MGK: So we’re back, watching Animalympics again.
FLAPJACKS: …I know that. Why are you saying that?
MGK: I’m setting the scene for my readers.
FLAPJACKS: It’s really annoying.
MGK: Anyway – so slalom star Kurt Wuffner is missing.
FLAPJACKS: Why is the entire search party looking for him composed of elephants? I mean, if you’re gonna pick an animal to be in an alpine search-and-rescue team, “elephant” wouldn’t even make my top thousand picks. Because elephants are big and heavy and not winter-friendly animals and aren’t really known for their mountain-climbing abilities.
MGK: They aren’t known for their gymnastics skill either, but that didn’t stop one from competing on the uneven bars! Elephants are doin’ it for themselves.
FLAPJACKS: “So we know this is a tragedy – but now, how about some bobsledding?”
MGK: And the European team – which is British – is composed of… are they beavers? They look basically like beavers. They have beaver tails. But beavers aren’t native to England.
MGK: I wonder how the Animalympicverse version of the BNP feels about beavers coming to England and takin their jerbs.
FLAPJACKS: I’m more interested in the octopus bobsledders from Italy. These are the first crustaceans/fish/insects we’ve seen competing so far, right? It’s all been reptiles, mammals and birds thus far. I think we’re seeing another facet of the dreadful class system in this universe.
MGK: Meanwhile, Kurt Wuffner is dying on a mountainside when suddenly he finds “Dogra-La.” I don’t remember if this is a real thing or if he’s just hallucinating prior to his death from exposure.
FLAPJACKS: Given that he’s turning to “the camera” to point at the sexy dog girls dressed in kimonos that all look exactly like him, I vote the latter.
MGK: But enough death hallucination! It is time for hockey now!
FLAPJACKS: The American team – for they wear USA colours – is populated by Quebecois bears, apparently. And the other team is bulls, because… I dunno, I’m out of logic to explain any of this now.
MGK: It is amusing that they are totally playing hockey up as a game where people try to murder one another.
FLAPJACKS: Well, this was the early 80s. The Broad Street Bullies era of the Philadelphia Flyers had just ended. Hockey players beat each other up all the time. It’s not like now, when they beat each other up for a purpose. They used to maim each other for fun… why is the arena exploding?
MGK: Because that’s funny.
FLAPJACKS: And because we were briefly entertained for a moment there, how about a pointless vignette featuring the coaches of the two marathon runners where silly voices are apparently supposed to be endlessly hilarious?
MGK: I blame Gilda Radner. Baba Wawa ruined things for a generation.
FLAPJACKS: This California otter isn’t really… funny in any way. Or even interesting. I mean – he’s a hippie, sorta? He drives a car, he’s a vegetarian, he surfs, he likes to hang out in a hot tub? Where are the jokes? These are just things Californians do. And not even most of them. I mean, they at least had Bolt Jenkins living in a sewer like a respectable New York alligator.
MGK: New Yorkers think making fun of California is endlessly hilarious. They will never admit it’s because of their latent insecurity issues, of course, but that’s why they think it’s endlessly hilarious.
FLAPJACKS: Hey, it’s a dolphin! Who… somehow has legs!
MGK: That freaks me out more than anything else in this cartoon so far. Including the lioness nipple flash.
FLAPJACKS: They’re so polite to not mention his horrible, terrifying mutation.
MGK: And one of the swimming contestants is a manta ray! So that makes two non-traditionally-cute animals competing!
FLAPJACKS: I like how the octopuses get drummed into multiple competitions in the Animalympics. It’s like the animators just gave up trying to think of animals to draw. “Ah, let’s just use the fucking octopuses again.”
FLAPJACKS: In proud Animalympics tradition, the Japanese athlete is named “Ono Nono.” HA HA HA it’s funny because it’s racist!
MGK: At least the American announcers are acting like American announcers and only concerning themselves with how the American athlete will do. That’s realism for you.
FLAPJACKS: And now, the “hundred-meter dive.” Which is appropriately ludicrous for a cartoon.
MGK: And the bird diver is totally cheating! He is flying! That should be some sort of disqualification, not reason to give points. This world makes no sense!
FLAPJACKS: It’s a world with talking animals that can’t remember how many continents exist. I think that was more or less a given, wasn’t it?
MGK: That having been said, the hallucination sequence that the California otter has is actually decently trippy animation and the music is fun.
FLAPJACKS: The “history of Animalympics” sequence is… weird. I mean, you know they wrote it just so the animators could draw dinosaurs doing sports, but then they have no animated dinosaurs doing sports.
MGK: Also, the “pot showing the earliest depiction of animal sports” has dinosaurs on it. That pot is therefore tens of millions of years old. It should be dust. But it is not dust. Did dinosaurs die out much later in the Animalympic world?
FLAPJACKS: Consider, if you will, that at the beginning of the movie, the Animalympic Torch is lit off fire breathed by a dragon. I don’t think it’s a stretch to have dinosaurs still be alive.
MGK: Then where are the dodos?
FLAPJACKS: Well, that would just be silly.
MGK: And we’re back to the downhill skiing and the Kurt Wuffner saga. Since Kurt Wuffner is dying on a hill somewhere, we are introduced to a boar who has been rebuilt with bionic technology “for speed.”
FLAPJACKS: Shame he wipes out early.
MGK: Okay, you know what’s bitchy? This boar is clearly suffering through a major near-death experience right now, and the announcers don’t seem to care at all. Bitchy Dog Announcer makes a joke about him being used for “spare parts.” Ah, cartoons, you are heartless.
FLAPJACKS: And Kurt Wuffner returns and wins, of course.
MGK: Here’s what I don’t get. Right before Wuffner returns, the announcers are whining about how the best time today was a “disappointing” minute-fifty-eight. Then Wuffner shows up, and finishes the course in a minute-fifty-six-point-eight-nine. That is only about a second faster. These announcers are whiny.
FLAPJACKS: Is a second a big timespan for competitive downhill skiing?
MGK: Quickly checking Wikipedia, it looks like generally the top ten skiers in a downhill real-life Olympic event usually span about two seconds’ overall difference. That would make Wuffner’s time better by a lot. I withdraw my complaints as regard realism, but maintain that the announcers are whiny bitches.
FLAPJACKS: Why is that?
MGK: Name three sports announcers you really like.
FLAPJACKS: That’s easy -
MGK: Who aren’t dead and therefore can still bore or annoy you.
FLAPJACKS: Well then. Zero.
MGK: My point exactly. They should’ve just done narrative stories instead of the fake sportscast. The most entertaining bits of this thing are always when they get away from the sportscast and focus on individual characters. I mean, the goat/lion marathon battle is weird, yes, but at least it’s interesting.
FLAPJACKS: Speaking of which, the goat and the lion are officially now in love, it seems. Despite, you know, not having talked or spoken to one another during the race.
MGK: Well, that’s how love works sometimes.
FLAPJACKS: No, it doesn’t.
MGK: True. But, on the bright side, we get to see the announcers lose their shit over the goat and the lion running hand-in-hand. “Is it an international conspiracy?” asks Henry Kissinger Turtle.
FLAPJACKS: Then the turtle orders bombing in Cambodia. Tens of thousands die over his taking offense at the goat and lion’s relationship, born in the heat of competition.
FLAPJACKS: Only that sort of thing can distract us from the worst part of this yet, which is Billy Crystal voice-acting against Billy Crystal.
MGK: This is offensive on so many levels.
FLAPJACKS: Could this get any worse?
MGK: Sure it could. For example, Robin Williams could show up and voice-act his “look at me, I’m pretending to be a black guy” bit. Or his Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation. Or, really. anything Robin Williams does, since his characters haven’t changed since we were eight.
FLAPJACKS: Oh, man, I just realized Billy Crystal is trying to imitate Muhammad Ali. That’s so wrong.
MGK: …why do I think that Billy Crystal, as the turkey interviewing the defeated boxer who isn’t Billy Crystal, is doing a reference?
FLAPJACKS: Because he is. Howard Cosell did that thing, remember, where he called someone who lost a match of some kind or another a bum who had let down his country?
MGK: I forgot for a second Billy Crystal doesn’t so much do jokes as he does riffs on people who exist.
FLAPJACKS: “Volleyball is rapidly becoming one of the most popular sports in the world.” Really? Did I miss something?
MGK: Even the referee looks bored here. I mean, lobsters playing volleyball, you’d think that was funny, but no.
FLAPJACKS: And we’re back to the marathoners! For some reason, they have decided to ask random athletes what they think of the goat and the lion being in love. The racist penguin makes some martial arts noises. The California otter says nothing of consequence. This feels like they’re padding out the show at this point.
MGK: Bizarrely, the weightlifting competition is somewhere in between a professional wrestling competition and a beauty pageant. This makes no sense at all, and I say that in comparison to the entire rest of this cartoon. Compared to this, the rest of the cartoon is perfectly sensible.
FLAPJACKS: Even the fencing segment, which turns into a swashbuckling fight scene?
MGK: That’s perfectly acceptable, because every fencer wishes that fencing actually had jumping about the room and vaulting through the air and swinging on chandeliers and dramatic entrances and exits and punning as elements of competition.
FLAPJACKS: The turtle once again insists that the continents are “locked in a five-way tie,” ignoring that at this point they’ve identified seven different competing teams, not counting Scandinavia, which may be something else altogether. Once again, he is offended that the goat and lion are in love.
FLAPJACKS: And they win together, after a musical sequence, and the fans… I dunno. I can’t care about it any more.
MGK: And this show wraps up with some shots of the “crew” and recap sequences, because re-using footage saves you lots of money when you’re animating.
FLAPJACKS: So was this as good as you remembered?
MGK: God no. You know what? We should all be thankful for Pixar. We really should. The musical stylings of one-quarter of 10cc aside, this was mostly pretty bad.
FLAPJACKS: Nostalgia lies. Except for TRON.
MGK: Well. Actually.
FLAPJACKS: SHUT UP I WILL CUT YOU.