Monday, December 31, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: True Blue's Top 5 Best Movies Of 2018

Holy crap, what an insane year we've been through! In entertainment alone, we've seen some major moments that shook the entire industry from the most groundbreaking animated series of the decade coming to an end to the Internet causing mass hysteria over newly announced cartoons to the passing of legends like Stan Lee and Stephen Hillenburg...you see how crazy it got? You would think that going back to reality would help to collect some sanity, but it's apparently even worse especially with all of the terrorist acts like mass shootings...so let's just stick to the world of the entertainment industry for the time being especially when the movies that I had seen this year have been consistently good for the most part. Sure there were a few embarrassments, but the ones that shone the brightest were also the ones that do so for all movies of the year...what were these ones exactly? Let's take a look...these are my Top 5 Best Movies Of 2018!

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Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018 film poster).png
5.) Ralph Breaks The Internet

For a studio that rarely ever makes sequels, 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' was a pretty damn good successor to the original 'Wreck-It Ralph' despite having problems in the writing for the first half and having too many characters to work with. This is easily a fun watch for everyone, but my recommendation is to watch it among friends or even your best friend since the message will leave a stronger impact if he or she is there to experience it with you. Before you all say that you need to watch the first 'Wreck-It Ralph' before going to see the sequel, it is honestly optional since it doesn't depend that much on context from what happened before. It may not have left the strongest impact as a Disney film, but 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' will leave you happily satisfied as a well made meme


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4.) Christopher Robin

While it doesn't have the charm or wit that 'The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh' or the 2011 'Winnie The Pooh' film have due to suffering from a clichéd story and recycled characters, it succeeds in delivering the heart of the Winnie The Pooh franchise thanks to the comeback from the beloved characters and tender moments that help to give the movie charm in its simplicity making it an easy-going film for people looking for something humble. It's always a sunny day when Christopher Robin comes to play...


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3.) Incredibles 2

I don't think there has ever been a more demanded sequel from Pixar than for 'The Incredibles' which is hailed as not only one of Pixar's best animated films, but also among one of the greatest animated films of all time and we had to wait a total of fourteen years to see the anticipated battle of The Incredibles VS. The Underminer-no, the Nintendo video game does not count! With how highly demanded this film was for many years, it seems that Pixar would always turn the other way and make a followup of their other properties whether people wanted them or not such as 'Toy Story' or 'Cars'-heck, even 'Monsters Inc.' and 'Finding Nemo'! But believe me when I say that 'Incredibles 2' is a great successor to one of Pixar's best films ever that still holds the same amount of action and heart...even if the story is structured too similarly to its predecessor. If you're a fan of Pixar or even 'The Incredibles' in general, this is hands down a must-watch...after fourteen years, the wait was worth it!


2.) Thomas & Friends: Big World, Big Adventures

Much like what happened last year with 'Journey Beyond Sodor', 'Big World Big Adventures' marketed itself by controversy and split the fandom in half. While you could argue that the marketing campaign for 'The Great Race' was obnoxious as hell, at least there was actual content being given to us whereas 'Journey Beyond Sodor' and 'Big World Big Adventures' gave us the bare minimum: a trailer, a behind-the-scenes mini documentary, they sprinkled some trigger words in a couple of news articles and the fandom argued and argued and argued for months on end...and after a rather exhausting and stressful year, it was finally time for the movie to make its debut and...I know I'm gonna get a ton of hate mail and a ton of people in the fandom are gonna say that I'm a 'Mattel supporter'...but I don't care, I friggin' loved 'Big World, Big Adventures' as it was in my honest opinion a faithful adaptation of a classic novel that helped give our little blue tank engine what he has always dreamed of. Let's go go go on a big world adventure, the world's just a train ride away!


Won't You Be My Neighbor?.png
1.) Won't You Be My Neighbor

With how critically acclaimed that 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' was with how it revolutionized the idea of children's television with how it should be versus what shouldn't it be and what it should communicate to children in order to make them feel accepted in the world that they live in, it would only make sense that a documentary should be made this year to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the day that 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' first debuted on television...but did it do a good job in recapturing of who this brilliant man was and the unforgettable series that he created? The answer is...yes, it truly did since it does a really great job in not only illuminating the contradiction of Fred Rogers as a person, but also the paradox of his series and how nothing about it should make sense as far as being a hit in order to strike a chord with so many kids. There were a number of moments where you see Fred making people who were on the fringes feel accepted and valued whether they were in a wheelchair or homosexual...Mister Rogers loved him for who they were and that's why he was a father figure to so many people. But where the documentary truly shines in my opinion is when it takes a look outside of the studio and shows Fred Rogers' perspective of the world and what frustrates him about war and children's television...they even manage to show the footage of him going before Congress to get additional funding for PBS. While some films from this year have achieved greatness like The Incredibles and Thomas The Tank Engine, 'Won't You Be My Neighbor' managed to stand above the competition with its pure originality which is becoming harder to find nowadays...in an age where Hollywood is dominated by franchises, this is exactly why 'Won't You Be My Neighbor' earns the title of the best film of 2018!

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...and there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! After what I said about honoring original features, I might as well toss that out the window and prepare for the giant wave of sequels and adaptations coming in 2019 including but not limited to...

THE LEGO MOVIE 2...birthday present for my sister?
FARMAGEDDON: A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE...another one of these? Sure, why not?
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2...the trailers don't have me sold, but could still be good
TOY STORY 4...you'd better prove to me that it's worth continuing after that perfect ending!
PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE...possible LEGO Movie ripoff?
FROZEN 2...now that Disney has proved that they can still make good sequels like with 'Ralph Breaks The Internet', hopefully they'll do a good job with this one too!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

As 2018 finally comes to an end, it gave me time to reflect on everything that has happened this past year.

After how much of an improvement that 2017 was compared to 2016, I had honestly thought that things would be even better the very next year…but what I was not prepared for was the fact that 2018 was just as bad if not worse than 2016 in every possible way.  From still not getting anywhere close to finding signs of employment in my field of interest to even more deaths of many childhood actors and well-known people in the industry from ‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ creator Stephen Hillenburg to physicist Stephen Hawking, it was just one dose of bad news after another when it came to this year…and then, there was 2018 for the My Little Pony fandom.  After how much fun that I had in the fandom last year from numerous meetups to another successful trip to BronyCon, I don’t know if many will agree with me…but 2018 was easily one of if not the worst year for the fandom that I have ever seen from the massive leaks via Hasbro resulting in numerous people being wary of spoilers to numerous conventions shutting down…but the worst of all was without a doubt being betrayed by the very community members who helped give me my start in the fandom as well as on YouTube five years ago due to scandalous behavior and being more concerned about avoiding drama while being ‘horse famous’ above everything else.

But despite how relentlessly brutal that 2018 was, that's not to say that it was without its positives as there were quite a few worth noting with things like highly anticipated television and movie premieres such as ‘Scoobynatural’ and ‘Incredibles 2’ to getting to see my closest friends in the fandom once again through many different meetups and holiday parties…and after how watered down and underwhelming that BronyCon 2017 felt from my personal standpoint, this year’s trip to BronyCon was a massive improvement from the perks of getting to be a Bronze Sponsor for the first time thanks to winning a giveaway from Gamer Luna for Christmas the previous year to the much more entertaining panels like ‘Apple A Day’ and ‘Ask A Villain’.  Also, do I even need to describe how phenomenal this year’s Grand Galloping Gala was from the many different ponified movie spoofs to finally having a dance with Twilight Sparkle (Lady Ava Cosplay)?

But all that I can hope for is that I can have a happy, healthy and much better 2019 since there's plenty of things to be excited about like hopefully finding a job at last after almost two years of struggling as well as the numerous sequels to some of my favorite movies coming out throughout the year and a brand new season of international adventures on ‘Thomas & Friends’.  But I definitely know one thing for sure: 2019 is gonna be an extremely emotional and hard year for everypony in the My Little Pony fandom.  Not only have we reached the final season of ‘Friendship Is Magic’ before the dawn of Generation 5 the very next year, but after ten fun-filled events ever since 2011 and after attending for four years in a row…next year also marks the unfortunate end of BronyCon, which many were left extremely devastated after finding out during the closing ceremonies of this year’s convention.  But while BronyCon and ‘Friendship Is Magic’ may end physically, I know that the friendships and memories that have been created and forged in the fandom throughout the years because of these magical equines will last forever….

Until then...Happy New Year, everyone! Here's hoping it's a good one...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: The Sword In The Stone - 55 Years Of Higitus Figitus | #SwordInTheStone55

Image result for the sword in the stone 1963
THE SWORD IN THE STONE
Written By Bill Peet
Composed By George Bruns
Produced By Walt Disney
Edited By Donald Halliday
Directed By Wolfgang Reitherman

This is one of those films that I both really love and really hate at the same time...maybe hate's too strong of a word, but there is definitely an annoyance to 'The Sword In The Stone'...but now that fifty five years have gone by, just what is it this annoyance that really divides the opinions of people who see this movie like they were struck with just one glance of King Arthur's sword?  Let's find out, this is 'The Sword In The Stone'!

As an orphaned child, Arthur (then known as Wart) wants to help his foster brother Kay succeed in becoming a knight. While helping Kay train, Wart stumbles upon a cabin belonging to Merlin-a bumbling but talented wizard who does his best to convince the boy that he is bound for greatness...and when Wart and Kay travel to London to attend a jousting contest, they learn that Merlin was right.

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It's nice how we have a film about King Arthur that doesn't dive right into the sword battles but instead into the philosophies of being a good king as we dive into the eductation with Arthur learning everything...but I guess that's my problem with the film since it's exactly that: it's education and learning things since it goes at that pace of being at school except with Merlin and Archimedes The Owl teaching you as opposed to your teachers who aren't even doing their jobs nowadays.  With that said, that is kinda cool...but is that really what kids wanna see when they go to watch a Disney film?

The laid back tone and the lack of spectacular animation are ultimately this movie's biggest downfall...sure Arthur changes forms between human and either a bird or a squirrel and while that is great for kids, nothing truly exciting happens until the last third when we get our villain Mad Madam Mim who is a lot of fun despite feeling more like a side character than the main villain.  But if I had to name the one scene that I never get tired of, it is easily the awesome Wizards Duel between Merlin and Madam Mim for its creativity and great slapstick.  This film does have its good scenes, but I don't know if it really gels as well as it wants to and I found that I wasn't learning that much from it...I admire more what it was trying to do rather than the final product.

With that said, I love the father-son relationship between Arthur and Merlin and the side characters like Archimedes are a lot of fun too...though has anyone ever noticed that it sounds like Arthur clearly went through puberty when the voice actor was recording his lines?  That can be attributed to the fact that Arthur himself had three different voice actors throughout the entire film (Rickie Sorensen, Richard Reitherman and Robert Reitherman)...I mean, there is quite literally a scene where they play two different clips of Arthur's voice back to back and they don't gel up.  Just listen...it sounds like two different kids!

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Overall, 'The Sword In The Stone' is a bit of a mixed bag...but I am glad that I did see it again in order to do this review.  There is a lot of creativity and while it is neat how they took this laid back tone, but I feel like it works to its disadvantage...it's hard to say whether or not the whole film is worth recommending, but I have to give 'The Sword In The Stone' a fair rating of a 6.5 out of 10.  Long live the king...

Saturday, December 22, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Mary Poppins Returns | #MaryPoppinsReturns

MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Written By David Magee
Composed By Marc Shaiman
Produced By Rob Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt
Edited By Wyatt Smith
Directed By Rob Marshall

Mary Poppins...not only is the original Academy Award-winning classic from 1964 hailed as the greatest live-action film in Disney's lineup, but it is also one of the most beloved Disney movies of all time especially with how it helped put Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke onto an immortal status from the groundbreaking use of animation where the actors are in an animated world to the unforgettable songs by the Sherman Brothers.  'Mary Poppins' is so legendary as a movie that Disney even made a movie about the making of the movie called 'Saving Mr. Banks' which ended up being a pretty solid film on its own with Emma Thompson as the cold and strict author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Tom Hanks pretending to be Walt Disney himself...sorry, I still can't see past the fact that it's just Woody from the Toy Story franchise trying to be Walt Disney.  But after over fifty years of a legacy, will the return of everyone's favorite nanny be as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as before or will we need a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down?  Let's find out, this is 'Mary Poppins Returns'!

MARY POPPINS RETURNS: Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days unless he can pay back a loan. His only hope is to find a missing certificate that shows proof of valuable shares that his father left him years earlier. Just as all seems lost, Michael and his sister receive the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Poppins-the beloved nanny from their childhood-arrives to save the day and take the Banks family on a magical fun-filled adventure.

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One of the messages that the film would often bring up is that there is always a way to make the impossible possible and 'Mary Poppins Returns' came in with the big surprise that it could recreate the magic that was crafted more than fifty years ago with how the original film was crafted to be a constant 'feel good' feature as it would find new ways to give the audience a fun time with all sorts of creative scenes and this movie found a way to keep that tradition alive. With every moment that Mary Poppins brings the new Banks children to a new adventure, there is always that sense of wonder where audiences never know where they're going but are sure to enjoy the ride as it would continue even at times when they aren't full-on fantasy since they still deliver something that can feel equally as special by making every moment a true spectacle with these moments being highly featured in the musical numbers. While the songs aren't as iconic as the ones that were crafted by the Sherman Brothers, they still stay true with the tone of the film with each of them offering a whimsical and child-like mood while giving a good lesson as the audience would enjoy their time with the music.

While the songs of 'Mary Poppins Returns' can deliver that familiar feelings, it's actually the actors who would step in to become a prominent highlight of giving the film that 'Mary Poppins' sensation mostly due to the amazing cast offering a believable and charming performance showing that they were having a lot of fun while working on the film from Lin-Manuel Miranda as Bert's former apprentice Jack to Meryl Streep as Mary's eccentric cousin Topsy to the legendary return of the one and only Dick Van Dyke as the chariman of the bank Mr. Dawes Jr. But if there was one who had the biggest job of all, it would definitely have to be Emily Blunt...now this might sound crazy, but she is actually a worthy successor to Julie Andrews since she knows that she is practically perfect in every way only showing off her abilities when necessary while never letting her emotions get the best of her at the same time as being mainly kind-hearted while having an equal amount of sass with all of the magic that she holds wherever she goes...and yet I'm now gonna always envision Tempest Shadow from 'My Little Pony: The Movie' in a British nanny wardrobe!

In every corner of London, the visuals successfully give something both familiar and fresh capable of bringing audiences back to Cherry Tree Lane just as it was back in the original classic along with an entire recreation of the Banks House. While I'm sure that it will give fans quite a healthy dose of nostalgia, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have new tricks up its sleeves as well since the characters would travel to new places around London that had yet to show some of their own magic from areas where the actors would have a lot of space to have their big musical number to others requiring amazing sets like 'Turning Turtle' or colorful CG-animation like in 'Can You Imagine That'. But the most unforgettable moment of the film in terms of the visuals has easily gotta be the Royal Doulton Bowl where Mary Poppins and the gang would jump into this beautiful animated world combining real actors with stylized sets and costumes along with masterfully crafted hand-drawn animation making it feel as technically innovative like last time-a serious breath of fresh air for all of those who miss traditional animation!

But despite having the right tone and the right actors along with the right visuals in order to stay true to the original feature, it was so dedicated to stay true that it does so to a fault since it would have so much of an homage to the original film. Now this isn't a bad thing considering the amount of Easter Eggs thrown in, but it would sometimes do it so much that it would become less like paying tribute and more of copying its predecessor with all of the scenes and characters that it would feature and it would become harder to think narrative-wise what this movie has done that the original film didn't from the worker that is Mary Poppins' assistant who knows her magic that is willing to help out and has all of his friends come and have a big song-and-dance number to everyone going to an animated world with dancing penguins to visiting Mary's weird relative...the list just goes on and on and on! The story copies so much of the format from the original film that it's just one step away from being a full-on Mary Poppins remake...even the extra plotline of Jane and Michael's financial troubles makes the film feel predictable where it doesn't add any special twist to the tiring plot of finding a way to get money to save the family home!

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Overall...while it's not as good or hardly even a worthy successor to one of Walt Disney's greatest movies, 'Mary Poppins Returns' is still a lovable film that can offer plenty to give audiences a wonderful time from the great actors to the enjoyable songs accompanied by fun choreography and beautiful art direction that can give out some great looking sets and costumes as well as effects and animation all delivering that magic that made the world's most famous nanny practically perfect in every way. For that reason, I'm gonna give 'Mary Poppins Returns' a rating of a 7.5 out of 10...not the greatest return, but it's still great to see Mary Poppins back again after so long.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Olaf's Frozen Adventure | #OlafsFrozenAdventure

Image result for olaf's frozen adventure
OLAF'S FROZEN ADVENTURE
Written By Jac Schaeffer
Composed By Christophe Beck and Jeff Morrow
Produced By Roy Conli
Edited By Jeremy Milton and Jesse Averna
Directed By Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers

Like what they did back in 2015 with the short 'Frozen Fever' in front of the live-action Cinderella remake, Disney released another animated short last year to give audiences their fix of 'Frozen' before they would bring out the sequel next year...and considering that the movie has a strong winter theme presented, it wouldn't be surprising that it would end up making a holiday special. But could Olaf 'ring in the season' of the most wonderful time of the year or has the Frozen craze officially melted away? Let's find out, this is 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure'!


OLAF'S FROZEN ADVENTURE: When the kingdom of Arendelle empties out for the holiday season, Anna and Elsa realize that they have no family traditions of their own leading Olaf to set out on a merry mission and bring home the very best traditions in order to save Christmas.


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Considering the fact that it has a similar tone to that of the Rankin-Bass specials from way back in the day, 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' is not quite as good as the movie itself that it was based on since it wants to appeal more towards children rather than the general audience by exchanging subtlety with corniness especially when Olaf's naive nature is meant to be the short's humor. On top of that, it feels like it is trying hard to cram in as many songs as they possibly can. The songs are fine on their own, but it does feel like it wants to hammer in the musical aspect on the head as much as possible.

Despite the corny tone and the excessive amount of songs, I will give 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' credit that the animation is still as strong as the movie itself that it was based on and it is noticeable how it does have a heart to it that the intention is to spread holiday cheer with a 'Frozen' twist...not to mention that the finale song 'When We're Together' is very touching and delivers a nice finale


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Overall, 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' may not be as good as the movie itself that it was based on...but as a little holiday special to air on television during the holiday season like it should have from the start, it's worth a watch for both Disney and Frozen fans. For that, 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure' gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman Christmas Special - Sabrina's Christmas Wish | #BoJack

BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina's Christmas Wish
Written By Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Throughout the first season of BoJack Horseman, we have seen BoJack himself go through a massive life change from being cynically depressed and afraid of commitment to coming to terms with his faults and failures in order to better himself among those around him from his friend Todd Chavez to the ghostwriter of his 'One Trick Pony' memoir Diane Nguyen who is engaged to his sitcom rival Mr. Peanutbutter.  But before we delve into the second season of BoJack Horseman, it's time to celebrate the holiday season in Hollywoo and see if 'Sabrina's Christmas Wish' can come true!

BOJACK HORSEMAN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - SABRINA'S CHRISTMAS WISH: It's Christmas in Hollywoo and BoJack wants nothing to do with it...that is until Todd shows up with a giant candy cane and an old 'Horsin' Around' Christmas episode.

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PROS:
  • The 'Horsin' Around' experience-with the fact that we have only seen clips of 'Horsin' Around' here and there throughout the first season of BoJack Horseman, it is pretty cool that the show staff hold back on a lot of the elements that make BoJack Horseman the thought provoking series that it is and instead decided to fully immerse us into the world of BoJack's old sitcom from back in the day and I will say that it does a pretty great job in satirizing those old sitcoms from the cheesy jokes with some of them even poking fun at the sitcoms themselves to not going too deep into heavy subjects in order for conflicts to be resolved within a twenty two minute timeslot and everyone living happily ever after...but as you'll see later in my cons, maybe holding back on those elements was a bad thing!
  • The relationship between BoJack and Todd-not only do the best jokes out of the entire episode, but this is a great episode to watch even if you haven't seen the first season of the series and you're trying to catch up on what you missed since there are plenty of great moments and development between the two characters as their relationship continues to build and get stronger even when they aren't getting themselves into wacky situations like we saw in the first season...seeing them just domestically chilling together and watching these old Christmas specials in order to get into the spirit of the holidays was a nice breath of fresh air!

CONS:
  • The story-despite bringing back 'Horsin' Around' into the BoJack Horseman universe and moving into the foreground of a Christmas special which takes place between the first two seasons of the series being a pretty cool idea, being intentionally boring doesn't mean that you're not boring since this Christmas special of the series is meant to be portrayed as one of those really corny sitcoms where everything is resolved within a twenty two minute timeslot with really cheesy jokes...and while they do a good job in portraying these really corny sitcoms from back in the day, that is unfortunately what I feel is this special's biggest weakness!
  • The moral-with BoJack Horseman having a lot of well thought out downer messages at the end of each episode so far throughout the series as a way of saying that life sucks, the message that they give for this special about how Christmas isn't different from any other day of the year aside from the fact that we keep treating it different was honestly a very downer way of looking at such a wonderful holiday...I know that a lot of people associate Christmas with being a bad time that they don't care about, but a lot of people do whether they are religious or not. I understand what the special was trying to say and while it did end on a decent note with showing Christmas doesn't have to be a special holiday to do something with those you care about, but that doesn't mean that there isn't anything special about such a joyous time of year!

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Overall...Christmas is as special as you make it, but 'Sabrina's Christmas Wish' accidentally took this message as a downer thing for such a joyous time of the year.  BoJack Horseman has always been kind of depressing and I guess that this special does fit within the same concept and ideas of the series, but don't expect much to come out of this episode like you would from the main series itself and I'm gonna have to give 'Sabrina's Christmas Wish' a rating of a 7 out of 10.  With that said, I'm True Blue and I'll see you all in the new year for Season 2 of 'BoJack Horseman'!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Later | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 12: Later
Written By Raphael Bob-Waksberg

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he had challenged himself to write a better version of his memoirs that were originally written by his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen before the publishing deadline leading to a drug-fueled acid trip towards a revelation of BoJack's feelings for Diane as well as his fears and what his life would've been like if he had left the entertainment industry.  Now that the original version of the memoirs has been published, will BoJack's life have a happy ending at last?  Let's find out by returning to Hollywoo one last time for the Season 1 finale of 'BoJack Horseman' simply titled...'Later'!

LATER: Months after his memoir is released, BoJack's being considered for a role that's a lifelong dream.

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PROS:
  • The story of Secretariat-with Secretariat being the famous Triple Crown winning racehorse that BoJack Horseman looks up to and even managing to send him a fan letter on The Dick Cavett Show asking him for advice on what he does when he's sad, it's a really heartwarming moment of mentorship between the two of them which ends up being cut short when Secretariat commits suicide after being busted for cheating and betting on his own races which was a problem that he could not run away from despite his advice given to BoJack who ends up landing the part of his idol in the movie...which he was unable to hear due to his parents and their constant arguing!
  • The humor-as with every episode in the series so far, the humor has been known to either get a chuckle or an uproarious laugh out of me and there are plenty of moments that do that throughout the episode like calling the Golden Globes 'a totally necessary awards show' or when Mr. Peanutbutter is trying to photobomb BoJack during his acceptance speech for the award that he won for his memoir 'One Trick Pony'..and not to mention that the bird paparazzi always get a laugh out of me especially when they follow Diane around the supermarket asking her about what her next career move is now that she is done with writing BoJack's memoirs
  • The relationship between Todd Chavez and Mr. Peanutbutter-ever since Todd became Mr. Peanutbutter's personal driver back in 'Horse Majeure', we can see a really powerful working business relationship between the two of them as Todd continually makes up new ideas with his love of wordplay while Mr. Peanutbutter is entertained by Todd's ideas and has the capital to start them...despite the fact that they never follow through with them like having a Halloween store in January, but I will admit that the 'floorless' Halloween store gag did get a good laugh out of me as it's like accidentally falling into your grave towards eventual death


CONS:
  • Vincent Adultman-if you saw my review of 'Horse Majeure' from a while back, you already know how I feel about Vincent Adultman and how the concept of Princess Carolyn who is forty years old and dating who is as BoJack described in that episode as 'very obviously three kids stacked on top of each other under a trench coat' raises some serious red flags for me with how pedophilia is on the rise in both the entertainment industry as well as the online world and how I was betrayed by the very people who gave me my start on YouTube because of pedophilia...I get that that's the joke with this character, but I don't find it funny in the slightest and I instead find it really really disturbing!
  • Sebastian St. Clair-this is a character that I am literally scratching my head as to what purpose he serves in the series as a whole...he is constantly doing volunteer work for the people of Cordovia in order for Diane to write a book about him in the same way that she did for BoJack Horseman when in actuality he is only in Cordovia for the positive publicity and boost his image in the United States while spending most of his time making tributes to himself instead of helping those that are most in need due to the country being at war. I can see how this could be an interesting parallel as to the kind of egotistical monster that BoJack could've become had he not met Diane, but what purpose does Sebastian serve to the series if he's only in for this one season and that's it?!


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Overall, 'Later' brought everything that had been built up throughout this first season of 'BoJack Horseman' to a close with character arc both closing as well as new story ideas being opened up for the future of the series and I'm proud to give both this episode as well as Season 1 of 'BoJack Horseman' as a whole an overall rating of a 9 out of 10...the future is looking bright for BoJack Horseman at long last, but we'll have to wait and see what lies ahead in Season 2! See you all next time when the holiday season is in full swing is Hollywoo as we find out if 'Sabrina's Christmas Wish' can come true...

#BoJack


MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Downer Ending | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 11: Downer Ending
Written By Kate Purdy

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he was being pushed to his breaking point beyond belief from shooting a movie at his sitcom rival Mr. Peanutbutter's house playing the part of his rival to having his friend Todd Chavez enacting revenge on him for sabotaging his dreams of creating a famous rock opera to having everyone laughing at him while reading the completed memoir by his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen of which he ended up firing despite the positive reception...but will BoJack keep to his word and create a better version of the memoir before the deadline?  Let's return to Hollywoo and find out for what is sure to be quite a 'Downer Ending'!

DOWNER ENDING: BoJack embarks on a project in his typically gonzo style leading to a drug-fueled revelation.

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PROS:

  • Continuity with 'One Trick Pony'-with this episode being a followup to last week's installment when BoJack fires his ghostwriter Diane after she released the memoirs that he believes portrayed him poorly despite the positive reception, now the time has come through a followup to see if BoJack really can keep to his word as to coming up with a better memoir to give to Pinky Penguin before the publishing deadline...not only is what BoJack goes through relatable for any entertainer, but what he goes through later on feels like something straight out of an episode of 'Rick And Morty with how much dark and surreal it gets once our characters start taking all the drugs!
  • The humor-whereas the previous episode's humor mostly relied on celebrity appearances making jabs at their career choices, the humor goes from cute and charming with moments like Princess Carolyn coughing up a hairball during her phone call to BoJack to an all out drug induced acid trip the very second that Sarah Lynn makes her return after BoJack calls her for recreational drugs to help jump start the writing process for his version of the memoirs with moments like the references to 'Doctor Who' with the name of Sarah Lynn's pharmacist as well as BoJack seeing himself as a real horse in the mirror while high on drugs...and not to mention the straight-up bloody massacre that occurs when Todd and Sarah Lynn try to kill BoJack in order to create the ending of the memoirs!
  • The return of Sarah Lynn-I'll be honest, I didn't think that we were gonna see Sarah Lynn again so soon into the series after the extreme amount of chaos that she caused back in her debut episode 'Prickly-Muffin'...but to be honest, who else from the cast we know of so far was BoJack gonna turn to for recreational drugs in order to help with the writing process for his version of the memoirs and I have to say that I think that this is the better of her appearances in the series so far. Don't know whether or not she appears in later seasons after this, but we'll just have to wait and see...
  • Todd Chavez-this was already brought up back in 'One Trick Pony', but I felt that it was worth repeating...with Todd finding out the truth about BoJack's plans to ruin his chances at creating a successful rock opera during the events of 'Zoës and Zeldas' back in 'Horse Majeure', it is so great to see him developing as a character with how he is not taking any more of BoJack's bullshit behavior with how successful his life has been and he even outright says to BoJack's face that he needs to stop expecting BoJack to be a good person so that he doesn't get hurt
  • The animation-knowing that this episode is pretty much just one big acid trip due to the fact that BoJack is on every possible drug you can think of in order to help fuel his memoirs, the animators really had to go wild and crazy with the visuals...and boy did they ever since the visuals that we get during BoJack's acid trip towards his revelation feels like something that can straight out of 'Rick And Morty' or 'Beavis And Butthead' with the morbid moments like when BoJack is hallucinating about his feelings for Diane as well as his fears and showing what his life would've been like if he had been with his old friend Charlotte after leaving the entertainment industry

CONS:

  • N/A

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Overall, I didn't think that there was gonna be an episode to top 'The Telescope' as my favorite episode from this first season of BoJack Horseman especially since the next episode is the season finale...and in comes 'Downer Ending' since it found a way not only to become what is more than likely gonna be the best episode of Season 1, but also to truly make its audience relate with the character of BoJack Horseman even if you want to or not since the series so far has made me realize parts of myself that I've been hiding from for a long time and it's not a pleasant feeling. An awesome episode with anything but a 'downer ending' (see what I did there?) like this more than deserves that 10 out of 10 rating...and with that said, I will see you all next week for the Season 1 finale of BoJack Horseman! Until then, see you...'Later'!

#BoJack



Downer Ending-10/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Andrew Brenner: Steaming To Success

'Thomas & Friends' has had an extremely speckled history as a television series, hasn't it? It started out strong and the response was overwhelmingly positive: the stories were simple, the characters were relatable, the universe felt real with the direction and detailed props and music all assisting in making the series even grander than it was...and it remained successful for many, many years!
Then came along 'Thomas And The Magic Railroad' and the franchise began its never-ending nosedive from there with the general public now viewing Thomas as a joke and seeing it as just another dumb kids' show. It was apparent in the seasons following the movie that there was a dip in quality and the show-runners were losing steam...no pun intended. Then, HiT Entertainment bought the franchise and the series was absolutely broken within a year into the purchase since it had been reduced to an educational baby show and completely lost the spirit of what made the original seasons of Thomas so great. There were good episodes here and there, but it was just an overall disappointment. Things only got worse when the series went fully animated and even less of a f--k was given so much to the point where even die-hard fans couldn't get through an episode before turning it off...things were dour.
But then in 2012, Mattel bought HiT Entertainment and Thomas received a new home...they saw potential in the series and knew it was broken, they saw there was a problem with the series and took the initiative to fix it. The first thing that they did was bring in a new head writer named Andrew Brenner along with a new producer named Ian McCue as well as a whole new team of writers, animators and even a new narrator. 2013 saw the airing of the first Mattel-owned season...Season 17, which many say was the series' return to form with the stories once again held up by the strength of the characters and their dialogue. While Season 17 was not perfect by any means, things have only gotten better since. If it weren't for Mattel, there would be no Andrew Brenner no matter how much they've screwed up the toys or how obnoxious their marketing stunts are...while Mattel may have initiated the fix, but the real credit goes to Andrew Brenner and his writing team.
Andrew Brenner has a previous history with Thomas of writing several magazine stories in the late 1980's with some of them being adapted into episodes for Season 3. He's a longtime fan of the series himself and he understands what works and what doesn't work in Thomas. This man saved the series...and while he and his staff have faltered a bit in their early experimental years, they finally figured out a way to perfectly balance pleasing the fans as well as the target audience and the suits at Mattel as time went on. While I don't necessarily love everything that Andrew Brenner has written, I am eternally grateful for the transformation of the series in order to save the franchise and make everyone happy again.
Andrew Brenner, thank you for all that you've done for Thomas and his friends...we wish you the best of luck with your future projects and you will be dearly missed

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: True Blue's Top 10 SpongeBob Squarepants Episodes | #RIPStephenHillenburg

Nearly twenty years ago, a marine biologist by the name of Stephen Hillenburg would create one of the most influencial and groundbreaking cartoons of all time by the name of 'SpongeBob Squarepants'.  There is no doubt about it that SpongeBob has defined a generation of humor...it was slick and clever while being satirical with unforgettable character and it left its mark forever on television history being ahead of its time.  But with how long that the series has been on the air, many of us really wish it would end so that we can talk about what a great impact it had on comedic cartoons as opposed to asking why the hell they're beating a dead seahorse with another dead seahorse.  Either way, we still end up saying the exact same thing: wasn't 'SpongeBob Squarepants' funny?  The answer is...yes, yes it was.  Despite the fact that it has more than overstayed its welcome, we still can't forget what an entertaining and quotable and hilarious impact that the series has had on us.  It has become one of the most influential shows in that it formed the sense of humor in so many people in the animation industry as well as online content creators.  So many of us nowadays get our delivery, our writing, our performing and just our straight-up sense of comedy from the genius that was 'SpongeBob Squarepants', but again I must ask 'which episodes had the biggest impact...which ones were the most memorable, meaningful or just downright funny'?  It's time to dive below the waves and travel to Bikini Bottom, these are the Top 10 Best 'SpongeBob Squarepants' Episodes!



Are you ready, kids?
Aye aye, captain!
I can't hear you!
Aye aye, captain!

Ohhhhhhh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob Squarepants!
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he
SpongeBob Squarepants!
If nautical nonsense be something you wish
SpongeBob Squarepants!
Then, drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
SpongeBob Squarepants!

SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!

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#10.) KRACKED KRABS

Hey, did you guys know that Mr. Krabs likes money?  I do...because the show reminds us of that in every single episode that he appears in.  But with that being said, I think that 'Kracked Krabs' among every other episode takes this concept of Mr. Krabs being cheap and just runs with it.  It makes for an interesting story out of this fact instead of it being just a few jokes here and there and being yet another episode with a plot of Mr. Krabs doing things for money since it takes Mr. Krabs' cheapness to a whole new level in a very interesting way.

The plot is very entertaining and well thought-out of Mr. Krabs taking SpongeBob as his prodigy to a cheapskate convention and then having SpongeBob giving a testimony for Mr. Krabs to win the award for Cheapest Krab after being told to lie about how cheap he is resulting in him saying that Mr. Krabs isn't cheap...it's a clever story where the comedy is on point as well from SpongeBob trying to do the Krab Laugh to him trying to take his tip back from the muscular bellhop with the best joke being like I said earlier when SpongeBob is on stage trying to give a convincing testimony.  There's also a very nice bond between Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob with Mr. Krabs seemingly like he genuinely wants to teach SpongeBob about his lifestyle...a nice mentorship between the two main characters that we don't see very often enough on the show and it seems like the characters actually like each other for once in what was easily some of the darkest days of the entire series

The new characters and the new location are also interesting as well...we've seen hotel rooms before, but this one in the conference center are a little bit different.  Also, it's cool getting to see the designs of all the other crabs from Huford Bargainbottom to Dwight T. Wad.  Oh, and about the moral of 'stealing is right and being cheap is good'...much like the episode itself, it's very clear that the show staff are exaggerating itself enough and I doubt that any kid would actually take this seriously. 

'Kracked Krabs' is an episode that feels very much like it came out of Season 4 and would feel very much at home alongside 'Shell Of A Man'...it doesn't even feel like a rip-off or that they borrowed any elements.  Even though it came out at a dark age, it is still quite a bargain of a great episode...


#9.) THE SLUMBER PARTY

Among all of the horrendous episodes that we were given in what is hailed as the worst season of the entire series, 'The Slumber Party' is the first episode in the entire season that I think has actually been really funny.  Sure, I have liked episodes before this one ever came out...but I think that this episode is the first one that has enough comedy that it could actually rival most of the pre-movie episodes.  Before you all start angrily typing away on your keyboards and crying 'Blasphemy!', let me explain...

There are a lot...and I do mean a lot of good jokes throughout the episode and I think that what makes it work in particular is how SpongeBob himself is snarky in the face of Mr. Krabs treating him horribly since he is just doing what he is told while making comments all along the way and he doesn't just sit there and take it like in a lot of episodes.  But the biggest part about the comedy in this episode is the irony: Mr. Krabs comes and wrecks SpongeBob's house when he says that that is what teenage boys do after saying that no boys were allowed at Pearl's slumber party with her friends all while he is constantly trying to smuggle a boy in with the boy in the form of SpongeBob ending up Mr. Krabs' house.  Mr. Krabs may not be bored with an innate sense of irony, but I sure am!

Another thing that I really do like about this episode is that it is one of those plots where a character has to do wacky schemes to try and get in somewhere...much like in the episode 'No Weenies Allowed'-they even pull the same gag pretty much in this episode as in that one with SpongeBob's doppelganger.  I like these particular plots and I think that they fit very well for a gag-based show like SpongeBob with every one of his attempts has something funny to it, but I won't spoil the punchline for any of them if you haven't seen this episode yet.

But I think the highlight of the entire episode is Pearl herself-this is easily my favorite of her appearances throughout the first six seasons of the show since the way that she was used in this episode works even better than her appearance in the episode 'Bossy Boots'.  She acts like a teenage girl and her struggling relationship with Mr. Krabs comes from a very real place.  Mr. Krabs isn't even a jerk here for not trusting his teenage daughter since this is something that every father would hesitate to do and the fact that he is a cheapskate hardly comes into play since he is instead just overprotective of his stuff only to get his 'just desserts'.

'The Slumber Party' is not just a good episode, it's a great episode that is sure to leave you with happy dreams as you slumber


#8.) KRABS A LA MODE

This episode...is fantastic and I can not sing enough praises for this one episode alone!  It is so wonderful...everything about this episode is done absolutely right here: it's funny, it's got good action, everyone is in character and finds an awesome role in this new frozen wonderland.  It's zany, it's wacky, it's fun, the name is even named off of a type of pie...I mean, what else could you really want in a SpongeBob episode like this?

From start to finish, it just feels like an action-packed comedic ride and the energy is kept up throughout the entire thing with not a single low point to be found...it's certainly one of the best post-first movie episodes that I have ever seen so far and can definitely compete with the pre-movie seasons.  Even the animation looks great since all of the characters are constantly in motion and the frozen background looks great...heck, the characters even have a shadow on the ice and it looks really cool!

It might be an understatement, but 'Krabs A La Mode' is a definitely a tasty treat of an episode...it may be cool to the touch, but the amount of comedy in it is sure to warm you up!


#7.) UNREAL ESTATE

'Unreal Estate' may not be one of the most original ideas on the show since we have seen SpongeBob and Patrick move away in an episode from the season before this episode came out and Squidward has either moved away or tried to move away a few times already.  But despite not being original, 'Unreal Estate' does in fact do something very different with the concept because the story is mostly about Squidward tricking SpongeBob into getting out of his house while they go looking for new houses.  It's a little different from when SpongeBob moved into the Krusty Krab or into the garbage behind the Krusty Krab, so it definitely does its own thing.

But I wouldn't exactly say that the story is the strongest factor in 'Unreal Estate' since we all knew that there was going to be an obvious twist at the end about the new house being in fact a rocket ship instead of being the perfect house for Squidward...but the problem here is that the rocket ship was never foreshadowed with any explanation as to why it's there and there was never a joke about rocket ships at all throughout the entire episode.  The strongest factor is in fact the comedy especially during the first half with there being some good bits with the uncontrollable hose as well as Gary fighting Squidward when he is grinding pepper all over SpongeBob's house.  Additionally when they start looking for houses, the joke of SpongeBob's opening titles sequence is changed with each house that he is looking at while not original since it was done back in 'Truth Or Square' still made me chuckle and I really love the physical comedy of Squidward getting smashed in the head by the house of drawers.

The comedy may not be amazing, but it definitely gave more of an effort than some other episodes around the same time period in order to make 'Unreal Estate' certainly one to help move SpongeBob into the modern age


#6.) MY LEG!

Fred The Fish is one of the most famous background characters on the show-most notably for shouting the phrase 'My Leg!' which has become one of if not the most famous running gag of the entire series.  It's not often that we get an episode focused on a background character, but this episode tried something new and it really paid off!

Not only do we get a lot of creative scenarios for Fred to injure his leg in the opening, but it also allows newcomers to the series to become familiar with this popular running gag.  Truth be told, the gag doesn't really get old in the beginning nor when SpongeBob is constantly putting his life on the line so that Fred's leg can stay permanently healed because each scenario is 'leg-itimately' amazing and it's clear that most of this episode isn't supposed to be taken too seriously or have a heavy story.  Having a cartoony episode like this isn't a bad thing since it's nice to see a simple storyline and it's clear as to why the show staff went with Fred since he is a minor character and it would be weird to see him have a big role for something other than his leg.  However as the episode goes on, there are times when the characters constantly shouting 'MY LEG!' really wasn't necessary and I feel like this can be a turnoff for those who are not fans of the gag...but when you're someone like me who constantly uses the gag in various videos on their YouTube channel, it doesn't come off as annoying at all since the show staff know how popular the running gag is and that is why they're going all out with it instead of running the gag into the ground.

After it is revealed that Fred likes getting his leg injured since he is in love with a nurse at the hospital, the second half of the episode become a 'leg-endary' turn of events as SpongeBob starts to get Fred into situations where his leg would be injured...and let me just say how awesome it is that we got to see the return of the Alaskan Bull Worm returned via one of these scenarios-it may have been a small scene, but it's so great knowing that any character from the golden age of the series can come back at any moment.

'My Leg!' is a modern classic that is fast-paced and has a good amount of gags not involving Fred screaming about his leg in order to make it one of the best post-sequel episodes of SpongeBob of all time...if you don't take this episode too seriously, you'll have yourself a good time.  Everybody together...MY LEG!


#5.) DUNCES AND DRAGONS

Knowing that 8.6 million people tuned in to watch the premiere of something that is basically an underwater version of being at a Medieval Times restaurant is already really impressive on its own, but the episode itself shows exactly why it brought in this big of a crowd...this episode is amazing-not only is it a good episode, but it is also one of the best episodes of the entire series!

Not only is 'Dunces And Dragons' genuinely funny, but it also gets the medieval parody right and it tells the most epic story that could ever be told in an episode of SpongeBob.  Whereas most people who watch SpongeBob only watch it for the comedy which is true since they do that with this episode, they provided a somewhat epic story along with foreshadowing to the solution in the beginning as well as during the middle and end with trials and unexpected parallels long the way...I'm hardpressed as to finding something about 'Dunces And Dragons' that I didn't like, maybe the ending is a bit amibiguous with Squidily resulting in a lame joke but everything else about the episode is just so amazing that you wish that it had been extended to an hour-long episode.

It's funny, it's epic, it gets the time period right...'Dunces And Dragons' is quite a blast from the past that definitely knew how to survive the dark ages!


#4.) IT'S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS!

'Christmas Who?' may have already set the bar in terms of Christmas specials for SpongeBob, but 'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' blew those expectations that many of us had out of the water and sky high since there are so many great things to love about it: the phenomenal songs, a great story with a handful of funny gags and a wonderful guest appearance by John Goodman all while nailing the spirit of the holiday season.

It may not be one of the funniest episodes of the series, but the jokes that they have made me laugh hard-mostly coming from the little things like Squidward's 'de-jerkification' and SpongeBob's taste buds as he is eating the tainted fruitcake or even when Sandy is analyzing SpongeBob for signs of jerky behavior and it turns out that he is made of jello.  Most of the jokes are tied to the visual style which is pretty awesome since you couldn't really tell those kinds of jokes in other episodes and they have a lot of fun with the medium that they have chosen for the episode.  And the songs...good lord, the songs are amazing and 'Don't Be A Jerk, It's A Christmas' has become one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time even before I even saw the episode which was pretty much based off of the song alone.  It's such a great and weird message of saying not to do these jerky things when Christmas comes around instead of saying for everyone to be happy.

But the best thing about 'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' has to be the stop-motion animation...and I absolutely adore it-while all of the other things that I mentioned before are fantastic, the stop-motion animation is what keeps me coming back to this special time and time again during the holiday season and you even notice something new about it every time that you watch it from the textures to things happening in the background.  The character models are also something that I love about this special from SpongeBob being an actual sponge and Plankton being made of Styrofoam giving him a rough edge...definitely not a standard design that I would've expected, but I still really love how creative it is.

'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' is an amazing episode that is sure to be the perfect present under the coral tree this holiday season...


#3.) PIZZA DELIVERY

Out of all the adventures that we went on with SpongeBob in the first season of the show, 'Pizza Delivery' was easily the one that stood out among the rest and for good reason as there are so many memorable lines and sequences spread throughout the runtime with gag after gag that hit the perfect mark every time...one of the funniest episodes of the series and quite a nostalgic one to look back on!

Everybody together...the Krusty Krab Pizza is the pizza for you and me!


#2.) CHOCOLATE WITH NUTS

What a phenomenal episode this was...I'm serious, 'Chocolate With Nuts' is right behind 'Band Geeks' in my Top 5 Favorite SpongeBob Episodes and for good reason!  All of the gags...all of the gags and memorable quotes are gut-busting hilarious and it spawned a plethora of memes online!

What else can I say except...CHOCCCOLAAAATEEE!!!!!


#1.) BAND GEEKS

...yeah yeah, you all saw this coming!

One of if not the best episode in the entirety of SpongeBob's history and there are plenty of reasons as to why: it is packed to the brim with humor throughout and I like seeing Squidward as a sympathetic hero in this episode as well seeing as he's not trying to hurt anyone or even being a grump but rather someone who is trying as hard as he can with no success whereas his rival Squiliiam has and is breathing down his neck every time...and whenever there's a random musical number in the series like here with 'Sweet Victory', it usually steals the show! An awesome song plus awesome visuals plus a really awesome climax makes for not only an awesome episode...but also the best SpongeBob Squarepants episode of all time!


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...and those are my Top 10 SpongeBob Squarepants Episodes Of All Time!  Thank you so much for reading...and to Stephen Hillenburg, thank you so much for everything that you did in giving SpongeBob Squarepants the sense of humor that it needed to become one of the most influential and groundbreaking cartoons of all times.  You will be dearly missed and may you rest in peace...