Punk'd returned March 29 and one thing is for sure: it's the same as it every was.
Apart from a few bells and whistles (see: exploding yachts), the series is relatively the same, pitting unknown actors against our favorite celebs and coaxing them into a terrifying faux debacles. But it's time to start paying attention to some of those unknown actors. When Punk'd first hit the television waves, it came with a dose of budding talent. And seeing what a few of these now-familiar faces managed after spending their time posing as crooked driving instructors and Santa's helpers, it can't be that long until one of the new "field agents" winds up with his or her own TV show.
1. Bill Hader
You know him as one of the funniest actors on Saturday Night Live, famous for his Vincent Price impression and his misguided New York expert, Stefon, but Hader started out by convincing Ashlee Simpson she'd ruined a priceless painting on Ashton Kutcher's MTV series. Facebook - Ashlee Simpson - Punk d
2. Kaitlin Olson The actress now known as Sweet Dee from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia first appeared as a lowly Christmas elf when Kutcher punked Beyonce into thinking she ruined a children's Christmas celebration. Despicable, right? Apparently not much has changed. (Skip to 5:33 to see Olson punk Bey.) Get More: Punk'd, Full Episodes
3. B.J. Novak
He pay be the punk on NBC's The Office, but he started out as the punk trying to teach Hilary Duff to drive.
4. Stephen Rannazzisi You may now know Rannazzisi as the all-time fantasy league lose on FX's The League, but there was a time when his job was irritating celebs. Check out the first prank in the embed below to see the funnyman in his early role. Punk'd - MTV Shows - Full Episodes
5. Dax Shepard
Last, but not least, we have Shepard, whose appearance is likely more memorable than these other TV stars. He did a little buck naked aerobics for Jessica Alba long before he joined NBC's Parenthood or started giving sloths to his now-wife Kristen Bell.
Get More: Punk'd, Full Episodes
Kristen Bell Loses Her Mind Over a Baby Sloth
Video: Khloe Kardashian's Gross Punk'd Prank
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.