March 25, 2014
(We start off with the opening before dissolving into the Nostalgia Critic's living room, which is covered in sugary snacks and '90's movie posters.)
NC: (wearing a "No Fear" shirt and carrying a backpack) Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! (sits down and reaches into his backpack to pull out baseball and Ninja Turtles trading cards) Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! It's my favorite time of the day!
Tamara: Critic, I don't think the girls in the 90s wore this many hair products. I look like...Punky Brewster's recycling bin.
Malcolm: And why are my pants this baggy?
(Malcolm's pants are so baggy he's stepping on the knees.)
Tamara: Also, why are all the logos on the back?
(She and Malcolm take off their jackets to reveal shirt with the logos "MAGICAL MOTHER FUCKER" on Tamara's shirt and "YOU'RE KILLING ME SMALLS" on Malcolm's shirt.)
NC: It's all part of the experience. Now sit down before it starts!
Malcolm: Before what starts? You're just pressing play on the DVD player.
NC: You don't understand! This is the Disney Afternoon! There's a certain ritual to this: We act like we just got back from school, throw our belongings on the ground for our mothers to pick up, surround ourselves in high-fructose corn syrup, and reward ourselves for dealing with the mental scars of our tremendously flawed education system.
Tamara: Wait! A-Aren't you talking about Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC?
NC: Fuck Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC! That was just a carbon-copy cartoon-caust comparison compared to the Disney Afternoon!
Malcolm: Hey! Pepper Ann was good.
NC: Okay, maybe one--
Tamara: And Recess was decent.
NC: Yeah, if you wanna get technical--
Malcolm: And Kim Possible.
NC: Well, Kim Possible, obviously, but--
Tamara: And Proud Family.
NC: Who's dissing The Proud Family? Nobody's dissing The Proud Family while I'm around!
Malcolm: And there was also that other show, um...Doug. (NC's expression changes wild rapidly as he stares at Malcolm.) Yeah, that was a pretty good cartoon series. You can't deny that must've had some sort of impact on your life--
(Smash cut to Malcolm and Tamara sitting with NC. Malcolm's got a black eye and rubbing his jaw, blood leaking out the corner of his mouth.)
NC: (after punching Malcolm) What you're both missing is that the Disney Afternoon had a timeless sense of magic and wonder that was the perfect welcome-home from a long day of schoolhouse popularity or awkward social punishment. So, if there's no other comparisons to "lesser forms of art"... (turning to look at Malcolm who is covering his chin with his hand)
Malcolm: (whimpering) I can't feel my teeth...
NC: We'll go ahead and get started!
(The intro to Disney Afternoon begins.)
NC (excitedly): Oh my god! Here we go! Here we go! (He puts his arms around Malcolm and Tamara excitedly.)
Singer: (while NC dances with his friends) ♫ Step right up and come on in! Here's where the fun begins! There's so much to do! Getting ready just for you! Everybody's busy bringing you a Disney Afternoon! Hey! Can't you feel the buzz? Well, come on and feel the buzz because everybody's busy! Just a little dizzy! Bringing you a Disney Afternoon! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the Disney Afternoon shows playing) For the first time ever from 1990-1997, Disney took some of its hit syndicated shows and ran them with all-new material in a two-hour block called the Disney Afternoon. Sure, there were some reruns and specials featuring the old classic Disney cartoons before then, but this was the first time Disney put a slew of new programming back to back in one glorious lineup. Most of it timeless (DuckTales, Gargoyles); some of it not so much (Quack Pack and the Mighty Ducks), but we'll get to that when we get to that.
NC: Let's look at Disney's first installment, Gummi Bears.
Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Singer: (clips from the Gummi Bears opening playing) ♫ Gummi Bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere. High adventure that's beyond compare-- ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show) And yes, the first thing you are thinking pops into everybody else's head too. Why and/or how do you make a show based on a fruit snack, whose head and limbs you disturbingly bite off? Well, despite such a distracting commercial tie-in, the show, surprisingly, wasn't that bad. A lot of that had to do with its bright colors, fantasy focused environment, and a theme song sung by the most easily excitable group ever. Just listen to how into it these guys get; it's impossible not to get sucked in yourself.
(The group also dances along to the theme.)
Singer: ♫ High adventure that's beyond compare. They are the Gummi Bears. (NC mouths the words) Magic and mystery are part of their history. Along with the secret of Gummiberry Juice. Their legend is growing, they take pride in knowing. They'll fight for what's right in whatever they do! Gummi Bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere. High adventure that's beyond compare. They are the Gummi Bears. They are the Gummi Bears! ♫
NC: Little known fact, the singer actually died on that very last note, he was that into it.
(The snippet is played, an explosion happening at the word "bears." NC and Malcolm take their hats off while Tamara takes a scrunchie off as a caption says "R.I.P. Guy Who Took Gummi Bears Too Seriously.")
NC (vo): The show centers around a boy named Cavin. He lives in a kingdom trying to be conquered by a group of ogres led by the egotistical Duke.
Duke Sigmund Igthorn: King Gregor's castle will be nothing but a big pile of gravel! Get moving! Time is money! Or it would be if I were paying you!
NC (vo): Truth be told, I always thought the Duke through most of my childhood was just (picture of) Skeletor before he lost his flesh. In fact, maybe this all takes place in the same universe and Skeletor is just the Duke's ghost.
(The Duke is standing on the catapult, holding a boulder.)
Duke: Tomorrow, the world! (his legs are giving out) Uh-oh! (and the boulder drops on him)
(One lightning crash and we now have Skeletor.)
Skeletor: (Dubbed over by Doug) Oh, damn it! Now what flamboyant spectacle am I going to chase -- (he looks over and sees He-Man) Hellooo...
NC (vo): Cavin stumbles across the group of enchanted cereal mascots and learns of their secret weapon that can defeat the Duke: A liquid that gives them super strength and jumping abilities called...
Tummi: Gummiberry Juice.
Sunni: Gummiberry Juice.
Grammi: Gummiberry Juice.
Singer: Gummiberry Juice.
NC (vo): You know, couldn't you come up with a better name for such a gigantic source of power? Wouldn't the Force lose a little bit of its magic if it was called something different?
(Cut to a scene from Star Wars.)
Yoda: (dubbed over by Malcolm) You must use the Yummy Muffy Puffy.
NC (vo): So it's a constant battle between our loveable plush toys and the evil monsters and sorcerers that plague the land. The show had an innocence to it that made it silly, but still pretty enjoyable. But maybe a lot of the show's intrigue came from the fact that it sounded like most of the bears ate your favorite cartoon characters. Like (picture of) Garfield...
Tummi: He's more homesick then we are.
NC (vo): (picture of) Tigger...
Zummi: Oh no, oh no, of course not, Cubbi, that's just a story.
NC (vo): (picture of) Natasha...
Grammi: Gruffi Gummi, you have the manners of a billy goat.
NC (vo): Tony Curtis?...
Gruffi Gummi: Don't you tell me who I like and who I don't like.
NC (vo): And of course, Nicolas Cage.
(Scene from The Wicker Man where Nicolas Cage, in a bear costume, punches a woman.)
NC (vo as Nicolas Cage): This is the way the teddy bears have their picnic, bitch! (punches the woman)
NC (vo): Honestly, the show worked so surprisingly well. I'm kind of wondering if Disney maybe should consider doing other shows based on bite-sized treats.
NC (vo): (mimicking Singer) Doritos! Getting cheese crumbs on your goddamn clothes! They are the Doritos! (Captions say "in The Superbowl Genocide")
Singer: ♫ They are the Gummi Bears! ♫
NC: But that was only the first show in the line up. Next was the always popular DT.
Tamara (confused): Why don't you just say the title?
NC: Because I have (turns his head towards Tamara) literally 24 years after its release just now gotten the theme song out of my head and I don't want to risk putting it back in my head by possibly saying the title once more.
(Tamara's face has fallen from a smile into a look of fear, and she nods in terror at NC.)
Malcolm: You mean DuckTales? (smiling wide)
(NC quickly turns his head toward Malcolm as the theme song starts.)
Singer: ♫ DuckTales! Woo-oo! Every day-- ♫
(NC has blood on his right hand and is waving it around while Malcolm lays unconscious on the couch in the background.)
Tamara (concerned): Should we call an ambulance?
NC (calmly): It's too late for him. (back to the audience) So I won't waste too much time on this one.
(Tamara gives up on Malcolm, and grabs a Rice Krispies Treat off the couch before going to sit back down.)
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) But we can talk a little bit about it. The show centered around Scrooge McDuck looking after Huey, Dewey, and Louie, as their parents, once again, refuse to take any responsibility for them, and all the adventures and crazy characters they encounter finding treasures. It's sort of like Indiana Jones meets... (picture of) Duckula, does anyone remember that? I don't care. Despite the fact that the focus of the story is continuing to reward the one percent, the show still kicks ass even years later, giving us all sorts of memorable secondary characters like Launchpad, that...witch duck (Magica De Spell), that...inventor duck (Gyro Gearloose), the...chubby...woodchuck duck (Doofus Drake), and...robo duck (Gizmoduck).
NC: Hey, I said the characters were memorable, not the names!
NC (vo): It's still smart, it's still creative, and it's still incredibly likeable. It has just as much charm now as it did back then. But surely there must be another Disney title that also made a thumb-bleedingly good Capcom game.
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
Singer: ♫ Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers ♫
Ash Williams: Yeahhh babbbbyyyy!
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) Now we're talking. Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers was the famous chipmunk duo forming a team to help them save anyone in danger. Think of them as an anti-Pinky and the Brain.
Chip: (Shakes Gadget's hand) I'm Chip.
Dale: (Shakes Gadget's hand) And I'm Dale.
NC (vo): You know Chip and Dale of course, but on top of that, there was Gadget, Zipper, and Monterrey Jack. And while these characters were memorable and extremely likeable, it did suddenly make me realize the traditional team formula that lingered over most kid shows: For example, you have the inventor (Gadget), you have the muscle (Monterrey Jack), you have the leader (Chip), you have the goof off (Dale), and of course, the little cute one that's just so darn adorable (Zipper). But, let's be fair, this is when that formula was just starting to be put into effect. And give the show credit for putting two popular characters on a team instead of just keeping it two people, whose real voices sound like Babs Bunny and the Crazy Taxi guy, fighting over the same woman.
Chip (real voice): I've gotta hand it to you, Gadget, you were right about Tom after all.
Dale (real voice): I always believed in you.
(NC, Malcolm, and Tamara shudder.)
NC (vo): Most of their time was spent fighting off evil schemes, usually from the diabolical Fat Cat.
Fat Cat: Hello, my galvanized feline friend.
NC (vo): And, surprisingly, he has no political tie-ins despite the fact that his name is, in fact, Fat Cat. Though I guess he does look a touch like (picture of) Christopher Christy.
Fat Cat: My million dollar dinner gone down the drain!
NC (vo): While we're on the subject, did you know that Chip and Dale were actually modeled after (picture of) Indiana Jones and (picture of) Magnum, PI? God, wouldn't that have been a totally different show if it matched their personalities, too?
Chip (voiced by Indiana Jones): You stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything that the Grail stands for. Who gives a damn what you think!
Dale (voiced by Thomas Magnum): Hey! Did you come here just to abuse me?
NC (vo): The characters allowed for a lot of inventive storylines and ideas, like Gadget, being the rodent equivalent of MacGyver. I mean, good god, just look at half the things she makes.
Chip: Geez, Gadget? Didn't you put any brakes on this thing?
Gadget: Don't be silly, Chip! Of course I did! But they fell off a few blocks back!
NC: Hey, Tamara, can you make a car out of a skateboard and a hair dryer?
Tamara: (sulkily) No! All I can do is a Chevy pick-up truck sculpted out of rubber and ice.
NC: You're an insult to the craft!
NC (voiceover): A lot of the characters lent their way to learning some good lessons too, like always be yourself, have confidence in your work...don't...join...cults... Yeah, there was actually an episode about the dangers of following a cult, and I, I think, like most kids around my age, found out what a cult was by watching this episode. Hey, it's better than finding out...other...ways. (Picture of Newsweek: Special Report: The Cult of Death)
Myron: He had more cheese wedges than he could count, but he's far richer in spirit now that he's giving up all his wealth to be fizzed.
NC (voiceover): It's actually a pretty clever social satire. A group of mice mistake a Cola commercial, you know the ones that always say you don't belong unless you buy our product, and they turn it into a literal interpretation.
Pop Top: Ah, we were all lost once, before we found the Cola Cult.
NC (vo): And I'll be damned if I can't remember one algebraic equation from all my days of school, but yet, years later, I still remember every fucking word of the Coo-Coo Cola song.
Singer: ♫ Come along, you belong. Feel the fizz of Coo-Coo Cola. Get to the store and take all you can carry. We got the flavors - orange, grape and cherry. You belong with Coo Coo Cola! ♫
(NC waves his hands in the air while Tamara rolls her eyes. NC lifts Tamara and Malcolm's arm, who yelps in pain, and waves them along with his arms.)
NC (vo): It was cute, it was clever, it had characters we could never forget; it was a whole lot of fun.
Singer: ♫ Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale! ♫
NC (vo): After Chip n Dale wrapped up, we then moved onto a show with a familiar character who's a bumbling pilot with his gigantic plane and the timeless environment that he inhabited in. I'm talking, of course, about (picture of...) The Jungle Book.
Singer: ♫ (Title screen of TaleSpin appears) Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo, let's begin it. ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show are showing) TaleSpin is arguably one of the stranger set ups. Not because of the plot itself about a delivery pilot who battles air pirates along with his sidekick Kit, but...why the Jungle Book characters? It's like having the cast of Bambi in a film noir, it doesn't add up. Well, maybe part of it is that, surprisingly, Jungle Book, after inflations, was the fourth highest grossing Disney film at that time, so I guess they figured it made sense to give them their own show. But even then, there's only three characters that ever made it in: (picture of) Baloo, (picture of) Louie, and (picture of) Shere Khan. Where are the other guys? Wouldn't it be great to see (picture of) Kaa in there? Or (pictures of Hathi Jr., the vultures and King Louie's Bandar-log appear before going back to...) Kaa? But then again, to their credit, maybe that's all they needed, as the rest of the characters stood on their own quite nicely. Kit was sort of the everyday kid you wanted to be, especially when he was flying around on that glider thing. He's kind of like an adorable Green Goblin. I mean, (picture of Green Goblin from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man) more adorable then he already is.
Kit: Baloo told me never to talk to strangers and I've never met anybody stranger then you.
Don Karnage: Cute kid.
NC (vo): There was Rebecca, who ran the business, who a lot of people didn't like, but honestly, I think she is a perfect comic foil. Just look at all these reactions when Baloo tries to disguise his friend as a scientist.
Wildcat: Guten tag! Bon jour! How ya doing?
Rebecca Cunningham (unamused): What are you doing in that get up?
Wildcat: Ach, you have me confused with someone entirely not myself. I'm Dr. Sven Vileent Gesundheit, BVD.
Rebecca (smiling): You mean PhD?
Wildcat: Uh, T-t-that too.
NC (vo): She even plays along in finding ways to teach Baloo a lesson for trying such a lazy scheme.
Rebecca: Hiiiii, just checking to see if you've landed on...Maaaars yet?
Baloo: Yeah, and it's bad time here.
Rebecca: (On radio) You should be out there exploring, collecting specimens! Now, don't you dare come back without a cargo hold full of plants and animals. Oh, and while I have you... (Baloo whines)
NC (vo): I don't know, she never bothered me. What did bother me, though, was her kid Molly, who was sort of like a (picture of) Webby 2.0.
Molly Cunningham: I'm not Molly! I'm Danger Woman, here to inspect my secret headquarters.
NC (vo): She was just as annoying, just as cutesly pandering, and just as inconsistent in her appearances. Sometimes Rebecca needed a sitter for her; other times she was nowhere to be seen. Where the hell did she go in the middle of those episodes?
(An open door is shown with a sign by it that says "Daycare for Filler". An animation of Molly is thrown through the door and a crashing sound is heard.)
NC (vo): I think she was just an unused Gummi Bear that they decided to fit in somewhere.
Molly: You stay away from my mommy! (Molly kicks Covington in the shin.)
NC (vo): Needless to say, any episode centered around her definitely needed more air missiles falling in her direction.
Molly: Just wait till you tune in next in week. Same danger time, (nuke drops) same danger-- (explosion)
NC (vo): And then, of course, there's Don Karnage.
Don Karnage: Don Karnage knows all that a field pirate needs to know, you know?
NC (vo): Oh, how does one describe Don Karnage? Imagine if Ricky Ricardo got fed up with his wife, took his Caribbean band, and just started robbing the shit out of people. You got pretty much as hilarious a villain as you can conceive.
Don Kanarge: (various scenes) Fetch me the nasty bird! Idiots! You are my worm for catching the early bird, ha ha! (Don Karnage crashes into a wall.) What a lousy place for a wall.
NC (vo): How is it this guy never got a spin-off show? He's fucking hilarious. And I know what you're thinking; yeah he's a pirate, he's a bad guy, so that wouldn't be good for kids, but... hey, pirates were kind of the first forms of democracy. I mean, come on, all those pirates have different accents, and hell, I think Don Karnage has like eight different accents in his one voice.
Don Karnage: You had better get that annoying bird back here if you ever want to see sociable insecurity!
NC (vo): It's teaching kids about being together with all sorts of different races, even if you are a million different races in one somehow. It can work. Disney, make it happen!
Baloo: Oh, little britches, say it isn't so.
NC (vo): For such a strange combination of characters and timelines, TaleSpin had a great feel, charming characters and enough air battles to keep any kid happy.
Singer: ♫ Ah ha ha TaleSpin! ♫
NC: But sadly, this would spell the end for Disney's phenomenal run.
Malcolm: What, you didn't like Darkwing Duck?
NC: How dare you indicate I don't like Darkwing Duck! (pulls out a gun) Do I have to get out my "people who don't like Darkwing Duck" gun? (Malclom shakes his head no.) I was talking about the fact that they never did a good Disney Afternoon and Capcom game again. (Footage of the TaleSpin video game) I mean, come on. Baloo's head is the size of a plane? That's just dumb.
Tamara: Well, then why don't you just explain what Darkwing Duck is for those who don't know. (NC glares at Tamara and turns the gun on her.) Which is obviously... not.... me.
Singer: ♫ Darkwing Duck! (the title appears) When there's trouble, you call DW. Darkwing Duck -- (Editor's Note: AW HECK YEAH, I LOVE THIS SHOW!) ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) He is the terror that flaps in the night. He is the noun that verbs your other noun. He is Darkwing Duck! Yeah, a funny superhero was really nothing new, but part of what made Darkwing Duck so great was that the majority of the time, he wasn't doing it because he thought it was right; he did for the exact opposite reason any superhero should: he did it for fame and fortune. Really think about that. We see a ton of egotistical funny villains (pictures of Hades, Gaston, and Captain Hook), but Disney has never really had a hero that was full of himself. Constantly looking for attention and even sometimes endangering the mission so that he can get all the glory.
Darkwing Duck: I had it all under control! Lemme guess, "You've come to help." Everyone jumping on my crime-fighting band-wagon. I'm not flying anywhere with "laughing boy" here!
NC (vo): Yeah, we've had a side character here and there (pictures of Pete and Timon), but this is a main character--a main Disney character--the focus of good morals, and yet he constantly comes across as 100% egotistical in every single scene he's in. He even provides his own narrations out loud like a little kid.
Darkwing Duck: He had washed the city clean of crime like a... damp mop. No, that's not very dramatic.
NC (vo): But maybe that's why we indulged him so much. It wasn't as much a nasty need for attention as much as like a little kid looking for attention. Trying to be the center by being the hero and technically following his dreams. Even if it is misguided, it's still well meaning.
Darkwing Duck: I should've worked with the team!
Gosalyn: But, Dad, the team needs you. They've been captured!
Darkwing Duck: Oh, perfect, some team they turned out to be. I guess I'll have to go save them.
NC (vo): You, of course, had side characters, like an excitable tomboy daughter named Gosalyn, the return of DuckTales character Launchpad...
Launchpad: Fake? Wrestling's fake?
NC (vo): And a slew of pretty inventive baddies, including a shocking rodent named Megavolt, a crime boss named Steelbeak, who I always thought was (picture of) Fowlmouth grown up -- maybe he lost his beak by swearing to Colombian drug lords or something -- and his archnemesis, Negaduck.
Negaduck: That's the end of Darkwing Duck.
NC: Little known fact: Jim Cummings' voice as Negaduck kills five puppies every single time he speaks.
Negaduck: I get... the loot.
Fearsome Five: Why?
Negaduck: Because I said! (brings out a chainsaw)
Fearsome Five: Oh yeah. That makes sense when you put it that way.
NC (vo): Also, in my opinion, Darkwing was the first time we had a legitimately unique kid character in the Disney Afternoon. Not that the past ones were bad, but they were just kind of the typical nice kind of troublemaking generic kids. There is only one Gosalyn. She is wild, she is funny, she is always part of the action.
Gosalyn: (various scenes) You get your own copy work out of it! You better call off Winnie the Ghoul right now! You aren't taking that lying down are you, Launchpad? (smacks Launchpad on the back and he falls over) Oh, I guess you are.
NC (vo): And she compliments Darkwing perfectly, seeing as how he has the dreams and ego of a little kid and she literally is a little kid. So there's a legitimate connection as well as an arc for him to learn how to be a parent.
Darkwing Duck: Wherever there's an evildoer evildoing, I'll be there.
Gosalyn: Great, dad!
NC (vo): The show was also great at satirizing everything superhero oriented while still being its own thing. How many of those analogies did he make up to describe how fearsome he is?
Darkwing Duck: (various scenes) I am the metal key on the Sardine can of Justice! I am the hair in the lens of your projector! I am the wrong number that wakes you at 3 am! I am the parking meter that expires while you shop! I am the tube of Cadmium yellow that's impossible to open!
NC (vo): Darkwing Duck was one of the Disney Afternoon's best shows ever.
Darkwing Duck: Let's get dangerous!
Singer: ♫ Darkwing Duck! Better watch out, you bad boys! Darkwing Duck! ♫
NC (vo): Before, sadly, its inevitable decline.
Malcolm: Decline? What do you mean decline?
NC: Well, like any ongoing series that we love, what goes up must eventually come down...but we'll worry about that in the second half! For now, what do you say we all watch commercials while eating some (holds up a box of) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fruit snacks!
Tamara: Eww, you held onto those since the 90's?
NC: Oh no, they're current!
Tamara: Oh, well, the heck with that. I'm going to reconnect with My Little Pony. (holds up a Pinkie Pie plush)
NC: Ohhh, you held onto that since childhood?
Tamara: No, it's...current.
Malcolm: Well, I'm going to reconnect with my nostalgia by playing with my Transformer. (holds up an Optimus Prime model)
Tamara: Did you get that out of your attic?
NC: Well, let's do something that's not current by watching children's cartoons while talking...over...them. (All three frown.) Nothing's changed.
(The title screen appears to lead into commercial)
(Return from commercial)
Malcolm: So, you're saying the Disney Afternoon went downhill after Darkwing Duck. Does that mean you hate Goof Troop?
Malcolm: (relieved) Oh, good. (Tamara looks relieved as well.)
NC: Ish. (Malcolm and Tamara stare at him.)
Singer: ♫ Report to the Goof Troop, and we'll always stick together! Yeah, we're the Goof Troop, (Goof Troop) best of friends forever! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) Goof Troop, by no means, is a bad show. It centered around Goofy and his son Max living in suburbia living next to Pete and his family: PJ, Peg, and Pistol. It still had a lot of funny characters, humorous situations, and a big deal of heart.
NC: But this is back when Disney was trying to be...KEWWWLLL!
Singers: ♫ Gotta be getting Goofy! ♫
NC (vo): Just look at this music video that premiered with the first episode and tell me you're not getting that vibe.
Singers: ♫ Gotta be getting Goofy! ♫
Rapper: ♫ Cool and slick isn't always it! Sometimes you gotta Goof just a little bit! ♫
NC (vo): Oh, yeah, all the kids are going to be doing the..."Goofy" this week. I get the feeling the Mad Hatter's (scene of Mad Hatter dancing the Futterwaken) going to steal a move or two from this. This is total jiggy-ness.
Singers: ♫ Gotta be getting Goofy! ♫
Goofy: Ahyuck, ah-ah-ah-ah-ahyuck! Ah-aha-ah-ahayuck!
Kazaam: Let's green egg and ham it.
NC (vo): Aside from maybe Kit wearing a backwards hat, which even then you can argue keeps the hat on better when he is flying, the past Disney shows had a timeless feel, just trying to tell good stories with good characters.
Singers: ♫ Gotta be getting Goofy! ♫
NC (vo): (Sigh) And aside from this...Wonder Bread, there's still this very strong indication that Goof Troop was the first time the Disney Afternoon was trying to be "hip" and "with it". (mocking the 90s attitude) Give him the shades, have him ride a skateboard, have him be totally embarrassed by his dorky dad because the 90's are so anti-authority!
Elder woman: Bubble Tape is not part of a well-balanced diet!
NC (vo): Because of that, Max is not exactly the most interesting character. He's sort of just some 90's stereotype kid we saw in most shows and movies around then.
Max: No problem! First step: Two-hundred Gorilla burgers.
NC (vo): He's cool, but he can screw up. He has attitude, but possesses a good heart. He has a rocking hairstyle, baggy clothes, and he is into anything that's EXTREME!!!
Max: I feel like I am losing the cherry on my sundae, the foam of my root beer.
NC (vo): But to the show's credit, he's not annoying, per se, there's just not much to him. For me, the real focus of the show was on Pete's family. I wish the show was just based on these guys. This is where the real comedy gold was.
Pete: Playing sick, eh? (grabs PJ and pulls him along) Well, you can't fool me, see! I was a fool way before you were born!
NC (vo): You have an overbearing father (Pete), a completely neurotic son (PJ), a half-kind, but half-threatening mother (Peg), and a psychotic little daughter (Pistol). Seriously, who names their kid Pistol?
Pete: Now go out there and uphold the family IQ!
NC (vo): I loved these guys, I wanted more of them. In fact, why couldn't they have the title of the show? Call it Pete...Beat. Okay, the title needs work, but you get the idea. I think because shows like Home Improvement and Family Matters were just as popular with kids as they were with adults, there's this big push to throw away the wild imaginative worlds and stick to the all-too-comforting, all-too-boring realms of suburbia. And what fun is that in an animated show, at least for kids? I mean, what kind of adventures ever happen in suburbia?
(cut to the climactic neighborhood/convention chase scene with the Critic and Casper from his Casper review)
(cut back to the Critic and his friends in the living room)
NC: (pauses while looking at both Malcolm and Tamara awkwardly) Except that.
NC (vo): But again, as everyday cartoon shows go, Goof Troop still got a few laughs and had enough enjoyable characters to keep it afloat.
Singers: ♫ Report to the Goof Troop! La-doop-a-loo bop boppa loo wop! (Yeah!) ♫
(Goof Troop title screen transitions to Bonkers title screen.)
NC (vo): Bonkers, on the other hand...
Singers: ♫ Bonkers! Yeah, totally nuts! (Bonkers!) ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) While more city-based than suburban-based, Bonkers' problem wasn't that the location was horrendously passe, it's that the idea was horrendously passe.
NC: Now, tell me if this setup sounds familiar. (clears throat) A Toon and a cop...
Malcolm and Tamara: Roger Rabbit.
NC (vo): You don't really need an explanation after that, do you? As soon as you throw in a Toon and a cop, that's the first thing you're gonna think of. But, hey, maybe it'll be cool, like, remember how great it was to see all those famous cartoon characters walking around? With Disney's endless line of unforgettables, surely we'll see some of them here, right?
NC (vo): ...I saw the Mad Hatter in the opening. I saw Dumbo for a second. They're watching Darkwing Duck on TV--that doesn't count! And literally, there's a whole episode where Mickey Mouse is kept in a carrier cage the whole time, and you never see him. And I mean never see him.
Mickey: Roll over boy, roll over!
Dog: Piece of cake.
Mickey: Okay, here's a hard one: play dead!
NC (vo): (stutters) What is the purpose of having Mickey Mouse on your show if you're never going to show him? Did Mickey just want more money? Would he not come out of his trailer unless they doubled his salary?
(Cut to a trailer with the subtitle "Mickey's Trailer".)
Mickey: Tell those sons of bitches unless they want to animate a fifth finger for me to flip them off, I want more dough! Ho-ho!
NC (vo): And surely Bonkers, the main character of the show, would in no way be so annoying, you'd rather smash a hammer against your ears to experience a more pleasant sound.
Bonkers: Electrocute me, burn me to a crisp, and blow up the police station! Where did I go wrong? Ohhh, how did I fail, my pet?
(NC, Malcolm, and Tamara cover their ears and groan.)
NC (vo): Yes, Bonkers was kind of like a mix between (picture of) the Garbage Pail Kids and (picture of) Snarf, yet somehow they thought audiences would want to return to this!
Bonkers: We have to guard a corkscrew from that nasty imposter! How could those little monsters do this to me? I trusted them!
NC (vo): Even the side characters, one of them being a stick-in-the-mud cop, who has no sense of humor...
Tamara and Malcolm: Roger Rabbit!
NC: I know! I know!
NC (vo): It's a little confusing because at least in Roger Rabbit, it was live action and animation. Here...it's all animation, so the wonder of it doesn't really stick out. I mean, yeah, you get the idea that all of the drawn people are supposed to be real people, but let's say they come across a cartoon of (picture of) Aladdin. You wouldn't know which one was supposed to be the Toon and which one was supposed to be real, would you?
NC: Which is why I'm sorry to say, kids, there will never be an Aladdin and Bonkers crossover.
Audience and Tamara: Awwwww!
(NC, Malcolm, and Tamara lower their heads. Malcolm elbows the couch.)
NC (vo): Even Animaniacs, who shared the same time slot, took a pretty mean dig at it every once in a while.
Slappy Squirrel: Ahh, no wonder you like that Bonkers show! That junk's rotting out your brain there!
NC (vo): It wasn't funny, it wasn't creative, pretty much everything about it had already been done before. It was a show that was in desperate need of an eraser.
Singer: ♫ Wherever you are! Bonkers! ♫
NC: And thus, Disney would never do anything different, anything original, or anything ground breaking ever again...
(The Gargoyles title screen appears; NOW we're talkin'!)
NC: Okay, one!
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) Gargoyles, like DuckTales, I've talked about many times before, so I won't dwell too much. But looking back at the other shows Disney was turning out and how safe they were playing it for a while, it hit me more and more just what a unique risk Gargoyles kind of was for them. It was their first straight-on serious show, and their TV animation, which hadn't really done anything quite this heavy and dramatic, stepped up its act and really gave something that Disney shows weren't doing at that time, and debatably, haven't really done since. It didn't need a hip hop theme song or popular catch phrases to be badass, it just had to be badass to be badass! And that came from its strong heroes, its complex villains, and its dark grim style. Also, half the cast of every Star Trek series ever made helps too. It was a fantastic show and we loved every single minute of it. Why? Because never once did it ever rely on any sort of cheap Disney gimmicks.
NC: We had Aladdin for that.
Merchant: ♫ (Aladdin title screen appears) Arabian Niiii-i-i-ights! Like Arabian daaaaa-a-a-ays! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) I'll try not to step on too many toes as I know a lot of people like this show, and, in all fairness, it's not a bad idea for a show. Aladdin offered a lot of great scenarios that could be taken right out of Arabian Nights and I also gave kudos that I actually do remember a lot of characters they created. I remember Abis Mal, Mirage, Sadira, Chaos, that...other Aladdin with the girly lips (Mozenrath). These were all cool creations that left memorable impressions. Strangely enough, the problems with the show were more centered on the main characters. Even though their popularity had already made a ton of money in the past. But let's be honest, what made a lot of the original movie so great was its imagination and its humor. Here we have the imagination, but instead of Robin Williams' improvisations, we get...
Genie: Hold it! Did you risk Abu on a bet? (transforms into a monkey-like Godfather and talks like him) You must show respect to the Simian family!
NC (vo): Homer Simpson bombing at stand-up. And yes, that is Homer's voice, Dan Castellaneta, clearly giving it his all, but the script he is handed gives him very little to work with. Aladdin and Jasmine are strong enough to hold a movie, but here, they're so bland you could replace them with an empty shell and Michael Eisner saying "That's you. You're doing that". The monkey still sounds like a choking Donald Duck and, by Jesus on Broadway, there is way too much Gilbert Gottfried on this show.
Iago: COULD WE LEAVE THE BIRD A LITTLE DIGNITY?! Must be that new cream rinse I'm using! ...WHEN ABIS MAL FRIES MY GIZZARD!
NC: (imitating Gilbert Gottfried) WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP CASTING ME AS IRRITATINGLY ANNOYING BIRDS?! (images of Iago and the Aflac Duck appear)
NC (vo): The animation too is a little strange as half of it is trying to be realistic like Gargoyles, but then the other half is trying to be cartoony like Bonkers, so you end up with big expressionless eyes on what looks like stretchy erasers. (Cut to a clip with Aladdin with wide eyes. An arrow points to the eyes saying "Did he just die?") Look at these: they look more like flesh-colored Play-Doh than they do Aladdin. I'm not even sure it makes sense: In the movie, they say they have to marry in three days, but, they're still not hitched in the show. And if Aladdin is allowed to live in the palace now, how come he's still wearing the clothes he wore as a thief? Does Jasmine just really like the Middle Eastern male stripper look? I guess as a show based on a movie goes, it could have been a lot worse, but, trying to capture that Disney movie feel seems to work better when you can expand with your main characters; not be restricted by them. (Back to wide-eyed Aladdin) God, he looks unnatural.
Merchant: ♫ Come on down, stop on by, hop a carpet and fly to another Arabian Night! ♫
NC: But not all Disney shows based on Disney movies had to be bad, they just had to have annoying theme songs.
Timon and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa: ♫ (Title screen appears) Hakuna Matata! Yeah! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) There's not really too much to say about Timon and Pumbaa either. Not because it's bad, on the contrary, it delivers exactly what it promises. It's Timon and Pumbaa in hijinks, goofy situations and silly scenarios, and that's about all you needed and that's about all it delivered. The animation was fine, the timing was decent, and it never felt like it had to be too restricted to their environments, they could still do fun cartoony things that fun cartoons usually do; it's totally serviceable. Hell, I dare even say they're a lot funnier here than they are in the movie.
Timon and Pumbaa: ♫ Hakuna Matata! Timon and Pumbaa! ♫
Shnookums and Meat
NC (vo): But sadly, for every Timon and Pumbaa, there's a Shnookums and Meat.
Malcolm: Shnookums and what?
Tamara: Yeah, I don't remember that.
NC: Well, that's because we're starting to get into the half seasons.
NC (vo): You see, as the Disney Afternoon started to lose its audience, it took one other time slot and would constantly alternate in between shows. So, Tuesday at four might be Bonkers, but Wednesday at four could be Gargoyles, and Friday at four could be Legend of Zelda -- I mean Shnookums and Meat. This was part of their attempt to just throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Tamara: And did Shnookums and Meat stick?
NC: If by stick, you mean, I'd like to impale them on something very sharp. Just look at this intro and tell me if it reminds me you of anything, anything familiar at all.
(Part of the intro is briefly shown bearing a striking resemblance to...)
Tamara and Malcolm: Ren and Stimpy.
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) If you thought Bonkers ripping off Roger Rabbit was bad, this was just...uncomfortable. From the surreal animation, to the paint drop backgrounds, to the semi-realistic stills, to the fact that it's a cat and a goddamn dog, it was pretty fucking painful. It's like watching a kid dance well and then another less talented kid says he can do the same thing, and then ends up copying a terrible cartoon show. And let me tell you, if you thought Bonkers was annoying, take a listen to this:
Meat: I protect the house from intruders.
Shnookums: Oh yeah? Well, I think you're too stupid to know otherwise.
Meat: Okay! I am not stu-- I am not stu-- I am not stu--
(NC is glaring at the screen; Tamara turns and sees Malcolm lying on the couch.)
Tamara: Hey, did you hit him again?
NC: (Looks at Malcolm) No, I think he's just reacting to the sound of their voices.
Malcolm: Soooo horribleee!
NC (vo): The animation is still Disney, too. Even though they're trying to be different, it's still clearly out of their comfort zone. It still looks a little too polished and safe to be anything like the all out insanity that Ren and Stimpy gave us. The creator of the show went on to do Eek the Cat, which also had a Ren and Stimpy feel to it, but was still unique enough to be called its own show. This is the equivalent of a video game reviewer seeing another video game reviewer and trying to do exactly same thing, but not even coming close to--
NC: Fill in your own punch line here.
NC (vo): But as bad as this is, it still doesn't compare to the final two shows desperate enough to cash in on what Disney considered at the time "major attitudeness."
Tamara: What show was that?
NC: Quack Pack.
Singer: ♫ I feel like quacking, so I think I will! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) You know how Goof Troop kind of explored speaking the language of our personality depraved youth? Well, Quack Pack is the fucking parade for it. Just look at this intro:
(Intro: Donald sets up a film projector to watch memories.)
NC (vo): (Mocking the 90s) Film strips? Why, that's not current and hip. (Huey, Dewey, and Louie push the screen aside and set down a big TV.) Oh, yeah, now this is current and hip: Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Oh, I mean, EXTREME HUEY, DEWEY, AND LOUIE! QUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACKKK!!!
Singer: ♫ (Quack, quack, quack) Quack Pack! ♫
NC (vo): This will teach that unhip adult not to be 15 years younger. Take that, not us!
Singer: ♫ Ahhhhh ♫
Huey, Dewey, and Louie: Noooooo!!
Singer: ♫ Quaack Paaack! ♫
NC (vo): Even the song sounds ridiculous, and I am including by Disney standards.
Singer: ♫ I feel like quacking, so I think I will! ♫
NC (vo): What the hell does that mean? Who wakes up and says "I feel like quacking today"? Did I miss that thing? Did I miss that thing?
Singer: ♫ Duck daze! Quack Pack! ♫
NC (vo): And there's your first problem: How do you make anyone called Huey, Dewey, and Louie cool? Well, I think the thought process is just to take the most popular of the three Home Improvement boys (picture of Brad, Randy, and Mark) and just make three of them. (Brad and Mark are replaced by two more Randys.) No, I'm not even kidding. These kids have no personalities outside of Jonathan Taylor Thomas quotes and 90s poses. Oh, don't know what 90s poses are? I'll give you a run through: The "I don't care" pranksters, the "I don't care" belly layers, the "I don't care" arms folded and/or hands in pockets, the "I don't care" shrug, followed by the "I don't care" resting hands behind my head, and the constant, constant "I don't care" leaning against anything I can lean against. But hey, they don't need personalities because they use radical abbreviations like "Uncle D"!
Huey: Aw, gee, love to wrap, Uncle D, but we've got a room to clean!
NC (vo): (Mocking the 90s) Well, if it worked in the Brady Bunch and Sunny Delight commercials, surely our youth must be saying it nowadays.
Huey: A disgusting sight.
NC (vo): Granted, it's not like they've never used abbreviations before.
Launchpad: Hey, DW, could you give me a hand?
NC: But something about those initials just has a good ring to it.
NC (vo): The stories mostly seemed to center around weird experiments, superheroes, top secret missions, pretty much anything they wanted. Which would be great if you wanted to see any of these characters go through any of those. You don't, because it's fucking Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Yeah, without the incredibly rich duck (Scrooge) or the incredibly funny duck (Donald)... GAH! Huey, Dewey, and Louie are not interesting characters. I'd love to see Darkwing Duck go through all of this, I'd love to see the Rescue Rangers go though all of this; but those are great characters I wanted to follow. These are just the Jonas Brothers if even less personality was required from them.
Huey: So many comic books.
Dewey: So little time.
Louie: You guys ever think maybe we should quit reading all these comics and do something?
Huey: Someone's been reading self-help books again.
NC (vo): So there's no other way to put it, people; this show is preeeetty bad...TO THE EXTREME!!
Singer: ♫ In a da-da-daaaaaa... Duck daze! Quack Pack! ♫
Malcolm: So after their attempt at making has-been ducks look cool, they tried something different?
NC: (Chuckles) Oh, Malcolm, that would indicate that Disney would not be five years behind what's popular, and in the late 90s, they were all about that. Enter the Mighty Ducks.
Singer: ♫ Ducks Rock! (NC taps Malcolm's shoulder, causing him to wince.) (the title screen appears) Mighty Ducks! Ducks Rock! Let's hear it for the Mighty Ducks! ♫
NC (vo): (Clips from the show play) I guess because they knew ducks were going to be the big trend for a while...
Singer: ♫ Ducks rock! ♫
NC (vo): Yeah, everyone is going to be saying "ducks rock" this year. This will be much better than "fish rule" or "logs are totally-radical-tubular-some". We were given a show based on the movie (picture of the Mighty Ducks film) five years old that had nothing to do with the movie that was five years ago. In fact, the connection is so vague that you kind of wonder how the hell they got this set up; it's actually kind of intriguing.
Tamara: Hey, I am an inspiring show creator and I wanted to make a series based on The Mighty Ducks.
NC: The kids with the hockey team?
NC: I love it! Except, uh, can we make the kids ducks?
Tamara: Well, it is a kids' show, so I guess that's okay.
NC: And can we make them teenagers because little kids wanting to be teenagers is really big right now?
Tamara: (unsure) I suppose.
NC: And can we have them fighting aliens in another dimension where there is nothing but ducks and hockey is more of a side thing?
Tamara: Wait, that has nothing to do with my idea!
NC: But it has everything to do with my idea; I'm glad we found a compromise. Hug me! (Hugs Tamara)
Malcolm: (NC taps his shoulder again.) Ow!
NC (vo): And yes, that is the story: they come from a dimension where everything is obsessed with hockey. Heck, even the asteroids look like hockey pucks because they didn't want to seem uncool. And dimensions are crossed between our world and a world populated by ducks. Oh, sweet Jesus, it's Howard the Duck all over again. Quick! Hide your squeaky Tim Robbinses!
(Scene from Howard the Duck of Phil [Tim Robbins] making a noise)
NC: (vo) Once again, the main characters came down to the typical team stereotypes. Except this time, it truly was dated. Including the stern leader (Wildwing), the muscle (Grin), the goof off (Nosedive) and...
Lord Dragaunus: You dunderheads can't steal a simple piece of aluminum oxide!
NC (vo): Tim Curry? Okay, the only advantage it has is that Tim Curry is the villain. And the only bigger advantage than that was that Tony Jay, the voice of Frollo, was his second hand man.
Wraith: That "simple piece" of aluminum oxide has a very complicated alarm system.
NC (vo): Okay, I am totally pro Tim Curry and Tony Jay sharing any scene under any circumstances.
(The following exchange between Dragaunus and Wraith is dubbed by Rob and Malcolm, respectively.)
Dragaunus: The battle is on to see which one of our voices can get women to orgasm first.
(Women can be heard moaning in the background.)
Wraith: Well, that should be easy. My voice is ten times deeper.
Dragaunus: But my voice is so much sexier!
Wraith: I can make the phone book sound juicy.
Dragaunus: I can wear woman's clothing and still be hot.
Wraith: We can even sound sexy saying the most non-sexy thing ever.
Dragaunus and Wraith: Ducks Rock!
(Moaning stops abruptly.)
Wraith: God, that really does suck the cool out of everything.
Dragaunus: My role in Congo is sounding good about now.
NC (vo): Like I said, it was stupid, it was painful, it was beyond forced, and it was the final nail in the coffin that killed the Disney Afternoon.
Singer: ♫ Ducks Rock! Let's hear it for the Mighty Ducks! Mighty Ducks! ♫
Malcolm: Well, that's kind of a shame that everything ended up going downhill like that.
NC: Well...in the end, it really doesn't matter because that's not what people remember the Disney Afternoon for.
NC (vo): (Clips from the shows play) It's remembered for all the creativity, all the comedy, all the colorful characters, all the unforgettable worlds. Everything has to have an end and at least they went out on such a stupidly bad note, it couldn't be forgotten. The people who remember the Disney Afternoon remember it as something to look forward to after school; the shows that were there to greet them after such a long day and that was its secret. It wasn't badass, threatening, or consumed by what was popular; it was welcoming, friendly, and smart. It realized early on that the way to become popular is not following the rules that everyone else was doing, but redefining the rules; heck, even playing a whole different game. And with all the effort put into these awesome shows, they're still going to stick with us even years after they have been pulled off the air.
Singer: ♫ Bringing you a Disney Afternoon! ♫
NC: Well, Disney Afternoon is over. Now what do we do?
(Sandy Walker, Doug's mom appears from around the corner.)
Sandy Walker: Son, you do your homework right now!
NC: Oh, but, mom!
Sandy Walker: Your butt is what I am going to kick if you don't get to your algebra!
(NC pouts as Tamara and Malcolm laugh and tease him.)
Malcolm: You gotta do your homework!
(Malcolm's mom appears from around the corner.)
Malcolm's mom: You too, Malcolm!
Malcolm's mom: That's right, you better get your butt busy right now!
Malcolm: You got my mom?!
NC: Well, I wanted to be authentic.
Tamara: Wait! Did you get mine, too?
NC: No, she was all the way out in California and I was too lazy to go get a ticket...so, I got your grandma.
Fat Grandma: Young lady, you be getting your ass into them books or I'm going to be getting this fist in your ass.
(Tamara looks at NC, confused.)
NC: Well, I got a grandma.
Fat Grandma: Don't make me whack my boot upside the downside of your backside.
NC: Wow, she's like the white-black grandma we all have.
Fat Grandma: Ducks rock!
NC: (scowling) I'm the Nostalgia Critic and playtime's over. Go do your homework.
(NC, Malcolm, and Tamara raise binders in front of their faces.)
NC: While...listening to the music because, of course, it helps you study so much better!
(Heavy rock music plays as the three rock their heads.)
Fat Grandma (offscreen): Dagnabbit! (Throws a water bottle at Critic's head.)
NC: Ow! White-Black Grandma!
(End credits roll)
Fat Grandma: Ducks Rock!