BW’s Belated Christmas Special Review> Reindeer In Here

This came out right after Thanksgiving and I wasn’t ready to watch Christmas specials just yet. This is when I found time to watch it, and no, the above video isn’t from the special. It is however tied to the special’s origin.

There was a time when Hallmark would release a special edition Christmas stuffed animal set, and would have an animated special made for home video, both sold together at Hallmark stores, with the characters saving Christmas for some family. Nowadays they just use the same two or three recycled romance plots, and set it at Christmas, like a romantic Die Hard, something set at Christmas but has nothing to do with the holiday itself. That’s right, I said it! Nobody’s telling you not to watch Die Hard at Christmas; just stop trying to convince us it’s a Christmas movie as if you need a reason for explosions and dead bodies. Sorry, neither of those things are Christmas. Deal with it!

Anyway, Reindeer In Here, co-produced by CBS, isn’t from Hallmark but it follows that dropped tradition. Created by TV producer Adam Reid, the goal was to give his children a Christmas tradition that also celebrated being different. The concept (official brand website) is otherwise similar to “elf on a shelf”. You give the kid the plushie and related storybook, the kid names the reindeer (and decide if it’s a boy or a girl, though now they come in multiple existing characters as well), the reindeer supposedly learns what the child wants, and then at Christmas it “magically flies away to the North Pole” to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. To celebrate uniqueness the various reindeer has certain features. The original reindeer has one antler smaller, another is pink, another has buck teeth and glasses, and so on. At first this was sold through Amazon but I guess Target picked it up as well.

This year CBS Studios released a CG-animated special to promote the book & toy set (and to have a Christmas special all their own I’d wager) airing on CBS and streaming on Paramount Plus. They aired it at an odd time, Tuesday at 9PM ET. I don’t know if that translates to 6PM Pacific Time (usually dinner time) or if they do the thing where it airs at 9 Easter, 8 Central, and then at 9 and 8 respectively for Mountain and Pacific, but to air in on a Tuesday night when the kids will be in bed because they have school the next day seems kind of dumb. At least do it on a Friday or Saturday where the parents may let them stay up. CBS even aired Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer at 8PM ET that same night. I know you don’t like kids, Hollywood mindset people, but at least don’t torture them with a new Christmas special they can’t stay up for just because you have a streaming service! But enough backstory, let’s review the special.

Continue reading

“Yesterday’s” Comic> Star Blazers: The Magazine Of Space Battleship Yamato #10

So my copy seems to have vanished. I think I have an idea as to when but not where to. It’s somewhere in this studio. Lucky for me I found a legal online copy from the people who worked on it…which will lead to something special after I review the next issue.

“Hurry, let’s find Tronix’s missing copy of this comic!”

Star Blazers: The Magazine Of Space Battleship Yamato

Argo Press (February, 1997)

“Be Forever Yamato” part 2: “Invasion: Earth”


ARTIST: Tim Eldred


Continue reading

BW’s Daily Video> Every Room In The TARDIS Explained

Catch more from Harbo Wholmes on YouTube

CBR’s War On Clark Kent

It’s also a gift for the fans. I expect DC to return it as soon as possible.

And it appears we have an opening. At least if you ask CBR, the website that used to be known as Comic Book Resources before they went crazy. A recent article on the situation claims that Superman may not be willingingly restoring his secret identity as Clark Kent, and at least two different CBR writers would rather it stayed gone.

Nevermind the fact that Clark is how we connect to him as readers while also how Kal-El stays tuned to the world. Even Tom King knows that Clark is the source of Superman’s humanity. Take that from him and he grows distant, becoming the “godlike” being some people wrongly believe he is.

Specifically I’m going to look at four articles by two writers: Amer Sawan and Renaldo Matadeen. Apparently they’re fixed in the Supergod camp rather than Superman. They hate the idea of secret identities, at least for Superman. Well, I think they’re wrong and I’m about to go into why. Superman is my favorite superhero, I grew up with Superman as an important factor in what I believe a superhero should be, and Clark Kent is part of the reason why.

Continue reading

“Yesterday’s” Comic> LEGO Ninjago: The Challenge Of Samukai!

Burning plastic rarely ends well.

LEGO Ninjago: The Challenge Of Samukai!

Papercutz (2011)

WRITER: Greg Farshtey

ARTIST: Paul Henrique

COLORIST: Laurie E. Smith

LETTERER: Bryan Senka

EDITOR: Michael Petranek

Continue reading

BW’s Daily Article Link: Why A Charlie Brown Christmas Still Resonates

A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first time the classic Peanuts characters would jump from the newspaper comic strips to animation, and more specials and series would follow as we continued to see more from Charlie Brown and…”friends” would be a stretch, except maybe Linus. I know I feel a lot like Charlie Brown a lot of the time. However, something about this special, which used to air on CBS before moving to ABC and now you need an Apple TV subscription, still connects to us. Think Christian contributor Stephen Woodworth goes over why we feel for Charlie Brown and his little tree.

Transformers: Rise Of A Concerning Interview

Just last week we saw the teaser trailer for Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, the second Transformers live-action movie not directed by Michael Bay. ROTB director Steven Caple, Jr. even worked on the pilot episode from Transformers: EarthSpark and seemed to leaning more towards the BumbleBee movie, the first live-action movie that a huge part of the fanbase has nice things to say about, and things looked positive. I had some good hopes.

It was also last week that I did a commentary about using representation not for positive representation of minorities but as a mixture of propaganda and a cheap marketing tool, weaponizing the culture war to defend movies that do not give people of color a good showing but you need to support or you will be branded racist…as if black people don’t deserve to have a good movie made about them or there weren’t existing black, Latino, female, and even gay characters to be utilized without altering existing characters because it gets them positive press.

I didn’t think the two articles had any connection. Yes, both the movie and EarthSpark have minority casts but just having minorities doesn’t make a movie propaganda and there have been few people of color outside of white and Japanese in this franchise among the humans. There were black and Latino people, but it has been overwhelmingly white and Japanese…and the Japanese art style is often mistaken for “white” among the surface viewers who can’t take more than five seconds to actually have a clue what they’re talking about.

So now we have Caple and lead actor Anthony Ramos being interviewed by BET, and while it’s not surprising that Black Entertainment Television’s website would want to highlight the number of black people involved in front of and behind the camera, the interview is making a few people wonder if the movie is going to be propaganda or if this is just more cheap marketing. And marketing can hurt a movie or show. Ask the creator of the Netflix series First Kill, who blamed the show’s cancelation on the marketing of the show, focusing more on the lesbian romance between a human and vampire rather on the actual story surrounding the Romana and Juliet story about battling vampires and werewolves and such in which the romance was only subplot instead of main plot as it was marketed. Marketing is important and this interview with BET may not be helping Rise Of The Beasts.

Continue reading