Christine Cavanaugh, the voice of a 90’s childhood, has died

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According to this morning’s LA Times, legendary voice actress Christine Cavanaugh has passed away due to undisclosed causes.

Cavanaugh was easily the most recognizable character voice actor of the 90’s.  Her bubbly, scratchy voice brought the character of Chuckie Finster to life on Nickelodeon’s Rugrats and has transcended generations.  After leaving Utah to attend the University of Hawaii, Christine relocated to California to explore voice work.  She got her first big break at the age of 28 when auditioning for the role of Gosalyn, the adopted daughter of Darkwing Duck.  Disney saw her talent and Cavanaugh’s upbeat voice was introduced to a generation of cartoon-watching kids in 1991.

From there Cavanaugh found no shortage of noteriety and accolades through various roles including Jay Sherman’s son Marty on The Critic, Obalina on Ahh! Real Monsters, Bunnie on Sonic The Hedgehog and Bam-Bam on the 90’s Flinstone cartoons and arguably her biggest role as the titular sheep-hearding pig in 1995’s Best Picture nominee Babe.

Christine also had several on-screen appearances in Cheers, ER, The X-Files, Salute Your Shorts and a big screen role in Jerry Maguire before finding yet another starring role as a widely recognized character on Cartoon Network’s Dexter’s Laboratory.  Cavanaugh would portray the boy genius for 58 episodes while continuing to portray Chuckie on both Rugrats and Rugrats: All Growed Up before retiring in 2003.

According to her obituary, Christine Cavanaugh lived the rest of her life hiking, reading, writing and spending time with loved ones before dying at the young age of 51.

‘Rick And Morty’ Coming Back With Intergalactic Couples Therapy, Stephen Colbert & Cameos From ‘Community’ & ‘Battlestar Galactica’

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The new Adult Swim phenomenon Rick And Morty is coming back for a second season.  It should come as no surprise that the series was renewed so quickly for anyone who has seen it, the show is freakin’ brilliant.  Co-created by Justin Roiland and Community mastermind Dan Harmon, the show centers around the relationship between the anxiety-ridden teenager Morty and his alcoholic genius inventor uncle, Rick Sanchez.  The initially presents itself as a crass parody of Back to the Future before revealing itself to be a fully realized world of science fiction, satire and a little bit of heart.  It’s less Aqua Teen and more Futurama.


(That iPad game?  It’s real now.)

So what can we expect for Season 2?  Well for starters, the relationship of Morty’s parents Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) is back on the decline.  Despite the mending that took place in the popular improv-humor-laden alternate-reality TV episode, the couple is on the outs in one of Chalke’s “favorite episodes”.  “Rick gets fed up”, explained Roiland at NY Comic Con, “and says ‘alright, that’s it, you motherf***ers are going to couples therapy” before whisking them off for an intergalactic therapy.

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In fact, much of Season 2 will be intergalactic.  Whereas the first season put a lot of focus on Rick using new contraptions or dragging Morty away from his home life into other dimensions, the second outing will be a more expanded, interplanetary outing.  The creators explain that there will be a lot of interplanetary travel, a bit more multidimensional travel and though they have been avoiding the “obvious” time travel Back to the Future references, there are still “some time issues that you can look forward to”.

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Though Rick And Morty doesn’t shy away from being self-referential, don’t expect any characters like Mr. Meeseeks to return quite yet.  In an interview with Den of Geek, Dan Harmon described one of his biggest challenges working on his hit series Community:

Harmon: We’re a little worried about the curse of Community, which is that if you do do a call back or exhibit some continuity, even if it’s not deliberately inside, even if it functions on its own, then the critics say, “Oh there’s this thing, it’s called The Human Being or Annie’s Boobs,” and then somehow the culture gets created that the show isn’t appropriate for new viewers, which isn’t true. I watched that happen to Community and I’m like, “C’mon, no. This show would be fine to watch [with] the first episode of the fifth season.” So, I kinda feel like if there’s no Meeseeks box in the second season then there can be one in the third.

There will be plenty of new characters however, including a few celebrity cameos.  Expect to hear Stephen Colbert, Werner Herzog,  Community’s Dean Jim Rash and “some great Battlestar Galactica folks” voicing new characters when the series returns Summer 2015.

In the meantime, Season 1 of Rick And Morty has been recently released on DVD and BluRay and is loaded with extras.

Check it out!

The Live-Action Mario Bros. Movie Has an Official Sequel!?

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Wait…what!?

You might not even remember the first Mario Bros. movie, or maybe you’ve simply retconned it out of existence.  Deny it all you want, it happened.

Yes, in 1993 Disney’s Buena-Vista Pictures released a live-action film that was loosely based on the Super Mario Bros. game series. Very, very loosely. The villain, King Koopa (not even Bowser, though the 90’s cartoon made this same mistake as well) was a human and played by Dennis Hopper.  Mario and Luigi were respectfully portrayed by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo while Samantha Mathis played Princess Daisy instead of Peach Toadstool, who was even more obscure back in 1993 having only appeared in Super Mario Land on the GameBoy. Toad was a homeless punk rocker, giant fish Big Bertha was an overweight nightclub performer and Yoshi?  Well…I think someone shut the fence off in the rain.

Due to the film’s financial and critical failings, the cliffhanger ending was never resolved and a sequel was never produced.  Nintendo has continuously referenced this film as the sole reason why they have shied away from movie licensing deals over the past twenty years.  While there are rumors and rumblings of an animated Mario film in the works, it appears there is actually already a sequel to the Total Recall-ish 1993 live-action film…in comic form.

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The script’s writers Parker Bennett, Steven Applebaum and Ryan Hoss have decided to explore the idea of a sequel set in the unique cyber-punk future world of Dinohatten.  Bennett said he was “hopelessly optimistic” when he teased a sequel at the end of the original film, explaining that they began this comic because he did not want all of their ideas for the sequel to be left unexplored.

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With the help of artists Eryk Donovan and Brett Michael Cook, a Super Mario Bros. 2 graphic novel went live earlier in the summer.  The story continues from the end of the first film as promised, pulling the Bob Hoskin’s Mario and co. back into the action as Daisy discovers a new breed of enemy pouring out of a mysterious alternate universe.  The movie versions of Toad and Yoshi appear, Luigi’s romance with Daisy is continued and we are also introduced to the movie version of Shy Guys who are portrayed as terrifying clawed, masked assassins.

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It’s a fascinating read and lots of fun to see this alternative version of such a widely recognized universe continue to unfold.  There are no plans to release physical copies of the graphic novel but the website promises that the option will be explored in the future if copyright laws allow for it.

A new page will be released every week at http://smbthecomic.com/.

Sate your curiosity and check it out!

Star Wars Episode VII Character Names Revealed!

This is actually pretty creative.

Lucasfilm has revealed the names of the new characters from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser-trailer.  They didn’t just list them off IMDB-style however, they instead opted for a non-traditional unvealing that might play into the nostalgia of fans.  Lucasfilm actually unveiled the characters names using classic-style TOPPS trading-card designs, complete with the old-school Star Wars title font and everything.

Have a look.

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If these cards end up being real then I expect a crumbly, stale stick of bubble gum.

This is important.

 

The New Nintendo 3DS does something special when you “tap” the Mario theme

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The New Nintendo 3DS has a fantastic little easter egg.

Open the web browser and take out your stylus.  Tap the first 6 or 7 notes to the “Mario theme” or, the music from
Level 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. on the NES.  Use the 7th note to tap on a random website that you’ve favorite’d and recently visited.

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Enjoy your free break-out clone.
Here’s a video demonstration.

The New Nintendo 3DS has no official release date for the United States and Europe as of yet, but it’s rumored for January 2015.  Keep checking Nintendo.com and Amazon listings for dealsAmazon listings for deals and further info.

Dragon Ball Z Revival of F trailer has some surprises

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A new teaser trailer for Dragon Ball Z: The Revival of F, which you can view below, has aired in Japan.

A few things worthy of note- first off, we’re finally getting our first look at the reborn Frieza in action.  What’s interesting about this, Frieza apparently starts off the movie in his first form and works himself back to the more advanced transformation that we’re more used to.  Frieza also has a brief line in the trailer where he threatens Goku with his “new, evolved form”.  Piccolo also mentions that Frieza is different this time around, and more of a monster than ever before.

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I also liked how the trailer seems to depict a full-scale Ginyu invasion, similar to what was described when we first learned about how Frieza and his planet-cleansing business in Dragon Ball Z.

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…and finally, ROSHI IS FIGHTING?!

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I’ve already bought my ticket.

Street Fighter V announced- PC & PS4 exclusive!

Wait, what?

Didn’t we just release Ultra Street Fighter?  …and 50 other versions of Street Fighter IV before that?  Also, Street Fighter x Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which also use the SFIV engine?

Well nevermind that because Capcom’s megaton announcement is STREET FIGHTER V.

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Screw it, I’m excited.  The current generation of Street Fighter games are excellent, who’s the say the next generation won’t be even better?  Street Fighter is Capcom’s bread and butter, even more so than Resident Evil and Mega Man (sniff), they aren’t going to chance releasing a subpar product here.  The question is, what will they do to advance the gameplay of the past four generations of the fighting classic?  Very little is known about the gameplay so it’s anyone’s guess at this point.  All we saw was a brief fight between Ryu and Chun-Li in a neon, nighttime setting.  Also, Ryu doing this-

I have no idea what’s going on here.
It looks awesome though.

By the way, how about that PS4 & PC exclusive?  The last time a Street Fighter game was a console exclusive was Street Fighter III on the Sega Dreamcast, and we all know how that turned out.  So how many angry XBone owners are cursing the big C today?

 

Rape Scenes in the Bayonetta Games? Kamiya Responds on Twitter

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This will be pretty non-graphic but I would like to include a trigger warning for the men and women who are disturbed by these kinds of things.

Did both highly acclaimed video games Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 include scenes of implied rape?

A user on gaming forum NeoGAF felt disturbed by two particular scenes which have gone largely undiscussed.  The implied act takes place during a boss fight represented in both Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2.  In it, the titular female protagonist mostly presented as a self-efficient independent strong heroine, faces off against an ongoing rival named Rodin.  Rodin isn’t necessarily a villain in the game’s story.  Though he has battled Bayonetta he also crafts and sells weapons for her by which he obtains from his primary duty as a proprietor of the Gates of Hell.  In these boss fights, Rodin executes a powerful move that obscures the players view and ends with Rodin smoking a cigar as a fully nude Bayonetta lies in the fetal position, seemingly clutching her buttocks (NSFW).

It’s pretty easy to see why this might upset someone.  Though Bayonetta is a game that lavishes sexuality and ultra-violence to the point of self-parody, the title character is almost never shown as vulnerable, let alone completely nude.  To see her lying down and possibly clutching her naked behind as if recovering from a forceful penetration, is very shocking and quite disturbing to someone that might just be looking to enjoy a wacky action-shooter on their Nintendo Wii U.  Rodin enjoying a smoke (NSFW), as is a common post-sex trope in modern media, only makes the scene more incriminating.

The game’s creator and lead director Hideki Kamiya, who also created Viewtiful Joe, Okami and directed many entries in the Devil May Cry series, was quick to respond to the controversy.  When several NeoGAF users took to twitter to confront the developer earlier this morning, he explained that the scenes were not intended to imply any type of sexual violence and was initially confused by the accusations.

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The lead character’s source of power, and clothing for that matter, is her angelic hair.  When Rodin pulls her into the Gates of Hell for his attack,  her most powerful defense is temporarily destroyed leaving her injured and nude on the ground.  So why does Rodin light up a smoke immediately afterward?  This wasn’t directly addressed but in the name of fairness it should be pointed out that Rodin is always lighting up a cigar throughout the entirety of both games.

 

There are far too many instances in modern media of rape being casually brushed aside or treated as joke fodder instead of a horrific, invasive and violent crime.  Rape culture is a problem and something that should continue to be addressed, but are the scenes in Bayonetta a contributing offender or was this just an unfortunate coincidence, something lost in translation?

It’s definitely something worth discussing.

 

 

 

 

Check out deals on Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2 and the Bayonetta anime on Amazon