Friday, February 27, 2015

Death is Illogical - R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

"Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... Human."

- James Tiberius Kirk

Leonard Nimoy has died after a long battle with COPD, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.  Nimoy was best known of being Mr. Spock in the Star Trek series (the original TV show and the movies, including the last one, Into Darkness), the most logical Vulcan in the starship Enterprise. But years during and after his time doing everything Star Trek related, he did some voice work in some movies, live action or animated, such as the Atlantian King in Atlantis: The Lost Empire and as Galvatron from Transformers: The Movie and as Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Did I forget to mention that he voiced Spock on the animated Star Trek show, made by Filmation? Anyway, not only an actor, but also a stage performer, a musicial and a writer, who wrote two autobiographies about his life and his career.  He was a great actor and he was a great man and he will be miss.  Godspeed, Leonard. You have been, and always shall be, our friend.

(Vulcan handsign)

Live long...and prosper.

Leonard Simon Nimoy
(March 26, 1931 - February 27, 2015)

For more information on his life and the details on his death, click on the link below. Thank you.

This has been an ACF special bulletin

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ducktales gets a reboot on Disney XD in 2017!

Oh, lordy lord, man. I don't know what to make of this. Either they are going back to basics, or they are going to ruin our childhoods, again. Either way, we should keep an eye on any report on Disney's plans to reboot one of our favorite cartoons, Ducktales. Go to the follow link below for more information. Besides, I learn not to judge something until you see it for ourselves. But, it is best to watch this...very closely.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Toon Ninja Reviews - Avatar: The Last Airbender - Part II: Summaries of the Three Books!

Welcome back, Toonsters.

In our last part, I told you about the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender itself. But now, to fully understand the whole story, I will sum up what I know about the 3 seasons, or should I say, the 3 Books.  Unlike most shows, rather than calling them seasons, we call them Books, like we are reading a chapter of a book.  In the case of Avatar: The Last Airbender, it is so.  Before I get started, let me give you a heads up on the two versions of this awesome show. The first was the pilot itself, which was completely different from the actual show itself, from Aang and Zuko fighting on the scalpel, which was used in the Aang/Azula battle in the episode, "Return to Omashu", to Katara being originally named Kya, which was later used as the name for Katara's mother. I didn't see the whole pilot, so I don't know the whole plot other than the story.  The other were those animated shorts featuring the Avatar characters, being  "Chibi-ized", just like seeing cute versions of our favorite characters in Japanese anime, which I have seen.  And for the longest time since then, they didn't show them again.  Anyway, I am getting ahead off topic here, so let's get started on the 3 Books, shall we?

Book One - Water: This is the first story of the Avatar saga. As we stated before, the four nations lived in peace and harmony until the Fire Nation decided to occupy and take over the other nations, by force.  Without the Avatar, the Fire Nation couldn't be stopped. So much that the Fire Nation launched an attack on the Air Nomads, preventing the Avatar from being reborn, thus breaking its life cycle. 100 years later, Southern Water Tribe siblings, Sokka and Katara found someone in an iceberg.  Fearing that person would died by being frozen solid for so long, they freed the individual, only to be revealed to be an Airbender named Aang, who may look 10 years old, but because of being trapped in an iceberg, he is, in reality, 110 years old. Elsewhere in the South Pole, Zuko, the exiled prince of the Fire Nation, was in search of the Avatar. By capturing the Avatar, Zuko would restore is honor to the whole Fire Nation, including his father, Firelord Ozai.  But there is more to Zuko than just restoring your honor by capturing the Avatar, much more, evening through the experience of his uncle, Iroh.  Meanwhile, Aang was a welcomed guest in the Southern Water Tribe, much to the chagrin of Sokka.

Sokka: "Your kidding, right?"

But the peace was short lived, when the Fire Nation, black snow and all, made their move and capture Aang.  But that didn't stop Katara from going out there and saving him.  From there, she and Sokka came to save Aang.  But little that they didn't know, as the clever Airbender that he is, Aang got himself out and outsmarted Zuko and the other Firebenders.  Katara and Sokka battled valiantly against the Firebenders, but they were outnumbered.  That is, until Aang became a different person, and I do mean "Different," when his eyes and his arrow tattoos started to glow, when ended up in the Avatar State, the Avatar's true power.  Katara hoped that one day, the Avatar will return and her prayers had been answered.  After escaping Zuko, through Appa, the flying bison, Aang and his friends left the South Pole and head to Aang's home, the Southern Air Temple, where he was raised by his master and father figure, Monk Gyatso. Only the discover that the Fire Nation wiped them out, thus making Aang, at the title suggested, the last Airbender.  With renewed determination and with encouragement from his friends, Aang vowed fight the Fire Nation and bring balance back to the world. To do that, he needed to contact the last Avatar before him, Avatar Roku.  Roku warned Aang about the Sozin's Comet, the one thing the Fire Nation used to wiped out the Air Nomads and they are planning to use it to destroy the other nations, too.  And there is one other problem, while the past Avatars learned the other arts of bending within a year or so and since Aang was trapped in a iceberg for 100 years, he has to learn the other elements within a few months, before the comet itself comes and the Fire Nation will be an unstoppable force.  Throughout their adventures, Aang, Sokka and Katara travelled far and wide, meeting friend and foe alike. From the Warriors of Kyoshi Island, including Sokka's future love interest, Suki, to Aang's old friend and I do mean "Old", King Bumi of Omashu, to a group of freedom fighters, led by Jet, whose obsession in the Fire Nation's destruction, disregards any innocent life, even if some are part of the Fire Nation, but not involved in their campaign of occupation, know what I mean.  All this ends, when Aang not only finds a Waterbending master in the form of Pakku (who initially didn't want to take in Katara as his pupil until his past involving Sokka and Katara's Gran-Gran, Kana, changed his mind), but has to defend the Northern Water Tribe from the Fire Nation army, led by Zhao, who was a captain in the beginning, only to be promoted to admiral near the end.

Book Two - Earth: After saving the Northern Water Tribe from the Fire Nation and learning a thing or two about Waterbending, Aang and his friends continue their journey to stop the Fire Nation while at the same time, learn the next element, Earthbending. Meanwhile, Zuko and his uncle Iroh are now fugitives of the Fire Nation after the failed siege of the north and are being pursued by Ozai's daughter and Zuko's sister, Azula, who is as cold and calculating as her father.  After his side trips from learning the control the Avatar State (which failed miserably) to going through the Cave of Two Lovers with a bunch of singing travelers,  Aang and his friends return to Omashu, only to be taken over by the Fire Nation.  Aang wanted Bumi to teach him Earthbending, but due to what happened (that and Bumi was waiting for the right moment to strike back), Aang had to search elsewhere for another teacher.  After wading through a swamp and clearing the Avatar's good name in a local village who blamed the Avatar before Roku, Kyoshi, for the death of a warlord at the time, Aang found himself a new Earthbending teacher in the form a young, blind girl named Toph Beifong.  Although born to a rich and powerful family, Toph prefer a life of a free spirit and not being so frilly all the time.  Despite her blindness, her Earthbending helps her "see" and she is awesome.  While Aang tries to learn Earthbending, despite his problems learning it at first, Iroh teaches Zuko the true meaning of the elements while in hiding from Azula while at the same time, Zuko was trying to find himself. With Toph joining Team Avatar, Aang and his friends continue their adventures, including to an ancient library in the middle of the desert and protecting the wall that protects Ba Sing Se from a giant Fire Nation-built drill.  Afterwards, Aang and his friends ended up at the Earth Kingdom's capital city itself. Though peaceful, behind the scenes, it is secretly ruled by its secret police known as the Dai Li.  Led by Long Feng, the Dai Li makes sure that Ba Sing Se and most of the Earth Kingdom don't get involved with the war against the Fire Nation through some "persuasive" methods and keep the Earth King under tight control.  After figuring out their treachery, Aang and his friends, including Jet and his freedom fighters, fought against the Dai Li in their underground lair underneath Lake Laogai, only to see Jet died in battle after he was brainwashed by Long Feng and Aang freed him by reminding him of who he is. Later, Aang and his friends convinced the Earth King that the Dai Li was using him for their base ends and thrown Long Feng into prison. You though it was over? You are wrong. After liberating Ba Sing Se, Team Avatar went their separate ways. While Katara stayed put with the Earth King and his guard as they prepared for their attack against the Fire Nation at the day of the eclipse known as "The Day of Black Sun", Sokka visits Hakoda, his father (and Katara's, too) near the shores of Ba Sing Se, Toph returns to the Beifong home, which was revealed to be a trap by two Earthbenders her father hired to bring her back (but she escaped by creating another form of bending, Metalbending), and finally, Aang travels to find a guru who can help him control the Avatar State.  But, their separate adventures were cut short, as Azula, along with Mai and Ty Lee, disguised as Kyoshi warriors, infiltrated Ba Sing Se.  Not only freeing Long Feng and controlling the Dai Li (only to betray Long Feng in the process), but also getting rid of the Earth King's royal guard. And along the way, sending Katara into the ruins of Old Ba Sing Se, along with Zuko, who earlier failed to escape from Azula.  With the aid of Iroh, Aang eventually found Katara and Zuko, only to be surrounded by Azula and company.  To make matters worse, Zuko, who we thought embraced the teachings of his uncle and living happily with him at the tea shop he just opened, betrayed Iroh and sided with Azula. When Aang was going to use the Avatar State, Azula struck him down with lightning, nearing killing him. With the Avatar disabled for the time being and Iroh being captured due to Zuko's betrayal, Ba Sing Se has fallen to the Fire Nation and Team Avatar makes a hasty retreat...for now.

Book Three - Fire: The be all and end all of the series itself.  After their defeat back in Ba Sing Se, Team Avatar regrouped and infiltrated the heart of the Fire Nation itself, while in all the while, plan their invasion during the eclipse (which they fail miserably when Azula learn of their plans back at Ba Sing Se). Meanwhile, Zuko, after returning home after the fall of Ba Sing Se, has his own issues, too. At first, he was proud of betraying his uncle Iroh and blames him for not siding with him AND Azula back at Ba Sing Se.  But after a trip at the beach to let off some steam, so to speak, and reading about both Avatar Roku and Firelord Sozin, learning that Roku was his mother's grandfather, Zuko started to regret his own actions and started to fully embrace his uncle's teachings.  By doing so, Zuko has sacrificed his position to the throne and his heritage of the Fire Nation to join the Avatar in his quest to end the Fire Nation's invasion.  After retreating from the Fire Nation after the failed invasion, Team Avatar headed to the Western Air Temple for safety, but Zuko wasn't far behind.  Zuko eventually joined Team Avatar and became Aang's Firebending teacher after a rocky start. They slowly accepted Zuko as their friend, but Katara wasn't so thrilled about it because of what happened back at Ba Sing Se (but she finally accepted him after her quest to overcome her demons by getting back at the man who killed her mother, which she didn't cause revenge doesn't make the hurt go away).  After one prison breakout at the Boiling Rock to save both Hakoda and Suki and one clip show in the form of a parody type play by the Ember Island Players, it all comes down to this. While Sokka, Toph and Suki deal with the airfleet and Katara and Zuko confront Azula, which leads to the ultimate Agni Kai between the two fire siblings, Aang, after disappearing before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, becomes a fully-matured and powerful Avatar and confronts Firelord Ozai, who proclaimed himself as the Phoenix King. The entire world itself is on the shoulders of a not-so young boy (who looks young) who is destined to bring peace and balance back to the whole world.

And that's the three books, in a nutshell. I know I left out a few things, but as long as I mentioned about the main parts of the story, that's what counts.  Join us next time, when I talk about the characters themselves. I'll see you next time. Until then, Stay Frosty and Stay Flame-O, my friends.


(Avatar: The Last Airbender end credits play)

*Fade Out

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Baritone Has Been Silenced! The Death of Gary Owens!

Well known announcer and voice over artist, Gary Owens has died on February 12, 2014. He was 78 years old and was a diabetic, just like long time voice of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine.  Although started of as an announcer for the variety show, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Owens, to the eyes of many fans of animation like me and Stefan, baritone voice and all, was also known for doing the voices of many characters who sounded "Manly", so to speak. Characters like Roger Ramjet, whose Proton Energy Pills gives him the strength of 20 Atom Bombs for 20 seconds, Commander Feral from Swat Kats, who has strong distaste to the Swat Kats despite saving the world, Powered Toast Man, and of course, our two favorite characters he voiced, the Blue Falcon from Dynomutt: Dog Wonder and as one of Hanna-Barbera's famed superheroes in the 1960s, before being reduced to a talk show host, Space Ghost.  Whether he does announcing for comedy or talking heroically as Space Ghost, Mr. Owens' strong baritone type voice will live one forever.  He will be missed. Godspeed to you, Mr. Owens and to Space Ghost and the Blue Falcon, too.  For more information about his career and his death, click on the link below.

(TAPS plays)

Gary Bernard Altman/Gary Owens
(May 10, 1936 - February 12, 2015)

This has been a ACF special bulletin.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Toon Ninja Reviews - Avatar: The Last Airbender - Intro

(Masterpiece Theater theme plays)

Good morning, or should I say, good afternoon or evening, depending which time zone you are at. I am Rekka Dragon Jay and welcome to another episode of Toon Ninja Reviews.  Unlike the last ones, there will be no guest host this episode. I figured I do this in the style of Masterpiece Theater, well, the intro anyway, comfy chair and all that.  Anyway, let's get to the review and I think it's a toon you know all too well, a Nicktoon. Not just any Nicktoon, this one is the most action oriented in not just Nicktoons, but all animation in general.  Before there was Legend of Korra, there was...Avatar: The Last Airbender!

"Water...Earth...Fire...Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. 100 years have passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar. An Airbender named Aang. And although his Airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can save the world."

- Katara, Master Waterbender; Southern Water Tribe

(Avatar: The Last Airbender title theme plays)

From February 21, 2005 to July 19, 2008, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the finest shows that ever come of the Nicktoons library. It lasted for 3 seasons, or in this case, 3 Books, 61 episodes, the first two books had 20 episodes each, while the final book had 21. Unlike other shows like SpongeBob Squarepants and Fairly OddParents, which solely focuses on comedy, Avatar is an action themed Nicktoon, which has everything that most action cartoons and Japanese anime have: Action, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Mythology and Philosophy. Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, this legendary show gained many rewards, such as winning a dozen Annie Awards and some bumps, including the god-awful live action movie (more on that later).  Because of that, Aang became on of my favorite characters in animation and one character that I wish I could fight alongside with, as well as XJ9/Jenny and Danny Phantom.  But, I am getting ahead of myself here, so, let's get started, shall we?

As our favorite wise and noble Waterbender has mention: A long time ago, the entire world was in peace and the Four Nations live in perfect harmony. These nations consist on:

The Air Nomads: 4 Air Temples ruled by Airbending Monks, mostly peaceful because of their pacifist nature.

The Water Tribe: A tribe that live in both North and South Poles.  While the Southern Tribe are poor villagers, the Northern Tribe is a shining kingdom in the North. But they do have one thing in common, Waterbenders, who can bend both water and ice, whether it's to make or destroy or heal.

The Earth Kingdom: The biggest nation in all the world, where the battle hardened Earthbenders come from. It is ruled by two cities, the kindom of Omashu and its capital city and the heart of the Earth Kingdom, Ba Sing Se. And finally, we got...

The Fire Nation: An island nation, ruled by Firebenders. Although an industrial powerhouse, it is their dark, troubled history is what started their occupation in all the other nations.

The last Avatar around that time, Avatar Roku, originally from the Fire Nation, was the world's last hope. But, he vanished as the world needed him the most. By dying, the Avatar lifecycle continued to another Bender from another nation. But to prevent the Avatar from returning, the Fire Nation launched an attack on the Air Nomads. Little that they didn't know, one Airbender survived, but he wasn't seen or heard from for 100 years...until now.

Somewhere in the South Pole, Southern Water Tribe siblings Katara and Sokka uncovered an iceberg, that contained a young boy, who turned out to be, hence the title, the last Airbender.  They freed him and the first thing he wanted was penguin-sledding.  Anyway, the boy's name is Aang and he may not look it, but because of being in that iceberg, he is 110 years old, despite looking 10, as he was originally was 100 years ago.  Now free to travel, Aang, along with his friends travel to many cities, meeting friends and foes alike from Suki to King Bumi to Jet to Toph and so on and so forth while dealing with the Fire Nation itself and embracing his destiny as the Avatar, the one being who will bring peace and balance back to the entire world.

And that's the plot of the whole series itself. But it's not the end of the review.  This review is so epic, it must divided into multiple parts.  So, tune in next time, when I talk about the 3 seasons, or in this case, the 3 books, in a nutshell.  Don't worry folks, this review will be worth it. Until next time.

(bows; Fade Out)

(Avatar: The Last Airbender end credits play)

*Fade to Black

Friday, February 6, 2015

Top 20 Greatest Disney Animated Show Themes.

Let's face it,the theme music of Disney's animated shows are catchy,memorable,and great. But only a select few can be called The Greatest! And here they are:

Special Mention: Talespin

#20 - Wander Over Yonder
#19 - The Proud Family
#18 - Hercules: The Animated Series
#17 - Aladdin:The Series
#16 - The Emperor's New School
#15 - Dave The Barbarian
#14 - The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
#13 - The Adventures of the Gummi Bears
#12 - Goof Troop
#11 - Quack Pack
#10 - Timon and Pumbaa
#09 - Pepper Ann
#08 - Gargoyles
#07 - Mighty Ducks
#06 - Phineas and Ferb
#05 - Chip n' Dale's Rescue Rangers
#04 - Darkwing Duck
#03 - Ducktales
#02 - W.I.T.C.H.
#01 - Kim Possible

These Songs are,without question,the best of the best when it comes to Disney Animated TV Themes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Naming Winter Storms is a No-No! A Rekka Dragon Exclusive!

Winter: The one season of the year we get the one form of weather we get which comes every now and then, Snow, even when its in a form of a winter storm or a blizzard.  For the longest time, we usually keep in track with winter storms through the years in formed. But, as of 2 years ago, all that changed because of one man.  His name is Tom Niziol, the so-called winter weather expert on The Weather Channel, whose devilish smile speaks volumes.  Before I get to the subject at hand, let me tell you about my history with The Weather Channel.  As a kid, I use to watch it all the time because of their non-stop coverage of weather forecasting.  But, ever since going High-Def, those days are over. Now owned by NBC, The Weather Channel is driven by few things that gives rating more than saving lives unless necessary, scientific gobbidy-gook (e.g. Cold Pocket Aloft) and reality shows that have nothing to do with the weather.  And now, you could add naming winter storms to that list, which is the subject I will talk about now. 

This winter storm naming thing was revealed two years ago and it give nothing but mixed results. Why? I mean, look at the names, some mostly based on Greek and Roman names. "And what's animation got to do with this?", you ask. Because some of the names, though they deny it, were taken from fictional characters, such as Gandolf from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and of course, the pride and joy of Hanna-Barbera, Yogi Bear.  And as of February 2, 2014, you could add Linus, the little boy with the blanket, who is best friends with Charlie Brown and is wise beyond his years, to that list of fictional characters who became The Weather Channel's scapegoats in their attempt to boost their ratings.

I tell you why this winter storm naming game is a bad idea. Because,

1. It will ruin the characters' name and character forever and those preachy moral guardian soccer moms will think names like Linus or Orko is bad for the kids. And...

2. There is a news station in Connecticut that is naming winter storms and that is WFSB, but their winter storm names are different than those of TWC and this cause confusion.

You see, this is why winter storms are better off unnamed. If one news organization names one winter storm and the other one names it another, this will give us mixed messages.  Many people don't like this idea one bit, even the NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association agrees that they don't recognize naming winter storms either. Stick with naming tropical storms and hurricanes, those make perfect sense.  This why we need to tell TWC and Tom Niziol to stop naming winter storms, before more fictional characters become more scapegoats for ratings. God forbid they name a winter storm after Elsa. Talk about the sign of the apocalypse right there.  Until next time, Stay frosty, figuratively and quite literally.  And...


(Linus and Lucy plays)

*Fade Out

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Random Conspiracy Theory About Queen Elsa

This stupid thought has been going though my head for a while now. A conspiracy theory that is completely random,yet in a way,makes sense. Is Queen Elsa the Love Child Of Rosalina and Sub-Zero? Yeah,you heard right. Lets look at the facts: Both Rosalina and Elsa have platinum blonde hair and blue eyes.

Both Sub-Zero and Elsa have Ice Powers. Both Elsa and Sub-Zero can do amazing stuff with their ice powers. Both Rosalina and Elsa wear dresses that are the same color. Add that to the fact that Tons of people often compare Rosalina and Elsa and even pair the 2 in art.

And here is another thing,Elsa's hair color is very different from both her Sister,Anna,and the King and Queen. Plus she has Ice Powers...Anna and The Royal's don't. So Elsa must've inherited them from another..and that man may be Sub-Zero. Elsa also has God-like powers..powers she might've inherited from Rosalina,who's a Goddess in her Universe.

How Sub-Zero and Rosalina met? and How did Elsa end up where and when she did? I'll leave all that up to you. So in conclusion,I think this crazy theory has merit. Wouldn't you say?