Seriously Geeky Sundays – Animation

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…

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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?

lion-king

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!

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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!

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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…

The_Bender

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!

20 thoughts on “Seriously Geeky Sundays – Animation

Add yours

  1. Lion King is hands down, best Disney ever. I am not to partial to the remake, however. As a kid I was completely obsessed with Lion King. I watched it so much, that I knew the movie word for word. I still seem to know it that well to this day as a 31 year old adult. Bender also rocks. I mean who doesn’t love Bender.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Spider Man was a kid.. might have preferred X-Men I think! Also a bitching theme!
    I used to love Lion King but then I found out how much it “borrowed” from Kimba. Ever since then Aladdin has been my favourite Disney Movie. I still love be prepared as a song though! I still like the Lion King fine.. but the live action remake is my most hated Disney thing I think.. it missed the point of the entire movie despite being the exact same movie.. thats a skill on it’s own!
    I should really watch Akira and Cowboy Beebop! Great list over all though! A man of taste you are!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A man of taste, wow thank you kindly!
      I’ve never seen Kimba but I’ve heard all about how Disney stole ideas from it yeah, very naughty! The live Lion King was indeed pretty awful too! And yesss get Akira and Cowboy Bebop wafched, you won’t regret it 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dude, we’re doing that twin thing again 😛 All the Lion King love ❤ I've yet to see the remake and I'll let you know my own thoughts when I do. Family Guy, I don't mind; Chris watches it so I've seen a fair bit and it's one I need to be in the mood for. Spider-Man will always be a favourite 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is now a bad time to say that I’ve never seen either The Lion King or Akira 😛 Love the Cowboy Bebop theme, it is totally awesome – definitely one of my favourite pieces of music from anime (or, in fact, anywhere!)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Major props for Akira! That anime movie is such a classic. Akira is such a brilliant film that still looks amazing even to this day. Keep in mind this came out the same year as Oliver & Company. Which movie has the better animation and story? Exactly. Shame on King of Fighters for ripping off Tetsuo to make K9999 who is the 2nd biggest ripoff of an anime antagonist ever (we’ll get to #1 later in this comment). Good on you for also enjoying “Tank” from Cowboy Bebop.

    Of course, I will have to respectfully, yet strongly disagree with you about The Lion King. That movie stole a TON of stuff from Kimba the White Lion and Disney still won’t own up to it to this day. Every character who isn’t Timon and Pumbaa is a ripoff of someone from that 60s anime with the biggest offender being Scar being the clone of Claw (Disney didn’t get the idea of a scarred black-maned lion usurper with hyena henchmen by themselves). They even tried to ban the Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 movie in North America! Besides that, I wasn’t a fan of the racist undertones of the hyenas, Mufasa’s protagonist centered morality of dealing with them, the movie stealing “Mbube” with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (see The Lion’s Share documentary), or how Disney trademarked the “Hakuna Matata” phrase which is pure cultural appropriation. I used to love this movie when I was a kid, but it’s so tainted for me as an adult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re totally right with Akira, it really is a bonafide classic and so well made!

      I have heard bits here and there regarding Kimba before and I have to say it’s interesting to learn just how badly Disney ripped it off! They can be real sleazebags sometimes so it sadly doesn’t surprise me, and trademarking an actual phrase? That’s something else!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Yeah, Akira has certainly earned it’s place in animation history and not just in Japan. That’s one movie I would like to watch and possibly review for one of my other blogs.

        Oh, yeah. There’s NO WAY Disney didn’t know about that old-school anime. Even Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) admitted to being a fan of that show when he was a kid and legitimately thought he was going to play the American Kimba when he signed on. Sure, Kimba and The Lion King don’t have identical screenplays since the former has human characters and Caesar (Kimba’s murdered father) is shot by a poacher, but you can definitely see which parts of the movie came from that TV series. Here’s a link with some of the information about that controversy: https://web.archive.org/web/20170126132424/http://www.kimbawlion.com:80/kimbawlion/rant2.htm

        I’m glad you’ve noticed that about Disney which I respect. I was enraged when I found out about the trademark last year. That means they can not just monetize over a super common phrase in that language, but they can sue people if they “use it the wrong way”. Some African bloggers and vloggers were righteously ticked off when the news broke of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really was insane. Having a song with that title is one thing, but having a trademark to it is far worse. It would be like someone trademarking “hello”, or some common non-English phrase like “Que Sara Sara”, “C’est la Vie”, or “Viva Mexico”. People would freak out id Disney or anyone else did that.

        Awesome! It’s very fascinating with the pictures, links, and history between these two animated lion works. Did you also know Kimba is from Osamu Tezuka who also created Astro Boy?

        Because of your post, I want to let you know there’s an unintentionally funny line from a diamond thief villain in Kimba who says “Next time, we’ll be better prepared!” in one episode. I think you would appreciate that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahaha! Awesome! When I first heard that character say it I laughed hysterically and said “THAT’S how they came up with Scar’s song!”

        “And corporate appropriation of language is never cool!” THANK YOU! I’m so happy you understand why the implications of trademarking common foreign phrases that companies didn’t invent are so problematic. That was a slap in the face to 90 million Swahili speakers and 5 countries where that language has official/national status. In case you’re wondering, that’s Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC.

        No problem, Winst0lf! I’m glad you appreciate the information. I was just letting you know about these things and I didn’t want to come off as a jerk for mentioning those controversies. Film plagiarism cases have been a passion of mine such as that situation, Paprika/Inception, Battle Royale/The Hunger Games, etc. That and I’ve been getting into a ton of African movies and music over the past couple of years. There’s so much in the continent that Western mainstream media never shows people! Funny enough, I have a Senegalese movie review planned for this Saturday on my film review blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you. I certainly agree about sharing knowledge as well as learning so many things. Sure thing! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read from your blog so far and I’m glad to have contributed in some way with this information.

        Liked by 1 person

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