(Hy)Lights #51 – Animated TRIFECTA (ROCKO, Invader Zim, AMPHIBIA)

Hey, another (Hy)Lights post that didn’t take half to a full year to publish!!

Yeah, I’m doing another post where I talk about 3 different titles because I don’t have much to say about them but I do got some heavy hitters for ya.

Mainly 3 animated projects that have aired this past summer, 2 that were supposed to air on a network that I just don’t care much for anymore but they found salvation on Netflix and the other one is from Disney and I haven’t talk about any Disney-related thing that’s not a Marvel movie and I probably need to steer clear from that shit for a while……

First off, the first two titles I’m talking about comes from Nickelodeon……ah, Nickelodeon, a network I always watched happily as a kid especially with their Nicktoons, I just love watching them every day when I get back from school …….and then after most of their programming went to shit, I just stop giving a fuck about it. Look, we all know Nickelodeon is still milking that Spongebob cow for all it’s worth, even after the death of its creator Stephen Hillenburg and thankfully The Loud House is still on air and it’s still a decently good show even if the creator is a creep (he’s fired so no worries on that) but still, that’s just one show in a sea of…. a network I just outgrew (and that’s fine. I was bound to get past it anyway.) and I was sticking with them when they announced specials of their previous Nicktoons like Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie aired there although it just came and went, which sucks because that movie was amazing and I always felt that movie should’ve been the theatrical movie instead of the actual movie we got from that series.

We thought we would get Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling to be on there but….. yeah, if you seen it, you knew that if Nick did aired it, some angry misguided parents are going to complain but let’s get to it because I’m going on too long.


 

After being stuck in space for 20 years, Rocko and his friends return to a late-2010s era O-Town with modern amenities such as constantly updating touchscreen phones, radioactive energy drinksfood trucks and coffee shops on every corner.[4] Rocko, who does not share Heffer and Filburt’s enthusiasm for the 21st century,[4] attempts to get his favorite television show The Fatheads back on the air,[5] since it is the last remnant of his past; to do so, he goes on a quest to find Ralph Bighead, the show’s creator.

So, I can safely say that Rocko’s Modern Life is one of my favorite Nicktoons, probably next to Spongebob, Rugrats and I’ll say Hey Arnold! as time goes by as I appreciate that show a lot more. As for this special, it really reminded me why I really liked this show and seeing how Rocko and friends can handle the 2010s and….. well, Heffer and Filbert can gel with the shit but Rocko probably had it with the shit. He’s like most people that can’t handle most of the hustle and bustle of the ever-changing times. The special does offer a lot of nostalgia feel that delivers all the vibes of the show while moving forward with its self. Plus, it has some meta jokes in regards of doing an animated special from having CGI to having writers that don’t give a shit about the original source and of course, how change is essential in life in general, either from accepting a show you like will have some big changes much like life in general.

Again, I’m not spoiling anything but chances are you already know the big thing that happened during the special and hey, I was with it. This was a hilarious special that gives you all the nostalgia feels without being over-indulging itself and if there’s no more after this, then it’s a great way to conclude the series.


Now shit gets weird with Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus. But first, my thoughts of the show overall…… and wow, this fucking show is crazy and weird as hell. Unfortunately, Nickelodeon didn’t exactly handled this show well considered it aired there for a while before dumping it in their Nicktoons network later on. I do remember being into this show when it was airing…. maybe not as much as more fans that got into it later on but it was an unique show and now after 11-16 years after the last episode aired and the debut of said show, we get this 71-minute special.

 

ZIM discovers his almighty leaders never had any intention of coming to Earth and he loses confidence in himself for the first time in his life, which is the big break his human nemesis, Dib has been waiting for.

 

So I’ll probably have the least to say about this one because while I like the show, I’m not exactly as big a fan as most people I know but from I gathered from Twitter (or at least people I follow and their retweets) is that the special does its fans justice. It’s just as weird and dark as ever but not dark in a edgy-ass way but in their sense while still be funny. I’ve always thought Zim as the little villain who could but can’t as he always plan the invasion of Earth but never actually succeeds while Dib is that conspiracy guy that no one believes but when he’s right, no one cares. Like here, he just keep watching Zim, waiting for his move and he becomes…. well, like most nerds that sit in their house all day: gets fat, can’t move for shit and mostly hopeless aka the perfect time for Zim to plan his Phase 2.

The way it all plans out results in this adventurous, weird-as-all-fuck and aesthetically morbid special and I don’t know if this serves as a conclusion, but it never felt like ‘the end’ of a show….. then again, when it got cancelled in the first place, it wasn’t the end back then as well. It just took them 11 years to make another one and hey, I’m cool with what they brought.


Now we get into Disney territory……I have never said most of my feelings on Disney Animated shows and well, in general, they rank second in having the most animated shows I’m always interested in. I mean, Cartoon Network is still #1 for me and hey, they’re doing better in that department than Nickelodeon.

I remember good shows coming from Disney the last few years like Gravity Falls, Star vs. The Forces of Evil, the rebooted Ducktales. Hell, even though the animation quality has dipped from the movie, I’m cool with Big Hero 6: The Series. But now I focus myself on another show I’ve gotten interested in.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of Amphibia.

 

The series chronicles the adventures of a self-centered 13-year-old Thai-American girl named Anne Boonchuy.[4] After stealing a mysterious music box on her birthday, she is magically transported to Amphibia, a wild marshland-themed lilypad-shaped island full of talking frog-people and giant versions of smaller animals. She soon meets and befriends an adventurous 10-year-old frog named Sprig Plantar who will guide her to be a true hero while discovering the first true friendship of her life.

OK, reading this premise and watching the first season of this show (it’s 20 episodes, BTW), I’m just going to say it.

 

This is an isekai!!!!!

Yeah, you didn’t expect anime MAK to say something but I believe that statement. But when I say that, you’re probably thinking of the usual isekai anime as of recently and……. yeah, no, it’s not that. It’s more like past series of that where it’s a young girl who’s the protagonist in this strange new world different from hers and her friends (well, one that has a big part and the other just missing…. for now) got transported there as well and she winds up in a place where its inhabited by talking amphibians and finding out a way to get back home.

Of course, things for our young Anne hasn’t been that bad, aside from the townspeople treating her like shit, she made friends with a 10-year-old frog named Sprig and the two become very good friends and becomes inseparable and the big part is there isn’t some forced relationship shit going. Hell, one episode, Anne becomes matchmaker to him. You also got Hop Pop and Polly, both of whom swiftly became my favorite characters and scene-stealers of the show for me. Although for other high-lighted characters here, you got One-Eyed Wally, Sadie Croaker and even that weird frog girl that Sprig had to marry.  Anne is a favorite character on here, especially on her development from coming here to the finale and the misadventures and antics her and the Plantar family go through.

The show does have the 2-segment format with the part 1 finale being all 30 minutes of it. The voice cast features two recognizable actors from Disney past and present. Brenda Song, known for being in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (and on Deck, too) plays Anne and Bill Farmer aka the present voice of Goofy plays Hop Pop Plantar and I particularity enjoyed those performances the most.

 

The way this season ended does have me interested in wondering what’s to come for the series, like if Anne ever gets back to her home and also if we know about her other friend. Small spoiler but in the first episode, we do know her friend Sasha is in there but not the other one Marcy. But, yeah, there’s more to come with this show and I’m right on board with it.

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