves, Oopsy finally gets out of bed, but only Wingnut is around, and he missed the crowd gathering, too, so he has no idea what's going on.  Oopsy knows he's "late, but not that late," which I think is a reference to "the late Dentarthurdent," but I'm not sure.  At any rate, the two of them decide to go search in the opposite direction of where everyone else went.
Over in Rainshine Meadows (where Oopsy claimed to have seen the gobblebug), everyone searches high and low, but to no avail.  Grumpy hypothesizes that the gobblebug has already left, despite the fact that nothing is, y'know, eaten.  As the other bears imagine the places it could have gone, Cheer realizes that Oopsy is nowhere to be found, and goes to look for him while the others continue searching for the gobblebug.  
Cheer flies on her rainbow over Care Square until she finds Oopsy, and Share shows up out of nowhere.  She tells Oopsy how worried she's been (for all of three minutes 9_9), causing Oopsy much confusion.  Share clears up his confusion by mentioning the king gobblebug, and smothers Oopsy in a hug.  Oopsy does not see fit to clear up the confusion, instead trying to persuade the two girls that the gobblebug has probably flown off to greener pastures, but the girls are persistant.  Share gets Oopsy to give a better description of what the bug looks like, and his made-up description sounds fishy to Cheer.  Oopsy tries to cover by saying he didn't get a good look after he 'frightened it off with his mighty roar,' but Cheer's skeptical look is strong enough to get the truth out of him.  Oopsy admits to just wanting to tell a good story (which, again, the others practically demanded), and Share chastises him for making everyone worry and waste all that time and energy looking for the bug.  Still, what's done is done, and the fastest way to get the truth to everyone is to split up.
Oopsy goes to find Grumpy first (get the worst reaction out the way first, eh?), and doesn't consider that he'd be anywhere but his garage.  There's an offscreen crash and Oopsy ends up in the barrel of glue from Grumpy's earlier story.  There is much sticky walking and things sticking to a glue-covered Oopsy.  Even Wingnut can't loosen any object without it getting stuck to him as well.  Oopsy theorizes that a bath might help, and heads for the fountain.
Meanwhile, Grumpy, Funshine, Tenderheart, and Surprise arrive in Care Square, unable to fathom why they haven't seen a sign of the gobblebug by now.  They are rewarded with a sight of Oopsy shambling towards them, looking for all the world like a king gobblebug (maybe).  They run off to hide, and Oopsy calls after them, but they only surmise that the bug ate Oopsy, not that it is Oopsy.  Oopsy stumbles into the candy shop and ends up with his eyes covered, which leads to more stumbling around.  Wingnut tries to explain what's going on, but Grumpy and Funshine charge into the fray without listening, capturing Oopsy with a cloud, encasing him in a sun cage, and giving him a Care Bear Stare.
It's at this point that Cheer and Share show up, and laugh at both Oopsy's appearance and Grumpy's pride in catching the 'king gobblebug.'  They tell the others to look closer, and suddenly the truth is out.  Oopsy explains how he came to look the way he does, and Grumpy facepalms (I love it!).  Oopsy also confesses about the story being fake, and Funshine is all "What?  Why?"  As if he wasn't there the night before or something.  Oopsy explains that he wanted to be more interesting, making Grumpy gripe, "Oh, you're interesting, all right."  Funshine clarifies Grumpy's statement, but from the way Grumpy rolls his eyes, he obviously feels his statement said it all.  Cheer advises Oopsy to keep practicing and he'll be a storytelling pro in no time (or maybe just add a "this is not true" disclaimer at the beginning of his stories), and admits that she and the others should have checked the facts with him sooner.  There's some talk about Oopsy being special and keeping the others on their toes, but eventually Oopsy apologizes for messing up Grumpy's garage, so the episode can end with him helping to clean it up.

Bonus Screenshots:
Harmony Unplugged

King of the Gobblebugs