Thursday, October 21, 2010

Clam I Am (Not)

Though by no means as insulting or slandering a claim as "Barack Obama is a Muslim" or what have you, my mention of Fish Hooks reminded me of a bizarre rumor that is circulating around the Internet for some reason.


For some reason, a number of websites are claiming that veteran actress/singer/voice artist and Disney standby Ashley Tisdale provided the voice of Clamantha in the pilot episode of Fish Hooks. This is not the case- Clamantha's voice was and always has been provided by staffer Alex Hirsch. Clamantha is by far the funniest character on the show, and as a voice actress Ms. Tisdale isn't anything to sneeze at- she is surprisingly good on Phineas and Ferb- but the two of them are not one and the same. For reference, here's a handy guide to telling the two apart:

Ashley Tisdale: born 1985 in West Deal, New Jersey.
Clamantha: is a teenage clam.

Ashley Tisdale: first rose to fame playing Maddie on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Sharpay in High School Musical.
Clamantha: is a teenage clam.

Ashley Tisdale: famously had a nose job in order to alleviate a deviated septum.
Clamantha: being a teenage clam, has no nose.

Ashley Tisdale: is related to Ron Popeil and the inventor of the Ginsu knife.
Clamantha: shoots pearls. Because she is a clam.

Ashley Tisdale: can currently be seen on the CW's Hellcats opposite fellow Disney vet Alyson Michalka and also provides the voice of Candace on Phineas and Ferb.
Clamantha: can currently be seen on Disney Channel's Fish Hooks opposite a bunch of cartoon fish and also has a voice not provided by Ashley Tisdale.

Also, does this sound like Ashley Tisdale to you?

I didn't think so.

FISH HOOKS ©The Walt Disney Company. No ownership intended or implied. Ashley Tisdale photograph from Wikipedia.

He Got The (Fish) Hookup

The public radio series The Story recently had an, story about Noah Z. Jones, an artist and illustrator who got an incredibly lucky break and now can say he created his own TV series. How did almost naked animals lead to Fish Hooks? Find out and listen to his story here (it's 31 minutes into the episode)- it's really interesting.

Here's one of Mr. Jones's first jobs as an animator, Pete's A Pizza, as narrated by Chevy Chase.

And here's a Fish Hooks cartoon where Bea, a perky young goldfish girl, learns the hard way that the business world usually doesn't come with the lucky breaks of the sort that fell into Mr. Jones's lap.

FISH HOOKS ©The Walt Disney Company. PETE'S A PIZZA ©1998 by William Steig, animated adaptation ©2000 Weston Woods/Scholastic. No ownership intended or implied.
Thanks to my pal @importantverbs for pointing me in the direction of this interview.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some Mysterious (Marketing) Force

Along with Charles Schulz, The Simpsons, and the Muppets, one of the things that I dig and inspires me (and which you'll probably be seeing talked about or referenced on this blog a lot) is the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb, which in my opinion is the best all-ages animated series currently on television. I plan to do a post in the future about why you should be watching this show if you aren't already, but for now I wanted to point out this great article from Fast Company magazine about the show as a business and how the quality and creativity of the series helps the merchandising section as Disney plans to grow the series into its next franchise. Besides a top Disney Channel exec comparing the series to Curb Your Enthusiasm in terms of humor style, writer Adam Bluestein rightfully puts the strange-headed stepbrothers as the latest of all-ages animated entertainment alongside Bugs Bunny, Bullwinkle, Homer, Ren and Stimpy, Pinky and the Brain, and SpongeBob (the latter of whom Disney is hoping these boys can outperform and appear to be on track to doing so). I'm no trend analyst, but it looks like 2011 is going to be the Year of Phineas and Ferb, and this article only helps to confirm my prediction.

Photo and characters ©The Walt Disney Company. No ownership intended or implied.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apocalypse How?

One of my Twitter pals/fellow bloggers, Tomato Surprise, has challenged me to do one of the following by October 31 "to test the might of Mostly From Sugar Packets":

1. Count down my top ten scariest episodes of an animated series.
2. Read and review one chapter of any Twlight novel.
3. Describe, as cohesively and realistically as you can, how our world would be changed by a zombie apocalypse.
4. Ignore all of these and do something else.

I can't really think of any animated TV shows that scared me, I've actually read a bit of the first Twilight novel and didn't think the writing was that bad (though I might not think the same if I continued to read it), and I'm not one to back away from a challenge- especially a pointless one. So, I hereby present my cohesive and realistic description on how our world would be changed by a zombie apocalypse:

It wouldn't.

The most popular show currently on cable is about the exploits of a group of goofballs which reinforces negative stereotypes regarding Italians and people from New Jersey- the latter being particularly interesting, seeing as they aren't even from New Jersey. An incredible witty, unique film which I think is accessible to even those who aren't fans of video games and rock music (I loved the music in the film, even though I'm not a big modern rock fan) was beaten at the box office by the latest in a series of mediocre "spoof" films whose idea of parody is poining out something exists. Two of the longest-running shows on television are a compilation of home videos of people making fools of themselves and on-the-job footage of policemen who usually encounter offenders who also make fools of themself. A majority of people on the internet still make no [expletive deleted] sense.

Have you ever seen the film Idiocracy (which, coincidentially, was intentionally given a very limited release by its studio and didn't really become well-known until its home video release)? What happens in that film is what's happening to humankind in general: for some reason, we're becoming easier to entertain, and thus the most successful popular culture is getting dumber and dumber, thus making the people dumber and dumber, and so on and so forth. Yes, there are a few exceptions, and I'll admit that I (as everyone does) have my own lowbrow guilty pleasures (maybe too many of them, if that's possible). But you have to have something high-quality every now and then to even it out. Thankfully, there's still a lot of intelligent pop culture out there, but it seems it keeps getting buried more and more by the less-than-stellar material out there.

If the zombies came, they'd either have nothing to dine on or no one could tell the difference afterwards.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Cut Above

In honor of 30 Rock doing a live episode tonight, I'd thought I'd share this classic clip that proves that the best moments in comedy are those that aren't scripted: the infamous "Ed Ames Tomahawk" incident from the April 29, 1965 Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Guest Ed Ames- who played an Indian on the popular western Daniel Boone- gave a demonstration of his skill with a tomahawk. What happened next...well, just watch.

No matter how many times I see this clip, it never fails to make me laugh, even though I know exactly what's going to happen. Everything about this is perfect- especially the way Carson is able to regain his composure and throw in a one-liner at just the right time. Truly, the funniest moments- both in life and on television- are those you weren't expecting.

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON and all related materials are ©2010 Carson Entertainment Group. No ownership intended or implied.

In The Beginning...

Sometimes, 140 characters just isn't enough.

Despite the simplicity, brevity, and fun of Twitter and other social networking sites when it comes to keeping communicated and sharing your thoughts, sometimes you need more space to write down the silly or intriguing (at least to you) thoughts that swirl in your head- so you need to put them out there another way. You need a blog.

Thus, as of today, I join the blogosphere with a blog of my very own: Mostly From Sugar Packets. Originally, I was planning on calling this blog "Yet Another Pointless Blog," because, let's face it, that's what it is. But then, I thought of a line from my all-time favorite TV show and one of my comedic influences, The Simpsons: Bart's grandfather is attempting to explain to him the significance of the Wright Brothers's airplane. Senile as usual, his explanation somehow involves Charles Lindbergh, the Civil War, and a thimbleful of corn oil. Just as unaware of the real facts as his grandfather is, an impressed Bart asks Grampa how he learned so much about history.

"I pieced it together, mostly from sugar packets."

Like many lines from this endlessly quotable show, I have (or at least have wanted to) used this line in real life when asked where I found something out that I don't actually know where I found it out. And it's a perfect title for this blog (at least I think it is): these are just random musings on pop culture, history, current events, whatever's on my mind. I pieced it together, and now it's ending up here- Mostly From Sugar Packets.

I hope my friends from Twitter, Facebook, real life, and elsewhere follow my blog and see what I have to say, and I hope others join the ride as well and enjoy whatever comes out. I have some ideas for a few posts for now, but as to what they will be, you will have to find out for yourselves. And after that? Well, I don't know. Much like a famous movie character erroneously said about chocolate boxes, you'll never know what you'll get. And for that matter, neither will I. Either way, I hope you (and I) will have fun, start a lively debate, inspire each other, give each other suggestions, and what have you. Or maybe we won't. Like I said, you never know.

But for now, I do know what I want to say: Welcome.

Copyright and Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Blogger; Google; any other individual, corporation, and/or entity mentioned in this blog or elsewhere, or any other person currently and/or previously residing on this planet or elsewhere in this universe or others known or unknown. If you disagree with any of the opinions stated in this blog...good for you. That shows that you have a brain and you know how to use it. (Unless, of course, you choose to point out that you disagree in an uncivilized manner, an action which nullifies the previous sentence of this disclaimer.)

Unless otherwise noted, all original textual content contained herein is ©2010 by Ryan W. Mead with some rights reserved under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Notice.

In many cases, a number of posts may feature outside material such as photographs, music, and/or video owned by a third party in order to illustrate and/or otherwise expand on the textual content (or vice versa). Such usage falls under the fair use provisions as stated in the United States Code, Title 17, Section 107. The author respects the rights of all third-party copyright holders, both those who allow and/or are indifferent to letting their work be redistributed and/or excerpted without permission across the Internet and those who wish that their work not be reproduced without their permission in any form. All copyrights of outside material are acknowledged and are properly attributed to the best of the author's ability at the end of each post. If any third-party copyright holder whose work is excerpted here wishes it to be removed from this blog, they may contact the author at ryanmead1985[at]yahoo[dot]com.