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Episode 31: "Hooded Robin and his Mario Men"

CARTOON SUMMARY

For no apparent reason whatsoever, the Mario bunch have landed in Sherwood forest. Or maybe that's supposed to be "Sharewood Forest" (ooh, my sides), it's hard to tell. Well, it makes no difference, whatever it's called, they're lost, because Toad is too dumb to figure out their badly-drawn map. Things then get a little hairy, as they are suddenly entrapped in a net. A bunch of Koopa Troopas then pop by and boldly declare that they've finally captured the fearsome Hooded Robin. See, in their astounding idiocy, they mistake Mario and co for this Hooded Robin person. Luigi tries to point out this slight faux pas to them, but it's no good. However, at that point, the soothing tone of Koopa's melodic voice cuts into this scene, and he sternly orders his Troopas to retreat and go pick him loads of daisies. This unexpected development seems a little odd to everyone, but the Troopas reason that it's not the first time their master has bizarre desires (unless he means something far more sinister by "daisies"), and so, they obey these orders and push off. The lead Troopa still finds time to give us a sample of his amazing ventriloquist skills by telling the others to retreat, -without- moving his lips. Ooh, who's been a naughty animator, then?

Mario and co are still stumped over this daisies thing, and can find no reason why Koopa would do them such a favor. Everything then falls into place, as the murderously annoying Hooded Robin arrives on the scene (his shockingly cliché voice is like a dagger piercing into my profoundly European heart. Not to mention my nerves). He's a large and badly-drawn bird with a strange hat. It was really him who came up with that silly daisies thing, seeing as how his special talent is the ability to mimic any kind of voice perfectly, and that includes the macho growlings of Koopa. He then rips open the net that was imprisoning the Mario group, and they crash to the ground painfully, except for the Princess, who grabs onto Robin's feet (wait, wasn't the feet thing Koopa's specialty?). Robin then leads them to Sherwood village, where a small mushroom child with a silly voice tells them that they have "nothing to share no more". The Princess is shocked (and also disappointed, the greedy cow), and when it is explained to them that the "Sheriff of Koopingham" has ripped off all of Sherwood village's credit cards, they unanimously decide that "Hooded Robin and his Mario men" (spookily, that includes the Princess) will bring a halt to this tragedy. Toad declares that he's "all for trouncing lizard lips" (please, Toad, we do not wish to know what you do in your spare time), but that he has no idea where they might find Koopa. Robin solves this slight problem by pointing out Koopa's castle on an overly simplistic map. Due to a grade-A freakup, you see the hand of Toad, and not of Robin pointing out the castle. Ooh, you bad animator, you've been so bad.

Moving on, we see a scene of Koopa in a wagon full of gold coins, which he has so brutally ripped off from the mushrooms. After he makes some dreadful puns on "to share", the ventriloquist Troopa pops up, and tells him (this time, he -does- move his lips) that their mission to nick daisies has been accomplished. Koopa hates it and commits acts of gruesome violence on the hapless ventriloquist. Suddenly, they are halted by Toad, who informs them that they are "on a toll road" and need to give him all their moolah in order to move on. Behold the second (and by far not the last) hideous dubbing error of this episode; Koopa speaks with Toad's voice. No, honestly. Anyway, this toll road scenario becomes a flop, as Koopa refuses to hand over his dosh, so instead, Robin makes his appearance and declares that he will rip it off by force. Mario and the others pop up as well, wearing funky feathered hats, and an adrenaline-pumping big fight scene kicks off (three Troopas run around and fall flat on their faces). After a failed attempt from Koopa to murder Robin, the intrepid birdbrain takes flight and dive-bombs towards the wagon full of coins, determined to retrieve the desirable dosh (his face has a nasty colouring error here). Due to the heavily dyslexic timing, everyone else just stands there and stares like there's no tomorrow. But then -shock!- the tremendously idiotic scenario gets the better of Robin, as a few sneaky Troopas quickly hoist a cage into the wagon, and in his tremendous dimness, Robin manages to hurl himself into this cage. He's now Koopa's captive, the Marios can't be bothered to do anything about it, and the animators have completely messed up the colouring on his face and hat. He's hurled into Koopa's prison, where he is forced to watch as the third grotesque dubbing error of this episode occurs; Koopa moves his lips, but you hear Robin's voice. Robin, naturally, is horrified. But fear not, for the Mario clan and their flair for shocking dimness are on their way. After a short, and rather poorly-animated scene where the Troopas that guard the gates to Koopa's castle lament their monotonous job, Mario and Luigi pop up with a cart full of giant cigarettes, claiming to be on "official castle business" (that's not all they're on...). They then frighten the guard Troopas to death with some absolutely rancid scripting (que dubbing error number four) and leg it into the castle. The Troopas have -finally- grasped that those are the Mario brothers (umm, isn't it obvious?) and viciously attack them. Toad and the Princess pop out of the cigarette-filled cart, and the Princess uses a magic potion flask to create an instant escape door. They escape from the incoming Troopas via this acceptably-drawn door, and find themselves in the dungeon, where Hooded Robin was being kept (dubbing error number five occurs here). Mario destroys the marzipan cage that was holding Robin prisoner, and they decide to go track down the gold. That's easier said than done, as it turns out that the vault full of gold is guarded by the fearsome Fryguy.

They reason that they need something to distract Fryguy, and the Princess suggests "a Frygal" (what's that, a cheap hooker?). The Princess then rapidly rips off some curtains and a candlestick right underneath Fryguy's nose (who, oddly, doesn't notice at all). In this shot, it's Robin's hands that got miscoloured. Toad and Robin are then forced to transvestite themselves into this Frygal (on account of Robin's voicing talents that allow him to sound like a hooker). Our two intrepid drag-queens then head out to confront Fryguy. Fryguy happens to be terribly oversexed, and the sight of two transvestites in -one- dress turns him on big time. He immediately rushes off in pursuit of the cross-dressing twosome, no doubt with sinister things in mind. That leaves the vault of coins unguarded, giving Mario and the others the chance to sneak in and retrieve the dough. Or not, as Koopa pops up from behind the door to the vault, and a bunch of Troopas surround them. Oops. Meanwhile, things are also going pear-shaped for the valiant transvestites. While Fryguy attempts to rape Frygal's sunglasses, the dress suddenly loosens up and falls to the ground, thus revealing the shocking truth about Toad and Robin to Fryguy. Fryguy is terribly homophobic, so the concept of two men sharing the same dress doesn't appeal to him. Time for Toad and Robin to leg it full speed. The Mario bunch have taken this same course of action and are running from the badly-drawn Troopas. An utterly horrible song has started to play in the background (a bunch of castrates shouting "tweet!" all the time), adding to the agony of this scene. Robin then flies off and lures Fryguy into the vault of coins, where the poor sod is cruelly imprisoned. Next, an extremely badly-drawn Koopa is tied up and suspended to the ceiling with a display of shocking bondage techniques. That should be the end of it, were it not for the fact that Fryguy has really lost his temper, and is projecting jets of intense flames all around the vault. So intense are these flames that they actually melt the gold coins. Question: if such intense heat is generated that it actually melts solid gold, shouldn't it also burn down the (wooden) door to the vault? Shouldn't it roast Mario and co on the spot? Shouldn't someone punch in the scenario writer's face for this? The answer to all these questions is a resounding "yes", especially to that last one, as the writer seems to have completely lost it by now. See, Mario mysteriously summons a huge set of pipes out of nowhere and uses this to kill Fryguy with a well-aimed jet of water. After that, the molten gold is drained away with this same bizarre pipe thing. Then, it's back to Sherwood (or Sharewood, Lord alone knows) village, whose residents now have their dosh back, as gold coins come flowing from the town's water fountain. Oh joy.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • Not much....Well, Fryguy appears....
  • There's a bit of a cross-dressing scene.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • The animation is absolutely, completely, totally and utterly -terrible-.
  • The plot and scripting aren't much better.
  • Not to mention the timing and directing.
  • Shocking dubbing errors absolutely plague this episode. While they're unintentionally hilarious for a while, they're also a sign of some very sloppy work.
  • Same goes to the many colouring goof-ups (particularly on Robin).
  • Robin himself is horrendously annoying and simply insulting.
OVERALL
Right, that does it. I'm through with going easy on this kind of thing. After a deluge of brain-numbingly dull and average episodes, a heinous travesty like this is more than I can take. The animation is strictly putrid, with colouring and dubbing errors so blatant that it makes you cringe, and the scripting is so unforgivably lame that it simply -makes you want to scream-. The transvestite scene is a bit of a novelty (though it's hardly groundbreaking anymore now that we have the likes of Nuriko and Fish-Eyes), but no way is that going to save it from the pits. From beginning to end, everything goes completely wrong, to such an extent that it simply isn't funny anymore. Be cast in the pits of oblivion, and never show your ugly face again, you detestable episode! Vade retro, satanas!

EPISODE RATING: 0.5/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
Oh, silly Luigi. In a slightly suicidal mood, he has tasted some of Mario's spaghetti sauce. Only he didn't remember to do it safe, and now he's caught a nasty disease (see, there's even a moral lesson in there...). This mysterious illness causes vegetables to pop up from his clothes. A strange yokel kid is called upon to solve this problem, but all he does is make horribly bad puns (just wait until the Pun Police hear of this). Via a very simplistic book, it is then discovered that Luigi is suffering from "veggie-itis". No, seriously. And the cure is to eat a rose. I'm not making this up. Alas, eating the rose gives him "rose-itis" (yaaawwwn), which causes roses to pop up from his ears. The bright side is that it looks totally daaaarling on him.