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Author Topic: Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars - War of the Warts  (Read 5177 times)
Kooshmeister
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« on: May 03, 2007, 10:51:56 PM »

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars is a (for the most part) long-forgotten cartoon show from 1992 which attempts to do a Star Wars/Star Trek hybrid involving talking furry animals. It began as a very bizarre comic book involving a heroic green hare, the titular Captain Bucky O'Hare, and his crew of mammal freedom fighters battling the forces of the evil Toad Empire in an alternate dimension known as the Aniverse. Into the midst of this was thrown Willy DuWitt, a nerdy human boy from "our" universe, thanks to some extremely contrived circumstances. The comic was undermined, though, by its excessively terrifying character designs, particularly for the main cast.

It spawned the TV series which debuted in the UK on the BBC before coming over to America, which wisely toned down the freaky Larry Hama artwork considerably to make the characters more cuddly and kid-friendly. It debuted with a three-part pilot miniseries consisting of three episodes named after famous films: "War of the Warts" (The War of the Worlds), "A Fistful of Simoleans" (A Fistful of Dollars) and "The Good, the Bad and the Warty" (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). After this came ten more episodes and then the series was cancelled due to poor ratings and even worse merchandising. Luckily, though, the writers actually managed to finish the main storyline of the series, so the finale of the first and only season, "The Taking of Pilot Jenny," manages to provide an actual end for the story. This is more than can be said for the ill-fated Pirates of Dark Water. Bucky O'Hare saw the release of its entire series on videotape around 1993, and recently was also put out on DVD in the UK complete with the original shooting scripts as bonus materials. Although largely forgotten, it has its fans, namely a group of people who are continuing the storyline of the show as a series of well-written fan scripts that together constitute what they call the Web Series. And to this day, non-fans who remember it seem to compare it endlessly to Star Fox.

Bucky O'Hare is a show I got involved with in a fairly uneventful fashion. I just decided to rent one of the tapes at Blockbuster when I was living back in Texas, and I was instantly hooked. I even bought some of the action figures. Then I forgot about it for a while. But my reintroduction to SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron opened up the floodgates and put me on the path to rediscovering all the lost favorites of my childhood, including Darkwing Duck (which I subsequently came to despise for the most part), Pirates of Dark Water, Tale Spin, and ultimately Bucky O'Hare. I got the UK DVD and even managed to download a few of the episodes online and voila, I feel I'm ready to at least tackle the pilot miniseries.

I'll be including screenshots from the episodes as well, just to provide some interesting visual stuff. :)

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars - Episode One, War of the Warts
Written by Christy Marx

After the lengthy, annoyingly catchy opening theme song we begin with a shot of a toad slave ship flying through an asteroid field accompanied by a small squadron of toad fighters, which are called Double Bubbles. All of the toad ships, from the two-toad Double Bubbles on up to the largest ship of them all, the toad mothership, resemble toads themselves. It's quite silly and severely detracts from the overall menace of the toads. Speaking of the mothership, that's where the slave ship is going: the "mouth" of the mothership opens up, revealing the hangar bay, and the slave ship and accompanying fighters fly in. The ship's jaws close after them.

Cut to the interior of the mothership, where we find Frix and Frax sitting glued to a television set. Frix and Frax are two nearly identical high-ranking toad officers, disitnguishable primarily due to Frix's giant Jay Leno chin. All of the toads are addicted to Toad TV, which seems to play nothing but commercials for really shoddy products, and at the moment Frix and Frax are watching one for something called Warts Galore. A female toad (Verruca the supermodel, who appears sporadically in a few other episodes) rubs cream onto a male toad's face, whereupon he immediately breaks out in warts.

Suddenly Frax grabs the TV and kisses it sloppily, crooning, "Verruca, my darling! Marry me!" Frix yanks him back and snarls that he's "slobberin' all over the screen!" Suddenly a short, fat toad officer in a bronze uniform covered in dozens of medals appears behind them. This is the Toad Air Marshall, the supreme commander of the toad military forces, and he's got a bad case of the Napoleon Syndrome going on. And throughout this episode at least, his dialogue is intersped with gross croaking and burping noises.

Grabbing Frix and Frax by their collars, he lifts them up and then throws them down, scolding them, "Your addiction to Toad TV is unhealthy!" Hurriedly, they go "No, Air Marshall!" and "Yes, Air Marshall!". And we get our first animation blooper here: First, Frax is on the left and Frix is on the right, but when the Air Marshall comes up behind them, Frax is now on the right and Frix is on the left, but in the very next shot when the Air Marshall grabs them, they're back to the way they were to begin with.



They then get up and follow him into the hangar bay, where the slave ship has landed and armored toad soldiers, called "Stormtoads," are forcing captive hares in chains from the hold at gunpoint. The Air Marshall enthuses, "It isn't every day I conquer and enslave an entire planet, let alone the homeworld of my greatest enemy, Bucky O'Hare!"

We then cut to elsewhere, where we find Bucky's ship, the Righteous Indignation. Besides Bucky himself, a green-furred hare in an all-red uniform including an aviator's cap with goggles (!) and a showy cape, there is also Jenny, the pink-haired feline pilot who also knows magic (more on this in a second), Deadeye, the four-armed, one-eyed duck gunner, Blinky, the Android First Class (or AFC for short), a short, cycloptic robot, and Bruce, the chief engineer who is a Beetlegeusian Beserker Baboon. As the ship cruises along, Jenny leans over to Bucky and tells him she's got a fix on a distress signal they've been tracing, apparently for some time now. It's coming from inside a toad slave ship. I'm assuming it's coming from the captured hares on board, but how are they sending it, and why isn't it also alerting the toads?

We are shown the vessels in question on a small screen: a single toad slave ship accompanied by six Double Bubbles. Bucky, unimpressed by the number of escort fighters, activates an intercom with the rest of the ship and alerts his crew, to who we are introduced one by one: "Attention all hands, battle stations! Getting ready for some righteous toad tag with a swarm of toad fighters." Deadeye is the first to react, as he drops what he's doing and runs over to man the "maser" cannons (as opposed to laser cannons) on the nose of the ship. We'll soon learn that Deadeye is a little, shall we say, trigger-happy. "Them's magic words, Bucky me boy," he growls in a thick stereotypical pirate drawl, "it's been too long since old Deadeye got to croak some toadies!"

Bucky next demands an update from engineering, and below in the engine room we find Blinky and Bruce working on the photon accelerator, the device that (apparently) controls the ship's hyperdrive. Bruce is eating bananas and tossing the peels carelessly over his shoulder. Blinky picks one up and sticks it in a small compartment in his chest. The small robot informs Bucky, "Chief Engineer Bruce deeply involved in contemplation of photon accelerator," whereupon Bruce angrily hits the thing with a wrench and snarls, "What a pile of junk!"



He explains to Bucky, "I don't like the sound of this photon accelerator, Captain. In fact, a part of this machine ain't even in the same space-time continuum with us." Now there's some rocky exposition. Bucky, looking annoyed, tells him to "put it on a back burner." Bruce says he doesn't like it but does as instructed. Bucky then informs Jenny to take Bruce and form a boarding party and take over the slave ship, while he and Deadeye take care of the Double Bubbles. As the Righteous Indignation charges into battle, her entire crew shouts the battlecry they'll utter for the entire series, "Let's croak toads!"

This brazen act does not go unnoticed by the pilots of the Double Bubbles, and the toad squadron leader (distinguishable from the rest by his deeper, gruffer voice) alerts his wingmen to the incoming mammal ship: "Enemy ship in sector four and closing. Prepare to blast 'em into mammal mush." A fairly uninteresting space battle follows: the Double Bubbles turn and fire at the Righteous Indignation, but Bucky, at the controls, dodges. Yelling for the toads to "eat hot ions," Deadeye wings one of the fighters, which goes spinning out of control. The Righteous Indignation flies dangerously close to the slave ship, and one of the pursuing Double Bubbles fires, misses, and hits the hull of the slave ship instead, prompting the squadron leader to yell, "Stop firing! You'll damage the cargo!"

On board the mammal ship, Bucky presses a button, and a panel opens in the side of the Righteous and Jenny and Bruce emerge wearing space helmets and riding on the Toad Croaker, a small two-person vehicle shaped like a shoe that is designed to land on enemy troops and squash them. They fly towards the slave ship. Deadeye zaps two more Double Bubbles, which explode, their pilots ejecting in small egg-shaped pods. Bucky congratulates Deadeye on his aim, to which the duck responds, "I could out this lot with three arms tied behind me back," and kicks back in his seat and makes a mark with a piece of chalk on the wall next to him. The Righteous flies away from the slave ship with the remaining three Double Dubbles, including the squadron leader, in pursuit. The squadron leader snarls, "You toads are fightin' like a bunch of tadpoles! Mash those mammals!"



Meanwhile, Jenny and Bruce blast their way through the hull of the slave ship, prompting alarms to go off through the ship. On the bridge, two toad pilots in baseball caps (one of them reading a book of some kind with the title on the back cover!) react to the alarms and one of them yells into a microphone, telling the "security team" to get to airlock three on the double. The security team consists of exactly five Stormtoads armed with what looks like flame-throwers. As they take up their positions in the hallway outside the airlock door, they snicker at the idea of "a couple of dumb furballs takin' us on," with one even going, "Wait'll they open up the airlock and see us waitin' for 'em!" One of them walks up to the airlock door and bangs on it, yelling, "Surrender in the name of the Toad Empire!"



Something bangs back on the other side, and the door falls inward and lands on top of Stormtoad #1. Bruce steps into the hallway and growls, "Are you talkin' to me?"

The four Stormtoads react with sheer terror at the sight of Bruce, because, as will be delved into later on in the series, the toads are instinctually afraid of the baboons. With a unanimous cry of "A Beetlegeusian Berserker Baboon!" the panicking Stormtoads all try to run in the same direction at once, crash into one another, and then managed to collect themselves and tear ass down the hallway. Bruce, yelling the baboon warcry of "Ayooooga!" (I know, I know...) charges after them. And although the animation here in the first three episodes is still ten times better than it is in the rest of the series, there's still a fair share of bloopers, like here with Bruce chasing the Stormtoads: We see the Stormtoads run off down the hall and trample one of their number underfoot in the process, then Bruce jumps into frame and runs after them; then it cuts to a reverse angle and suddenly Bruce is back to standing on the airlock door, and we see him start chasing them again.

So anyway Bruce runs off after the fleeing Stormtoads. Jenny then enters the ship, stepping on the airlock door as the first Stormtoad attempts to pull himself out from underneath it. She yells for Bruce to wait, but he's already out of earshot. "Baboons," she sighs, "you can't do anything with them when they're berserk." She climbs a handy ladder that definitely wasn't there a couple of seconds ago to an upper level of the ship.



Immediately she is confronted by what the script identifies as a Guardroid, which resembles a robotic version of a Stormtoad. It tells her she is under arrest and not to resist. Now, Jenny's outfit consists of extremely tightfitting silver armor worn over a black bodysuit and she has red jewels called spellgems placed at several intervals throughout: one on the forehead of her helmet, one on each arm, one on her belt buckle, and one on either thigh. These, obviously, give her magic powers, and they begin to glow as she tells the Guardroid, "I wasn't thinking so much of resisting as... dismantling."

She fires a blast of magical pink energy at the Guardroid, and after a second the robot toad collapses into spare parts on the floor, leaving only its legs standing. Jenny then turns and zaps a closed door, but instead of getting destroyed the door opens. Gotta love that similar-looking but multipurpose magic.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 06:11:39 AM »

If I were a rabbit, I don't think I'd be hanging around with a cat.  That's just asking for it.
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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 06:21:14 PM »

As Jenny enters the bridge, two uniformed toads are standing on either side of the doorway with laser pistols. They relax when they see Jenny. The first toad says, "It's okay, she's only a cat!" His friend then explains, "We thought you was gonna be a Berserker Baboon. What a relief!" Balling up her fist, Jenny says, "I do believe I'm being insulted." She punches the second toad in the mouth and then turns and gives the first guy a swift kick to the groin. Both toads collapse to the floor. With a contemptuous, "Hmmph. Toads," Jenny goes and seats herself behind the controls and proceeds to turn the slave ship around.



Back to the space battle, well space pursuit really. The Righteous Indignation is still being dogged by the three Double Bubbles who fire relentlessly at it. They remain directly behind the ship, clear of Deadeye's guns. Or so Deadeye informs us when he tells Bucky, "They've gotten wise! They're stayin' clear of me shootin' zone!" Bucky, up on the bridge alone, says he knows and that their shields are taking a pounding, but that they've got to lead the Double Bubbles "as far away from the slave ship as we can!" Um, why? It's already been established the toads can't fire on it for fear of damaging the "cargo."

Well, so far the episode has been a fairly corny but nonetheless entertaining furry animal version of Star Wars. But all that's about to go down the toilet because we suddenly cut away from the action in outer space to go to a nondescript school in San Franciso, California. Here we are introduced to Willy DuWitt, boy genius. He's a typical nerd stereotyipe, with large glasses and messy blonde hair and for some reason dresses in a generic team shirt, jeans and sneakers. Willy carries his books to his locker and stops as he finds the word "Nerd" spraypainted on it. He is just reacting to this when three older boys come up to him on skateboards. This is school bully Doug McKenna and his two friends, Jeff and Mark. Doug calls Willy "Weird Willy" and asks him if he likes his "new locker dork-a-ration," prompting Willy to try and sound tough by going, "Doug McKenna. I thought so. 'Nerd' must've been the only word short enough for you to spell."



Needless to say, Doug doesn't take too kindly to this. Calling Willy a "smart mouth," he warns him not to make such good grades in math and science class, since it's making it real hard for him and his deadbeat friends to keep up. Willy protests that math and science are easy as Doug, Jeff and Mark back him up against his locker. This kid is just asking for a beating. Doug simply warns Willy to get an F on the big science test coming up next week, "or I'm gonna wipe your nose off of your face!" He makes a fist threateningly and Willy closes his eyes. When he opens them two seconds later, the three bullies have magically (and soundlessly!) vanished.

We're left to wonder what sort of school allows the students to have boards in the halls, or puts kids Willy's age in with obvious teenagers like Doug and his posse, as we thankfully return to the action going on in the Aniverse. Bucky finally decides to get rid of the three pursuing Double Bubbles by performing a "backward loop," flying the Righteous Indignation up, then back over the three toad fighters, and ending up behind them. With a cry of, "Eat masers, you wart-covered filth-suckers!" Deadeye opens fire and manages to destroy all three ships. But because this is a kid's show, all of the toad pilots manage to eject in their little escape pods, regardless of how violently their Double Bubbles explode.



The toad squadron leader, floating around in his pod, shakes his fist angrily and yells at Bucky, "Filthy long-earred rodent! When the Air Marshall learns of this outrage--" But Bucky cuts him off: "You can tell the Air Marshall that Captain Bucky O'Hare of the Righteous Indignation demands an immediate withdrawal of all toad military vessels from mammal space, or he'll face the fury of the United Animal Space Fleet!"

We cut back to the toad mothership, where we find a lone Stormtoad racing down a hallway. He bursts into the office of the Toad Air Marshall, where the supreme commander of the toad fleet is... watching a commercial for Warts Galore. Oy. The Stormtoad messenger hurriedly babbles that Bucky O'Hare has freed their last slave ship and destroyed a bunch of their fighters, news with severely p**ses the Air Marshall off. "Bucky O'Hare? Bucky O'Hare?! Every time I turn around that infernal hare has struck again!" roars the Air Marshall who, pretty intimidating for a midget, walks over and smacks the Stormtoad across the room. The Stormtoad, cowering, gets up and says, "The unmentionable mammal threatened us with a United Animal Space Fleet!" This fleet is news to the Air Marshall, but he is unimpressed: "So, the stinking little hairballs have raised a fleet, have they? I'll crush them!" He then orders for every single fighter sent out to scour space until they find and destroy Bucky O'Hare.

We cut back to the toad slave ship now. Bucky and Jenny walk down the hall (lotta hallways in this show) and approach a set of double doors. As they are about to enter, Jenny warns Bucky to prepare himself for the worst and that what he sees beyond will be very hard for him to take. He asks her what she means whereupon the doors open and Bucky is greeted by a mob of cheering hares, most of them green like him but a few who are white or brown. They grab Bucky and proceed to bodysurf him, lifting him up and throwing him up and down while cheering. Finally, they set him down. Initially, he is overjoyed, but then horror grows on him: "No. It can't be!"

An old grey hare comes forward and says, "Yes, the toads have conquered Warren, our homeworld. All the others were taken to be slaves in toad factories. We were the last." Bucky, furious, declares that the toads "have gone too far," and that "No fly-sucking, slimey, croakin' piece of sludge is takin' over my planet!" Yeah, it's all fun and games until the bad guys conquer your home planet, huh Bucky? He turns to storm out but is stopped by a younger green hare about his own age who begs him, "Be true to your mission, and save the rest of the Aniverse! Go to the Council of Genus at once, warn them of the terrible danger!" The other hares agree, and so it is unanimously decided that they should head to Genus, the Coruscant of the Aniverse.

Now we once again leave the interesting part of the story and go back to San Franciso, where we find Willy at home eating dinner with his parents, David and, er, "Sunshine" DuWitt. As if his mother's name wasn't already an indication, their dialogue throughout this scene will hint strongly that Willy's parents are former hippies. Anyways, although we see the faces of other kids in the human world as indicated by the three bullies earlier, we do not see the faces of his mother and father here, not any other human adults throughout the series, which brings to mind Nanny from Muppet Babies. Anyhoo throughout dinner Willy is moping and hasn't touched his plate. David DuWitt asks his son what's wrong, and Willy asks him, "Dad, if you knew somebody was gonna beat you up for doing something you thought was really important, would you do it anyway?"

David then imparts these words of wisdom: "Son, there are some things worth doing no matter what the cost." Sunshine DuWitt chimes in with, "Like making sure that when you grow up, there're whales and owls and an ozone layer." She then checks her watch and tells her husband they're late for "the rally." Without another word, the two adults get up from the table and exit the kitchen, leaving poor Willy sitting there.

Back to the Aniverse again. The Righteous Indignation is accompanying the toad slave ship, now under the control of the hares, towards the planet Genus. We see that the planet is ringed with thousands of large globular satellites. As the slave ship passes one of the satellites, it beeps and a telescoping maser cannon pops out of its side. All the satellites begin to fire on the toad ship, throwing the hares around inside. As we'll learn later, and as is made obvious here, these satellite guns detect and fire upon toad ships and are Genus' only defense from the Toad Empire. The slave ship's shields protect it, but they won't for long. As Jenny enters the security code to clear both the Righteous Indignation and the slave ship, Bucky tries to "run interferance," which amounts to flying the Righteous Indignation close to the slave ship, without much effect apparently.

Finally Jenny manages to successfully enter the code before the guns completely annihilate the slave ship and all the hares aboard. She says that "Orwell Station" has cleared both ships for entry as the satellites cease firing and their guns retract back into themselves. A lot of problems with the Genus defense satellites. Firstly, if they're designed to repel the toads, why do they only start firing until after the slave ship is already well in amongst them? Secondly, I know this scene is needed to set up the defense satellites for later, but it makes Bucky and his crew (not to mention the hares) look slow on the uptake if they didn't think of trying to transmitting the clearance codes until it was almost too late.

We cut down to the surface of Genus, where the aforementioned council is in session. The head of the council is a bespectacled pig known only as the Secretary General. He bangs his gavel and declares the meeting is now in session. "I've just been informed that Captain Bucky O'Hare--" Bucky, who is really showing a talent for cutting people off in midsentance, bursts through the double doors of the council chamber and finishes for him, "...is here!" He is followed into the room by Jenny, Deadeye and one of the hares from the slave ship (who despite his presence doesn't say anything throughout the entire scene, when you'd think he'd want to speak up on behalf of his enslaved neighbors). Bucky begins an impassioned speech to the council members, "Members of the Council, I asked for a fleet! You gave me one measely frigate! Now the toads have taken over my own homeworld! Genus could be next! Sacked! Destroyed! And everyone carted off to be slaves in toad factories, like my friends and countrymen, the hares!"



In response to his insubordinate attitude and outrageous entrance, however, all of the council members - including the Secretary General - have all begun yelling and talking at once, making it difficult for Bucky to be heard. We now get a rather disgusting example of the Designated Hero rule, as Deadeye's solution to this problem is to draw two laser pistols and fire wildly over the heads of the council members (!).



They all duck underneath the boardroom table, while Deadeye's shots burn holes in the wall behind them. He stops and then they all peek cautiously over the table. No one says a word, and Deadeye, holstering his guns, snarls, "That's better." And he will never be reprimanded for this, either by Bucky himself or by the Secretary General. The Council sure is awfully lax discipline among the enlisted starship crews. And I won't even touch the issue about Bucky's ship being the only one the good guys have to throw at the toads; it's just way too ludicrous.

Rather than confiscate his trigger-happy subordinate's weapons and immediately place him under arrest like a responsible commander would do, Bucky instead goes right on ranting to the Council about how his planet was conquered and how he needs more ships if he can hope to successfully fight the toads. After all, he can't bluff them forever and pretty soon they're going to figure out that there is no United Animal Space Fleet. The Secretary General comes over and starts to escort Bucky and his crew out the door, saying, "My dear Bucky O'Hare, of course we'd love to give you more ships. But to justify the expense of more ships, we need documented evidence of the full toad atrocity."

Bucky, pulling his arm away from the Secretary General, growls, "You want evidence, you'll have it!"
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Kooshmeister
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Must have caffeine...


« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 06:39:10 PM »

Back aboard the toad mothership, we find the Air Marshall in his office apparently reading a star map. We can tell it's a star map because it's helpfully labelled as such. But it seems the map is just hiding the fact he's watching Toad TV. So far Toad TV seems to be nothing but round-the-clock commercials and this one is for "Flam, the compressed flyloaf." The Air Marshall's perverse love of being advertised to is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a computerized toad face on the TV screen.



This is Komplex, and he-- well, it really, is the supreme ruler of the Toad Empire, an evil sentient computer program along the lines of Colossus or Skynet. Its origins are not dwealt on here but they will be in the following episode, "A Fistful of Simoleans." Komplex demands to know whether Bucky O'Hare has been dealt with, and a nervous Air Marshall explains that he's on top of things. Komplex warns him not to botch things up and disappears from the screen.

Cut back to Genus. We watch the Righteous Indignation leave the planet and fly off into space. On board, Bucky tells Jenny to "prepare for a hyperspace jump," because "I'm goin' home." All of a sudden the mammal ship is spotted by a Double Bubble. This close to Genus? Wow. If the Toad Empire can get a Double Bubble that close to their defense satellites without setting them off they ought to be able to throw their entire fleet at it and get through successfully. Anyways the pilot - who turns out to be the squadron leader from before - radios the mothership that he's "spotted the enemy." Unaware of the presence of the bad guys nearby the mammals jump into hyperspace.

We suddenly cut to the toad mothership again, where we find the Air Marshall yelling into a microphone in his office. He yells for "all ships in sector eight" to attack. The squadron leader and what looks like roughly two-hundred other Double Bubbles jump into hyperspace in pursuit of the Righteous Indignation.

The Righteous comes out of hyperspace, um, somewhere. Near Warren, apparently. That's where they were heading anyway. But as we'll see in the next episode, they're still far enough away from Warren that they'll need to do at least one more hyperspace jump in order to get there. So why come out here? They didn't know that the toads were on their heels at the time they came out. Anyway no sooner do they drop out of lightspeed then so do the 200+ Double Bubbles, who immediately begin attacking the mammal ship. According to Jenny there's fifty of them despite the fact there's clearly over 100 thanks to the magic of recycling animation. The toads all open fire at once, but the Righteous' deflector shields (represented by a thin bubble around the ship) protect our heroes from certain destruction. But they won't for very long, as Jenny helpfully points out that the rear shields are close to failing.

Bucky orders a hyperspace jump (what, another one?), but down in the engine room, Bruce the Berserker Baboon reports back that all the shaking from the toad fire "ain't done this photon accelerator no good," and declares that he's got to fix it before they can jump. Bucky tells him, "Fix it fast!" Suddenly one of the pursuing toads (possibly the squadron leader) scores a lucky hit and pierces the shield, hitting the engines dead-on. This results in the loss of two of the ship's main engines according to Jenny, and Bucky says he's gonna "buy Bruce some time." In a bit stolen from The Empire Strikes Back, the Righteous Indignation flies into the asteroid field with the Double Bubbles in hot pursuit. It then lands in a crater on one of the larger asteroids, nose pointed up at the attacking Double Bubbles, much to the delight of Deadeye who gloats that "nothin' can escape old Deadeye's sights now!" He fires, hitting and destorying one of the toad fighters, while the others continue firing. The Righteous' shields hold but needless to say it looks like our heroes are screwed unless they can get that photon accelerator fixed.

The toad mothership arrives on the scene at this point, and the Air Marshall is now on the absolutely massive bridge looking up at a viewscreen depicting the space battle, clearly showing the cornered mammals. He gloats, saying this will be "worth ten medals of valor," ordering all fighters to move in and destroy the Righteous Indignation. The Air Marshall's obsession with earning as many medals as possible will become a running gag through the series, and indeed, in an earlier scene it was alluded that he would get one for conquering Warren. Although we never see him receive it, a scene scripted but not animated involved this.

More extraneous shooting and explosions that I don't really feel like describing. Bucky radios down to the engine room and tells Bruce and Blinky that they "need that accelerator now!" Although Blinky is optimistic, Bruce curses "banana oil!" and declares that the machine is on its last legs. Nevertheless, he flips a blue switch on the device and it begins emitting a low humming sound. Bruce comments that it "sounds funny," but decides that "here goes nothin'" and pulls a lever. Immediately lots of yellow electrical bolts shoot out at him.



Bruce screams. Suddenly everything starts to get sucked towards the photon accelerator, including Blinky. The android grabs a pipe as his feet are lifted off the floor. He loses his grip and goes flying towards Bruce, but grabs a barrel (?) and hangs on, reaching over and grabbing Bruce's belt in an attempt tp save him. But Bruce is sucked right out of his battle suit, and we watch him go spinning off naked into a swirling psychadelic light show. Blinky is left holding Bruce's empty clothes.

Blinky loses his grip on the barrel and is pulled towards the photon accelerator, but stops himself and then unplugs the device. The suction stops and Blinky falls to the floor amidst Bruce's battle suit. Sitting up, he cries out "Calamity and woe! Chief Engineer Bruce sucked into another dimension by photon accelerator! Or... he has attained oneness with the universe." Shouldn't he mean Aniverse? Listening in from the bridge, Bucky and Jenny look appropriately shocked and horrified. After a moment, Bucky decides he needs to go down and "peruse this debacle firsthand," leaving Jenny in command.

The bridge seems to be the only thing in the top portion of the ship; the lower deck is accessible by, of all things, a ladder leading down. As far as I can tell there are only two rooms in the ship besides the bridge: the engine room, and the gunner's station, connected by a metal door. After climbing down into the gunner's station, where Deadeye continues to obliviously fire at the Double Bubbles outside, Bucky, musing that he's going to miss Bruce, enters the engine room and asks Blinky how bad it is. Bruce's empty clothes lay on the floor while Blinky fiddles with the accelerator. "Oh, much worse than you can imagine, Captain," answers Blinky. He says he replaced the "microcircuits," but "cannot predict unpredictable outcome of turning on accelerator if warp drive is activated." So he can't predict the unpredictable outcome? There's some circular jargon for ya.



A tremor rocks the ship and Blinky falls down. Bucky, managing to keep his balance, walks over to the photon accelerator. Above on the bridge, Jenny radios down that their forward shields are about to fail just as their rear ones did, and if they don't warp out, like, right this instant, they're all gonna die. Bucky decides this is a perfect moment to speechify a bit: "We have a choice between certain destruction and the great unknown. Guess there's only one choice we can make." He looks at the lever on the accelerator and rubs his hands together nervously. Y'know, surrender is also an option. Bucky could just fake surrendering and then disrupt the toads' operations from within. Since they end up doing this anyway lots of times, why they don't think to do it here is beyond me. Some might call Bucky's "Give me liberty, or give me death!" attitude during this scene heroic. I call it foolhardy. After all, he's no good to his fellow hares dead.

In any event, we once more return to Willy DuWitt's house in San Franciso back in the human dimension. In Willy's bedroom, there is, for no readily apparent reason, a near-exact replica of the Righteous Indignation's photon accelerator sitting on the kid's desk. Willy enters, holding a taperecorder which he is apparently talking into. As he does so, we learn that this device is indeed a photon accelerator and it's his science project for school. He flicks a blue switch, and the machine begins to emit the same strange humming as the one in the Aniverse did. Like Bruce, Willy comments that it "sounds funny," although he adds further that he "must've changed phase on it somehow." Into the tape recorder, he continues, "Mom, Dad? If you should hear this recording, remember, I did it in the name of science." Oh yeah, I'm sure that'll really ease their grief when they come home and find you blown to bits, dumbo.
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 06:41:00 PM »

In an astounding cosmic coincidence, Willy reaches for the lever at the same precise moment as, back in the Aniverse, Bucky does as well. They both pull their respective levers. There is a bright flash and everything goes dark. Grabbing a flashlight, Willy continues to exposit into the tape recorder, saying the photon accelerator is absorbing all the energy from the general vicinity, something strongly suggested by the complete darkness outside the bedroom windows. On closer inspection, though, Willy goes to the window, but can't see outside because there is apparently a sparkly force field of some description just inside the glass. He touches it, commenting that it "feels like week-old blackberry gelatin." Not just week-old gelatin, but week-old blackberry gelatin.



In a mildly effective moment, Willy suddenly hears muffled explosions coming from the other side of his closet door, and shines his flashlight in that direction, demanding to know who's there. He gets no response, and we cut back to the Aniverse. Aboard the Righteous, Deadeye's guns click uselessly as he presses the triggers, and the four-armed duck complains loudly that "me guns have gone dead!" On the bridge, Jenny exposits that the ship has been enveloped in "some kind of impenetrable stasis field," and that nothing can get in or out. This is good news for the moment since it means the toads can't penetrate the stasis field with their laser fire, but I guess it also means, apparently, the good guys cannot leave until the field is lifted.



Bucky has something else on his mind at the moment, though. "You think that's strange, Jenny, you better get down here," he says. In the engine room he and Blinky are walking around Willy's closet door which appears to just be hovering in the air. On the opposite side of the door is the same sparkly effect Willy had seen on his window. Bucky picks up a jacket that's hanging on the doorknob and examines it as Deadeye joins them, commenting on "the size of it." Jenny climbs down the ladder as the door creaks and the knob turns. Willy enters with the flashlight, startling the mammals who yell in fright.

As everyone (both the mammals and Willy) recovers from the shock of the first meeting between talking animals from another dimension and humans, Deadeye draws both of his blasters and points them at Willy, yelling, "Look out, it's got a lightsaber!" I'm assuming he means the flashlight, which Willy quickly turns off, assuring the one-eyed, four-armed duck that he means no harm. An obvious Star Wars referance, but it seems to suggest that lightsabers are actually weapons in the Aniverse. Too bad nothing is ever done with this.

Stepping forward, Bucky makes Deadeye lower his guns, and Willy points at him and cries, "You're a green rabbit!" He's actually a hare, but Bucky doesn't bother correcting him. Instead, he introduces himself: "I'm Captain Bucky O'Hare of the United Animals frigate the Righteous Indignation. This is my gunner Deadeye Duck, first mate Jenny, and Android First Class Blinky," he says, gesturing to each crew member in turn. Okay, this is just stupid. Why is Bucky so quick to trust Willy? Because he's obviously mammalian? Anyway he finally asks Willy who he is, which should've been his first question.

"My name's Willy DuWitt, and I'm, uh, well, this sounds kinda weird," he says, "I'm a human from another universe." "Human?" muses Bucky, stroking his chin, as Deadeye butts into the conversation and suggests that perhaps humans are some sort of species of mutated, hairless baboon. How tactful of him. Adjusting to this new situation far too quickly, Willy says the passageway created using his closet door must be the result of the "phase shift" on the photon accelerator he built. This prompts Blinky to excitedly exclaim, "Yes! Photon accelerator is the link!" He then gestures to the ship's accelerator and says, "We also have accelerator out of phase, due to battle damage." I thought it was already wonky even before the space battle? Oh well, at least they offer an explanation for the phase shift in the Righteous Indignation's photon accelerator; we're never told what caused the flaw in the one Willy built, so I'll just assume it's because he's a dumbass kid.

Suddenly the entire ship is rocked by yet another explosion, and everyone is thrown into the far wall. Blinky ends up in Willy's lap, and, somehow, Deadeye ends up sitting on top of Bucky's head, totem pole style. Willy, understandably, asks what that was, and Jenny, seemingly the only one who did not lose her balance and fall (amazing given her high heels!), explains that it's "toad plasma cannons, hitting hard enough to rock the entire stasis field." At this, Willy, crying, "You're being attacked by toads?" runs to the viewport in the gunner's station with Bucky and Deadeye, looking at the Double Bubbles hanging around outside. "Yes," explains Bucky, "unless we fix that accelerator, those toads are gonna take us prisoner and conquer every free world in the Aniverse."

We then cut to Willy, Bucky and Deadeye climbing down the ladder back into the engine room-- Wait a second! The engine room is on the same level of the ship as the gunner's station! Was there a sequence of them showing Willy the bridge? At any rate, I find it odd that, similar to Bucky being too quick to trust Willy, Willy himself is too quick to accept the mammal crew as the good guys and the toads as the villains when he hasn't even met them. This show's bias bugs me intensely since I've been fond of reptiles and amphibians since I was a kid. Anyway they approach his closet door, which is still kind of just hanging there in midair, Willy offering to help them out. Bucky says that's not likely, unless Willy can repair "a mark four photon accelerator." Willy chuckles and says that's no problem; he just got done building a working replica of one, after all. He then goes back into his bedroom (back to the human dimension), followed by Bucky and Deadeye.

Deadeye jumps as the closet slams shut behind him in an admittedly cute bit. He then picks up a green squirt gun off of Willy's bed and stashes it in his uniform, then goes over to Bucky. "I don't like the look of this weapon, Captain," he whispers, pointing the barrel at Bucky who momentarily looks terrified of it, "I'm gonna take it-- Uh, confiscate it." He stuffs the "weapon" into his uniform as Bucky whispers back that that's probably a good idea. Hmm, guess Bucky doesn't fully trust Willy yet after all. Bucky and Deadeye walk over to where Willy is getting random stuff off his shelves and laying them on the bed, next to a duffel bag, going on about how amazing all this is and how he's never been to another dimension before. Of the Aniverse, he says, "But the physical principle seems to operate pretty much the same." Deadeye uses his bottom two arms to hold the duffel bag open while he packs all of Willy's stuff up for him. In particular, he seems interested in a stack of green bills, and seems tempted to take them, but resists and stuffs them into the bag as well (although why Willy wants money with him is beyond me). "Uh, except for a few things," Willy then adds, clearly weirded out by Deadeye's extra arms.

The three of them return to the engine room of the Righteous, and the Aniverse, closing the door behind them. In record time Willy has got the photon accelerator repaired. Outside, thee Double Bubbles continue to fire on the Righteous Indignation as it sits in the small crater on the asteroid. The stasis field holds however. As he finishes up with the accelerator, Willy says that once they turn it back on, they'll lose the stasis field "for good," which seems to be a bit of an extreme supposition to say the least. Jenny voices her worry that with the stasis field, Willy's closet door - and his only way of returning to his own dimension - may also disappear forever, and suggests he return there before they activate the device just to be sure. Willy however stands his ground, quoting his father from the earlier dinner table scene: "I'm staying right here. 'There are some things so important, they're worth doing no matter what the cost.'"



Jenny clasps her hands together, well, girlishly, and tells Willy he's "a very brave human" before hugging him and planting a kiss on his cheek. Willy blushes, an effect rather poorly acheived: instead ot flushing red, Willy flushes brown. Unconcerned with the sight of his second-in-command getting all lovey-dovey with an underaged creature from another dimension, Bucky yells for everyone to get to their stations whereupon everyone - including Willy - runs from the engine room. Bucky and Jenny go up to the bridge, Deadeye goes to the gunner's station, and Willy and Blinky... er, remain in the engine room. If they're staying in the engine room why were they shown running out of it? Seating himself in the captain's chair, Bucky says, apparently to himself, "Willy, it's up to you now."

Outside, the Double Bubbles have stopped firing. The toad squadron leader is talking into his radio, telling his multitude of wingmen to open fire on the count of three. He shouts "Three!" as, in the engine room, Blinky watches as Willy prepares to pull the lever on the photon accelerator. The squadron leader says "Two!" and Willy pulls the lever. He finishes with "One!" and all of the Double Bubbles open fire at the same time.

To Be Continued...
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 06:52:27 PM »

You know, I had never heard of this series until that one picture cropped up and didn't really pay it much attention until this review hit the forum.  Reading through it, I continuously shake my head and wonder what the heck is going on.  Kids' cartoons tend to turn reality on its head, but this is extreme even by those standards.

I also have to wonder if this was not created by furry fans.  Had not heard of that before until Badmovies.org shared a server with a furry website years and years ago.  In fact, looking at the background for the cartoon, I would say that the comic must have been created by a furry artist/fan.

In any case, what a bizarre cartoon.
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2007, 07:00:46 PM »

One could say the same thing about Star Fox, y'know. :)

And in any event, what's wrong with furries? We're not all weird freaks. Just some. Although admittedly, I myself am not a "furry" per se. I don't dress up or anything like that. It's just that when it comes to cartoons I tend to enjoy the ones starring talking animals. SWAT Kats is another show I really like and plan to review here eventually.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2007, 07:07:12 PM »

And in any event, what's wrong with furries? We're not all weird freaks. Just some. Although admittedly, I myself am not a "furry" per se. I don't dress up or anything like that. It's just that when it comes to cartoons I tend to enjoy the ones starring talking animals. SWAT Kats is another show I really like and plan to review here eventually.

Well, nothing is "wrong" with them.  I have never seen one dress up as a rabid squirrel and run through town, biting people - so their interests are not harming anyone. 

However, I did look through some of the artwork on that site I shared the server with.  Seeing a very well-drawn picture of a kaiju-sized anthropomorphic (obviously female) fox inserting a train (as in a locomotive) into...herself, made me have one of those, "Okay, then!" moments.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 11:49:39 PM »

Oh, yes, um, I've seen that sort of thing myself a few times. It's called "Macro" I think, and it's a rather... off-the-wall subset of "furrydom" or whatever you wish to call it. They sexualize destruction by giants. It's quite bizarre, and not really my thing, to say the least.

As for Bucky O'Hare being created by furry fans, I dunno to much about that. I do know that Jenny is developed something of a cult following amongst horny fanboys, both furry and non-furry alike. Personally I don't like her very much and can't see the appeal beyond the obvious (her outfit).
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 10:36:31 PM »

Hey, I remember this series! Didn't get to see much of it at the time: my parents didn't let me watch TV (and arguably, considering what I've seen TV does to people, they were right), but I sneaked a few peaks anyway. In later years, when I liked to gather cartoon junk as kind of nostalgia pieces, I looked back to this and tried to find what I could about it on the 'net. Anyway, I'm glad to see it's finally been gathered together and released on DVD, since it ran exactly that one season before it went off the air for good. From what I remember of it, I can tell some of why it failed: it was indeed dumbed down from the comics somewhat to be more "kid friendly" and also suffered from that distinctly 1990s fad in record companies of pushing crummy rap "music" sung by white guys (Vanilla Ice, especially) and trying a little too hard to be hip. (The opening "song" was dreadful!) It also had that annoying tendency, as seen with the (dubbed and heavily censored) episodes of Sailor Moon that would be coming over to the U.S. shortly afterwards, to have its producers thinking they had to have some inspiring moral point to make for each episode. Hence, Willy's hackneyed soundbites there.

On the upside, however, it did have one very well-made video game for the NES among its merchandise, which I got from a video rental place and played until my fingers got sore. Whereas the show had opened with that dreadful hip-hop song, the game had great music throughout, it was challenging, and it had a fun story to it, though it was a little short on plot. (Basically, you play Bucky and go around rescuing your friends from various planets where the toads have imprisoned them. Then everyone gets captured again and imprisoned on the toads' mothership, where you have to go rescue them all again, and then take out the ship's core and make your escape.) The fun comes from being allowed to switch between characters as you go, and also from the very prolonged escape sequence at the end, where the toads do practically everything they can to keep you from escaping. Oddly enough, though Komplex was definitely the head villain in the series, he doesn't appear in the game at all; it's the Air Marshall you face at the end. (He doesn't look so tough, but he is! It took a LOT of shooting to kill him, and you had to develop a kind of rhythmic sequence of motion to keep from getting hit yourself in that last sequence.)

The art wasn't too bad, either, and the levels had some rather unique challenges for all that it was a simple platform game: in one level I recall, there was a part where the player has to thread his way through all kinds of moving machinery, and at one point, you have to cross through a bunch of spinning discs that have a winding passage through them to the platforms on the other side, and which rotate ninety degrees every few seconds; if you're not careful while crossing them, in some cases the character you're playing gets dumped into the pit below and dies, and of course some of them also have a toad soldier and/or an automatic turret in them. In another level, there's a part where the whole level goes dark and you have to navigate your way through it partially by "feeling" the same way you do in real life (walking until you hit a wall) and partially by little floating things that look like atomic nuclei and light up a limited space around them. Since there are a lot of fatal pitfalls, paying attention to what these floating lights reveal is essential to making your way through it.

Making cartoons with cute little furry animals in them is common enough, and so are cartoons about space. In the case of Bucky, I guess the makers of the show were just trying to cover all their bases. The central idea of a Star Wars-like universe with common mammals serving as the main characters instead of humans was all right, but I think they wasted a lot of their potential. Had they been more attentive to detail and skipped some of the condescending moralizing claptrap, this could have been a real hit. At least this way, though, we get a complete story that also provides lots of opportunities for fans to come up with tales of their own. All in all, it's still rather amusing and kind of fun to look back at these, sort of the same feeling I get while looking at the old Legend of Zelda cartoons that were aired around that same time.
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 01:55:06 AM »

Oddly enough, though Komplex was definitely the head villain in the series, he doesn't appear in the game at all; it's the Air Marshall you face at the end. (He doesn't look so tough, but he is! It took a LOT of shooting to kill him, and you had to develop a kind of rhythmic sequence of motion to keep from getting hit yourself in that last sequence.)

There was also an arcade game which, in terms of graphics and faithfulness to the series, was far better than the NES game. Komplex is the final boss, for one thing, in his mobile configuration as seen in the final episode. Heck, Frix and Frax appear as sub-bosses in one level, and they got left out of the NES game entirely. :)

Bucky O'Hare is definitely a show with problems, which I'll touch on more in future recaps. But despite these problems I love the show almost unconditionally. I just have a habit of picking apart even things that I like. Besides, I just enjoy getting out detailed recaps of the episodes because if there's one thing I've noticed about this show, it's that while a lot of people know of it, few people seem to know anything about it, at least beyond the obvious (green hare vs. evil toads and there's a sexy cat chick somewhere in it). So it's kind of my personal mission to expand people's knowledge of it. :)

As to the comic book, I'm not exactly a fan of it. A lot of people seem to tout it and I can't really understand why. As noted in the opening of this episode's recap, the artwork is quite bizarre and the storyline even more simplistic than the TV series. It follows the same basic plot as the three-part pilot, Willy's addition included, but with some pretty critical differences. For instance, despite mention of Komplex, it never actually appears of has much to do with the story, and rather than trying to save Bucky's homeworld they're just trying to rescue Jenny, Bucky himself, despite being the title character, doesn't see much in the way of any action, and perhaps worst of all, the resolution with the toads is horribly anti-climactic in the worst way: they're defeated by friggin' omnipotent mice. I acknowledge the comic for what it is, since without it there wouldn't be a cartoon, but having actually read the comic I gotta say I honestly say I think the cartoon, for all its faults, is still a vast improvement. The story is (relatively) more involved than just rescuing Jenny, Bucky actually gets to earn his keep as the title character, and, perhaps most importantly, to me anyway, we get a much wider variety of interesting characters.
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 03:38:11 PM »

Yes, I suppose the arcade game may have been more complete. On the other hand, though, the 8-bit NES game was amazingly good for its day. Here are a few screenshots.

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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2007, 03:43:30 PM »

Note the toad eggs in the picture above, which suggests the toads are being grown the old-fashioned way. Some of the eggs in this game turn out a full-grown fully-equipped (!) stormtoad if you shoot them.

The game did have some toad-in-a-tube things, but these were actually toad bots, and not very bright ones: they mostly just break out of the tube, walk toward you, and then promptly fall down a pit. They must be prototypes still in the testing phase.

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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2007, 03:51:30 PM »

Al Negator did turn up early in the game, when rescuing Jenny from the blue planet. (The game never really specifies where these planets are, but presumably they're all orbiting the same star. The blue planet is an ice-covered world where, curiously enough, the toads also store those eggs.) In this game, he has a bazooka and a freeze ray. He fires the bazooka at you repeatedly as the water flows in, and each time the water reaches a certain level, freezes it with his ray. The comfort margin for maneuvering gets to be less and less as the ground rises to meet the spiked ceiling with you trapped in between.

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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2007, 03:56:41 PM »

Here we have another prominent character from the series, the Air Marshall, who puts in several appearances during the game. In one level, he actually turns up on the Toad TV network, as shown in these panels I've collected from it. The TV also features what, I guess, passes for a pretty woman with the toads.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 10:09:47 PM by Inyarear » Logged
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