Cartoon characters can be attractive. While everyone liked Johnny Bravo and Fred from Scooby Doo, there are a lot underrated, cute cartoon guys. Some of them, you used to totally crush on hardcore. Others, they were your tightly-kept secret. Either way, there is no judgment here.
Twister, Rocket Power
We were probably supposed to crush on Otto Rocket, but he just didn’t do it for us looks wise. Plus, Otto was super competitive and a jerk 90% of the time. Twister was goofy and cute and almost always nice.
Max, A Goofy Movie
So technically, Max isn’t a human. But with Goofy as his dad, it’s pretty hard not to be surprised by how cute Max turned out. A crush is only fair.
Danny Phantom, Danny Phantom
Danny made life tough. Did we like him better with dark hair or his white, ghost-fighter hair? Those are decisions too tough for a preteen to make. Also, blue eyes or green eyes? We were never able to choose.
Tommy and Dil, All Grown Up!
The Pickles brothers turned out really cute. Dil was kind of young for us to consider, but we admired his looks and quirky personality. But Tommy, well he was right around our age (since he technically turned 1 in 1991) and we really loved that purple hair.
Chuckie and Phil, All Grown Up!
Tommy and Dil weren’t the only ones who upgraded to major cuties. Once Phil stopped eating worms, you were able to put him in the crush category. Chuckie's new glasses were actually pretty chic, too.
Edd, Ed, Edd, n Eddy
With Ed and Eddy as his competition, it really wasn’t hard for us to pick Edd. He’s a cartoon crush we kept a secret for many years.
T.J. Detweiler, Recess
T.J. gave off a bad boy vibe, but not bad enough to actually be a bad guy. He loved recess, you loved recess. You two would have been a match made in kick ball heaven.
Cosmo, Fairly Odd Parents
Cosmo was not very bright. He’s actually the dumbest character on the show, which seems hard since Timmy and his dad are both equally dim, but Cosmo was easily everyone's favorite. His hair and matching eyes added to his cutness.
Alden was cute. There is no question there. But this show was vastly underrated, so he might not have been on your friends' radars. He certainly was on yours. If you had braces back in 2001, Alden gave you hope that boys would still find you cute.
Shaggy, Scooby Doo
Fred might have had his ascot, but Shaggy had unlimited amounts of goofy charm. His red pants and green shirt combo is what stole our hearts.
You can have ours. Any day. We still want to be Pokémon trainers and could really use the help. Ash was too annoying to be considered cute.
Gerald, Hey Arnold
This boy was smooth. We don’t care if his best friend was blonde, with a football-shaped head. Gerald was the interesting one. We would have hung out with him any day.
The Professor, The Powerpuff Girls
Thinking the professor was cute was pretty much same thing as finding your best friend’s dad cute. You didn’t tell anyone, but you couldn’t help how you felt.
Did we miss any cartoon characters that you crushed on? Sound off in the comments below!
Reality competition results shows can be pretty tedious. The X Factor's results show more so than most--especially when we now know that any eliminated contestant can be brought back at Simon Cowell's whim. But two glorious things happened last night that made the stars in the reality TV firmament shine a bit brighter.
First, we witnessed the return of Pop Tart Britney, as she rocked a spangly, midriff-baring top that made us feel like we were back in the heady days of 2000. And second, Cowell was stumped. I mean, truly puzzled. That's because America voted...and judged his favorite boy-band wannabes, Emblem3, to be as middling as they really are.
Yeah, so that's the big game-changing twist that X Factor's been touting all week. For the first time in singing competition history, we didn't just learn who was safe and who was eliminated. We had the entire lineup ranked based on the number of votes they'd received from the American viewing public. And mostly, I think America got it right. Sure, I might not be a huge fan of gravel-voiced country crooner Tate Stevens, who placed first--I just keep getting visions of Scotty McCreery. Ah!!! The Blandness!--but he clearly deserves a few more weeks in the competition before going back to his day job of laying asphalt. And I certainly enjoy a good Bon Jovi cover as much as the next guy born in the '80s.
To Simon's shock, however, Emblem3 ended up ranked sixth. In an already boy-band saturated music marketplace, his "boys," as he so lovingly called them last week, just kind of fade into all that (literally) white noise. Case in point? The single most successful lad group ever to emerge from any X Factor franchise, One Direction, performed two songs during the results show ("Live While We're Young," and the Ed Sheeran-written "Little Things"), and popped up liberally during the commercials and one queasy skit involving New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees as the ousted sixth member of the band. Tween girls have only so much lung power, though. Fox, how can you expect them to scream and squeal that much over barely pubescent boys? Obviously, the vote for Emblem3 had been decided well before One Direction hijacked the results show last night, but it's easy to assume that people are just getting tired of guys who can't yet legally drink pop-n-locking their way across a stage.
Of course, Simon was stunned. But not deterred. You could practically see the man who gave us Il Divo mentally going back to the drawing board after Emblem3's poor showing. “I think it’s for me,” he said of the disappointing results for the chesthair-free group. “Now I’ve got information and have to change styles.” That's right, Simon. It's not your boys' talent deficiencies that are the issue, it's the packaging. Let's see what shiny bow you have them tied up in next week.
Speaking of packaging, the third iteration of The Artists Formerly Known as LYLAS, did quite well, considering their complete lack of creative focus. Now called Fifth Harmony, they placed one above Emblem3 at No. 5 in the rankings. A good name really is everything. And I'm not saying that Fifth Harmony is a particularly good one--it sounds like the name of a forgotten Lou Pearlman-produced group whose sales would have burned bright and brief at Virgin Megastores everywhere in 1999--but it's still infinitely better than their previous picks LYLAS and 1432. The Fifth Harmony girls are cute, but, really, when's the last time there's been a successful girl group? Destiny's Child? If you're willing to stretch the definition of successful, Eden's Crush? Their long-term prospects seem hazy to me.
Then we come to that sparkly-eyed pixie who, like Tinkerbell, gets saved if you clap for her: Diamond White. Seriously, every time I hear that name, I think she's stolen it from a dancer at Tampa's Mons Venus strip club. But even after Cowell brought her back on Wednesday, Diamond only placed fourth! And this is the girl whose elimination Simon said last week was as unfair as Jennifer Hudson's on the third season of American Idol. Well, if it doesn't work out, hopefully she can at least get a job as the new spokeswoman for the late Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds perfume.
Perhaps the least surprising thing of all was who actually got the boot. In a total diva-off, guyliner aficionado Jason Brock belted out Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" against CeCe Frey's take on Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me." Brock was really passionate in the song, but not in a good way. He was more like Meat Loaf singing "America the Beautiful" at a Mitt Romney rally. And so Brock got the boot. “I did it for the gays…and Japan,” he said, proving that he only appealed to two of three sectors of the Tastemaker Trifecta--the third being hipsters, who sadly have no interest in Brock and would never have watched X Factor, thus dooming his chances from the start.
That's about it, folks. Here are the full rankings for your reading pleasure.
1. Tate Stevens
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
3. Vino Alan
4. Diamond White
5. Fifth Harmony
7. Jennel Garcia
8. Paige Thomas
9. Lyric 145
10. Beatrice Miller
11. Arin Ray
12. CeCe Frey
Happy with the outcome?
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.