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One really needs to see Clang Invasion to even understand how abysmal it is. My brother and I first saw this show running on YTV before going to school, and we couldn't believe it had gotten such a prime airtime slot with the quality it has.
The animation and character designs are jagged and uneven. Everyone's face is shaped like a sloppy rhombus, and when characters turn, it looks like a piece of paper with their face on it simply flipping around. In a scene where lighting strikes, the frame colours are briefly inverted. A bit of reading taught me this show was animated in Singapore, and less effort is put into making Clang Invasion good than I've ever seen out of a poor Southeast Asian studio.
The stories make no attempt to be original or creative. Tired plots and story clichés are painfully re-used all the time, and I know this is just supposed to be a children's show, but they could be a little more subtle about the plot twists they try to pull off. There's an episode where Daisy has to have a class picture but has always had terrible pictures, each of them rigged somehow, and when she goes through her past photos, the show's Mean Rich Girl character is always standing off to the side in them. I guessed the story would end with HER rigging the pictures, and left the room to work. My brother called me in a while later, and surprise, I was right. Taking an unoriginal story and pasting your characters in does not make an original cartoon. It also resorts to a lot of Invader Zim-style "random" humour...it's annoying and a cop-out to anyone waiting for an actual joke, not for something abruptly screamed out.
What irritates me the most is how the characters fall out of their personalities often, or at least stress the worst parts of them. I love character consistency and development, and I know there are kid cartoons that pull those off well, and Clang Invasion is not one of them. There's a scene where the group gets locked out of their treehouse, and Socket insists they get back in so he can get his pillow. He pauses, then abruptly says "I WANT MY PILLOW!" with a babyish voice. Robin is sometimes the most clever of the group, and sometimes he's the atypical Gross And Dumb Boy trope that gets hard to watch. However, Patrick McKenna's performance as Rivet is fantastic and entertaining, easily making his character the best one in the show.
I could only recommend sitting down to watch this show if you have nothing else to see, or if you think something on Cartoon Network is terrible and must be shown how things could be worse. You can't even riff it Mystery Science Theatre-style, it's so unpleasant.
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