Generally our Bootlegg’d segments look at the great, the awful, the sensational and the weird. But what if a movie was… blander? Balto is the very model of a standard kid’s feel-good movie from the mid-90’s with a gimmick of being based on a real story. But what it provides in spectacle and good-will toward dogs (dogwill), it lacks in pacing, message, and character development. Listen in as we talk about where it came up short, and how we would have changed this from an okay movie into a very good boy.
After buying a lemon from a shifty, fast-talking salesman, Ben and Zane worked tirelessly to spruce up and modernize the Cartonmobile. Turbo jets, gyro-stabilizers, Matroyshka shell shields, this baby had it all. They thought it would just be for show, but it turns out it’s the only vehicle on Earth capable of competing in the Star Race, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. They may not have any training or even basic motor skills, but they had the one thing all pod racers need; the Force. Force to break everyone else’s ships before the race that is.
How many years had it been, since the Egg boys first left the Cul De Sac to search their fortune? They say you can’t go home again - would the place from their youth even remotely resemble their halcyon days, affixed in amber and reinforced by nostalgia? Surely they weren’t the same bright-eyed youths that left, so sure of their strength and conviction. The Egg boys were silent, but they each thought the same thing - this reunion was couldn’t possibly live up to their idyllic memories.
But no. It was perfect. The Egg boys were home.
Ben and Zane were in a pickle. Due to a gaff in their taxes, it turned out half of their podcasting efforts needed to be written off as a counter-terrorism media operation to defend America from the villainous Cobra (over both land and air, to get full recompensation). They were in a bind until a G.I. Joe member, Egg Head, told them that the real secret to protecting America was to start in your communities: donating your time to homeless shelters, offering to be on the neighborhood watch, and to be sure to always be wearing a fabulously revealing ensemble. Those Cobra clowns won’t know what hit ‘em. Yo Joe!
Ben and Zane had set up this stakeout weeks ago, but it might all be for nothing if their informant, Josh "Most Extreme" McCloud, shortchanged them with his tip. He told them to stay frosty, that the perp always returns to the scene of the crime. And when the crime is piracy, X marks the spot - X middle school, that is. They watched the target - one Cornelius Fillmore - for hours. He quipped, he deduced, he even did some sick backflips, but the kid was clean - his checkered past was far behind him. They kept watching, though. Kid was compelling.
Put on your best tux and shine those shoes, because today we have a special guest on the Cartoncast for our Bootlegg'd segment. Jeff Ryan, author of 'A Mouse Divided', has agreed to talk to us about the creators of the immortal Mickey Mouse, and how their falling out propelled one to greatness - and the other to obscurity. Today we tackle "Fiddlesticks", an Ub Iwerks production shortly after he left Walt Disney to strike out on his own, starring 'Flip the Frog'. Listen in to find out what we think of this solo venture, and how it stacks up to the Mouse himself.
The Cartoncasters had an embarrassing problem. Someone - and we're not pointing fingers at anyone - stapled their butts together. Was it hilarious? Yeah, I mean it had its moments. Was it interesting? Not as much as you might think. Maybe it was a commentary on society or a dark look at the long-term effects of ostracism, but pretty much everybody just focused on how their butts were stapled together. Thankfully nobody talks about the incident any more. Too busy watching that guy who holds his breath and pokes holes in himself like a sponge.
It started innocently enough - Ben and Zane decided to go shopping for matching overalls. Little did they know that a cursory simultaneous trip to the bathroom would herald decades-spanning, dimension-hopping struggle for their very souls. They were whisked away to colorful, fantastic realms, curiously vertically-designed in nature. Strangely, no matter where they went, everyone knew who they were. Whether they were plumbers, doctors, athletes, explorers, or detectives - everyone was hooked on the brothers.
A short time ago, on a podcast network pretty nearby, Ben and Zane were trying to unravel the mysteries of the force. Thankfully, a nearby Jedi known as 'Ulysses' set them straight. It was really complicated, what with balance being ill-defined, and the whole mind-control thing. Basically, he claimed, the force just did whatever it wanted, and you either caught the wave or got out the way. They didn't much care for his answers, but at least they didn't have to talk to the B1's.
Ben and Zane had a problem. Or rather, they had no problems at all. All their cares had been danced away. Sure, their society was a fractured class-divided race-divided shantytown without access to electricity or felt cleaner, but none of that seemed to matter. The Cartoncasters had each other, they had music, and they had Hawaiian shirts as far as the eye could see. Which was not very far, living in a dark cave and all. Down in Fraggle Rock.
Welcome again to our Bootlegg'd segment, where we tune in this time to watch "Sita Sings the Blues", an animated adaptation of The Ramayana, a famous and hugely influential Indian epic. This incarnation of the story focuses on a woman's struggle to be worthy of her husband's love, but the movie is about a whole lot more, including thinly veiled domestic abuse parallels, the author's own personal struggles, and anachronistic media presentations from across the ages that somehow form a more perfect whole. And our discussion is about even more than that, so get ready for a record-breaking number of disclaimers at the top of the episode, the eternal struggle of separating content from creator, and an unreasonable number of Jojo's references. That's all!
It was a beautiful sunny day in the Moomin countryside, as Ben and Zane ambled slowly toward the river. Perfect day for fishing. Whenever they caught one, they gave it a pat on the head and threw it back. All in good fun, and the point was to enjoy each others' company regardless. When the lake grew dark, the Cartoncasters grew wary. Bubbling water gave way to a giant ever-burning snail. It waved its eyeballs in semaphore, and they realized the problem: those fish got all out of order and he had to start his counting over again. To make it up to him, they brought him Jello the next day. That's just being neighborly.
There comes a time in a man's life where he must truly shake the foundations he was raised on. When he must confront what he knows to be true and pushes against its limits. He breaks free from the shackles of his previous existence and embraces a world where truly anything is possible.***Scene Missing***So we went and did a Spongebob draft. Confused? So were we.
In a lot of ways, Johnny was just like Ben and Zane remembered him: energetic, juvenile, and with a flimsy understanding of personal space. Still, he was charming enough...until he met the other guest the Cartoncasters invited, the Queen. He kept trying to pelt her with "smoocherinos" and ask to see her crown. They apologized, and she said it was quite alright, provided she could string him up in the town square and smack him about. It was a result that, surprisingly, everyone was okay with. At least, we assume, as men, that everyone was okay with it.
Welcome to our first Reheat'd segment, where we look at how a particular property has changed over the years. Today we have Andrew Spohn from the delightful podcast Amusement Sparks on the show, and he brought us a real treat. The new She-ra show takes the core positive message of female empowerment and builds on that ideal, including tons of representation without beating you over the head. Add onto that a solid set of voice actors, get rid of some of the He-man toy-mania that was slowing it down, wait 30 years for the public to pick up what you're putting down, and you have a great reimagining of a show well worth dusting off for a new generation. For the Honor of Grayskull!
With only a night before the big show, Ben and Zane had to get the band back together. They called Gary Lane to fill in the third spot in their classic band "The Cartoncasters" and went to practicing. Unfortunately, a series of comedic mishaps involving a disco ball, super-glue, doughnut holes prevented them from getting anything done until the show. They tuned their instruments as best they could and tried to pump up the crowd, but before long there was a riot on their hands. They had to call in a Witch Doctor to put a hex on the audience so they would forget all about this show...at least for 20 years or so.
Welcome to a world in disarray, and a story of humanity hanging on to supremacy by its fingernails. Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind can be recommended for many things - its storytelling, an effective and independent female protagonist, being the effective start of the famous Studio Ghibli - but at its core is much more than that. The excellent art design and worldbuilding allow Miyazaki to breathe his ideal of pacifism into a compelling fantasy tale that's brimming with imagination and message. So jump on your radical airgliders and make sure you have your full complement of insect repellent - it's gonna be a wild ride.
Ben and Zane signed up for an adventure. "Pirates, swag, booty, what more could you ask for?" They buckled their swashes and went to the address posted on the quest board. It was a dock on the outskirts of town, and rather than a house, a boat, or a houseboat, there was a whale. It opened its mouth and out came two creatures. One, a fresh-faced little boy, and the other some disfigured wretch wearing galoshes. "Here," he said, his voice gnarly enough to warp a mizzenmast, "he's all yours." The Cartoncasters looked after the child for a day of tiresome lollygagging, but there was no whale to return him to in the evening. Tossing him into the murky waters, they agreed that things would probably work themselves out.
Ben and Zane were visiting the annual 'Shadowy Cabal Society Meeting' (the networking opportunities are excellent) when one of the members began bragging about Clone High, a high school full of cloned famous people throughout history. The Cartoncasters were riveted as they were told tales of loving, learning, sharing, and judging. It was only when he started talking about how it related to the principle and his wacky robot butler that their eyes started to glaze over; honestly, they should've stuck with the sexy teens.
The Cartoncasters just moved into this great new house in the middle of nowhere. It's a bit of a fixer-upper, but luckily Dan Caves was able to come by to help out. After redecorating a few rooms, they started hearing some strange sounds, like a voice on vinyl telling them to tally bananas. They decided that they were being haunted, and hit the books to figure out how to have a proper exorcism. Then they just ignored all that continuity and watched Beetlejuice the animated series instead.