Thursday, March 28, 2013

Old School Lane's Top 10 Worst Nickelodeon Opening Theme Songs

Not that long ago, I did a list of my top 20 favorite Nickelodeon theme songs. If you missed it, click right here. However, I came across a lot of really bad opening theme songs. Whether these songs are annoying, forgettable, generic, or ear cringing, these are the songs that make your ears bleed when listening to it and lessens your interest in watching whatever show that theme song is presenting. Here we are with my top 10 worst Nickelodeon opening theme songs.

10. Fanboy and Chum Chum

I wasn't too crazy with this show when it first came out so I skipped out on it. Then when Kevin said that it wasn't really bad, I decided to give it another chance. What I found was a very annoying show with annoying characters and a generic plot. The opening theme was too fast paced, annoying, and sporadic. Pretty much it's the show in a nut shell. It's pretty low on this list because the theme song kinda grew on me, but still I'm not too crazy for it.

9. Fifteen

Now we go from a way too fast paced show to a really boring, generic 90's teen sitcom intro. The opening theme song to the 1991 teen series is extremely outdated by today's standards. Everything about it is so bland: the settings, the introduction to the characters, the music, etc. Fifteen is forgotten by many people mostly due to the fact that there were way better shows that came out in Nickelodeon in 1991. Plus it was a Degrassi ripoff. Click to see it right here and you'll know what I mean. Speaking of ripoffs...

8. Welcome Freshmen

Here we have another Nickelodeon show that came out in 1991 that nobody remembers. The first two seasons were about a group of freshmen from high school doing skits that had a theme. Then around season 3, they changed the formula of the show and it became a Saved by the Bell ripoff. The opening theme is a very generic rock song that is very forgettable and it looks like the opening theme to Saved by the Bell and many other Saved by the Bell ripoffs that would later on air. Click right here to see it.

7. The Nick Cannon Show

"There ain't no party like a Nick Cannon party", eh? If your parties involve awkward conversations with random people and unfunny skits, then I'll pass. This song is a very generic early 00's rap song that repeats the same thing over and over. No, Nick Cannon. There are way better parties than a Nick Cannon party and apparently, everyone else agrees because this show sucked! It's the second worse All That spinoff of all time.

6. Romeo 

When it comes to really outdated early 00's rap, you can't go any worse than Romeo! This was the first Nickelodeon show that featured a celebrity and it was bad. The show was so boring, the majority of the characters were so bland, and the music was very forgettable. The opening theme is a perfect representation of what the show was going to be: a marketable product based on a then popular singer having a TV show based on music. The opening theme is so bad that he even uses a line from 50 Cent's "Get Shorty". Yeah...

5. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd

We now return to 90's Nickelodeon with another show that many people have forgotten of. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd is about a mean kid who gets turned into a dog. To be a kid again, he has to do 100 good deeds. The opening theme song is half exposition and half song. The song from the first season was forgettable and the song from Seasons 2 and 3 was Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?" That song was pretty much everywhere in 2000, so having it as an opening theme to a show is pretty bad when your original song was replaced by it. I've already talked about this show to death in my review of 100 Deeds of Eddie McDowd and my list of the top 20 Nickelodeon shows that I want to see being remade, so check those out and find out why no one remembers 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd. It sucks that bad. It's the second worst Nickelodeon teen series in the 90's. What's the first? Let's find out.

4. Cousin Skeeter

Oh my God! There are so many things wrong with this show, it's not even funny. The synopsis is generic, the characters are bland, the episodes are forgettable, and the main character is a mean spirited jerk. To top the cherry of this cherry of this shitty sundae is the opening theme. If you listen carefully to the lyrics, you might be surprised on how dirty and sexual it is. The girls are singing about how much they "want" Skeeter. Then again, it was done by a TLC clone girl band named 702. The song was a shorter version of "Steelo" written by Missy Elliot. Let that information soak into you for one minute. A Nickelodeon teen series with an opening theme song written by Missy Elliot. I have no comment.

3. Butt Ugly Martians

One of the worst Nicktoons of all time certainly has a terrible theme song. This theme song is basically a lie. They promise butt kicking action and adventure, but what we get is boring characters, terrible animation, and episodes that don't remember seeing 30 seconds after you finish watching it. Many people don't seem to remember Butt Ugly Martians. That's because they were too busy watching The Fairly Oddparents, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Invader Zim to notice this mediocre cartoon.

2. The Mighty B!

Oh, Amy Poehler, what made you decide to create this awful, annoying cartoon? Everything about this show is horrendous. The opening theme song, just like Fanboy and Chum Chum's, is too fast paced and annoying. The lyrics repeat over and over again, it's completely random, and the music is awful. Everything about this opening theme is terrible and the show is a reflection on that. Click right here to listen to it.

1. The Brothers Flub

This is without a doubt the worst Nicktoon that ever aired in the 90's and the worst opening theme song in Nickelodeon history. It's loud, it's obnoxious, it's annoying, and it's irritating. There are no lyrics to this song. It's such someone going "la la la la la la la flub flub flub flub flub". That's it. It makes nails on a chalkboard sound like Beethoven. It's just plain awful. Listen to it for yourselves and tell me that you don't find it to be bad. I dare you. Again, this is another Nickelodeon show that no one remembers and thank God for that. 

Those are my top 10 worst Nickelodeon opening theme songs. Which opening theme songs from Nickelodeon makes you want to put ear plugs on? Post it in the comments below. 

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Sorry for damaging your ears.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: A Rugrats Passover

Happy Passover, everyone! While you are celebrating the day of deliverance from Egypt while eating matzo ball soup and beef brisket, it's time to review the only Passover special that Nickelodeon has ever aired. That special is the one and only A Rugrats Passover. 

The special was conceived back in 1992 when Paul Germain, Arlene Klasky, and Gabor Csupo pitched the idea of a Hanukkah special to the Nickelodeon executives. As time went on, they decided to do a Passover special that was both informative and fun. Paul Germain and Rugrats storyboard writers Peter Gaffney, Rachel Lipman, and Jonathon Greenberg wrote the script and years later, the special debuted on April 13, 1995. Is this Passover special a miraculous masterpiece or should it be passed aside with the locusts and flies? This is A Rugrats Passover.

The special starts with Stu, Didi, and Tommy driving over to Didi's parents Boris and Minka to celebrate Passover. Stu wasn't really interested in going to Passover dinner since he's not Jewish, but Didi pushes him to go. Meanwhile Drew, Charlotte, and Angelica are driving over to Boris and Minka's house as well. Angelica wants to eat cookies, but learns that she can't because she can't eat any type of baked goods with yeast. Angelica questions on why she has to celebrate Passover since Boris and Minka are Tommy's grandparents and not hers. Regardless, they head over to the house. When they head over to the house, Minka opens the door with tears in her eyes since she can't find Boris. Boris and Minka had a big argument and now Boris is gone. Next, Chaz and Chuckie come over to the house for Passover celebration and it's decided that Stu would be in charge of leading the Passover dinner.

While Stu leads the dinner, Tommy, Chuckie, and Angelica leave to wander around and end up in the attic. When Angelica opens the door, she finds Boris in the corner and urges Angelica not to close the door. However, it's too late. Boris tells them to get comfortable since the door can only be opened from the outside. Angelica doesn't see it as a big deal since she says that Passover is a boring holiday. Boris objects and decides to tell them the story of the origins of Passover.

It starts with the Pharoah, played by Angelica, in a big boat being rowed by the Jewish slaves, portrayed as babies, in the Nile River. Meanwhile, she sees something in the bushes and meets up with Moses, played by Tommy. Angelica sees Tommy as a possible assistant and Tommy accepts without knowing that he is a baby. As time went on, he interacts with the other babies and he learns that they're bossed around by Angelica. Tommy doesn't see it to be fair so he decides to talk with Angelica. When he sees an Egyptian soldier, played by a toddler, pushing around a slave, played by Chuckie, Tommy steps up and pushes him. His hat fell off revealing that he's a baby. Eventually, Tommy ran away from Egypt for a long time and later on returned to Egypt with a mission to let all the babies free from Angelica's rule. Later on, Chaz wanders into the attic looking for Chuckie and accidentally closes the door. Chaz, knowing that he's stuck, sits next to Boris and the toddlers and listens to the rest of the story.  Eventually, Tommy ran away from Egypt for a long time and later on returned to Egypt with a mission to let all the babies free from Angelica's rule. Tommy encounters Angelica and warns her to let his babies go, but she says no.

Next, Tommy conjures up many plagues such as frogs, flies, locusts, and darkness to make Angelica change her mind. With every plague, she promises to let the babies go and changes her mind just as quickly. Drew and Charlotte find out that Angelica is missing and wander themselves into the attic. But then Charlotte closes the door and find themselves stuck. So they sit down and Boris continues with the story. Tommy releases the final plague which is to get rid of all the first born Egyptians. When Angelica learns that she's a first born, she makes a promise to Tommy to free all the babies in order for her to not being taking away. Tommy agrees. Didi, Stu, and Minka find out that everyone is missing and start to look around and make it to the attic. The adults all reunite and Angelica interrupts saying that she wants to know the end of the story. Boris finishes the story when the babies begin to pack up their stuff and head over to the Promised Land. When they stop at the Red Sea, Angelica and her soldiers charge them wanting to take the babies back to Egypt. Finding themselves trapped, Tommy opens up the Red Sea and they walk the path. Afterwards, the Red Sea closes and Angelica loses her babies. Tommy and the babies celebrate with them being free from Angelica's rule.

Boris concludes the story with the celebration of Passover to remember the Hebrews being free from the Egyptians. Didi says that it's time to finish the dinner, but the wind closes the door. Boris decides to tell another story about how his parents first met.

When this special first premiered, it was praised by many critics and viewers. At the time, there were rare times in which a kids' show would celebrate a Jewish holiday. To this day, A Rugrats Passover is the highest rated show as well as the most viewed holiday special in Nickelodeon history. A Rugrats Passover was the last episode of the 3rd season before the 3 year hiatus and the eventual dismissal of Paul Germain and many of the Rugrats animators and writers. What a way to end, in my opinion, the best seasons of Rugrats. It's a beloved classic that explains the origins of Passover in a way that kids could understand while still keeping the origins of the holiday. It still holds up to this day and I highly recommend checking it out!

That's all for now! Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Happy Passover!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mitchell Kriegman is releasing a Clarissa Explains it All Sequel

A quick news announcement about Mitchell Kriegman, the creator of Clarissa Explains it All, saying he's going to release the long awaited sequel to Clarissa Darling's story named Things I Can't Explain in Fall book form. Is Patricia excited about this? Let's see.

To find out more about it, click on the link below.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Patricia's Top 20 Nickelodeon Opening Theme Songs

Regardless if a show is good or bad, the one thing I always look forward to watching is the opening theme to a TV show. Whether the music is upbeat, slow, fast, catchy, or calm, we always get that fuzzy warm feeling whenever we hear it. It's something that gets stuck in my mind for all eternity. Sometimes it's the background of the opening that makes us remember the show when seeing the main characters doing some cool thing that you may or may not see in the actual show itself. Due to the inspiration of Manic Expression member Infamous Jak's Secret Santa gift for me in his top 9 favorite Nickelodeon opening themes, I decided to do my own list. Here we go!

20. Rocket Power

This late 90's Klasky Csupo cartoon was really good at the time with its concept of kids who loved extreme sports. Due to the huge popularity of extreme sports, the X-Games, and legends like Tony Hawk, this was the show for them. However, it's a touch outdated since extreme sports don't have that huge following anymore. Plus it was very limited, only kids who love skateboarding, surfing, rollerblading, snowboarding, or street hockey would love something like Rocket Power. Nonetheless, the opening theme fits the concept of the show perfectly and the main characters doing the sports made it so exciting to watch.

19. Are You Afraid of the Dark?

When you're a kid watching this show at night alone in the dark, hearing this creepy theme song always gave you the chills. Then you get to the nitty, gritty of it, you're frightened by the spooky stories filled with monsters, ghosts, and supernatural beings. The opening theme to Are You Afraid of the Dark? captures the mood with the heart pounding in the background, the dark images, and the creepy music. Then it concludes with that lit match and then enters in the title. 

18. Nickelodeon GUTS

This opening theme song starts with someone asking you the question: do you have it? Then afterwards, it has a very catchy rap song that simply says only 5 words: do you have it? and GUTS! That's it. But for some reason, it really got you wanting to see the show! It was very simple, but for some reason it really works!

17. Danger Mouse

In the early 80's, Nickelodeon started to acquire cartoons alongside with their educational programs. One of the most popular ones was the British cartoon Danger Mouse. The song was very short, but it was catchy and exciting when you would see Danger Mouse dodging bombs and seeing that big title appearing. This cartoon holds a very special place into many people's hearts who grew up in the early 80's in America and Europe and is still popular to this day. 

16. My Life as a Teenage Robot

This early 00's Nicktoon is one of many cartoons that tells the plot of the show by its opening theme. It's very upbeat, catchy, and fast with the animation and the singing. The lyrics were very memorable and the action of the opening theme made you want to watch the show.

15. Caitlin's Way

One of my favorite underrated Nickelodeon shows of all time has a great underrated opening theme. The rock band Dig Circus did one of their songs "Wishing For a Sail" and it fits the show very well. The concept with Caitlin feeling alone and left out with moving to Montana with family members she never met. If you haven't listened to this song, check it out sometime.

14. You Can't Do That on Television

The opening theme really looks like it came from a Monty Python cartoon. The strangeness of a group of kids made in a sausage factory, going into a school bus by a water faucet and entering a school ending it with Les Lye's head being plastered with the title is eye-popping. Pretty strange to think about it when the show was just a sketch comedy show starring kids and teenagers, but it's still memorable.

13. Danny Phantom

Just like with My Life as a Teenage Robot, the entire plot in Danny Phantom is explained in the opening theme. It has a catchy, upbeat rap song explaining about how Danny got his ghost powers and the task he was giving to save his town. It was a fantastic concept of a TV show during the time in which the Ghostbusters series was pretty much dead. Danny Phantom and Luigi's Mansion were the only ones that kept the ghost concept relevant for kids until the Ghostbusters video game came out and talks about Ghostbusters 3 emerging again. However, it was a really cool opening theme that made me wanted to tune in.

12. Rugrats

It was one of the first opening themes that many people remember when tuning in to watch Nickelodeon and I can understand why. The catchy songs that was generated by Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and the simple concept of babies walking around and playing made it a unique concept never seeing before when it came out in 1991. It's an opening theme that resonates in many people's childhood memories, including me. 

11. Hey Dude

If you've read my review on Hey Dude, you already know how much I HATE this show! But the one thing that was memorable about it was it's opening theme song. The first and pretty much only Nickelodeon show that was a western makes it a standout for this list. Everything else in Hey Dude sucks, but this opening theme is the only thing that they did right. I think that if the opening theme wasn't memorable, then nobody would remember this show. Seriously.

10. KaBlam! 

Based on the song "Two Toned Army" by The Toasters, the opening theme of KaBlam! was very catchy and memorable. The background was constantly changing and when watching this show back in 1996, I had no idea what it was about. Then I found out it was a variety show taking place in a comic book with shorts based on different animation. It was a unique concept that hasn't been done since and this is one of the shows that I want to see remade in Nickelodeon.

9. Hey Arnold!

Just like what Infamous Jak said about it, the atmosphere really sets the mood for what you're about to see. The song is a really nice jazzy tune, which was something very unique at the time, and the main characters interacting with each other in the big city made the scenery very big. It's one that really resides in my heart and one that won't be forgotten.

8. CatDog

Just like Hey Dude, it's another show that I don't really like, but has a great opening theme. Also just like Hey Dude, it's a country western song. Seriously, what is it with Nickelodeon having great country songs on bad shows? Anyway, what makes this song great was that the creator of CatDog, Peter Hannan, was the one who not only wrote the song, but sang it as well. That's creativity right there! It's a very catchy song that I sometimes can't stop listening to.

7. Double Dare

The very first game show for kids had a really fun, fast, and catchy theme song done by Edd Kalehoff, who did a lot of music for Nickelodeon around the mid to late 80's. Being my second favorite Nickelodeon game show of all time, it had a lot of things that made it a classic. The one thing that I fondly remember besides the physical challenges, the obstacle course, Robin, Harvey, and Marc Summers, was the opening theme song.

6. Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea

This decent French cartoon from the 80's had an amazing, catchy theme song. You might recall hearing it in episode 2 of Nick Jukebox. While I said that the show was okay, I cannot deny what a great opening theme the show had. There were two opening themes to this show: the one sung by Pathfinder and the one sung by Menudo. I prefer Pathfinder's version: it's more catchy, memorable, and explains what the plot of the show is. If you haven't seen the show, check it out sometime. 

5. Invader Zim

This show was very weird, bizarre, dark, and strange. Same thing for the opening theme, which perfectly captures what you're getting into. The weird music combined with the introduction of the plot and characters without lyrics makes it a very hypnotic theme song. The style of Jhonen Vasquez is all over this show so from the moment you see this opening, you've entered into his crazy, psychotic mind. The thing about it is, you don't want to leave.

4. The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Another one of my favorite underrated Nickelodeon shows of all time has a fantastic opening theme. It opens to the explanation of the 1500's when explorers where traveling to the New World looking for treasures. Then it cuts to the main plot of looking for El Dorado and the introduction of the main characters. It's one of the most catchiest songs I've ever listened to and you may remember it in episode 2 of Nick Jukebox when I played the ending theme. Not to mention, it has a great soundtrack all together done by Haim Saban and Shuki Levi, the same guys who did the soundtrack to Inspector Gadget, He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, and Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. It's a great song that captures the show beautifully.

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

From what we've learned from in the 2003 series, the 1987 theme song was more memorable. The people behind the 2012 show knew that so they took the 1987 theme song and updated it to the 21st century. At first, it was strange to hear it like that. But now, it's one of my favorite theme songs of all time. It's like the old saying goes: "If it's not broken, don't fix it". It introduces the Turtles, it's very colorful, it's exciting, it's action packed, and it pays homage to not only the 1987 show, but to the comics, the 2003 show, and the movies while giving it a fresh twist. You can't ask for more.

2. As Told by Ginger

The song is wonderful! The lyrics perfectly paint a picture of what you can expect when watching the show. Sometimes you want to be able to reach a perfect life without realizing that you're already there. The show has a down-to-earth feel to it and the show's opening theme does as well. Originally sung by Macy Gray, then later on by Cree Summer, the last good Klasky Csupo Nicktoon was short, simple, and grounded. 

1. The Adventures of Pete & Pete

What can be said about this show? It's funny, it's strange, it's weird, it's surreal, and it's down-to-earth. The opening theme song "Hey Sandy" and the entire soundtrack of the show was mostly done by one band: Polaris. Sure it was basically the indie rock band Miracle Legion without the fourth member Ray Neal, but it didn't matter. Their songs capture the feel of The Adventures of Pete & Pete perfectly and it blended with all the show so well. In fact, I recently purchased the Pete & Pete soundtrack on iTunes. There's some nice songs in there. I played two songs from this soundtrack on episodes 1 and 3 of Nick Jukebox and the opening theme song is my favorite. 

That's my list of my top 20 Nickelodeon opening theme songs. What are your favorite opening theme songs from Nickelodeon? Post it in the comments below. 

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Nick Jukebox Episode 4: The Dream Master

In the fourth episode of Nick Jukebox, we take a look at songs from classic Nickelodeon shows from the 80's, 90's, and 00's. Expect songs from The Tomorrow People, Rocko's Modern Life, iCarly, and more.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writers Guild of America demands Nickelodeon to pay $3 million

A quick news update about Nickelodeon being demanded over $3 million dollars by the WGA and discussions about Nickelodeon's current state. To read the article, click the link below.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Movie Review: The Wild Thornberrys Movie

Klasky Csupo was doing extremely well in Nickelodeon around the 2000's. They had 4 successful TV shows with Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, As Told by Ginger, and Rocket Power and they released two financially successful movies that made over $150 million dollars. Their name meant quality, creativity, and classic animation back then and it seemed that they couldn't do any wrong. Their next announcement was their next movie based on another of their cartoons. On December 20, 2002, The Wild Thornberrys Movie debuted in theaters.

As I mentioned in my The Wild Thornberrys review, I don't like the show saying that it was boring, overrated, and has mostly annoying characters. So I didn't see the movie when it came out in theaters. But when we decided to do the tribute, I had no choice but to see the movie. Does this movie make me change my mind of the series or does it confirm my dislike for it? This is The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

The movie begins in East Africa where the introduction is a more different take on the intro from the TV series. Then we cut to the Thornberry family leaving to shoot footage of the elephants for their nature show while Eliza, Debbie, Donnie, and Darwin stay near the Comvee. Nigel's mother Cordelia from England is visiting the family taking in on the African safari. Eliza and Darwin leave the Comvee to hang out with a cheetah mother and her cheetah cubs. While they were playing, a helicopter appears out of nowhere and kidnaps one of the cheetah cubs named Tally. Eliza rushes and tries to capture the cub while hovering over the helicopter grabbing the net, but with no luck. The kidnapper pushed Eliza out of the copter. Eliza is saved due to Nigel and Marianne catch her with the Comvee. With Eliza being scolded by her parents for the reckless thing she did, Cordelia suggests that she would be sent to an all girls' boarding school in England to straighten her out. Eliza refuses, but her parents agree to do so. Nigel and Eliza have a father/daughter discussion that ends with him giving her a necklace. Darwin was disappointed when he learned about it, but Eliza had no choice but to go.

The next morning, Eliza leaves for the airport and arrives in England. While trying to adjust to her new surroundings, she meets up with her roommate Sarah Wellington. Sarah is a very snobbish girl who wishes for Eliza to keep away from her space and stuff. While adjusting, we see Darwin get out of Eliza's suitcase and disguises himself as a schoolgirl with Sarah's clothes. When their serving dinner, Darwin heads downstairs, but Eliza recognizes him right away and tries to hide him from the other girls. But Darwin make a huge mess and starts a food fight. With it, Sarah gets extremely messy and filled with food.

Then the other girls ask questions about Eliza and hears stories about her travels around the world. Sarah grows jealous with Eliza getting a huge amount of popularity among all the other girls. That night, Eliza dreams about the witch doctor who gave her her powers Shaman Nnyambo that she has to save Tally because she's in serious danger. Eliza wakes up and begs Sarah to pay for her trip back to Nairobi. She accepts and the next morning, they arrive in Nairobi. While taking the train, they see a hippo severely injured and captured with a net. They left the train and find out that the hippo was almost captured by poachers. Eliza and Darwin walk near the train tracks to get back to East Africa.

All of a sudden, a trailer drives by and two people named Sloan and Bree Blackburn help the hippo out. They are animal conversationalists who cared for the hippo and called an animal resort center to pick it up. Eliza and Darwin then continued on their journey. Meanwhile Debbie was at the Comvee looking over Donnie and sees her grandparents parachuting from a plane to find Eliza to take her back to school. The next day, Eliza makes it to the sahara where Tally was kidnapped to find clues. They meet up with Donnie and they continue to look around. That night, they meet up with Sloan and Bree and they talk about their love for animals. Eliza felt closure to them since it seems that they understood her love of animals.

When Debbie finds out that Donnie is missing, she borrows the family motorbike to search for him. She stumbles upon an African tribe where she asks the tribe members for help. None of them knew English and were willing to help except for a teenage boy. Debbie tries to communicate with him, but with no luck. However his willingness to help convinced Debbie to bring him along for the ride and she starts calling him Boko. Meanwhile, Donnie sneaks into Sloan and Bree's RV and looks around. Eliza and Darwin retrieve Donnie, but find Tally in a cage in the corner. Eliza then finally realizes that Sloan and Bree were the ones who kidnapped Tally and shot the rhino. While trying to get Tally out of her cage, Sloan and Bree find out that Eliza knows their secret of them being poachers. They reveal their plan of building an electric fence to kill all the migrating elephants to steal all their ivory. Sloan threatens to tell Eliza how they knew of their tasks, but Eliza stays silent. They then see Debbie in their cameras and Sloan has a plan. When Debbie asks Sloan if they've seen Donnie, Sloan grabs her and drags her near a cliff. Eliza runs out and tells him her secret of talking to animals. The spell is removed and Eliza loses her powers. Sloan and Bree run away and frees Debbie. The group drift on a log in a river while Debbie tries to put the pieces together of all of Eliza's actions. When she learned of Eliza's sacrifice, she gives her a sisterly embrace. When the log nears a waterfall, they all escape before the log falls.

Boko shows up with Debbie's motorbike and rescues them. That night, the poacher's plan commences with them activating the electric fence. Eliza makes it to one of the elephants and tries to communicate with it, but with no luck. Sloan orders his men to detonate explosives nearby to lead the elephants to its path and they continue to walk to the fence. Eliza then learns about kicking an elephant behind the ears and it responds. Sloan orders his men to detonate another set of explosives and most of them continue down the fence. Eliza then throws her father's necklace at the fence and they start walking away from it.

Sloan grabs Eliza from the copter about to drop her into the river when the shaman grants her powers back. She orders the elephants to attack and they grab the copter before it takes off. The officers then arrest Sloan, Bree, and his henchmen and the movie concludes with everything restoring back to normal.

When the movie first came out, it was a huge success. While it wasn't as financially successful as the first two Rugrats movie, it was critically successful. At the time, it was the highest rated movie that Nickelodeon ever aired with it being 80% according to Rotten Tomatoes. As for me, it was okay. The first half was extremely padded with the pointless plot of Eliza going to the boarding school with her leaving it moments later and underdeveloped moments in which Nigel and Eliza had father/daughter time. But then, things start to get interested in the second half with the inclusion of Sloan and Bree and the nice twist of Eliza losing her powers. You feel sadness when Eliza loses the one thing that made her unique and special, which is a surprise since I felt that she used that power in the wrong way in the TV series. In the movie, while she did make the mistake of not watching the baby cubs long enough, she worked hard in getting one of them back. It's sort of similar to the plot of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, but without the worthless padding in the first half of the movie. To me, it felt like a longer episode of the TV show. Nothing really special to it. If you're a fan of The Wild Thornberrys, I'd say check it out. If you're not, then take it for what it is. It's not too bad.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as we go into the year 2003 with Rugrats' spinoff show All Grown Up!

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Announcement about possible Rugrats revival

Over the years, there were petitions on getting the classic 1991 Nicktoon being revived. While there were rumors about Rugrats coming back, it wasn't confirmed. Now the Nickelodeon executives have been showing interest as of lately and many people's dreams may be coming true. Is Patricia excited about it? You would be surprised.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Nickelodeon Robot Wars/Scaredy Camp

Around 1987, there was a new competitive sport that formed around Denver, Colorado involving two people building robots to fight one another in a huge tournament against other people and their robots. That was called "Critter Crunch". Then around 1991, a man named Marc Thorpe, a designer for LucasToys division of Lucasfilm organized Robot Wars, a televised program about a group of people building robots for battle. As time went on, more and more robot combat tournaments formed. The popularity slowly grew into a major cult following and became more mainstream when another TV program named Battlebots debuted on Comedy Central around 2000. When I was in Willvolution, one of the members of the site was involved in robot combat with a group of his friends. Nickelodeon decided to make a kid version of Robot Wars and called it Nickelodeon Robot Wars which debuted on August 25, 2002.

The show would follow the competitors, which mostly contained kids with their parents, as they would talk about their robot and how they would build them. Then as time went on, we would get to a battle between the robots. Each episode had a couple of battles, but some would spread to other episodes. The robots would be placed in a arena filled with many hazards to damage it more such as the Disc of Doom which would spin a robot to disrupt the controls, The Drop Zone where a heavy object such as a giant hammer would be dropping in a certain spot in the arena, and much more. The robots would have a few minutes to fight one another and the robot who survives, wins the round. 

Nickelodeon Robot Wars was cancelled due to low ratings on October 6, 2002, less than two months after it aired. Next to the 2002 reboot of Wild & Crazy Kids, it's currently the shortest lasting game show in Nickelodeon history. I can understand that robot combat is not for everyone. Some find it exciting, some found it boring. Most kids who saw it were confused to what it was and that something so bizarre could even exist. As for me, I enjoy this sport. It's very creative, filled with ingenuity, and very action packed. As for Nickelodeon's version of Robot Wars, it's pretty decent. Sure, some of the hazards had to be omitted such as flame pit, the fire jets, the buzzsaws, and the constant swearing, but it was shown on Nickelodeon. What do you expect? As time went on, robot combat slowly died away from the mainstream audience and went back into the underground territory where it's still hugely popular to this day. But now this sport is coming back in a new way in the form of the 2011 movie Real Steel and Syfy's Robot Combat League making fighting robots cool again. 

If you're a fan of robot combat tournaments, I would say check it out. But definitely watch the original Robot Wars since it has more hazards and action.

The next game show that debuted on Nickelodeon was based on another fad: scaring people in real life scenarios. Horror movies such as Friday the 13th and The Blair Witch Project made kids go into the woods or a camping ground where the unexpected was around the corner. It was dark, mysterious, spooky, and scary. Not since Are You Afraid of the Dark? there was a scary and thrilling show on Nickelodeon. That is until Scaredy Camp debuted on October 27, 2002.

The show was about a group of kids in a summer camp called Camp Lindenwood. At night, the host of the show Emma Wilson, the daughter of Weakest Link host Anne Robinson, would tell the story of an urban legend based on the camp. At the end, they would have to find clues based on the legend that they learned about. We would get to see the kids looking for the clues in the dark, scary camp in which as time went on, spooky things would be occurring. Really, not much to say about the show. The show lasted for less than a year until it ended on August 16, 2003. It was extremely difficult to find episodes online since it hasn't been on the air since 2007 and hasn't aired on Nickelodeon ever since. The show was a very interesting concept and had a really spooky atmosphere. 

I commend these game shows since it wasn't a reboot of an old game show and it was outside the box of what was a typical Nickelodeon game show was at that point. It was nice for them to take risks, but those risks were their downfall. It didn't find an audience and nowadays, it had been hugely forgotten. It's a shame too because if people would've have given it a chance, maybe more unorthodox game shows for Nickelodeon would've came out. Unfortunately, this would be the first indication of people's disinterest in game shows for kids.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Wild & Crazy Kids (2002 Reboot)

Due to the critical failure of Double Dare 2000, Nickelodeon hasn't had a game show in a while. Since Slime Time Live, the afternoon time slot that would play games and vote on what shows to see, was hugely popular among the millions of viewers tuning in. However, for the older teens who grew up with Nickelodeon back in the 90's, they weren't impressed with Slime Time Live since it was similar to U to U and Nick in the Afternoon with Stick Stickly and were starting to miss their favorite childhood shows from that time period. The Nickelodeon executives decided to give game shows another chance with another reboot of an older game show. Instead of a Nickelodeon game show from the 80's, they decided to do a reboot a game show from the 90's with Wild & Crazy Kids. The reboot debuted on July 29, 2002.

There were few differences between the original and the reboot. One of them was that instead of three hosts consisting of teenagers, it had one adult host named Mati Moralejo. Another difference was that they constantly changed the colors of the teams from red, blue, orange, green, black, yellow, and purple. The final thing was that they had different games that rarely was rehashed from the original game show. Other than that, it was the exact same thing. Similar to the original, it had the same kids competing, the same rules, and the same setting of taking place mostly outside playing crazy, over-the-top sporting events. Also in the mix were celebrity guests such as Olympic skyer Bode Miller and Spy Kids co-stars Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega.

The reboot lasted even shorter than Double Dare 2000 as it was cancelled due to low ratings on September 16, 2002, less than two months after it debuted. The reboot of Wild & Crazy Kids currently is the shortest lived Nickelodeon game show in history. Overall, I can understand why it was cancelled and why no one watched it. In my review of the original Wild & Crazy Kids, I said that my main gripes about the show were the three forgettable hosts, the crappy cinematography, and the messy games trying to capture the popularity of Double Dare. While the cinematography is much better and some of the games are pretty cool, it was pretty much unrecognizable. Unlike Double Dare 2000 in which they played it way too safe and didn't bring anything new to the table, the reboot of Wild & Crazy Kids was absolutely nothing like the original. There were no slime, no pies, and no gross moments. It was pretty much all extreme games. Also Mati Moralejo is even more bland and forgettable than the original hosts and that's saying something. I have to say that out of all the Nickelodeon game show reboots, this is probably the worst. This was a pointless and unnecessary reboot. I don't recommend checking it out.

That's all for now. Tune in next time as I take a look at two other forgotten Nickelodeon game shows from 2002: Robot Wars and Scaredy Camp.

Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

With the huge financial and critical success of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Nickelodeon decided to make it into a TV series. John A. Davis came back to create The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius which debuted on July 20, 2002.

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius logo.png

The show took place after Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius in which in involves Jimmy Neutron (voiced by Debi Derryberry) doing crazy experiments alongside with his best friends Carl Wheezer (voiced by Rob Paulsen) and Sheen Estevez (voiced by Jeff Garcia). All of a sudden, the experiment would go horribly wrong and it's up to Jimmy to save the day.

What's interesting about this show is that, unlike the majority of animated Nickelodeon movies that would become a TV series, the majority of the main voice actors came back to do it. This becomes a plus because most of the time it would be major celebrities voicing the main characters and they would have to hire voice actors to impersonate them. But this is not the case: with the exception of the villains King Goobot and Ooblar (voiced by Patrick Stewart and Martin Short), most of the people who voiced the characters were voice actors. Also, when watching this show, it's nice to know that there's continuity in it. It's very well established that this series takes place after the movie since they do bring back King Goobot and Ooblar despite the fact that they're voiced by dsifferent actors. Not to mention that they bring in new villains to the show such as absentminded Professor Calamatous, his good looking daughter Beautiful Gorgeous, the spoiled rich kid Eustace Strich, the alien trio Zix, Tee, and Travoltron, Grandma Taters, The Junk Man, and more.

While that all seems nice and dandy, the show has some major flaws. One thing, the majority of the episodes are extremely monotonous. The same thing happens on every episode: Jimmy invents something, the invention goes wrong, Jimmy doesn't know what to do, he solves it by something he learned a few minutes ago, and problem solved. I understand that in the first movie he made a lot of mistakes was because he was a kid. He didn't listen to his mother's warning and he went through the consequences of almost losing the entire town of Retroville's parents to Poultra. But he learned his lesson and fought to stop King Goobot from accomplishing his goals. He was more relatable that way because we already had Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory to be the child prodigy. He was a stick in the mud and didn't have time for anyone else, especially friends. He concentrated on his experiments  Jimmy was the slight opposite. While he was a child prodigy, he was still a kid. He had friends, he didn't like girls, he liked sugary snacks, and he invented things that a kid would like. However, that's pretty much thrown out the window with the animated series.

Jimmy in the animated series is a lot more conceded and a lot more in-your-face when it comes to his intelligence. He feels like he's the smart one in his group of friends and that everyone around him is useless. As I mentioned in my top 20 worst Nickelodeon male role models, Jimmy has became very unlikable in the TV series. When you have a main character that is this unlikable in a kids' show, why should we root for him when he saves the day?  It's hard, isn't it? Unfortunately, as much as that is a bit harsh on Jimmy's part, it's true. Carl and Sheen are useless when it comes to the bad scenarios with Jimmy's experiments. While I do understand that there has to be a comic relief in any show for kids, but having two is overkill. While it is true that they're comic reliefs for different reasons, Jimmy really needs another person's help when it comes to dealing with his experiments. Carl and Sheen hang out with Jimmy all the time and they should be a little bit knowledgeable with what to do with science. Sure, Sheen would be a huge stretch, but at least he knows pretty much everything about Ultra Lord, his favorite superhero. He can be smart when he needs to be, which is extremely rare. Carl is innocently stupid. He's a sick, chubby kid who loves llamas. However, the show has proven that Carl is the dumbest in the group, which is a bit unfair. I really like the character, but he never had a chance to shine and show his full potential. He's kind and sweet, but a bit useless. If you would have cut out Carl as a character, not much would be different in the show. But then again, most of the men on the show are complete morons. It seems that it's the women in this show seem to be more capable of saving the world more than the men which enhances the stupid old cliche of women being smart and men being stupid that you see in most kids' shows.

Another huge flaw is the first few seasons. There is no incoherent plot in the majority of the first few episodes. As mentioned previously, it's very monotonous of doing the same thing over and over again. As time goes on, things start to get interesting when the villains start to appear. Other than that, some of the episodes are a huge snorefest. You're just waiting for something interesting to happen, but in the end, you're going to get the same thing over and over again. The later seasons are better, which I must give props to. The TV movies involving with The Fairly Oddparents are the best things that the show has ever been involved in. While the show was created by two different people, for some reason, they really work. Except the third movie, that one sucks.

The final nail in the coffin involves with the final season. The episodes of the final seasons were mixed up and shown in an incorrect order. The TV movie special involving Jimmy meeting up with his major villains Professor Calamatous, Beautiful Gorgeous, Eustace Strych, Junk Man, Baby Eddie, Grandma Taters, the alien trio, and Goobot was shown before they even introduced Grandma Taters or Baby Eddie. Kids watching this the first time around would be confused. Also, they showed the final episode "Lady Sings the Blues" in the incorrect order as well. They showed the final Jimmy Timmy Power Hour as the last episode of the series. Inconsistency is thrown out the window in a time in which it was the most important. That is unacceptable.

The show lasted for 4 years until it ended its run on November 25, 2006. I stated a lot of flaws in the show that might make people who grew up with it as kids very angry, but I'm sorry. I just see a show that has too many not to ignore. While it was one of the most popular Nicktoons in the 2000's, it just doesn't do it for me anymore. I'm really disappointed and heartbroken by it because it had the potential to be a more relatable version of Dexter's Laboratory, but it doesn't do that unlike the movie. While the animation is decent and the voice acting is fantastic, this is a show that is a little bit too hard for me to recommend checking out with the exception of nostalgia.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Take care.