Monthly Archives: August 2012
After seeing Dark Knight Rises some time ago in theaters, I decided to do an article on an old series of Batman related commercials. In this case an OnStar commercial series all focused on Batman. These were made back when the OnStar car system was first showing up in various car models. It also either has clips of the first four Batman films or using look-alike actors for the commercials themselves. They aired back in the year 2000, while I don’t remember seeing them on TV, they are so cool I just have to do an article on them. So let’s talk about each of the commercials of OnStar Batman.
For the first commercial we see Batman observing the city of Gotham on top of a skyscraper. He then activates his wrist phone by pressing the speed dial to the OnStar hot line. He asked the OnStar operator to unlock his Batmobile and then takes a leap off of the skyscraper. And uses his cape as a parachute to get right into his now unlocked Batmobile, the hatch opens up and Batman is now ready to get rolling in his car. However he’s running low on fuel so he activates his Batmobile’s OnStar button and says he’s running low on Jet Fuel. The operator informs him that the nearest station is 2 miles from where he’s located. Then the commercial ends with the OnStar commercial along with its official website. Before I discuss the next commercial I like to point out a few thing wrong with this commercial. 1. Why would Batman install OnStar to his Batmobile, when it has its own GPS, voice command, and does things no normal car can’t do. I doubt he would likely to have his Batmobile on record at OnStar when there’s a chance a villain might invade the OnStar HQ and some how got access to the lock command that is link to the Batmobile. 2. Does Batman as well as his alias Bruce Wayne own separate accounts? Since he’s rich, it wouldn’t be a problem to pay for two accounts. But like the previous statement there’s no need for him to install an OnStar feature to the Batmobile when he owns plenty of other cars to install one in. And 3. what gas station would sell jet fuel, when an air port, air force, and space center are the only locations to obtain jet fuel. Also he has his own supply of jet fuel at the bat cave, he wouldn’t need to worry about going to any gas station when he’s rich enough to obtain fuel for both his Batmobile and his car collection. I maybe nitpicking this a little too much, but it almost bothers me to not mention any of these errors out loud. With that said on to the next commercial.
Now this one features a little more action than the first one. It starts with Batman pursuing the Joker on a high-speed chase. The Joker activates a hidden barrier to sudden comes right out of the street to prevent the Batmobile from proceeding any further. It rams into the barrier, but luckily the Batmobile has its own air bags so Batman is safe from the collision. The Joker appears to be the winner as he drives off. Batman’s airbag deflated and the OnStar operator immediately contacts him and asks if he wants an ambulance, Batman however is fine and asked the operator to contact the police department to aid his chase. The Joker believing he’s as free as a bird immediately stops when he finds the Batmobile blocking the road along with a few police cars blocking the Joker’s car from behind. The Joker throws a tantrum that his escape has been foiled, ending with Batman saying “He’ll never learn”. This one I have no problem compared to the previous one, so there’s nothing to nitpick here. Just a good old car chase with the all time favorite villain of the Batman franchise.
This next commercial mentions the internet access the OnStar feature has to offer. As Batman drives down the highway he say the green light show that’s being created by the Riddler. The light show forms the question “Who has Batmail?” with the question mark resembling the Riddler’s logo. Batman access his e-mail and his car’s computer reads out “Riddle me this: What does a river and money have in common?” which Batman immediately knows the answer is bank. Which we see the Riddler and his henchmen raid the Gotham Bank vault. Right before he starts to harvest some lettuce, Batman takes out two henchmen and the Riddler ends up getting trip over by Batman’s grappling hook. The bank raid becomes a failure and all is well. Luckily Batman is such a wiz at riddles other wise he wouldn’t have been able to stop the Riddler in any of the crimes he tries to commit. I also like how this commercial reflects the movie Batman Forever, except maintaining the same style from the first two movies. This is the closet we have to a what would have been like if Tim Burton was allowed to do a Batman 3.
This time we see the Penguin riding in his own chopper, trying to demolish the Batmobile with his ammo. Batman activates his OnStar feature to phone Vicky Vale(the photographer woman from the original movie). He informs her that he’s going to be late, and the commercial ends with the Batmobile appearing to be toppled with scraps of metal from a radio tower. The commercial ends with a caption that says see how it ends at OnStar.com. Well that’s the problem, it’s no longer on their original website. Since this ad is 12 years old, the option to watch the ending to this commercial is no longer available to the public. Not that it would matter, cause if Batman can get rid of the Penguin’s remote transmitter from the second movie, then he can surely survive his air raid.
For this one, Batman receives a video feed of Alfred(which is archive footage from Batman & Robin) informing him that he suited up the Batmobile for him. Everything he needs from air bags to knowing where he’s at is all located on the OnStar button. So Batman drives off to do his usual night patrol in the city. It’s likely that they did hire Michael Gough to dub his lines for this commercial. Cause while it’s archive footage from the most recent Batman film at the time, it is no doubt the one and only Michael Gough reprising his role as Alfred for one last time before Michael Caine takes over in Batman Begins.
The sixth and final commercial is nothing special, just Batman driving his Batmobile and calling Commissioner Gordon that he’s on his way to the police station. Along with a narrative on what the OnStar system can do for you and your car. Along with the mentioning of a contest to appear as an extra in the next Batman movie. Curious so did the winner get to be an extra for Batman Begins, cause at that point in time it was still unknown when the next Batman movie will ever get released. But I’m sure that person did get to be an extra in that film, unlike the winner for the Nintendo Power magazine’s contest that would guarantee he or she to be an extra in the Mask 2, but never did as it became the not as good Son of the Mask movie.
So that’s all of the commercials, only sixth were made and I have to say they were very well done. They did a good job with the stock footage as well as assemble some actors that either look like their counter parts or don’t. But that doesn’t matter, cause the ads are very awesome for OnStar commercials. For next week I’ll be talking about Looney Tunes on Nickeldeon.
I really appreciate that my blog is so popular in many third world countries. So I decided to do an article on a series of ads that aired in the UK as well as Japan. These commercials are of course made to advertise the widely known noodle product Nissin’s Cup-O-Noodle. To liven the product up it’s theme is prehistoric animals and hungry cavemen. There are tons of depictions of cavemen in commercials. Including many using the Flintstones as a sponsor but I’ll do Flintstone commercials another time. For today I like to talk about these commercials, cause there’s something about them that makes them stand out more than the other cavemen related commercials I’ve seen so far. So let’s dig in to the topic on why these foreign commercials should be viewed to a wider audience.
The plot for these commercials are mostly the same, a mob of cavemen try to take out an animal in order to have meat for a buffet but the plan would backfire some how. The cavemen are always seen a tiny ant like beings that talk in gibberish. They attack these animals like they were Pikmin, where the object of that game is the more Pikmin you have the better chances you have in beating the giant beasts. The giant animals are stop motion puppets which makes them look like they belong in a Ray Harryhausen film. At first I thought these commercials were done by him, except with further research it turns out to be false. Tough he did do some commercials during the days when he was a special effects marker, but I’ll do those for a future article on and undefined day and year. The last batch of commercials of this series is different in appearance but follows the same concept. While it does still have hungry cavemen, the cavemen are portrayed by costumed actors instead. Instead of a hundred tiny cavemen there are only three in full size. While instead of hunting giant animals, they are going for safer approaches like fishing, fruit picking, and finding carcasses of meat. The only wild animal in these ads is the saber tooth tiger, who would often be seen chasing these cavemen around. While these ads looks like they belong in a separate article from the giant animal articles, I made up my mind to include them cause they are made by the same team of people.
These ads were made back in the early 90’s. While they only aired in the UK & Japan, the production took place at the Chiodo Brothers Studio in L.A. Like the Will Vinton Studios(Now LAIKA Studios) which did the California Raisin commercials. The Chiodo Bros. Studio is also a stop motion company which has been providing stop motion animation to various commercials, TV shows, and movies since 1982. They were the company that allowed Tim Burton to do his first short film Vincent as well as the stop motion effects of his first feature film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”. The company also did the stop motion segments of certain episodes of the Simpsons such as the episode where Flanders and his sons watch an episode of Davey & Goliath where Davey was fed up with Goliath and the episode where Homer is watch a Christmas special with Johnny Carson reading a story to the misfit toys. Not to mention the company also did the stop motion effects for Killer Klowns From Space, the Stupids and Will Ferrel’s Elf. Yeah that’s right, they did the Stop Motion effects of that Tom Arnold movie that was so bad that it was good. The stop motion animals was animated by Kim Blanchette, and the ads were directed by Japanese directors. The cavemen were portrayed by live action actors with the speed and motion altered to make them look like they’re stop motion. While the number of cavemen used for the ads was just a handful of actors which with the magic of film, they film one set of actors performing their actions then film the same set of actors several more times and then splice the footage together to make it look like there is hundreds of them.
My closing thoughts on these ads, they are really good for top ramen commercials. This is also proof that America isn’t the only country that does interesting commercials. You should see the other ads that are made from Japan. I’ll totally do a Japanese commercial some point in time, cause I am a big fan of that country. Also this commercial was made some point before Jurassic Park was made which first introduced the world the breakthrough of using CGI as oppose to stop motion. I like CGI as much as stop motion, but this ad also reminds us of how dated stop motion animation is cause it’s time-consuming and requires a big team of people to put together. It may seem like a dead technique, however in recent years there has been a hand full of feature films that were done in stop motion proving to us that there are people out there who care for the genre. It also stands out more than the common CG films that have become more common since 2005. So in short when something becomes too commonly done by a lot of people, it leads to the decision of going back to something that hasn’t been done in a while. Which is one of the best things about ideas is recycling them into something we haven’t seen yet in the world. Anyways enjoy the commercials and be sure to check out my OnStar commercials with Batman.
Official Chdo Bros. Website – http://www.chiodobros.com/
I was watching some Atari commercials just to see if there’s any that are good enough to be reviewed on this blog. There were plenty to choose from off of youtube, though the only one that made me laugh the most was this commercial which advertises the game “Pole Position”. Naming this article was difficult, I was going to title it “Family and the Giant Hand” or “Family and the Formula Race Cars”. So I settled with “Sunday Drive with the Giant Hand” as the final title. After finalising my decision on the title, I’ll now talk about the commercial.
The commercial opens with a compact car driving by when all of a sudden we hear a loud “HEEEYYY!” coming out of nowhere. We then see the inside of the car with the side window lower down to see that it’s occupants is a family of four with the dad driving the car. He answers the unseen narrator causualy by saying “Yes?” but doesn’t seem surprised or startled to hear an obnoxious voice out of no where. I guess it’s normal for him to hear loud outbursts from unseen narrators everyday. So after he acknowledges the narrator’s presence, the narrator replies “You look like a real jerk!” Which the dad says in a response “Well I am a corporate executive!” and his wife says “He stops exciting things from happening”. Probably the most unlikely exchange of words. If I was the driver I’d tell the announcer “Yeah, well who’s the one going around mocking random drivers just for the way they look?” A much more likely response than hearing what his occupation is, or does he get that a lot while working at the office? Hinting how his wife mentions he stops exciting things from happening. So the narrator asks the corporate executive what he’s doing. The executive, who for some reason isn’t annoyed by the voice says this in response: “Well Muffy, Puffy, Biff Jr., & I are going for a Sunday Drive”. Remember back when gas wasn’t expensive and people could drive just for the fun of it rather than just for errands. Also do you notice how the kids are dressed like the mom and dad? I know this is for mockery use for the fact that this is a stereotype average family, but it’s a stereotype that seems worn out in todays standards. I guess the executive’s name is Biff if his son is Biff Jr., but why is the mom and daughter named Muffy & Puffy? I had to re watch this commercial just to be sure. So after the rude spokes person heard what Biff’s plans are he immediately tells him “Oh no you aint!”, “You’re gonna play POLE POSITION!” We finally see a reaction from Biff as being called a jerk is fine with him, but not cool if he’s threaten to play an Atari 5200 game. So Biff and his family hear a noise from behind them which they discover is a speeding formula powered race car which drives right past them. The racer is probably like “Eat my dust you executive jerk!” as he passes by the family car. They see the racer come by and gone before they even realize what the heck just happen. Only to see a hand coming down, which the family looks up and we all of a sudden see that the hand belongs to a giant! It grabs the car high into the air. It shakes the vehicle around and forces the family to fall right out from heaven knows how high up they are. The giant hand then drops the car which explodes once it hits the asfault.
You know that’s really hilarious there, imagine just minding your own business in your car with your family and all of a sudden you get yelled at by a loud voice and then see a giant hand grab your vehicle. Was it the hand of a giant? Collosol Man? that rude narrator who was also a giant, or God? Which ever case, it’s still random and funny at the same time. So at first it appears the family is about to do some cement diving, but thankfully we won’t be needing the ambulance today to pick up their body parts cause all four of them fell right into their own formula race car, some good accuracy from that hand there. Anyways the family finds themselves in a race track and since they are in moving vehicles they have no choice but to drive around the course. I’m guessing the formula cars are remote control cause how can the car be driving without a driver? It’s a question I won’t go into, so you figure that one out for yourself. So we see the family racing while we also see clips of the game itself. Along with footage of formula cars exploding and piercing a hole through a billboard. All the type of stuff that you love to see in a race. The unseen narrator appears to be watching it from some where cause we hear him as a peanut gallery for the rest of the commercial. I bet he’s having more fun than they are cause he’s not driving a formula car like the family is. So towards the end the whole family got their cars wrecked along with a close up of the game and the Atari 5200 system with the narrator saying the following “Pole Position from Atari, it’ll bust your craft, and leave skin marks on your soul”. We then see what became of the family, as they are all beaten up and mangled with car parts frantic and look like each of them will collapse at any moment. Looks like a year’s worth of visit to Dr. Marvin Morone’s Family Psychitract’s.
Pole Position was originally released as an arcade back in 1982 by Namco. It was re-released for the Atari system sometime after that along with a sequel that was for the Atari 7800. Pole Pole Position was the most successful arcade racing game of the 80’s. Predating the successor racing series such as Cruise ‘n USA & RUSH. Pole Position did so well that is spawn off a cartoon series under the same name. At first I didn’t know if I ever seen it before but after seeing the main characters cars having a talking A.I. I immediately remember it. Funny I remember the bit about the cars having A.I.’s yet I didn’t remember it being a video game adaptation cartoon. To think it predates todays car models which do have computer chip technology. How amazing something that’s consider science fiction is now a reality. Anyways I think that’s all there is to say about this commercial. It was funny and I would love to talk about the infamous atari 5200 commercials. But if I want to do those, I’ll need to do the Atari 2600 commercials first. Anyways enjoy the commercial below.
Sorry for the delay, but my job at Disneyland prevented me from completing this article. Since this week’s not over yet, I don’t have to do a double bill article. Mountain Dew’s got a good category of commercials, but if I’d had to choose one out of the hundred to make an article on I would choose this one. Why, it’s cause it has the Black Spy and White Spy from Spy Vs. Spy a series of comics that originated from MAD Magazine. Really simple plot which is about two rivaling spys who both try to take each other out, either by assination, traps, or gadgets. It’s a repeated scenario as each spy triumphs another the other after every attempt. Sometimes there would be no victor when both of them fall for a trap. But a scenario where they both go after a can of Mountain Dew? Let’s review the summary of these commercials.
The one thing you’d notice is that these commercials were filmed in live action. As opposed to the animated version of the spys that was used for the MAD TV series both live action and cartoon. The sets are all mostly in black and white and design to look like it was drawn by ink and pencil. While the spies are portrayed by two costumed actors who both look like the two iconic characters. The main plots for these commercials follow the same flow as the comics, one spy tries to assassinate the other spy and may sometimes fall for the other spy’s own trap. The main difference is Mountain Dew plays a role in these stories. So for example a Mountain Dew vending machine is seen being rig to be used as a trap, or a can of Mountain Dew can be used as the main target by one of the spies. So in a sense, it’s like watching the comic come to life, except with Mountain Dew being used as a product placement.
I can tell MAD Magazine was proud of investing this commercial, as it’s a way to heighten the popularity of their two iconic characters as well as their own magazine. It would have done well with Alfred E. Neuman, but these spies do the job better in advertising the soft drink. The one think I like about these ads is the use of different head masks for the actors in these commercial. It’ the only way to make the characters look like they’re given different emotions. Except it’s a cheap way of doing cause the expressions change upon every cut scene. A practice done in the Jack in the Box commercials and Thomas the Train. Least it’s more effective than the villains and monsters from Super Sentai & Kamen Rider in which we the viewers know it’s a dude in a costume. Another thing I like to point out is the soundtrack for these commercials. All it is a soundtrack of piano, guitar string, and wire sounds. Which gives the theme of the commercial an uneven and sketchy feel which is intentional cause it gives us the idea that everything is unbalanced and fragile in the Spy Vs. Spy universe.
That’s all there is to say about these commercials, there’s other good Mountain Dew commercials I might do in the future. But for now I feeling like doing a commercial on a video game for next week. Which one you might ask, well how about Atari 5200’s Pole Position. The commercial for it is so hilarious that you’ll all have to stay tune till next week cause the next article is when I summarize why it’s the most hilarious Atari commercial I’ve watch yet.
As promised, I decided to talk about one of the subsequent sequels to the original Got Milk commercial. In this case using licensed characters to hype up the public that drinking milk can be a cool thing. Out of all of them I feel this one is the best choice to use for a review, plus after the Avengers film dominated the box office for several weeks and grossed a total of 615 million dollars. I’m sure this review will be a popular one cause it features the most of the iconic heroes who are assigned to the Avengers. I checked Comic Vine’s website to be sure and I’m positive all of these heroes did join the Avengers at some point in time. Check it for yourself if you don’t believe me. Now for the summary of this ad.
The commercial starts with a milkman whistling as he heads towards a mansion with a new supply of milk to drop off. What country is this located, that I’m uncertain cause in America Milkmen are a thing in the past. But I think the makers of this commercial ignored the monday night rules in order to use the milkman idea even though milkmen are as obsolete as icemen(a man who delivers a block of ice to homes that use an ice box the predecessor to the freezer). Anyways the Milkman rings the door bell, only to be drop right into a trap door and finds himself in an underground cavern. When he comes to, he realizes that he is being interviewed by the Avengers. Seven of them are seated in a table across from the Milkman. All of them have their own name tags on the table. The following Avengers he sees are from the left: Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, & Hawkeye. Behind the Milkman is a chart that says Superheroes Tryouts 8-12. Either that’s the date or the Milkman is the 8th interviewer out of the 12 possible recuitments. Anyways Captain America and the rest assume he’s trying to apply to be part of their team so he asked the Milkman “What is your name?” The Milkman replies “I’m the Milkman”, I guess since he’s being recruited by a group of Superheroes, he’s going by the occupation title he goes by rather than his real name. Captain America asked him if he has a sidekick, nemesis, or bad guy. However the Milkman didn’t say yes to either of the questions given. Also why would Captain America ask the Milkman if he has a Nemesis or a Bad Guy when that’s like asking the same question except using a different word for villain? Captain America then asks the Milkman if he even fights crime, only to discover that the Milkman doesn’t fight crime. After the rest of the Avengers were unsure about the applicant, Thor asks him “Then what do you fight?” The Milkman replies “Weak bones”(or “osteoporosis” depending on which version) and brings up his case of milk bottles and explains that he does it with him endless supply of regular and chocolate milk. Everyone was so impressed by the Milkman that even the Hulk was amused by what the Milkman does. So the Milkman becomes the new Avenger poses with the other Avengers in which all of them hold up a glass of milk upon posing for a picture for the front headline of the Metro Newspaper. With the headline “New Superhero!” Then the announcer concludes the commercial by saying “Want strong bones?” “Calcium may help prevent osteoporosis”.
This commercial was so popular that I remembered seeing a whole bunch of ad posters posted at my elementary school when this commercial was made some time in the year 2000. Not to mention this was made way before any of the heroes you see in the commercial had their own live action movie, or were part of one. excluding Scarlet Witch who is yet to appear in a live action movie. However after the first X-Men movie came out opened the door way to more comic book movies. Cause before the year 2000, there were only a handful of Marvel Comic related movies as well as a hand full of DC and other Comic related movies. Sadly the late 90s was also known as the era when the quality of comic book movies started to lose interest with the public with box office failures or flicks that barely hold up to what they represent with such examples as “Batman & Robin”, “1990’s Captain America”, “Steel”, “Judge Dredd”, “The Phantom”, & “The Shadow”. I understand that some of these film did had a cult following to them, but sadly not many comic fans appreciated what those films did for the comic adaptions.
Now for the comments on this commercial, it was really well done for a Got Milk commercial. I’m widely interested on the production costs for those costumes. You can tell there was some money invested if they were able to make them not look like outfits from a store. The one thing I’m curious about this ad is the location for the Super Hero tryouts. Of all of the locations they could use, it had to be some random mansion that happens to have its own underground caverns. I’m not going to mention Batman for this one cause this is Marvel we’re talking about here. So my guess is it’s a mansion own by one of the Avengers or it was loan to them. I doubt Iron Man would be the owner cause his alias is more interested in modern complex homes than some 19th-20th century manors. However the manor has a slight likeness to Professor Charles Xavier’s School of Gifted Mutants. That place was formerly a mansion then turn into a school/refuge for all of the mutants that want a place called home. While the place also had its own underground cavern for training recruits for the X-Men team. If I had to decide whose mansion it was it had to been Prof. X’s plus I can totally imagine him leading his Mansion’s cavern to the Avengers to recruit new members. The only other question I have about this ad is the whole trap door to the cavern route. I believe that the Avengers had to spread some word about their recruitment, cause I doubt they recruit any random person upon applying. Course the whole “entering the area for applying by trap door” is a failed idea to get more heroes. I can understand they want to be secluded from their own enemies, but what if instead of the Milkman it was a Salesman? Mailman? UPS Man? or one of those Missionary people who only travel by bike and try to convince everyone on earth that being Catholic is the only true religion? Course the Milkman would be a more proper choice to recruit than Missionary people, cause I’m sure they wouldn’t approve of Thor being present on Earth due to him being a Norwegian God. One thing to point out, if there was ment to be 12 applicants for the Avengers who were they and who was the previous seven who were interviewed. If I had to guess it would be She-Hulk, Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Namor, War Machine, Captain Britain, Moondragon, & Quicksilver. If the Milkman had to be replaced, I would choice She-Hulk cause Scarlett Witch seems lonely being the only visible female Avenger. Black Widow is nowhere to be seen, I only assume she’s already a member since she was one of the older members of the team along with Nick Fury.
Well that’s enough speculation for this article, I hope the research I put upon this article was helpful to all of you out there. Stay tune for next week, I’ll do an article on a Mountain Dew commercial that used MAD Magazine’s Spy Vs. Spy as the sponsor. I can rant on about how iconic MAD magazine is, but I’ save it for next week, cause I talked enough about one subject for one day. So here’s the commercial itself, I can other find the version with osteoporosis being said instead of the words weak bones. It’s the same commercial except different words being uttered.