We’re back again, folks, for another edition of Seriously Geeky Sundays, brought to us by Just Geeking By’s blogger extraordinaire and all-around good egg, Heather! So thank you to Heather for her hard work and be sure to check out her site!
This week we leave this boring, live action world of ours and dive into the oft colourful and fascinating world of animation! We’ll be covering all kinds here as there are some excellent questions, so let’s check out the blurb and see what we have to deal with…
There are so many different types of animation out there now and each of us have our own favourites and memories associated to them. This week we’re picking your brain about the animated world.
Question 1 – What is Your Favourite Disney Movie?
Fair play to them, the House of Mouse make some beautiful, iconic animated movies: Aladdin, Robin Hood, Beauty and the Beast among the traditional classics, the likes of Toy Story, Moana and Inside Out among Disney’s work with Pixar since 1995. You’d think that, with all this choice, I’d find choosing a favourite movie from Disney’s catalogue rather difficult, right?
Well, no. My favourite Disney movie is miles ahead of the competition, 1994’s The Lion King sits atop the pile like Mufasa on Pride Rock. This movie is basically Hamlet: Animal Edition, following the journey of a young lion called Simba whose father is the king of the African Savannah, ruling from the impressive Pride Rock. It all starts fun enough, with plenty of hijinks and musical numbers, until Mufasa’s evil brother Scar assassinates him (Long! Live! the King!) and, using his army of mercenary hyenas, chases Simba off into exile beyond the borders of the kingdom.
Our hero is saved by comic warthog and meerkat duo Timon and Pumba, who then look after Simba as he grows to be an adult. Time passes, event unfold and, without going into it too much, our big liony lad returns triumphant to Pride Rock, with the sole intention of dethroning Scar and saving the kingdom from the rather dire state the usurper has managed to drag it into.
It looks beautiful, has an excellent cast (Jeremy Irons kills it as Scar) and the best musical numbers in the entire Disney lineup if you ask me! I mean, come on, just listen to Be Prepared… (the original, not that thing from the remake!)
What is Your Favourite Non-Disney Movie?
Super well-known in the world of anime, it’s Akira!
I first saw this film when I was about 12, my first foray into the world of Japanese animation. The story follows Kaneda, a young man with an exceptionally badass motorcycle, and his friend Tetsuo. Both hang around with a motorcycle gang in the dystopian city of Neo-Tokyo and live a pretty mad lifestyle.
Things go from bad to worse when Tetsuo is captured by shady science types and is experimented upon, gifting him with incredible telekinetic powers. The payoff, however, is a definite degradation in the guy’s sanity and, eventual, physical form, and Tetsuo ends up almost destroying the city, with only Kaneda having any chance at all of reasoning with his old friend.
Considering this movie was made in 1988, it holds up really well today. The artwork is beautiful, illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo who has lent his unique style to many classic works over the years, and the sound is still really crisp and immerses you into Akira‘s dark universe. There is also a director’s cut with new dubbing, though anyone I have spoken to prefer the original cut!
Question 3 – What is Your Favourite Animated Show?
Of the regular running shows, it has to be American Dad!
I mean sure, The Simpsons was absolutely untouchable in its day, as was Futurama and Family Guy, but two of them got incredibly stale and one has sadly ended. American Dad, meanwhile, somehow gets funnier to me with each series. The series follows CIA agent Stan Smith and his dysfunctional family and, whilst another creation of Seth McFarlane, it is definitely the criminally underrated superior package to Family Guy. The characters are funnier, the humour is slightly less exclusive and cruel and the plots get stranger and stranger, without giving in to countless cutaways and non sequiters.
Additionally, Roger the alien, who lives in secret with Stan and the family, has a penchant for disguises and is basically a way for the showrunners to create weird characters, such as Ricky Spanish!
If you’va watched the early seasons and didn’t take to it, try the later ones and it may just turn your head!
Question 4 – What Was Your Favourite Childhood Show?
As mentioned in my 90s Tag piece, I was a big fan of the Amazing Spider Man cartoon back in the day. In case you’ve somehow never heard of him, Spider Man is Peter Parker, a mild mannered student by day and web slinging superhero by night, thanks to being bitten by a radioactive spider.
The 90s cartoon featured all of the webhead’s best villains: Kingpin, Green Goblin, Mobius, Rhino and, my personal favourite, Doctor Octopus, who looked like Elton John for some reason. He also had a rotating lineup of cameo allies, like Blade, the Avengers and even the X-Men dropping in to help out, like the MCU before that was a thing.
Weirdly, everyone was really shredded, even J Jonah Jameson (Gym Bro-nah Gaineson) was an absolute unit! It also had the best 90s cartoon theme tune, check it out!
Question 5 – Who is Your Favourite Animated Character?
I racked my brains about this one for a while and almost went with Disenchantment‘s snarky demon boi Luci. But, on reflection, there’s only really one true cartoon snarky boi…
Yes, it’s Bender from Futurama, aka Bender Bending Rodriguez! The foul tempered, rude, human hating robot that survives on beer and cigars and is definitely not in the slightest bit honest or virtuous. Still, he’s a loyal friend to Fry, Leela and the rest of the Planet Express crew and has some incredible catchphrases!
Bite my shiny metal ass!
Question 6 – What is Your Favourite Piece of Music From Animation?
The freakin’ intro sequence to Cowboy Bebop! I’ll leave it right here for you…
And there we are! We’ve had a pretty exciting journey through the world of animation today and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! Don’t forget to check out all of the other writers under the #SeriouslyGeekySundays hashtag and I’ll be seeing you next week!