"Forever Your Girl"
VeggieTales: "Pizza Angel"
3 Minute Countdown
"Who Can It Be Now"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
3 Minute Countdown
"I Love A Rainy Night"
"Might Take Some Time"
Robots DVD Promo
Carl & Phil Monkey Ninjas: Episode 6
3 Minute Countdown
"Grandma's Feather Bed"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Kidz Bop Kids: "Since U Been Gone"
3 Minute Countdown
Once again it's September time - which means two things: One, summer is over and school is in; and two, time for a brand new Chuck E Cheese show! September 2005 is another landmark show...being the first show with new Production Coordinator Michael Hill, and the first to feature Studio C without curtains and the random movement programming. This definitely effects the quality of the show, and we'll see if this is a temporary solution to harsh budgeting. The show segments feature six great song covers and two Department 18 originals. The video footage, mostly new, is the usual fanfare of CEC characters dancing in the usual locales. As for the intermissions, we get a brand new Silly Song and a new episode (finally!) of Monkey Ninjas. And those are the highlights of the roster, with the rest being reused material and promotions.
And now Jasper's Showtape Review presents something new - THE SHOW HIGHLIGHTS!
*Why Munch isn't the band leader: In Segment 2, he doesn't know who Men At Work is...although he knows how to sing their songs.
*Another Jasper witty comment: Munch tells all of us to stay in school after "Homework" in Segment 4. And Jasper remarks that kids can grow up just like them! I mean, wouldn't everyone want to be stuck on stage performing at Chuck E. Cheese's 24-7???
*Why Chuck E. Cheese's features VeggieTales: This new Silly Song is about Larry's true love of pizza!
*Spring Cleaning: Caution - extreme strobing in this intermission...might cause seizures. Who edited this back in 1994?!
*What does Robert do on his free time: He's a plumber and a biker, as shown in "Who Can It Be Now" during Segment 2. I guess the mailman gig isn't working out...
*The show's most embarassing moment: This one is a tie, at the beginning of the segments the show announcer announces "Let's bring out our favorite mouse Chuck E Cheese!" (although he is already there on stage in the new curtainless Studio C), and at the end of the segments Chuck E says they're going to take a break, and then he just stands there twitching every so often. What a life!
Studio C (Part 1)
- This is the first show without any curtains programming. The character has the random movements programmed into the software, so it will "randomly" move around during the intermissions, or any time the character isn't being utilized. So in sadness, there is no curtain diversity for the Studio C version...or ever again as it stands.
Studio C (Part 2)
- The Studio C puppets' backgrounds are the same colors from the April 2005 Show
. The design is different - instead of a solid color stripe across the screen (as usual design), the entire background is the solid color.
Studio C (Part 3)
- The puppets only appear during the dialogue portions of the segments similar to the April
& September 2004 Shows
... not during the songs themselves. At least with the January
& April 2005 Shows the lead vocalist character would appear on screen to sing, but it looks like they are unfortunately not doing this anymore.
Existing Stages (Part 1)
- Chuck E's curtains close during Jasper's "Mayberry".
Existing Stages (Part 2)
- Chuck E's curtains open during the Fundraising Spot.
- Helen sings "Forever Your Girl", Jasper sings both "Mayberry" and "Grandma's Feather Bed", and Munch sings "Homework". Once again, there are no Pasqually songs.
- "Might Take Some Time" and "Homework" are Department 18 originals. The rest of the song line-up are song covers. There are no parodies in this show.
Who Can It Be Now
- Not only featuring cameos (listed below), but also features some footage from previous shows: the water-slide from "I'll Take You There" & the City-scapes Countdown both from September 2003 Show
, and Matt Schartz as the "Shining Star" from the September 2002 Show
- This retro intermission from the April 1994 Show
features Chuck E and Jasper doing their spring cleaning.
- Featuring the same music from the Vintage Dance Coke Spot (April 2005 Show) this time Chuck E is picking up some videos at his local Blockbuster store.
- Same school-fundraising spot from the September 2004 Show; the video footage is the September 2005 Show logo. Interesting to note, if your Studio C never programmed their random movements, the curtains close after this intermission, a la the original programming from last year.
- The final spot in this show features stop motion animation as the logo "CEC TV" is formed in Play-Doh. The music is the instrumental to "What Up".
- All of the Countdowns in this show are either footage from old CEC songs set to new music, old intermissions, or all around new pieces. Also to note is that some of the footage is from previous shows (such as the Roller-Skating Rink from "Shout"), but those pieces are newly edited hence they say "New" after them. Here is a list of all 4 Countdowns - featuring where they originated from or if they are brand new:
-Countdown 1 - Roller-Skating (New)
-Countdown 2 - "Ease On Down The Road" (Footage) - April 2002
-Countdown 3 - 'Kaleidoscope Effect' Countdown - September 2003 & April 2004
-Countdown 4 - "Footloose" Live Show (Footage) - August 1999
- Although used as a Countdown in both September 2004 & January 2005, this time around the "Ease On Down The Road" footage is set to new music.
Department 18 Cameos
- Robert Gotcher & Michael Hill appear in "Who Can It Be Now".
CEC TV IDs
- All IDs in this show are reused, but interesting to note a retro one from the early 90's (the one where Chuck E throws his derby into the TV) is used before the Spring Cleaning intermission.
- The Birthday Break music & video is the same from the April 2005 & Summer 2005 Shows
September 2005 Show Logo
- A very stylized animated logo - we go through a park where silhouettes of people are skateboarding, etc. Trees pop out of the ground and then we see the silhouette of Chuck E in front of hedges that spells "CEC TV". Phew...that was hard to describe. I believe it's a parody, I think I saw something similar on a Nickelodeon TV bumper.
-3 out of 5 Tokens-
This show has an excellent soundtrack, but unfortunately lacks fun video footage and intermissions. Not only that, but I can feel the magic slip away with Studio C going curtain-less. There's something disappointing about this no curtains / random movement program going on, and I believe a trip to watch the show at Chuck E. Cheese's will never be the same again. I think this is a cheap, poor decision on Corporate's part. I use to think CEC has the potential to be as magical as Disney, but unlike CEC you'd never see two Mickey Mouses occupy the same space. Disney cuts corners too, but they will always put on a good show for paying customers. But instead of wasting my review ranting about this subject, I'll dig into the September Show.
As I mentioned above, this show has some great song choices. The song covers were tastefully done, especially Helen's take on Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" and Jasper's rendition of "Mayberry". The originals are great too (although Munch's rap song, "Homework", seems to be about a decade too dated). So the soundtrack is awesome, with the co-star characters having the most memorable performances.
Unfortunately the video footage isn't as memorable as the songs. Why does every Helen song have Chuck E and Helen walking around on a date? Why does "I Love A Rainy Night" take place during the day? And why is it sunny out? How come most of the video is of the Fab Five dancing around somewhere? Where's the creativity? There's many possibilities for these great songs, and more effort should be put into some more interesting video footage.
The intermissions are also lacking. These promotion intermissions are lame. I'll watch Blockbuster and Robots DVD promos at home. Something feels very *cheap* about these intermissions. And don't get me started about the Ninja Turtles ones. They're like the Funimation clips all over again. Pointless. And out of everything in the archives, why Spring Cleaning? It rates up there with Charlie Rockit as the lamest CEC intermissions ever.
But despite the harshness, there are a few intermissions I must compliment on. The VeggieTales and Monkey Ninjas intermissions are hilarious! You can never go wrong with these two intermission series. And I also felt the Kidz-Bop song was tolerable...it's better than Eddie Coker and it's more entertaining than the rest of the promos. Plus it features songs from current pop culture, something older shows had that newer shows lack.
This show is a good production with a couple noticable flaws. The animation and programming isn't as solid as past shows, but it's not bad considering this is Michael's first show. September 2005 Show gets great marks as far as song choices, but gets dinged as far as an overall production value when it comes to tedious video footage and disappointing intermissions.
2005 has been an interesting year for shows...feels very hit and miss. April 2005 Show is the best out of the bunch, with January 2005 Show in second and September 2005 slightly behind in third. Hopefully 2006 will have some great productions with all the songs, video, and intermission goodness we expect out of Department 18... plus curtains.