Mastermind’s Team Robcast 251 | How We Spent Our Winter Vacation

mtrthenetwork's Rob Lee & Dann D

The legendary duo, Rob Lee and Dann D, are back with the first new episode of 2019! After a quick discussion about the TMNT, Rob goes into detail about his winter vacation to New Orleans. Dann discusses staying in Baltimore while handling business, eating food and playing video games, among other things.

Meanwhile, Greg finds true love.

Whether you stream now or download and listen later, you don’t want to miss the episode made completely out of used Po’boy sandwiches!

Don’t forget to check out our new comic, Attorney’s At Claw.

Oneshot | Snapdragons

This podcast episode is dedicated to the old Rankin/Bass Productions cartoons from the 80’s.

The legendary duo, Rob Lee & Dann D., are children of the 1980’s. So this episode is a love letter of sorts to the now-defunct production company. The idea of recording this episode came from a conversation that Rob Lee had with his girlfriend. Have you ever taken an internet journey and got lost in Water-O? Rob Lee did and he found the TigerSharks.

Rankin/Bass Productions had a formula and it was recycled over and over. Those recycled ideas were then copied to varying degrees of success. The copying got the legendary duo thinking – “How can we capitalize on this?” In the last section of this podcast, you’ll see what the legendary duo comes up with. For those who don’t remember these cartoons, where’s a brief refresher of some of the cartoons discussed on this episode?

Rankin/Bass

Per Wikipedia – Rankin/Bass Productions was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. Rankin/Bass stop-motion features are recognizable by their visual style of doll-like characters with spheroid body parts, and ubiquitous powdery snow using an animation technique called “Animagic”. Often, traditional cel animation scenes of falling snow would be projected over the action to create the effect of a snowfall.

Nearly all of the studio’s animation was outsourced to at least five Japanese animation companies. The quality of the animation is what hooked a young Rob Lee.

ThunderCats

ThunderCats was an animated television series that debuted in 1985 rebooted in 2011 – which wasn’t that bad. The premise included cat-like humanoid aliens on a planet called Third Earth. The ThunderCats, led by Lion-O, fought the Mutants of Plun-Darr, led by Mumm-Ra, for the next four seasons.

SilverHawks

SilverHawks is one of those cartoons classed by Rob Lee as “if you know, you know”. Essentially, SilverHawks was the space equivalent of ThunderCats. SilverHawks was 65-episodes of heroes who were “partly metal, partly real” battling the evil Mon*Star and his intergalactic mob featuring Mumbo-Jumbo, Pokerface, Windhammer and, who could forget, Melodia.

Tigersharks

To round out this trio of Rankin/Bass Productions cartoons is TigerSharks. TigerSharks proves the law of dimishing returns and that you can only go back to the well so many times. In this instance three is too many times. Where ThunderCats and SilverHawks were successful – the formula – TigerSharks failed. The show lasted only 26-episodes despite featuring the many of the same voice actors from ThunderCats and SilverHawks. Further, the 26-episode series featured the protectors of Water-O, Mako and the TigerSharks battling villians like the Mantanas and Captain Bizzarly.

Additionally, the show was a part of The Comic Strip, a show containing animated shorts. TigerSharks didn’t have its own slot like its more successful predecessors. TigerSharks made a cameo on the 2011 ThunderCats reboot. The TigerSharks wasn’t good and aided the end of Rankin/Bass Productions – but making fun of it led to one of the legendary duo’s funniest Oneshots.

Category: MTR The Network Podcasts, Oneshots | Comments Off on Oneshot | Snapdragons

Geek Stuff | FLCL Progressive

This past weekend saw the resurrection of one of Anime’s weirdest, most beloved series, FLCL.

Pronounced Fooly Cooly, FLCL originally aired in Japan back in 2000 with an American dub later on in 2003. I’ve tried in the past to sit thru these six episodes to no avail. Fortunately, with Adult Swim re-airing the first season every Saturday night I was able to manage a half hour a week for what is no doubt one of Japan’s harder to comprehend animes. And trust me, it isn’t the easiest thing to follow. In short, the plot revolves around a boy who gets hit by an alien with a guitar and then proceeds to try to be normal despite the robots that keep growing from his head no thanks to the alien with a guitar. There’s heavy sexual overtones, weird references to things I’m not totally sure exist, violence and the overall sense that this is supposed to be a coming of age story for the main character, Naota. All of those things are great but they hit you at a sprinter’s pace until the episode ends and you’re left scratching your head like Krusty the Clown declaring “What the hell was that?!”

FLCL: Progressive is the long-awaited second season to all the aforementioned above. And while it had a more focused feel to the storyline, one thing was for certain: this is still a very weird and sexually charged world.

The episode opens with a mysterious girl walking thru a tattered landscape. Everything is in black and white with the exception of a sharp horn growing from the girl’s forehead. She somehow finds herself in front of a giant red eyeball before waking up. Thru the course of her day, we learn that her name is Hidomi and she spends the bulk of her time ignoring the waking world whenever possible. Her neon blue cat ear headphones (which are always affixed to her head) represent her refusal to acknowledge anyone before they have a chance to get to know and subsequently reject her for whatever reason. We meet a few of her classmates, who are obviously part of the sexual overtone of the show, her mom and a brand new guitar wielding alien who rides in the back of a self-driving low rider instead of a bright yellow Vespa. Like Naota in the first series, Hidomi gets struck by the self-driving car and before the end of episode one, finds herself in the exact area where her dream took place.

Before the new alien with a guitar parts ways with Hidomi, she remarks “It looks good on you.” referring to the bright red horn growing from Hidomi’s forehead. The next day in school, Hidomi is left reflecting out the window as it’s revealed that her teacher is actually the original alien with a guitar from the first series. The class cheers, Hidomi looks hesitant and I feel a lot less confused by this FLCL than the one that came out over a decade ago.

The hallmark of this series is the music. The Pillows are the original J-rock band who composed an entire album just for FLCL 1 and it’s safe to say that they have done it again! One of my favorite parts of this show is the song “Little Busters”, a song that when it starts playing, signals to the audience that the episode is almost over. Every other track is brand new just for FLCL: Progressive and it feels like The Pillows never fell out of love with the series (Although I really wish “Ride on Shooting Star” was still the ending credits theme). Hopefully as the show goes on there will be more to enjoy, but for now, I am sated, mainly because we have new The Pillows to look forward to but partly because I know exactly what the hell is going on this time around.

-DD

 

Follow Mtrthenetwork on Instagram & Twitter | @mtrpodcasts use #mtrpodcasts

Follow Rob on Instagram @lordleemtr and Dann D. on Instagram @kidgetnice

Like Mtrthenetwork on Facebook | mtrpodcasts

Category: Blog, Geek Stuff | Comments Off on Geek Stuff | FLCL Progressive

Failed Pilot 2 | There Once Was A Time Rob & Dann Did A Show For A Bubble Boy

The second episode of the short-lived cartoon show and Cartoon Network, Rob Lee & Dann n Radio Bubble’s Network.

Category: MTR The Network Podcasts, Oneshots | Comments Off on Failed Pilot 2 | There Once Was A Time Rob & Dann Did A Show For A Bubble Boy