Media Hunter and TV Trash: Donkey Kong Country TV Show Crossover Review

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Isaac: Geez, Rowdy. You thought THAT
was as ridiculous as it could get? *sigh*
If only you were here right now… Rowdy: Okay, I’m taking no chances after ConBravo
– is this my room? Isaac: Life is good sometimes. Rowdy: Oh hey, my old review of Supercade. Yeah, the 80s had some really dumb cartoons
based off of video games. Man, I dealt with some bad ones in ten years of reviewing bad TV shows. And you know what? Sometimes I think I still haven’t scraped the bottom of the barrel! What? I’ve just backed myself into a crossover review, didn’t I? Why did I think finally coming to these cons
was a good idea? Isaac: What would you get if you took a bad video game cartoon from the 1980s, but instead put it in the 1990s? Rowdy: You’d get my nightmares
for the next three weeks? Yeah, remember long ago when I said Nintendo backed off from making cartoons about their games after the Super Mario World cartoon bombed? Turns out that wasn’t exactly correct. First, some backstory. In the mid 90s, Nintendo gave their flagship character’s first ever nemesis a much-needed makeover and face turn with the release of the Donkey Kong Country video game for the Super NES, which was all about the titular stupid ape and his little buddy Diddy Kong looking to reclaim his fabled banana hoard from a kingdom of evil crocodiles called the Kremlings. To be honest, the platformer still holds up
pretty good today. It really pushed the boundaries for what a 16-bit game could do graphically. And it ranks right up there with the Super Mario games of the time for having plenty of hidden puzzles and secret levels that make replaying the game never dull. Isaac: The success of the game led to two sequels
on the Super Nintendo, and they all had Game Boy ports
under the Donkey Kong Land title. However, prior to the release of the third game
on Super Nintendo on November 1996, Nelvana Limited, with the aid of various studios, created a show for French audiences on September
of that year. It later aired in Canada on October of 1997. Rowdy: Oh wait, this wasn’t made for American audiences? Not my jurisdiction, BYE-EE! Isaac: It later aired in the US on Fox Kids
the following year. Rowdy: I catch worse breaks than the Rangers.
Okay, so how bad does this thing get? Isaac: Well, let’s start with the fact that this is a show where you might not be able to know the true episode order if you never saw this show in its first run. Going by three different wiki sites – Wikipedia, the Donkey Kong Wiki and of the Mario Wiki – (because of course if anything shows up in the Mario universe, it has to show up in their wiki) they list all 40 episodes in different orders. Even better, while Wikipedia and the DK Wiki show them being part of two seasons, the Mario Wiki lists them as three seasons! Rowdy: And I thought Turtlepedia was all screwed up with the first TMNT series. Isaac: The most likely first episode may be the one stated as such by the Mario and DK wikis AND episode lists on YouTube: Bad Hair Day. As it opens with this huge exposition dump
from Cranky Kong, who for the record is supposedly the original Donkey Kong from the arcade game and grandfather of the current title character. He goes on about how his grandkid is the protector and future king of the island of Kongo Bongo. Rowdy: They… they named their homeland…
Kongo BONGO. How do you take the concept of KongoLAND from Captain N and make it even dumber? Isaac: They took a lot of BONG hits? Rowdy: I might have thought of that pun if my brain wasn’t atrophying right now. Isaac: Oh, it gets better. The show creators seemed to think a war with crocodiles over bananas wasn’t enough to carry an animated series. So here, the Kongs are the guardians of this magical Macguffin called the Crystal Coconut, which King K Rool is always looking to steal and give him enough power to rule all the land. Rowby: Yep. They’re ripping off
the Legend of Zelda cartoon. And yes, K Rool is pretty much Ganon in this series
as he himself has magical powers at his disposal. As the main plot of this episode is about him cursing DK to lose his strength when his hair gets cut. So, they’re also ripping off an old episode
of the Alf cartoon.. How many 80s animated series
are you looking to steal from? Isaac: Good lord, what is up with his head? That’s still shaped in the form of his hair. Like, how do you even describe such a thing? And this isn’t even scratching the surface
with this series. Rowdy: Don’t tell me that wasn’t the worst episode. Isaac: That wasn’t the worst episode. Rowdy: I asked you not to tell me that. Isaac: Well, during the second episode, in which Cranky makes a potion to make himself younger so he can beat King K Rool Donkey Kong ends up drinking the potion himself and he gets turned into a baby. A really ugly baby, and Diddy has to pretend that he’s someone else in front of Candy Kong. Rowdy: You know what? How about you just read off how many stock plots this show is going to rip off? Isaac: Okay! Well, in what might have been the first episode…somewhere… Diddy turns himself invisible by wishing on the Crystal Coconut, because that’s how powerful the coconut is. There’s an episode where DK gets amnesia
and thinks he’s a pirate; an episode where K Rool makes a love potion
to make DK and Candy his slaves; an episode where Diddy learns what their names mean; Isaac: Okay I made that one up. But what I’m not making up is when they pretty much parodied It’s a Wonderful Life! Rowdy: How did this show get passed over by
Totally Spies for everyone’s go-to fetish cartoon? Meanwhile, it also turns out that one tribe of crocodiles wasn’t enough to carry the show, as there is also a group of croc pirates whose captain claims to have originally possessed the crystal and left it on Kongo Bongo in the temple
of the island god Inka Dinka Doo who eventually gave it to Donkey Kong upon declaring HIM the future ruler of Bongo – I think. Isaac: All of this was mashed together in a direct-to-VHS movie that took clips from a handful of episodes and gave it the same title as the first season finale,
The Legend Of The Crystal Coconut. Rowdy: Yep, they’re not only ripping off concepts
from cartoons from the 80s, they’re taking concepts from Galactica 1980!
You could not fail harder if you tried! So OK, let’s talk about the animation. Yes, they are going with the same 3D CGI style that was used in the game, which sounds like a good idea on paper. But really makes you wonder what they were thinking when you see it in real life. It worked in the game
because it was a huge step forward from the even more pixelated graphics of most console video games we were used to seeing back then. But when applying it to TV animation? Look, you know I’m not some militant 2D animation purist. But if you’re going with 3D animation, you gotta go with the high-quality stuff that a major movie would normally use. Or else… yeah, Uncanny Valley territory. And I would use the excuse that this was one of the first times it was used for TV, except things haven’t gotten that much better since. Isaac: The characters have this habit of constantly moving about, usually in place, and a lot of it might be caused by them using motion capture for most of their movement. It was considered to be the first full-length animated show to use motion capture technology, and it shows given how some of the models
clip into themselves. Krusha is a good example of this,
as his arm joints seem to be merged into his torso! And least I forget, Donkey Kong’s teeth! I swear, he seems to be like Toothless the dragon
where he just has gums, but then his teeth can come out whenever he’s angry or something. Surprisingly, this is something that carries over
into some other games he’s in. But here, it’s especially uncanny given the animation. Rowdy: As for those characters,
most of them were in the game: DK, his buddy Diddy, Cranky, their friend Funky,
and DK’s crush Candy. But Candy seems to be the one
who got the most change, and she goes from dressing like Daisy May
to Daisy Duke. And as for her personality? Let’s just say they found a way to make DK and Candy’s relationship MORE annoying than Link and Zelda from THAT cartoon! Isaac: But we also have one, maybe two new Kongs? The first is Eddie the Mean Old Yeti, who is usually causing trouble whenever he shows up. I mean, he is “mean” after all, but is otherwise
not that big of a threat, though whether or not you consider him a Kong is something we have to leave up to the wiki. The more prominent new character we have though
is Bluster Kong. He’s the owner of a barrel factory that Candy works for, and is constantly trying to hit on her. Rowdy: So he’s basically Mr. Spacely from The Jetsons mixed with Leisure Suit Larry and then made into an ape. Joy. Isaac: Now for the Kremlings, only they aren’t called that in this show. We have our main baddy King K Rool, who is pompous and very full of himself. We have his loyal but bumbling general, Klump; the dimwitted musclehead Krusha, and they have a bunch of Kritters for their army. One of their main weapons is a gun that shoots out Klaptraps that are normal-sized one minute, but they seem to disappear whenever they tear up wood like they’re freaking termites. Rowdy: So how do most of K Rool’s plans turn out? If you watched action cartoons from the 90s,
you can probably guess. Rowdy: There is so much taken from cartoons like the Super Mario Brothers Super Show, it’s not even funny. In addition to the standard bumbling villain
and his even more bumbling lackeys, we of course have to get a really bad theme song
that tries way too hard to be hip. Isaac: And how about a bad catchphrase
for the main character? Rowdy: Nope. “Let’s Get Warty” is still worse. Isaac: But really, there’s only one thing
that could truly make it special: if they add in one or two songs in each episode! Oh gawd, the songs. Many are pretty much original
and I admit, many aren’t badly sung. And I especially love DK’s voice a lot of the time. Isaac: However, a lot of the time the songs
can feel forced. Like they had to have a song play no matter what,
even if it makes no sense to have one! Hell, some even come right the heck out of nowhere! Rowdy: I guess you could give the creators credit
for trying to be original when Super Mario and Captain N only used covers of pop songs for background noise. But yeah, let’s just say we aren’t talking Phineas and Ferb territory with some of these numbers. Isaac: Choreography in the songs also tends to have the same issues with the animation as it normally does with awkward movements
that can be memed like crazy. Isaac: Oh but least we forget, during this one love song that DK and Candy have, we have this lovely treasure: Isaac: I knew his Coconut gun fired in spurts,
but I didn’t think this is what they meant! Rowdy: All of it was enough for the show to get 40 episodes total over two or three seasons, possibly because Fox Kids was just starting up
and desperate for material. Isaac: It did air on TV Tokyo for a bit starting in 1999, but the show has more or less been thrown into obscurity ever since. Rowdy: And at least we never got to see any mention of this show in video game lore ever again. Isaac: They used the Crystal Coconut
for power-ups in DK 64. Rowdy: WHERE WAS NINTENDO’S BRAIN
AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY??? This show was if someone binged on the video game cartoons of the 80s ten years later and decided they KNEW they could make some that were even more pandering! The stories can vary, and they admittedly aren’t much more basic than their predecessors, but it doesn’t help at all that the animation is really creepy at times and they too often just throw too much at you! It’s not as bad as Battletoads, but it’s beyond skippable. Isaac: I can agree to most of that. They try so much to add variation to their stories, but they come off hammy, uncanny and so on –
and not helped by the bad animation. Yet, every so often, I do get a laugh out of the few lines or bits that stand out. There are some good jokes here and there,
and the bad animation does kinda enhance it a bit. Maybe it’s because I tend to find this stuff funnier
in small doses, but I almost see this as a “so bad it’s good” kind of show. It’s definitely not for everyone and your mileage will vary, but if you’re into this sort of stuff,
you may find it humorous. Rowdy: Eh? Well, I suppose there isn’t any possible way they could have made it even worse. Rowdy: *repeatedly yelling NO* Isaac: Well, I’m the Media Hunter,
and I’m gonna get some banana puddin’.

 

35 Responses

  1. Marney Olson

    February 4, 2020 12:30 am

    So THAT’S what Media Hunter looks like…
    Cool! 😊

    This show is my guilty pleasure being a Donkey Kong fan. And don’t diss DK64.😂

    Reply
  2. Hewy Toonmore

    February 4, 2020 12:40 am

    YES!!! I was wondering when you guys were going to do a crossover!! 😀 Also, the whole myth of losing one's strength when getting their hair cut comes from Samson.

    Reply
  3. Tommy Deonauth's Archives

    February 4, 2020 2:46 am

    I was hoping you'd do a crossover with TV Trash for a Animal Themed TV show! This one was a long time coming!

    I used love watching the DKC cartoon on Teletoon when I was growing up. It was one of my favorite shows to watch alongside the 1990's Addams Family cartoon and Pippi Longstocking. And to this day… I don't completely hate this show… I watched some episodes on YouTube back in 2011 and enjoyed my time with with them. Sure the animation hasn't aged well, the plots are cookie cutter, and the songs were forgettable, but I still had some fun times with it. A series guilty pleasure for me.

    Also, I hope that one day, TV Trash tackles Superbowl LIII. That would make for a great review. Because if I can't get Matt McMuscles to do it, I'll settle for the next best thing.

    Reply
  4. MikeyInsanity

    February 4, 2020 2:47 am

    The Big Bog Monster is coming after you.
    You better run or its face will make you scream until you're blue.

    Reply
  5. Ricks Martinez

    February 4, 2020 6:03 am

    Not why not review Tak & the power of juju tv series? Not too many people speaks of it witch is very unfortunate for me & interesting reviewers out there mate please review it that's my request farewell for now.

    Reply
  6. Shiny Neko

    February 4, 2020 9:16 pm

    Hey Media Hunter, could you review the Silverwing animated TV series? (based on the books by Kenneth Opple) Because I don't hear a lot of people talking about it despite how popular the books are.

    You can find all the episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNT0arYyhSf0qP3m246PPw8EGDofKLPA7

    Reply
  7. David Kerr

    February 5, 2020 7:12 am

    You forgot about Dixie Kong although it’s probably because she overshadowed by the rest of the cast and I think she had only one episode where she had some focus with Klump but that’s it unless their are other episodes I forgot about.

    Reply
  8. sequoyah smithsfan

    February 5, 2020 4:36 pm

    I do remember watching this show at kindergarten school where we watch on VHS tape, so that’s why I remember it existed.

    Reply
  9. Alex’s Animation World

    February 7, 2020 3:33 am

    Did Media Hunter ever reveal his face before this because he’s kind of treating it like small occurrence since he usually used a Video Game Avatar.
    Edit: Oh wait this was uploaded early so I guess it’s not that’s small of an occurrence.

    Reply
  10. Geralenn Gevertas

    February 8, 2020 5:35 am

    Noo See Youu Nam Noo I.m See Youu 2018 And 2019 I.m Love It See Youu Iss Woww Noww I.m See Youu Nam Noo

    Reply
  11. ProfCoolio

    February 9, 2020 6:19 am

    So I guess I rool wears a crown to hide the similar shaped growth on his head?
    I’m just trying to come up with a creative reason as to why he still has one when the original is surrounding him

    Reply

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