Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: "Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman"

Premiered December 3, 2014

"It is On-akkah like Hanukkah!"
-Randy Cunningham

Randy Cunningham (Ben Schwartz) and his friend Howard Weinerman (Andrew Caldwell) are hanging out at the Game Hole, a local arcade.  Howard, whose family celebrates Hanukkah, is complaining about the Hanukkah gifts he's received: socks.

Suddenly, a giant robot breaks into the Game Hole and trashes it.  Randy dons his ninja gear and battles the robot.  He defeats it, but not before the arcade suffers considerable damage and all the games are destroyed.

When the dust settles, local business-creep Hannibal McFist (John DiMaggio) arrives on the scene. He's ready to tear down the arcade and build a shoe store in its place.

McFist has brought along a city building inspector who cites an ordinance that says an arcade must have at least one game in operation at all times to maintain its status.  With no games working, McFist declares the Game Hole condemned and starts planning where to display shoes.

Thankfully, Howard notices one game, called "Fight Knight" is still working.  The Ninja provides Howard with game tokens and tells him to keep playing until he and Greg (Keith Ferguson), the arcade's owner, can go to a storage unit and get another video game.  If Howard loses, the Game Hole will become McFist's property.

Greg is not being overly helpful. 
The Ninja and Greg head for the storage unit and encounter McFist's robot gorillas (on snowmobiles!) and...a yeti!

All are bent upon preventing the Ninja from completing his mission.

The Yeti bot uses Greg's truck like a boom box. 
Can Howard play the game on one token long enough?  Can the Game Hole be saved?

J.A. Morris says:

There's not many Hanukkah-themed specials or episodes, and this one is an interesting "retelling" of the Hanukkah story.  Instead of the Menorah burning for eight night on only one night's worth of oil, Howard saves the Game Hole by fighting for eight rounds of a video game on only one token.

If you're looking for a thorough introduction to what Hanukkah's all about, you won't find it here. However, it's humorous and filled with lots of fun action scenes.  McFist is a good villain and his mechanical minions make entertaining adversaries for the Ninja.  There are also some funny asides about McFist's previous efforts to please his wife with Christmas presents.  The voice acting cast is also very good.

"Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman", like every episode of the show is only eleven minutes long, so it's a bit thin on plot.  Otherwise, there's not much to criticize here.

This episode is currently available for streaming on Amazon.

If you're looking for some light superhero fun during the holiday season, "Happy Hanukkah, Howard Weinerman" will provide it.  The shortness of the episode and lack of plot keeps me from giving it a higher rating.

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 dreidels.

RigbyMel says:

This is a silly, fast paced animated superhero adventure with a clever Hanukkah veneer.   There are some nice touches like the game token stretching long enough to fight eight knights and the robot yeti's head bearing a resemblance to a dreidel.

I also found it interesting that Greg -- the proprietor of the Game Hole -- seems to look like Wooderson -- Matthew McConaughey's character in the 1993 comedy Dazed and Confused.   Which is rather a nice little inside joke for older viewers looking in.

Cartoon Greg -- owner of the Game Hole
Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey)  -- the resemblance is truly striking! 
As J.A. Morris says, this short isn't really a great introduction to the "true meaning of Hanukkah" or anything, but it's certainly amusing and as there are relatively few filmed entertainments dealing with the holiday at all, it's nice to see some inclusiveness.

RigbyMel's rating: 


2 and a half Dreidels.

No comments: