Grant reviews filth: Dungeons & Dragons

20Jan10

This past Sunday was Jack Danger’s birthday, so we were all treated to a Jack Danger movie marathon of sorts this weekend. The dishes were Fido, a 1950’s surbubia boy and his new pet zombie flick, and American Astronaut, basically a post-modern sci-fi shenanigan, any other attempted plot description would probably melt my brain before I could adequately explain it. So zombies and sci-fi, yup, this is my roommate.

But the true gem of the whole affair turned out to be a birthday gift from Red and The Critic, the first nine episodes of Dungeons and Dragons. I hold this DVD box in my hands right now, and I can say that I truly now know what is like to hold a box full of mediocrity. Here is a little back story to this show, Marvel Comics worked with the makers of D&D to produce a cartoon show of the same quality as the work of Hanna-Barbera (that right there, that is a problem coming right out the gate). When it was released in 1984, parents were upset, citing it as one of the most violent children’s shows to ever exist. This is bullshit, by the way, but more on that later. This criticism came most likely because of America’s inherent fear of cults at the time, and many parents believed that players of the game was akin to cult-like behavior. Seriously. Do they have problems like this in other countries? Or is it just us…the most conservative, non-Muslim nation in the world?

Just a little bit of background on this show before I dig into it, Jack Danger had not only heard of this show, but he had always wanted to see it. He actually gave it to his elder brother as a Christmas gift. He’s a big D&D player, so you could call this a match made in heaven. Or whatever the D&D deity immortality pad is called. C’mon, this is the same young man who used to not only watch a television show called Skeleton Warriors (seriously), but still hums the theme tune.

So you are probably wondering, this is my second filth review in the past two weeks, how is an 80s children’s fantasy cartoon filthy? Mostly it’s because of sexual suggestions that truly have no place in the plot. This series follows a group of six kids trying to get back to their home dimension after a roller-coaster ride gone wrong, insert acid joke here. Now in their quest to leave this land of mystery, they share many adventures and five of them share the same personality. Seriously, they have the leader, his kid brother, the rich boy, the geek, the smart minority girl, and the other girl and only rich boy stands. While the other five continue to follow around a balding dwarf who calls himself the “Dungeon Master” (yuck), this kid is a little bitch who complains and whines about everything. He is annoying as all hell and he is somehow the only rounded character, I have found myself rooting for the whiner!

Now getting to the reason this is filth, first off it sucks hard. Each episode follows rather contrived, linear plot lines that do nothing to develop the characters or teach children lessons in basic Judeo-Christian ethics in an effective manner. Did I mention that since arriving in the world of D&D each of the children know walk around looking like cosplayers at a Comic-con. Each kid has a role like archer or cavalier. As you probably guessed, each of the girls get the short-end of that deal. Diana is the acrobat, she carries an extending pole for vaulting and is dressed in a the equivalent of a fur bikini. She’s also black, so you can interpret that as you like. The other girl, Shelia, talks less then any other member of the group. Her item as the thief is a cloak that makes her disappear, you could swear that she’s always wearing it except for the three times that she will deliver a line.

Actually this all isn’t fair, if it weren’t for Shelia the Thief, this article wouldn’t even exist. You see, Shelia’s outfit has a skirt. I didn’t put any thought into this until a scene in the first episode when a village came under attack. This led to a scene where all of the kids jumped onto horseback. Shelia hopped on the horse of Hank, the leader, it was a quick motion. But not quick enough to hide a two second white panty flash. Now keep in mind that this show is not live action, meaning the animators decided it would make more sense to show a brief glimpse of a under-age cartoon girl’s underwear on show targeted to the 7 to 10 demographic rather then just make her skirt longer…or ignore it. What do I do in life that gets me asking these questions?

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