While most of Europe aired the new Ben 10 rebooted series since fall of last year, fans from North America are still anxiously waiting. Teletoon Canada offered a sneak peek Monday night for what’s to come in Spring. This new series is better off packaged as two episodes for the time-slot it is given instead of 10 minutes (giving a lot more time for commercials), before jumping to another show.
Given that the intended audience is for kids with limited attention span, the 10-minute format is satisfactory. But I’m craving longer tales, and am hoping by binge-watching a bunch of episodes back to back will reveal a greater story arc.
Tonight’s broadcast sees Ben Tennyson (Tara Strong reprises the role) learning responsibility. His access to the internet gets taken away until he cleans the Rust Bucket, a camping van that he, his cousin Gwen (Montserrat Hernandez) and grandfather Max (David Kaye) rides in throughout their many adventures. When the alien Fly Guy attempts to steal it because it reeks of garbage, this boy has a lot to do before his family returns! Amusingly enough, they are off to visit a bat guano cave.
Ratchet and Clank is made for fans of the video game and I was dismayed that this film is just a retelling of the game instead of a new product.
Movies based on video games are often a hit and miss affair with the masses. Not everyone will have played it. Very few end up as spectacular. Try as many studios might for a memorable blockbuster, most end up as a so bad it’s good category. Not many end up with sequels. Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Silent Hill are the only exceptions to this list. Maybe the problem lies in who these films are intended for. The latest entry, Ratchet and Clank, is definitely aimed at the kids.
This tale comes complete with the obligatory lessons for youths to take home. This film shows how Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) should never give up on his dream of being part of the Galactic Rangers. When the anthropomorphic world is filled with critters trying to make a difference in a dog eat dog world of humans glory hounding victories, just how this garage mechanic is going to become a soldier is going to be tough. He has to convince the egotistical Captain Qwark (Jim Ward) to let him join. From here, I thought I was watching Disney Afternoon’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. This cartoon was developed in 2000 and the game did not emerge till 2002. For instance, Mira wanted to be part of the galactic police force, but many people (Buzz and her royal parents) were hesitant. While the short robot X-R and Clank (David Kaye) are different personalities, both fill a very similar role. A part of what I loved in this series is in how a brotherhood of trust is developed, and this film moves in a very similar flow. A part of the plot that’s enjoyable is in how Ratchet wants to see the good in everyone, including those who have seemingly chosen to sell out.