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Of late, a lot of skeletons have been falling out of a lot of closets (Goddamnit, Jeffrey Tambor! Seriously?!). This is my list of men who I hope against hope have been keeping their noses clean. I couldn't handle it if they were scumbags.
More to come.
So...what else is on?
"Channel Chasers", the second "Fairly Oddparents" feature, aired in the summer of 2004. For those who thought that "Van Helsing" and "Catwoman" were the only big disappointments from that movie season, consider this your wake-up call.
The film opens in the bleakness of the not-too-distant future. Two young men, bearing disturbing resemblances to A.J. and Chester, outrun the minions of an evil overlord. Some may marvel at the new directions in which the show heads, but, to me, this sets a depressing tone for what is, after all, a movie based on a comedy series.
The scene shifts to the present, where Timmy's TV show-based wishing yields disastrous results for his parents' professional lives. The destructive streak is exacerbated by the shockingly malicious Vicky, but his parents, refusing to listen, ground him. On top of that, Timmy learns that, sooner or later, his beloved fairies will have to leave him.
Tired of the rules imposed on him, Timmy does what anyone would do: wish for a magic remote that would take him into television and escape having to grow up. It's not long before Vicky ends up in the same universe, dogging him at several turns. Meanwhile, a black-clad mystery man seems to be following them both...
Mr. and Mrs. Turner, saddened over Timmy's disappearance and curious to know what's going on with their babysitter, decide to pay Vicky's folks a visit. This is, inarguably, the most idiotic moment in the history of the show. Her parents turn out to be poorly-designed and even more poorly-thought out as characters. Not only are they afraid of their daughter, but she seems to have destructive devices trained on them if they step out of line. Now that I think about it, it's stretching the definition to call them characters; ciphers seems more appropriate. (The "Spongebob Squarepants" episode, "The Bully", proved that you can have a character's parents fear them...and have it be funny.)
In terms of quality, the parodies themselves are all over the map. Some were truly inspired ("Blue's Clues", "Peanuts", "Batman: TAS" and "Sesame Street" - I'm a sucker for live-action gags in cartoons), some not so much ("Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "The Simpsons", the drawn-out "Dragonball Z" take-off at the climax) and some played like remnants of the script of "Stay Tuned" ("Tom and Jerry", "Speed Racer").
Despite the contrivances used to get there, I quite enjoyed seeing Vicky's little sister, the undervalued Tootie, risking her life to expose the truth. She is, perhaps, the only character in the film who comes close to three-dimensional, even if her code name is at the level of most of the film.
There's a great, if unfortunately true, line about animation credits late in the film, Alec Baldwin was good, if miscast, as the voice of the mysterious stranger and the ending manages to be sweet, in spite of some needless undercutting.
"Channel Chasers" had the potential to be a classic, but its makers shot themselves in the foot one time too many, causing the film to hobble across the finish line of mediocrity.