Thursday, April 2, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake: Half of Berry Big Journeys

While I don't really feel compelled to write up the first half (Strawberry goes on a road trip to a see a flower that only blooms for one day every 10 years, but gets there late thanks to Angel Cake's lack of map reading skills and Banana Candy's failure in general), the Pieman's manner in his proposition made me feel that it was worth writing up the second half.
It all starts with Strawberry giving a book report on Around the World in 80 Days to her friends for no particular reason. Peppermint Fizz objects to the book's central conceit, but Strawberry maintains that anything is possible with a positive outlook. For as little reason as Strawberry has for giving an impromptu booktalk, the Pieman and Sour Grapes show up in their cart, and, having overheard their conversation, the Pieman agrees with both Strawberry and Peppermint Fizz. He then wagers all the pies in his cart to anyone who could actually make it around the world in 80 days without a jet plane. Ginger Snap, not liking his tone, automatically nominates Strawberry for the job, not noticing Strawberry's audible doubt. She ups the Pieman's ante by wagering all the berries in Strawberryland if Strawberry doesn't make it in time, and the Pieman, satisfied that he'll win, comments, "What would I do without these kids?" He leaves to parts unknown, promising to pick up his prize in 80 days' time.
Ginger Snap finally realizes what she's done, but it's too late. Peppermint Fizz can't see anyway for Strawberry to win, not even when she sees the jet boat that Ginger Snap just happened to have in her garage. The Pieman shows up and sabotages the boat in plain sight of the kids (if not Ginger Snap and Strawberry, then at least Peppermint Fizz) and sets it in motion. Somehow this makes it fly. Wait, was it supposed to be a plane the whole time? Well, whichever it was meant to be, it's already on its way with Peppermint Fizz in tow. She lowers the rope ladder so Strawberry can get on, but with the sabotage done, there's no way to stop it without some major repair work, so Peppermint is stuck there. As day turns to night, Peppermint resigns herself to her fate, while Strawberry uses the stars to navigate and sings a reassuring lullaby.
Soon enough they arrive in Pearis, by way of running out of fuel. Fortunately they land in a body of water, but not without smashing a huge hole in the hull. Meanwhile, the Pieman also arrives, but by plane. Sour Grapes complains about the cost of the flight, but the Pieman is certain they'll make it back with the berries he's going to win. While he sets off to set something in motion, Strawberry and Peppermint meet up with Crepes Suzette and they fill her in on their trip so far, which has apparently lasted weeks already. Since Peppermint Fizz complained about the length, Crepes Suzette gives her and Strawberry a giftbag for the rest of the trip. She also gives them a tip about a train going exactly where they need to go.
Which is great, only the Pieman (in disguise) sets a flock of sheep in front of the tracks, stopping the train. Not about to give up, Strawberry and Peppermint singlehandedly move every single sheep out of the way. So the Pieman cuts down a tree instead. But there just happens to be a boy with an elephant also blocking the tracks, so Strawberry negotiates with him to be their guide through the jungle. With forty days still left, things are looking up, especially when Peppermint Fizz finds that the giftbag Crepes Suzette gave her has a fancy camera in it. Once they make it out of the jungle, they run into Tea Blossom, who brings them to the docks to charter a ship, unaware that they're hitching a ride with a barely-disguised Pieman and Sour Grapes.
As they sail across the sea, Strawberry figures they'll make it back in exactly 80 days. Peppermint Fizz starts to relax for the first time in the whole trip, but once night falls, Strawberry notices that the stars aren't where they should be for the direction they're traveling. She waits until morning to test her hypothesis, and sure enough, they were going the wrong way. They go to hash it out with the Pieman, but he's already there, and all to eager to reveal himself. He sheds his disguise, leading to this exchange:
Strawberry: It's you!
Peppermint: *pointing at the still-disguised Sour Grapes* And you, too.
Nice to see Sour Grapes get some recognition. The Pieman and Sour Grapes drop the two girls off on a deserted island, but they're nice enough to let them keep the giftbags. Peppermint Fizz does what she does best in this episode, complain, but Strawberry is not to be stopped that easily. She and Peppermint head into the jungle, only to find Tangerina Torta's jungletown. She gives them a chance to rest and have some refreshments, and for the first time in this trip, Strawberry starts to doubt they'll make it on time. But all hope isn't lost, as Tangerina lends them her motor scooter. Somehow the scooter gets them close to Strawberryland, but with only ten minutes to go, it gets a flat tire. Luckily enough, the giftbag had some gum in it, so Peppermint patches the hole and they're on their way again.
When Strawberry and Peppermint do arrive, the Pieman tells her she's a day too late, since he missed the beginning of her booktalk 81 days ago. If he'd heard it, he'd know that Strawberry would claim to have gained an extra day to travel because she crossed the International Date Line, just as Phineas Fogg did in the book. The Pieman can't believe it, so Sour Grapes prepares to give Strawberry the pies (wait, 80-days-old pie?). But Strawberry declines, stating she wasn't in it to win, but to prove she could do it. The Pieman continues to not believe it, but Sour Grapes, who has been a bit genre-savvy during this whole story, simply gripes about the inevitability of the protagonist winning, and hitches up the cart to leave.
While Sour Grapes and the Pieman leave in disgrace, Strawberry's friends congratulate her on making the trip in 80 days. But Strawberry just wants to sing a song about how even though traveling is fun, home is the best, which Peppermint Fizz feels free to join in on, since she went on the trip, too.

So, what, does the Pieman just hang around Strawberryland, hoping to catch the kids saying something he can turn into a con job, or was he just passing through and happened to think up that proposition? And maybe it was just me, but the connecting scenes on this DVD were just really...I want to say lame, or something like that, but that's not really it either. Superfluous, I guess. I mean, it was Strawberry climbing a mountain and talking, all the while not caring that domesticated cats aren't made to move the same way girls and puppies can.


1 comment:

Prudence said...

Note how Sour Grapes is carrying all the luggage.

And it turns out that I never signed out of Blogger on my Mac that came out of hiding for the wedding trip.