Cricket on the Hearth Part 2
December 21, 2014
Phelous: Welcome back to the Christmas special sponsored by bug spray!
The title card for the review comes up, as well as the main theme of the special playing in the background.
Phelous: One of the classic what-ifs is what if Scrooge had been in charge of a toy store? Oh, wait. No it's not.
Tackleton: Plummer, you're using entirely too much paint on the dolls' faces!
Caleb: Just trying to give them nice smiles.
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* Smiles, yes... clearly where the majority of all paint goes on toys.
Tackleton: Paint costs money!
Phelous: You know what else costs money? People not buying your unpainted piles of crap! *voiceover* Wow, Charles Dickens, a greedy miser character? *sarcastic* Sure hope the spirit of Christmas teaches him a lesson.
Cut to Phelous sitting in silence and awkwardly adjusting his tie.
Phelous: That's not helping at all.
Cricket: *narrating* Every night, me and him would sneak in and fix them up proper.
Phelous: *voiceover* Of course, Tackleton saw that, since it's kind of hard to miss while selling them, and Caleb was fired immediately. *as Cricket* Last I saw, Caleb and blind bitch Bertha was on their way to the poor house while I moved in to their old place. I'm so lucky.
Outside, Caleb accidentally bumps into a familiar-looking old man. And no, it's not Beauty's father from Goodtimes' "Beauty and the Beast".
Caleb: Ooh, excuse me, sir.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Caleb* Oh! Hello, sir, you've two different colors of hair, too! Did you go to tackytoupees.com as well? You should move in with us!
Phelous: No, seriously, he does that.
Caleb: Oh, you must come home with me.
Phelous: *voiceover* So, which stray pick-up was weirder for you, the insect or the super-real hair man?
Cricket: *narrating* He was a funny, quiet sort of fellow, just sat there looking at Bertha with them sad, old eyes.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Bertha* So... why do you smell exactly like my fiancé? *as the "old man"* Oh, bollocks. I thought I rolled around in enough shit to cover my scent. *as Bertha* No, that's exactly why I smelt it was you.
Cut to a close up of the "old man" with the same bulging eyes and gaping mouth as before, complete with Phelous exclaiming.
Bertha: We're so glad you could stay with us.
"Old Man": Oh, it's my pleasure indeed... Bertha.
Bertha gasps at the familiar tonality of her name being spoken.
Phelous: *feigning surprise* Who is that man in the 25-cent beard? *normal* Come on! *voiceover* And does her father seriously not see this, or would that mean admitting something about his own toupee and he just can't do that?
Cut to a time portal materializing in the sky and Aladdin (from "Aladdin and the Adventure of All Time") falling from the portal. Immediately after, Aladdin switches places with the "old man" and is now wearing his outfit.
Phelous: *as Aladdin* Oh, boy.
A rectangle of light emerges from the ground as Paige (another character from the film) exits from it.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Paige* Aladdin, do something! *As Aladdin* Uh, yeah. What exactly am I supposed to do, Paige? *as Paige* Oh, this should be an easy one! According to Wordsworth, all you have to do is take your fake beard off and end this pointlessness. *as Wordsworth* What? That's not what I said at all! *as Aladdin* That's it? Really? That'll solve all the problems here? OK.
Cut to Cricket Crockett once again holding a pistol.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* Oh, I don't think so. If anyone is going to bullocks-up Christmas around here, it's Cricket Crockett!
He shoots Aladdin, and he and Paige start fading from existence.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Paige* What have you done?! I swear we'll find you...!
The "old man" returns to normal.
Phelous: *voiceover, as the "old man"* Um... I think I just ruined my underwear.
Caleb: Well, we're all one family!
Phelous: *voiceover* Yes! You, me, bum off the street, and a bug, family! Which reminds me a lot of Jesus's birth, which did you know took place right beside a cliff? Also, Jesus's head was an excellent lamp.
The next song finishes playing, which judging by the crescendo finish, you'd assume the movie's already over.
Phelous: The end!... right? What the hell was that?
Surprisingly, the movie's still going as it's now the 24th of December.
Cricket: *narrating* Well, the following day it was Christmas eve. Ooh, and we were really busy.
Caleb and Bertha continue building toys to wacky sound effects playing in the background.
Phelous: *voiceover, flatly and slowly* Wow, this mundane toy-making sure is wacky.
Tackleton: This is a lonely, old place for me, and I finally decided that what I need is a wife.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Caleb* But, sir! I'm your employee! It's against the rul- oh... Oh... *normal voice* So Bertha naturally tells him, "Yeah, sure. Why not?" She's not catching another husband with that twisted spine. Caleb takes the news well, as he slides down to Hell. Yeah, it might not look like he's quite gone that far, but...
Fade to a photograph featuring a younger Caleb and Bertha as a little girl, the video performing another extreme close-up on her eyes while ominous music plays in the background.
Phelous: *uneasy* I... saw the end of the world in her eyes... *voiceover* No need to feel sorry for Bertha! If you ever did, she was clearly always a demon, though she made terrible misuse of her powers by just having stupid stuff happen like herself and Edward riding giant pies.
Phelous: It was the 60s. You know...
Bertha: *singing* Yesterday...
Phelous: *voiceover* Time of death, 3:05 PM.
Bertha: I have happy news, sir!
"Old Man": And... I have something to tell you. I've waited too long.
Bertha: *chuckles* No, no, no, let me tell my news first. The most wonderful man in the whole world has asked me to be his wife!
Phelous: *voiceover, as the "old man"* I don't know why I'm so stupid. I'll just be leaving. *as Cricket* Really dodged a bullet on that one, huh, blind Bertha?
Bertha: Why, Cricket, what a thing to say.
Caleb: What's wrong with the old fellow?
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* D'oh, he's just upset no one saw through his obvious disguise. He's going to town to get an "I'm Edward" sign. *as Caleb* Oh... I wonder what that means. *normal voice* Anywho, Cricket Crockett has finally decided to be a little proactive with his luck-spreading, so he calls in his goon squad to sabotage Bertha's acceptance of "bird-head's" marriage proposal.
Phelous: *sarcastic* Pfff, women! They can't make decisions on their own! Best leave the decision-making to the insects.
Tackleton runs out of the room, sneezing due to all the pepper.
Tackleton: It was that cricket who made a fool of me!
Phelous: If you ever hear yourself mutter those words, it's time to seriously re-evaluate your life.
Tackleton: Uriah, get rid of him once and for all. Get professional help!
Phelous: *voiceover* Professional help? Are you asking the bird to call the exterminators, and now you do actually talk to the bird? Why didn't you listen to what he was doing earlier? The cricket still being alive is your fault!
Tackleton: I want that cricket... eliminated.
Phelous: *voiceover* Squash him then, dude. It's not that hard.
Uriah flies into a pipe, accompanied by the sound of a entering a warp pipe in Super Mario Brothers, leading him to a bar filled with anthropomorphic creatures. Just then, a voluptuous, tan cat wearing a red dress appears on stage. Cut to Phelous with a look of shock on his face.
Moll (the singing cat): *singing* Diamond spurs and ocean trips
They don't go with tuppence tips
Don't feed me champagne talk
When we're eating fish and chips
Phelous: *cringing, slowly* Sexy... cat... song? NO!
Moll: *singing* Half-a-pints and smokey kips
Were never meant to touch my lips
Don't speak those flatt'rin words
When we're eating fish and chips
Phelous: *in disbelief* Did we... seriously just... fly into a different movie? What is going on?! *voiceover, singing as Moll* Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, all night long in bed, baby... *normal voice* We've had some talking animals, that's one thing, but to go over to an animal society with a night club is another.
The video zooms in on a stork character in the background.
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* See, this stork is having none of it. He's just waiting for some Vlasic pickle cereal.
Cut to a fake box of Vlasic Pickle Crunch cereal.
Phelous: *sarcastic* Ha ha, I sure shoehorned that in!
Uriah: *to a buff, yellow bulldog and a sailor monkey sitting at a table* Hello, stranglers.
Yellow Bulldog: *Egon Spengler's voice dubbed over his* I collect spores, molds, and fungus.
Sailor Monkey: What's the job this time, Uriah Caw?
Uriah: We eliminates an annoying cricket.
Phelous: I'm watching a movie where they seriously just put a hit out on a cricket. G'bye, brain cells!... Don't know what you were doing here anyway.
Sailor Monkey: I have a better idea. We'll capture him. I knows a captain who pays well for captured crickets.
Phelous: *voiceover, as the sailor monkey* He's really stupid that way, seeings as crickets are common bugs, but whatever floats his boat! Get it? He's a captain!
Awkward silence as crickets chirp in the background.
Phelous: *voiceover, as the sailor monkey* Oh, double joke because of the crickets! Get it?
A gun cocking is heard.
Phelous: *voiceover, as the sailor monkey* I'll... shut up. *normal voice* They capture and tie up the cricket. *chuckling uncomfortably* Why did I just say those words? This really takes a lot more effort here, guys. You could've just eaten or killed him very easily.
Sailor Monkey: *to the ship captain* Now, where's our pay?
Captain: *drawing a revolver* I've got your pay-off right here, lad...
Cut to the outside of the docked ship as three gunshots are heard, each accompanied by a flash of light, and then to Phelous with another expression of shock on his face.
Phelous: He... seriously just killed them. No, really, I didn't add that! *voiceover* What in the fuck, cartoon? You're not supposed to actually meet me with my dark death jokes!
Cut to a photoshopped image of the three recently deceased animals with a Grim Reaper flanked by two gravestones and text that reads "Merry Deadmas!"
Phelous: *voiceover* The crow is seriously never in it again! He's dead, along with hit dog and monkey!
Phelous: Merry Christmas, kids! *pointing at the screen* Suck on this!
Replay of the gunshots scene, with a MIDI version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" playing.
Phelous: *voiceover* Also, could no one be bothered to fully draw another character design for the captain?
Cut to an image of Gruff Tackleton and the ship captain shown side-by-side.
Phelous: *voiceover* He looks so much like Tackleton, I thought it was just him in a captain suit the first time watching this.
Cricket: *narrating* What'll my family do without their lucky cricket on the hearth?
Phelous: They don't have a hearth anymore, because of your "luck". I think they'll be fine. *voiceover, as Cricket* The thought of them leading rich, full lives gave me the strength to go on!
Captain: *to Cricket* You'll fetch a purty price, you will.
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* Wow! I'm gonna go catch crickets and be rich! Screw finishing this video!
Cut to a test pattern screen with a text overlay that reads "Phelous and the Movies is bugging out!".
Phelous: *holding out his palm* Hyeh, hyeh, hyeh! Fifty cents, suckers! Only took me two days! *voiceover* Well, the cricket plays dead and as we all know, the fortune to be made in crickets is based on them still being alive, so garbage!
The ship captain chucks Cricket out the window of the ship.
Phelous: *voiceover* Luckily for Crockett, they tied him up with Silly String, and it immediately dissolves upon hitting the water.
Cricket: *narrating* And I know you're not going to believe how I got back to land! But this is the way it happened, so help me!
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* Wow, what luck! Oh, now I get it! Crickets just suck up luck from their unsuspecting victims and just have an abundance of it for themselves! Little assholes...
Cricket: *narrating as his younger self eyes the cuckoo clock striking midnight* Midnight on Christmas Eve... the one hour of the year when magical things is supposed to happen.
Jiminy Cricket once again materializes in front of Cricket.
Phelous: *voiceover, ghostly* Cricket Crockett! You must change your wa-
An anvil falls on Jiminy, crushing him.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* Some crickets just have all the luck.
Zoom in on Cricket as the wah-wah-wah sound effect plays in the background.
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* Nah, of course the magic really hits the fan when the toys come to life.
Toy Elephant: Humans must never see toys come to life, those are the rules!
Cricket: I am a cricket.
Toy Elephant: *wipes his forehead with his trunk* Phew. Crickets don't count.
Phelous: *sarcastic* Oh, and here I always thought crickets did count as humans. *voiceover* So, only through the power of "deus ex toys-a" can you possibly be shown the blatant obvious.
A toy soldier and ballerina jump from the window and pull down the sleeping "old man's" beard, revealing him to be Bertha's fiancé, Edward. The "dun-dun-dun" sound effect begins playing, but stops partway through.
Phelous: *voiceover, feigning surprise* Ooh, there is a shock! Part of his wig matched his actual hair color! Why?
Toy Elephant: Kindly allow me to explain! You see, Edward Benton didn't drown.
Rocking Horse: *in the toy elephant's voice* He built himself a raft and sailed to a beautiful, unchartered island.
Phelous: *voiceover, as the toy elephant* Hey! Don't steal my voice!
Toy Elephant: He was there two years before a whaler found him, and brought him back to England.
Phelous: *voiceover, sarcastic* Well, I'm really glad the toy information network is so good.
Cricket: But then, why the disguise?
Phelous: *voiceover, as the toy elephant* Umm, we just have vast knowledge of random people! We can't explain random brain-dead schemes, we're out!
Edward: I was shipwrecked, you see.
Cricket: I know all that!
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* Toys told me! *as Edward* This cricket's insane.
Cut to a police officer with sideburns and a moustache from the Burbank adaptation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
Phelous: *as the police officer* Oi, another guy talking to a cricket! He's insane!
Cut to a photoshopped image of Edward locked in a jail cell, as an instrumental of "Christmastime is Here" by Vince Guaraldi plays.
Cricket: What I don't understand is, uh... the whiskers and the weaves.
Edward: I came directly to her, but... then I saw she'd gone blind, and I realized it was my fault.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Edward* I don't know how I realized that, but I did. So naturally, I decided instead of relieving her of that pain I caused, I let it continue.
Phelous: Jackass who puts hits out on crickets, ex-fiancé who lets you still think they're dead because you're blind.
Phelous weighs the choices on his hands, but gives up a second later.
Phelous: Yeah, just pick someone else, Bertha. *voiceover* None of this explanation really helps either, it's just "I wanted to make sure she still needed me, the girl who went into somehow prolonged hysterical blindness because I disappeared. So, I creeped on her as an old man." What a prince.
Edward: The most wonderful man in the world asked her to be his wife. Those were her very words.
Cricket: *frustrated* Ooh, y-y-y-you nincompoop! *folding his arms* Paying any attention to the words of a gushing female!
Phelous: *voiceover, accompanied by text* Cricket Crockett, *singing in falsetto* the sexist cricket! *sarcastic* So what could possibly fix this situation but saying, "Hey, I'm not an old man. It's me, Edward."? Ho, what do you know? Problem solved, and you're the dumbass that caused it.
Cut to Edward and Bertha's wedding ceremony done in the style of a painting.
Phelous: *voiceover* And that very night, they get married via disgusting vision by the pope himself, apparently. And wait, who the hell is standing for them? They don't have any friends... besides a bug... who apparently, they didn't even invite.
Phelous: *pointing at the screen* Nice.
Tackleton: What's this? What's this?!
Phelous: *voiceover* You just got wife-snatched! Whoooooooooooooooa!
Tackleton: *through his tears* Nobody loves me...
Cut to the ending credits of the special.
Bertha: But we all love you. And there will always be a place in my heart for a fine, kind, noble, and handsome gentleman such as you.
Tackleton: *bashful* Dear me, I feel good all over. Nobody ever said such nice things to me before. *chuckles* I feel as light as a log, happy as a hummingbird!
Phelous: Wait, did we seriously just throw in a mini-Ebenezer Scrooge plot? *raising his fists to the sky, shouting* DICKENS!!! *voiceover* There was absolutely no arc for this! This guy's an attempted murderer! He put a hit out on a cricket, which I guess is like a person in this universe! His bird he sent to put out the hit is dead, and he doesn't even give a shit! But all he needed was... *in a goofy voice* Hey! Don't feel bad you just lost your wife! You should like Christmas! *as Tackleton* O-kaaaaaaaaaay!
Caleb: Oh, Cricket, you're the luckiest thing that ever happened to anyone!
Phelous: Yes, after flushing our lives down the toilet, Bertha's dumbass fiancé managed to figure out that, hey, maybe he should be himself to find out if a woman still loves him instead of dressing up in the worst old man disguise ever which, beyond belief, managed to fool all of us, so *sarcastically* thanks for that!
Cut back to the elderly Cricket Crockett.
Phelous: *as Cricket* And that's why I'm the very best at everything.
Suddenly, Beauty's father A.K.A. Old Man from Goodtimes' "Beauty and the Beast" appears out of nowhere and picks up Cricket.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Old Man* Ooh, a delicious cricket! *tosses Cricket into his mouth*
Phelous: Well... I see why this one doesn't get adapted quite as often. *voiceover* This special is j-
Cut back to Danny Thomas.
Phelous: *voiceover, exasperated* Oh for fuck's sakes, Danny Thomas! Just let it be done!
Danny Thomas: We are not told... whose gift was gold, or whose is the gift of myrrh.
Fade to the ending credits of the special for real this time.
Phelous: *beat* Why? *voiceover* Yes, that's seriously in there, random fade-back to Bertha losing it just after Mr. Green's fun visit. They just wanted to remind you of the best part of the movie before the credit roll, I suppose. Well, the best part of the movie besides...
Cut once again to the off-screen murders of Uriah Caw, the yellow bulldog, and the sailor monkey onboard the ship.
Phelous: *voiceover* Unsurprisingly, the original tale of "Cricket on the Hearth" didn't actually have the cricket talk, and it was a completely different family, the Peerybingles, that it came to. Caleb and his daughter are still in the story, but she's blind from the onset and doesn't just have hysterical blindness last her whole life. Also, Edward is Caleb's son. Best romance ever! This cartoon adaptation is just bizarre. It really is awful luck the cricket brings the whole time until things are slightly okay at the end. Not great, but fake old man shenanigans are over, at least. I don't quite understand the role animals have in this world either, as it tries to play it like it's fairly normal except for them talking, then suddenly, animal nightclub. We're also hit rather strangely with Captain Tackleton who doesn't get his cricket fortune, but does get away with murder! And to top it off, we get Charles Dickens going, "Hey, remember 'A Christmas Carol'? That sure was a better story than this, wasn't it?" Well, at least better than this cartoon adaptation.
Cut to Phelous in front of a cast-iron stove.
Phelous: *sarcastically* So Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday-weenie, everyone! And remember, there's nothing luckier than a bug infestation by your fireplace!
Cricket Crockett hops onto the stove from below the frame.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* Did-a someone call for some luck?
Phelous: *screams* The cricket curse will kill me!
Phelous takes out a green can of Raid and sprays Cricket.
Phelous: *voiceover, as Cricket* Raid?!
Cricket dies in a fiery explosion, which knocks Phelous back and injures him.
Phelous: *on his hands and knees, hacking and coughing* I just got seriously hurt... from a bug exploding? Well... I hope my pain is your Christmas cheer! *beat* How very appropriate.
Fade to the end credits where a rock instrumental of the Phelous theme plays in the background. After the credits and phelous.com stinger, we cut to Phelous back in his room, where he watches the scene of the burlesque singing cat again.
Phelous: *in a dopey voice* Huh-huh, there sure is nothin' sexier than Meow Mix!
He quickly realizes what he had just said, and raises his fists to the sky, shouting in anguish.