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Episode 14: "Brooklyn Bound"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Mario and his gang are taking a stroll through the snow world, when suddenly (and I do mean *suddenly*), they are blown off their feet by an extremely strong gust of wind, and the animator's apparent inability to grasp the way gravity works. They're blown about for a bit, with a breathtaking three frames of animation, which causes Luigi to make rancid puns. They crash into the snow, but that won't shut Luigi up. Shocked by this display of scandalously cheap special effects, he pronounces the wish to go away and look for a better career opportunity. In other words: go back to Brooklyn. Just then, Koopa pops by, in his mink fur bathrobe. The Marios are allergic to mink fur, so they run off into a badly-painted nearby cave. While everyone just stands there and stares their eyeballs out, Koopa's slaves block off the entrance. Everyone just stares around for a little more, and Luigi finally remembers that he's staring at a switch on the wall, so he activates it, despite the Princess' warning that it may be a bad idea. She was quite right, however, as the switch causes a trap door to slowly open beneath them. Look closely during this scene, and you'll notice that Toad and Luigi miraculously switch places in the blink of an eye before falling to their dooms. Well, at least Koopa thinks they've fallen to death, but in fact, they survive the fall by clinging on to some suspended pipes. Mario then does an impression of Julio Iglesias (actually, it's a dubbing error), and they are greeted by a certain Salvadore Drainado. The legendary plumber of armageddon or something. He reveals that he has been stuck in the studio for 13 years, and then shows them a Keith Harring poster, which will somehow lead them to a warp pipe back to Brooklyn. This news causes Mario and Luigi to hallucinate about junk food and heavy traffic. Trouble is, they first need to blow away an obstructing wall with a blast of water from the pipes surrounding them, which will take a bit of hefty plumbing. A Shy-guy then pops up from behind a pipe and laughs nastily. Evil Knievel.

Next, we get a glimpse of another one of Koopa's disturbingly perverse rituals. While he pins on some jewelry, his slaves hoist giant pieces of toast around. I think he's indirectly threatening me or something (and lord knows what he's capable of...eep...). Or maybe the animators are trying to make a pun on "bringing a toast to someone". Koopa's twisted pleasures are interrupted, however, by the evel-knievel Shy-guy, who rushes in to report that "the Princess and the other bums have escaped!". In a sense that they were never captured. Koopa's well cheesed off, and rushes back into the cave with his troops.

Next, Mario and Luigi have managed to blow away the wall in their way with a well-directed blast of water, and the Princess freaks out with joy (she's that happy to finally have the Marios buzz off back to Brooklyn). Even though I have this bad habit of going "deep submerge!" when large amounts of water are being flung around the screen, this time it just didn't pack the usual punch....

Next up is a rock bridge over a pool of lava. Koopa chooses this very moment to make his entry, and he bombs the bridge, sending Mario's gang plummeting down towards the lava. Only they don't die, instead they grab onto a rocky ledge, and Mario nabs a nearby fire flower. He then somehow flies back up to safety by flapping his arms. It's a bit odd when you consider that this is in the days before wing caps and raccoon leaves, when no-one had even heard of a flying Mario, but oh well. It's probably more disturbing that Toad is shamelessly peeking up the Princess' dress while this is going on. With everyone safe again, Mario lobs a few fireballs at Koopa and co, just for good measure, which causes them to run off in terror. The way to the warp pipe to Brooklyn is now all clear, but Mario is beginning to have second thoughts. Considering all the crime, high tax rates, smog, poverty, high tax rates, unemployment and those high tax rates, Brooklyn might not be the place to be after all. But the Princess insists that they push off (on account that she's so fed up with them). Koopa, meanwhile, throws a fit of rage, which results in an improvised rock bridge made with a freshly destroyed pillar, so he can now head over the lava pool as well. And the suspense is killing us.

Mario and Luigi hop into a boiler with Salvadore, and hold their noses (why?), just in time to notice Koopa nabbing Toad and the Princess and dragging them away, while they scream in terror. Mario then decides to dump Brooklyn, on account of those high tax rates and goes off to join Koopa's twisted fiesta instead (he's jealous?), and Luigi draws the same conclusion. They run off to rescue Toad and the Princess while Salvadore blows himself up.

After a bit of sweet-talk between Koopa and the Princess, Mario and Luigi show up, do their intro speeches ("in name of the Brooklyn tax rates, we'll punish you!"), and blow Koopa and his freaks away with a gust of water from those big pipes (still no "deep submerge!"). Toad and the Princess somehow escape the tidal wave of water and simply walk away from Koopa's grip, and everything wraps up with a scene of the Princess pretending to be happy to have the Marios back.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • An episode that actually tries to almost make the story progress. Hats off to that.
  • The concept behind the storyline is clever enough
  • Koopa in a bathrobe (or something that looks a lot like that). Yes, folks.
  • This one's more interesting than usual, and has quite some potential.....
WHAT'S BAD?
  • ...Alas, a lot of this potential is sent down the drain by the director's mega-klutziness.
  • A lot of scenes were rushed and "underdone".
  • Quite a few major goof-ups in both the animation and the voicing.
  • That "flying" scene should be taken with a grain of salt.
OVERALL
Oh, this is quite a dilemma. On one hand, we have a sort-of innovative storyline, which deserves credit. On the other hand, there's the pitiful directing, and the animation is a glaring mess in some places. This comes down to an episode that is still good enough, but alas, not as good as it could have been. And wasted potential is hard to swallow....Well, at least it has an important lesson to teach: beware of high tax rates in Brooklyn.

EPISODE RATING: 3.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
A tart drops by at the Marios' place (and I have no desire to find out how she knows them, thank you very much), and asks them to mind her dog while she goes off to do something unspeakably horrid. However, Mario then does something unspeakably horrid as well (though in a different way): by goofing around with some kind of nuclear reproduction thermal fusion anti-gravity device, he swaps brains with the tart's dog. The tart finds out and screams, Luigi presses some buttons on Mario's armageddon device, and everything's back to normal again. Sort of. Not that it ever was normal in the first place.