Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cookie Cutter Cartoons

Watching the Oscars, okay not all of the Oscars, maybe a half an hour, I noticed that the movies out there fall in to two basic categories: really weird artsy stuff or cookie cutter style cinematography. Just pick a movie out there. I'm sure there's a movie out there that can help affirm this for you. If not, go look at Nickie Goomba's take on Million Dollar Baby. He calls it a cross between Old Yeller and Raging Bull.

Of course, me being the guy that I am doesn't really go to the movies. My life is relegated to the likes of Digimon, which is a Pokemon clone or DICE, which is a Gundam Warrior clone. If you can't tell, I have a seven year old son. We were all cartoon freaks at his age, and the cartoons were no better. There were no less than two Scooby Doo clones that I can think of: Speed Buggy and Captain Caveman. Captain Caveman even stole the mystery machine and repainted it!

The point I'm trying to make is that most cinematography is cookie cutter garbage that anyone can reproduce. I fail to understand the need for a whole host of awards shows to recognize the garbage being peddled today. Every year it seems like they keep trying to get bigger, better and more self important. It's high time we took this trade into our own hands and do it for ourselves.

Some of you out there in bloggerland may feel that I may be exaggerating the point a bit. I'm not doing that. If anything I'm under-inflating it. To really drive this home it appears I'm going to have to pull out the trusty old blogger way-back machine (ruthlessly stolen from Rocky and Bullwinkle) and show you an episode of a cartoon that could have been if bloggers were cartoonists. I'll leave it up to you to figure out who I'm cloning:

The first thing we need is an all star cast. So lets start the casting:

Ogre's Politics and Views - The Ogre [He's a big ogre with a club and an appetite for hoagies and anything that, well, doesn't fight back.]

American Warmonger - Ziggy [Ogre's long time buddy and pal. They love the joys of eating and just hanging out. The only problem is that doing this has had an effect on his waistline. Still, he doesn't really care as long as everything is still groovy]

News From the Great Beyond - Jessica [the redheaded bombshell that used to be a cheerleader but left the ditzy profession for a life of investigating mysteries. Maybe it was all of those Nancy Drew murder mysteries she used to read.]

SmarterCop - Brock [the former high school quarterback that blew his knee out in his senior year and seeing that he couldn’t get that football scholarship now he decides to follow in his father's footsteps and solve crimes. The only problem is the police won't let him in because of his bum knee so he has to to private work.]

Dr. Sanity - Louise [The really smart one of the group that has done nothing else in life but study. She doesn't have the nerd glasses, but she makes it up with her increased clumsiness. Even though she's got a great figure she's unsure about her body so she wears a big baggy sweater to hide her physique. Her claim to fame in all of this is her degree in criminal psychology]

And here is where we set the scene:

The sun is shining along what would be assumed to be the California coastline. The green machine screams down the highway as the pajama party crew searches the coastline for mystery, or fun in the sun, whichever comes first. Ogre has his head out of the roof with his trademark scarf and flying goggles. Life appears good. Off in the distance you see the big tops of a circus close to the beach. It is obviously their destination.

Cut to the green machine stopping in the dirt parking lot close to a big sign at the entrance saying "Happy Glenn's Circus".

(everyone steps out of the bus)

Brock: Well gang. It looks like we're here. Everyone ready for some fun?

Ziggy: I'll say, corn dogs, cotton candy, candy apples...

Ogre: can I eat the elephant?

Everyone: NO!

Ogre: Aaaw, I never get to eat the elephant.

[Enter Happy Glenn (not the evil Glenn we know today. This was before he went bad.) the proprietor of this establishment in full carnie regalia]

Glenn: Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to Happy Glenn's carnival of hobos. Yes, that's right, all of the carnies here are genuine Southern California hobos. You see, carnivals and hobos both travel around a bit and I figured "Hey, why not run a carnival with a bunch of hobos?" Of course, we had to blend everything out with some puppies. The cute little puff balls just make you want to gobble them up don't they?

Jessica: They sure do!

[cuddles with one roaming the grounds]

Jessica: Can we take one with us? Please?

Everyone: NO!

Happy Glenn: That's quite alright. We couldn't part with them anyway, we love them so much. Come right in folks and enjoy the show! If you'll excuse me I have some business to attend to at the public basketball court. It appears the Globetrotters have a problem with the rim height.

Louise: Did you say the Globetrotters are here?

Happy Glenn: Sure, didn't you see the billboard? It's right over the....

Happy Glenn: It was supposed to be over there. I'll have to talk to Barbara about that. She seems like a good hobo most of the time but she tends to be a little daft. I'll be needing to speak with her later.

Happy Glenn: Well, off to the court!

Louise: The carnival AND the Globetrotters in one day. Jinkies!

Everyone: GASP!

Louise: What did I say?

Brock: You know you're not supposed to say that "J" word anymore! Don't you remember that's a Hanna-Barbara copyright now?

Louise: Oops! Sorry, I forgot. These copyrights are just so ridiculous. What's next? Will the NCAA copyright March Madness?

[the gang enjoys their day at the circus. cut to five or six different scenes of Shaggy and and Ogre running around, eating food and getting into minor mischief. Fade to darkness and the whole gang in the front row at center court. Ogre is sitting on the floor so others can see.]

Glenn: Ladies and gentlemen! Before the big show I'd like to introduce the real stars of this show, the circus hobos!

[All of the hobos from the circus walk out onto the court. There's probably 100 in all. Then the lights go out with a crack!]

Some lady: What's going on! Help!

Louise: Ziggy keep your hands to yourself!

Ziggy: Hey! That wasn't me this time!

Janeane Garofalo: Sorry, that was me. I just love your hair.

Everyone: GASP!

[The lights come back on to a completely empty court. There is not a hobo to be found]

happy Glenn: Ladies and gentlemen, please don't panic. I'm sure they all just went to check on the lights together....I hope. Please, everyone remain seated while we get to the bottom of this.

[The pajama party crew approach with private detective credentials in hand.]

Louise: Have no fear! The pajama party crew is here! We know that someone kidnapped those hobos and we're going to get to the bottom of this. We owe it to you for showing us such a good time.

Happy Glenn: Thank you so much. I really don't know what you kids can do that the authorities can't do when they get here.

Brock: It will take the police hours to get here. By that time the hobo-nappers will be long gone. We're here now and can find out what's going on before the trail goes cold. Hey, what's that on the court over there?

Louise: Jink...sigh. It's a blue paw print!

Jessica: No, not that, that.

[She points to something shiny on the floor. Ziggy walks over and picks it up and walks back to the group.]

Ziggy: Hey! It's a bobby pin!

Brock: A bobby pin? What's a man doing with a bobby pin?

[Shakes head]

Brock: That doesn't matter now. We can figure out what it means later. We need to split up. Louise, you go with Ziggy and Ogre. Me and Jessica (wink) will be...umm...looking in the other direction. Yeah, that's it.

[Brock and Jessica head off towards the front of the circus and the parking lot, while the rest of the gang head the other way. Somewhere in the maze of tent's and closed up booths the "rest of the crew" sees a hobo ghost.]

Ziggy: Zoinks!...

Ziggy: Ha! That one's not copyrighted yet!...Ga!

[The standard chase by the hobo ghost ensues. Cut to scenes of legs spinning like wheels and arms outstretched running from the ghost. Queue the wacky chase music. Ziggy, being the heavy guy he is, has to stop.]

Ziggy: OGRE! Wait! Pant! Pant! Why are you running? Your like, four times his size! You could EAT him!

[Ogre stops mid-stride, turns around with a big smile on his face and cocks his head to one side.]

Ogre: Did you say....EAT?

[The reverse chase ensues the same as before, but this time it's Ogre that's chasing the ghost. Queue more dorky chase music. I think it has a trombone in it somewhere.]

[Ogre accidentally smashes through the wall in the only solid building in the circus. Somehow, the wall has landed on the hobo ghost who is dazed and barely conscious. Panning around the room they discover that the room is full of bound and gagged hobos.]

[Cut to Brock and Jessica strolling up to the building, laughing and giggling.]

Jessica: Hey! Way to go guys! You caught the bad guy!

[Cut to a bound and gagged hobo ghost, Brock and Ziggy untying the last of the 100 or so hobos, and the police arriving on the scene.]

Officer 1: Good job you kids! We'll take it from here.

Ziggy: Like, but who's the bad guy?

Louise: That, Ziggy, is obvious. None other than...

[She reaches over and victoriously and pulls off the ghost mask]

Louise: Happy Glenn Reynolds. You see, that blue paw print we found told me that the crook had to be someone that loved animals. Someone that just couldn't get enough of those cute and cuddly puppies.

Everyone: GASP!

Officer 2: But why would Happy Glenn want to capture all of his hobos?

Louise: Well, that's not all. You see...

[There is a thumping and mumbling sound from behind a full sized mirror on the opposite wall. Cut to a scene of the kids pulling off the mirror to reveal a bound and gagged Happy Glenn in his boxers and tee-shirt.]

Jessica: If that's Happy Glenn, then who is...

[All heads turn back to the fake Happy Glenn and Louise standing triumphantly over him. She pulls off the Happy Glenn mask to reveal...]

Everyone: Dan Rather?

Dan Rather: I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you pajama partying kids!

Louise: Hmm.. That’s not right.

[Louise again takes off the next mask to reveal..]

Everyone: Hobo Barbara?

Barbara: That's Senator Boxer to you. You rotten kids have foiled my plans to brainwash all of California. These hobos were just going to be a test group. We were going to try it out on San Francisco, but all of the bums there already vote Democrat. This was the best the DNC could do. We'll be back I tell you! We'll be back!

[The officers take her away to the paddy wagon with her kicking and screaming the entire way. Brock turns to the real Glenn.]

Brock: So how long have you been stuck in that wall?

Glenn: She stuffed me in there about a week ago. It was really nice of her to keep feeding me those smoothies though. They were really delicious!

[Glenn sees a dead puppy under the busted wall's rubble]

Glenn: NOOOO!

[Glenn runs up to the dead puppy and holds it close. He has tears welling up and then something in him snaps. He inhales deeply the sweet smell of the dead puppy.* A slight smile comes on his face as he puts the puppy back on the ground.]

Evil Glenn: Well, thank you kids for coming in and saving the day. I'm sure you really must be going. As you can see we have plenty of clean up to do here so I must be going.

[Eye's dead puppy one more time.]

Evil Glenn: Say, do any one of you know where I could get a good blender?

Crossposted at BNN: LINK

*This line has been changed to retain my "G" rating.

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