Crazy Childhood: Madballs
Madballs: Escape from Orb review
Madballs: Escape from Orb! (1987)
Directed by: Laura Shepard
Starring: Geoffrey Bowes, Keith Hampshire, John Stocker, Jeri Carden, Cree Summer, Alyson Court, Dan Hennessey, Len Carlson, Don Francks
Hey, I got a joke for you. What do you get when you cross a regular ball with the Garbage Pail Kids? You get a series of very strange balls known as "MadBalls".
Aren't they just ADORABLE?
What was "MadBalls"? Well, I never grew up with them, but according to my research, "MadBalls" were just bouncy balls, except they look like they were created by Dr. Jekyll. They had creepy looking faces and names like "Screaming Meemie" or "Aargh", etc.
Apparently, these balls (I'm not trying to be dirty here) were SO popular, they got a video game, comic book, and a short-lived television series.
Nelvana's biggest disappointment, next to anything else they're a part of nowadays.
And I mean SHORT lived. From what I can find, there have been only 2 episodes. Wow. Harsh. And to think that the "Garbage Pail Kids" cartoon lasted longer than them.
While it is slight better than the GPK show, "MadBalls" is a hokey and lazy animated clunker that's nothing more than cheesy punchlines after another. You'd that in the 80's, they would've made better jokes that would've made the jokes from those 60's shows lame. But as time went by, the humor and the production values seemed to have gotten worse until the 90's.
"If this movie doesn't get an Oscar nomination, I'm gonna bust some heads!"
Seeing how there were only 2 episodes, I'm gonna review the full-length film that was released straight to video, known as "MadBalls: Escape from Orb!". Here goes!
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Our story takes place on a music-loving planet named Orb. The planet has been taken over by an evil race of balls known as "Badballs", and they enslave the citizens of Orb (yeah, real good lesson for the kids) and ban music, bouncing and all sorts of fun. The leader of these "Badballs", Commander WolfBreath, has arrested all rock bands except for one....The "Madballs"!
Well, what the heck? If the "Madballs" are a rock band, what does that make the citizens of Orb? "Orbonians"?
Or just plain balls? Oh, well, you make do with what ya got.
Anyways, the "Madballs" have been busted by the "Badballs" and try to escape. They eventually do, and try to make it to Earth, where anyone can play music there.
How do I know this? Well, as one of the "MadBalls" say, "I heard it through the grapevine!"
WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?
The movie is 97% jokes, and 3% story. And very dumb jokes at that. Even kids who don't know how to comprehend humour will see this stuff through like transparent paper. The animation is also pretty lazy, much like any 80's cartoon based on products.
The characters are also flatter than a piece of a paper. We rarely get any personality traits from any of the characters.
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?
I will have to admit, I did laugh at one joke involving parachutes. The colour scheme is what really shines, especially when it's nighttime on Planet Orb. Don Francks, the voice of Mok from "Rock & Rule", is also pretty good as the villian Commander Wolf-Breath, but that's about it.
"My God, Captain! This ship is going down! We may not make it to the "Gross Jokes" video!"
In the scene when one of the "MadBalls" beats up one of the "Badballs" in an alley offscreen, you can see a beaten up Care Bear fly through the screen. That is, if you even bother watching this.
I will have to admit, "MadBalls: Escape from Orb!" is harmless enough for kids, and it certainly isn't horrible like the "Garbage Pail Kids" cartoon or any other cartoon based on a product, the cartoon is bland, cheesy, and ridiculously unfunny. If you wanna watch a show based off a product, watch a Mario cartoon or "Transformers" instead.
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