Friday 5: 5 Favorite Animated TV Show Theme Songs

There is a really fun series I do over on my youtube channel that I normally post on my other blog smilingldsgirl.com called The Friday 5.  It was set up by a fellow youtuber named Sarah Crawford and each week she picks a topic and we have to choose 5 of our favorite songs that fit that topic.  Normally my other blog is more suited to music but since this one involved animation I decided to include it on this blog this week.

This week’s topic was ‘5 of your favorite themes from TV Shows” and since animation is my favorite I decided to go with that.

I think they are 5 really fun themes and 5 great shows. If you haven’t seen them you should totally check them out.  What are some of your favorite themes from TV shows, animated or not?  I would love to hear.  I do this series every week and next week is wild card so if you have any suggestions of a fun topic I could pick put in the comments section.  If any of you have youtube channels it’s a very fun series to be a part of.

Thanks and have a Happy Friday!!

Animated Emmy Noms 2015

The Emmy nominations were announced today and like always there were a bunch of shows I don’t watch.  Pretty much the only live action shows I watch that got nominated was Mad Men and Downton Abbey.  I was hoping The Goldbergs would get recognized but no love once again. 

girl meets worldThe one live action nom I was excited about was Disney’s Girl Meets World.  I have been meaning to blog about it but haven’t found the time.  I love it!  I loved Boy Meets World and I think it is one of the few reboots that has worked great.  A wonderful mixture of nostalgia for us grown-ups and lots of good stuff for kids.  It’s a show the entire family can watch together and enjoy. 

Other than that I was interested in the animation categories (of course!) and for the most part I was pleased.

For Outstanding Animated Program we had: 

Outstanding Animated Program – 2015

 Archer

 Bob’s Burgers

 Over the Garden Wall

 South Park

 The Simpsons

Of these 5 the one I am most excited for is Over the Garden Wall which I think is a true masterpiece.  I would love to see it get some recognition and perhaps more people to see it.  It is bold in its storytelling and the animation is stunning.  You can read my review of Over the Garden Wall here.

The Simpsons I also think is worthy.  I know people criticize it but they had an artistically ambitious season for 26 and the Treehouse of Horror that was nominated was brilliant with Simpsons 26 meeting Simpsons 1.

The rest of the nominees are too crass and vulgar for my taste but I see the appeal.

And for Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program we had:

Adventure Time

Disney’s Mickey Mouse

 Regular Show

 Robot Chicken

 Steven Universe

 Wander over Yonder

A few of these I haven’t heard of.  I would have loved to see Gravity Falls nominated which is so clever.  Robot Chicken I’ve heard of but never seen.  Wander over Yonder, Steven Universe, and Regular Show are new to me.  Have any of you seen them?  Are they good?

Adventure Time is a lot of fun but I would have put Rick and Morty in its place (not sure if that is short format or not?).

I am very happy to see Disney’s Mickey Mouse get a nomination. It’s a vintage style 2D show in the spirit of the old Mickey Mouse animated shorts and I love it! If you haven’t seen it, it’s really quite brilliant.  Artist Paul Rudish and his team capture the feel of old school Disney perfectly. I reviewed it on my channel.

What about you?  What do you think of the nominations?  I’d love to know your thoughts especially if you’ve seen some of these shows I haven’t.  It’s just a silly awards show but it is nice when something like Over the Garden Wall gets nominated when it sorely deserves it.

Have a great day!

My Favorite Simpsons Episodes

simpsons favsSince its animation I thought I would share with you a video I just posted of my favorite Simpsons episodes. It’s a longer video but the list starts at 4:17 mark. Please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t.

My top 13 Simpsons episodes.
13. Brick Like Me
12. Bart the Mother
11. Bart on the Road
10. When Flanders Failed
9. Bart Gets an F
8. The Cartridge Family
7. Treehouse of Horror V
6. Secret War of Lisa Simpson
5. Homer the Great
4. Lisa Gets an A
3. Marge vs the Monorail
2. King Sized Homer
1. Homer’s Enemy.

What are your favorite episodes?

Character Profile 1: Lisa Simpson

Today I thought I would start a new series on the blog where I profile characters in television and movies that mean a lot to me.

There is nothing in television or movies that has consistently brought me more joy than The Simpsons.  Yes, I realize its glory days are behind it but I still enjoy the show.  It still makes me laugh and I’ve been watching it since it premiered in 1989.  Think about that! The show has been on the air and part of my life for 25 years! Wow! It’s brilliant, funny, satirical, smart, beautiful, creative and full of heart.

The Simpsons has many great characters but my favorite is Lisa.

lisaLisa is a great character for so many reasons.  I love her sincerity.  She so wants the world to be a better place and unfailingly believes in other people.  A great example is an episode called Lisa and the Old Man  where she even believes that Mr Burns can change and become a good person.

lisa and mr burnsAnother great Lisa episode is called Make Room for Lisa where she gets a chance to go inside her father’s head and realizes how much he tries to do to make her happy.  It’s sincere and funny and just everything I love about the character.

219. Make Room For Lisa

Lisa is really the moral compass of the show and there are many great moments of her standing up for what is right whether it be vegetarianism, environmentalism, feminism or just being honest.  I love Lisa gets an A where Lisa gets distracted from her studies with a video game and cheats on a test.  Her guilt at her unearned A eats at her and is a wonderful episode.

Lisa.gets

She is also by no means a perfect character.  She is easily influenced by the desire to have friends and be accepted (who can’t relate to that?).  Some of her best episodes are when she finally feels accepted like in The Summer of 4 ft 2.  This is where the Simpsons go to the Flanders beach house and Lisa decides to put a new image to be accepted by the new kids.  To her surprise they love her and Bart gets very jealous eventually exposing the real Lisa to the kids.  It’s a great Lisa/Bart episode and one where she is in the end actually accepted.

summer_of_4_ft-_2_46In an episode from just last season Brick Like Me, she gleefully spends time with her Dad putting together Legos (she’s still a little girl on the show) until some friends come along and she drops him to go see the Hunger Games.

simpsons2Other episodes I love for Lisa are Moaning Lisa where she finally finds someone who understands her (and her music).  Who can’t relate to that desire to be understood by someone?

moaninglisaI love The Secret War of Lisa Simpson where Bart get’s sent to military school and Lisa sensing a better education decides to join him.  At first marginalized because she is a girl Lisa is forced to overcome sexisim, loneliness and bond with her brother in a new way.

screen-shot-2012-02-22-at-1-05-21-amLisa the Vegetarian is also a winner where Lisa realizes she doesn’t want to kill animals and eat them.  At first she wants to bully people into seeing things her way and then she realizes she needs to let others make their own choices.

Lisa_the_vegetarianMy Sister, the Sitter is another great one where Lisa tries so hard to be a good babysitter but Bart is insulted to have his younger sister babysitting him so he makes it difficult.  If there is anything great about Lisa it’s that she tries so hard at everything.

My_Sister,_My_Sitter_88Probably her most iconic episode is I Love Lisa in which Ralphie Wigham falls in love with her after she gives him a train valentine. Her temper (another great character attribute) gets her into trouble here.

i_love_lisa_77Lisa can also be jealous, which is terrifically demonstrated in an episode called Lisa’s Rival in which a girl comes into town who is smarter, prettier and even plays the saxophone better than  her.

lisas_rival_25Mostly I relate to Lisa because of her affection for people and the way she sincerely bonds with others, wanting the best for them.  It’s a tribute to the show and Yeardley Smith’s great vocals that such a depth of feeling can be developed in such short period of a 22 minute episode.  One example is Lisa’s Substitute where she gets a new teacher who inspires her and Homer almost ruins it.  The ending is perfect and makes me tear up every time.

screen-shot-2011-07-24-at-12-31-38-pmThere are so many episodes I could list where I love Lisa.  She is a wonderful creation and is perhaps taken for granted a little bit by even Simpsons fans who tend to focus on Homer and Bart.  Without her the show would have lasted a couple seasons.  She is the heart and soul of the show, and I just love her.  Tip of the hat to Yeardley Smith for brilliant vocal work creating a character I love so much.

What are your favorite Lisa moments?

And for some reason people are always surprised to hear I love The Simpsons.  Yep, this Mormon girl loves The Simpsons!

Favorite Non-Disney Animated Movies

Hi guys!

I just thought you might be wondering what my opinion is on non-Disney animated films.  I’m not talking Pixar,Studio Ghibli or other Disney wings because they should get their own list.  I’m talking about other studios like Dreamworks, which while not as consistently my favorites like Disney, they have made some great animated films.

So here we go in no particular order.

1. The Adventures of Tintin- underrated action adventure movie.  Yes, it is motion capture not traditional animation but I figure if it looks, feels, acts like an animated film it is an animated film.  More people should have seen this movie.  It was so entertaining!

2. The Lego Movie- one of the most visually inventive movies I’ve ever seen.  The effects with the legos blew me away.  Great voice work by whole cast, and the script is so well written. Every joke got a laugh from me and then there’s moments that were surprisingly tender.  It is the best movie I’ve seen at capturing how a child plays with their toys and how incapable adults are at understanding that play.

3. Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2- both films are very entertaining with a likable lead character, fun action, beautiful visuals, and great villains.

4. Secret of Nimh- wonderful movie featuring one of the toughest Moms in movies.  She doesn’t want to be a hero but will do anything for her son.  There’s humor, adventure and most importantly real heart.

5. Anastasia- one of the best animated romantic comedies put onto film.  Great chemistry, a fun villain, and decent music.  The story is silly but I still find it very entertaining.

6. How to Train Your Dragon- haven’t seen sequel but want to.  Original was very entertaining.  It’s a predictable story but told very well.  Great voice cast and a great heart to the story of Hiccup and his desire to please his demanding father.  The relationship between him and the dragon is very absorbing. Beautiful flying visuals.

7. Prince of Egypt- some people have problems with the changes from the Biblical story but not me. I am mad for the music, just love it and the scene where Moses communes with the burning bush is breathtaking.  I’m a huge fan of biblical epics and this stands with the best.

8. Arthur Christmas- A movie I thought looked really stupid and then totally surprised me.  Santa’s youngest son Arthur believes in bringing Christmas to every child and when he finds a girl has been missed will do anything to make it right.  I love the idea that even the North Pole has become over-commercialized for Christmas.  I love Christmas movies so this is a big win.  Great voice cast. Real heart.

9. Chicken Run- An homage to Dirty Dozen and other prison escape movies from the 50s.  Great writing and voice work.  Terrific villain and the stop motion animation is fabulous.

10. Transformers 1986- Michael Bay should be strapped down and forced to watch this movie for a week straight to understand how it should be done.  Those bloated, obnoxious mess of movies don’t have 1/10th the heart of this animated film.  Orson Wells is Optimus Prime and he is great.  It’s got action and fun characters and with every Michael Bay monstrosity it looks better and better (Transformers 2 and 3 are 2 of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.  I just can’t see 4.  It’s too much.) Boys deserve better transformers movies and this animated film gives it to them. .

11.  Charlotte’s Web- One of the best non-Disney animated musicals.  Sweet songs with great vocal performances by Debbie Reynolds and Paul Lynde.  It’s actually pretty sad but in a way that will teach kids about friendship and sacrifice.

12. Iron Giant- If you haven’t seen this film, stop what you are doing, go out and watch it.  The animation is stunning.  The story has real heart and lovely characters.  It is a total winner!

13. Paranorman- everyone who thinks I’m a total softy when it comes to darker movies will probably be surprised to find this on my list.  I like a good ghost story and this definitely fits the bill.  It’s more for teens than children.  Some of the images are pretty scary and the humor, like the jock actually being gay, is probably more for teens than little kids.  It looks amazing.  Has some genuine scares and the story surprised me.  Very well done.

14. Simpsons Movie- Everyone is always shocked to find out I love the Simpsons.  My favorite show of all time.  My brother and sister and I would watch it every week and 26 seasons later still do.  The movie is overwritten and could have been better but I still really enjoy it.  I love the characters and the HD colors add a nice touch to the movie over the TV show.  Simpsons has given me so many laughs I love it.  Lisa is my particular favorite.

15. Pirates: Band of Misfits- A movie nobody saw but I really enjoyed.  It’s funny with Charles Darwin as our unlikely hero.  The stop motion looks great and voice work is engaging.  A hidden gem!

16. Curious George- So few movies are made well for children under 5.  Curious George is one of those movies.  It is sweet and engaging with lovely songs from Jack Johnson.  One that is unabashadly for the smallest of children and yet adults won’t be miserable.

17. Lord of the Rings (Bakshi)- It’s not as good as the Peter Jackson movies but it is also a different take on an epic story.  To me there is room for multiple retellings of the Lord of the Rings and Bakshi crams a lot of story into this film.  Maybe not a masterpiece but I enjoy it.  The music is wonderful and characters engrossing.  If you like the story of Lord of the Rings give this animated version a chance.  I think this is what the Black Cauldron was trying to be and it isn’t near as successful.

18. Batman Mask of the Phantasm- Still my favorite Batman movie (yes, you read right).  Intense without being too violent.  Batman is interesting without being over-the-top.  I hate in the live action movies how the villains are always more interesting than Batman.  Not the case here.  Great animation.  Great voice work.  If you haven’t seen it and love the Nolan films give it a shot.

19. Happy Feet- A flawed film but I love the music and it is so unabashedly cheerful I enjoy it.  It’s the kind of movie I put in when I’m sick and it brightens my day.  Huge talented cast and serviceable story.

20. Charlie Brown Christmas Special- I realize this was for TV but I couldn’t not include it.  One of the best Christmas movies ever made.  Perfect soundtrack.  Lovely message and delightful characters. It focuses on the Christ message of Christmas in a way that is powerful without being overbearing.