Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cartoons by Surfer Lingo

The great thing about the Internet is that you can find something entertaining by accident at an alarming rate. Others may find psychopathic diaries, odd porn, or seizure-inducing fan fiction. I find Italian animation studio web sites.

Mondo TV is big on kids. They seem to be one of those groups responsible for filling discount video bins with their animated tales of magic and mystery. They also have several cartoons about historical figures and Jesus. Don't ask me why, but the button for the Mother Theresa movie page made me laugh.

Reading several of the profiles, it really seems like they try to interject important facts of life in everything they distribute. Science, philosophy, respect, and many boring things are found within these walls, even if it makes very little sense. That's dedication. I bet it would take a lot of dedication to make movies about Karol Wojtyla, who is probably an incredibly famous figure in Italy, but I have no idea who he is so I'm free to consider him obscure and worthy of ridicule.

What I want to focus on now, though, is Simba Jungle King. Look at the title. You're starting to get a good idea of where this is heading.

The story follows a lion cub named Simba (1), who's father is killed by poachers (2), and he must deal with Sher Khan the tiger (3). Okay, so we have three knock-offs already within a bare bones synopsis, there can't be anymore, right? Nope. The other main character in the show is a deer named Bimbo (chuckawucka), who's parents are also killed by poachers. The two are bonded together by destiny and the ability to shoot magic out of their chests via magic emblems. Hey, they had to get some original ideas in there somewhere.

Okay, I can kinda sorta see where the Jungle Book characters (which includes not only the tiger, but pretty much everyone else aside from Mowgli) come from. This show was made by the same people who did an adaption of Rudyard's opus, and if you care enough look at the description, it actually makes reference to this show being further down in the time line from that show. Doesn't excuse the obvious Disney/Kimba copyright infringing/idea theft, though. Nor does it explain how animals from three different continents can suddenly all live together.

Another major character is a little dog named Winner. Winner is the John Munch of Mondo, appearing in other series as well. There is a continuity to all this as well. A nonsensical continuity, but a continuity nonetheless.

The best part of that whole site, however, is this out-of-context bit from one of the episode synopsis:

"The lion cub is stunned by this revelation, and initially alarmed, he is soon so enchanted that he can’t find the right words to tell his friends about it. Bimbo and the others, afraid that Simba might have been at the ‘grass’ again, quickly summon the Red Cross squirrel and the wise old owl"

What kind of friends always suspect you've been at 'the grass'? Real friends either know you're not at 'the grass', or they are at 'the grass' with you. This is then followed by the Feast of A Thousand Doritoes Bowls.

Italy should be proud. Not only has one of their own studios produced continuity with a poodle, but they also produced animated movies based on Genghis Khan and Mother Theresa that you can put side-by-side. You meatballs are alright.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home