Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jane Lynch is in it

Back before Camp Rock came out, I saw the soundtrack for Another Cinderella Story at Walmart and was intrigued by the logo.  Hoping for a musical with maybe some good songs, I put the movie in my Blockbuster queue and forgot about it until a week or so ago when it made it to the top (or rather, was the first 'available' movie near the top).  I mention Camp Rock because if I'd known who Selena Gomez was I probably wouldn't have bothered.  Despite that, the movie was not horrible, although it was not nearly as much of a musical as I thought it would be.  Le sigh...
Anyway, the real point of this post is about the stepmother character in the movie, Dominique.  About halfway through the movie, I had to run to the IMDB because I knew that I knew who she was, but I just couldn't place her.  Turns out that she's played by Jane Lynch.  At first glance, I didn't really recognize anything she had done (and she's done a ton of guest spots), but on the second time through, the sole thing I recognized her from suddenly leapt out at me: A Mighty Wind, where she played Laurie Bohner, the porn star turned folk singer. (Sidenote: I love A Mighty Wind.  If you haven't seen it, go watch it right now.)  I'm also partially amused to learn that she plays the mother in the new Holly Hobby DVDs.  So yeah, finding that out bumped my enjoyment of the movie up a level, and I even got the song that her character sang in her youth(?), Hold 4 U, off of iTunes.  'Cause Jane Lynch can definitely sing (another reason to go watch A Mighty Wind right now).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adventures in Care-a-lot Episode 21

Belly Blanked 
For whatever reason, the episode starts off with four of the core five meeting up with Funshine in that park that isn't Rainshine Meadows and is apparently above Care Square, as they take a cloud (courtesy of Grumpy's belly badge) to get there.  Funshine uses his belly badge to create all kinds of fun, from beachballs and spinny discs to a waterslide.  Grumpy balks at the slide, so Funshine takes it upon himself to prove its safety.  He slides right into the river, whereupon he is hit (unbeknownst to him) by a ray from a mysterious (and apparently waterproof) machine.  He emerges without his badge, which Grumpy blames on the slide.  It's Oopsy who spots Funshine's badge floating down the river, but all their attempts to grab it fall flat.  Although Grumpy and Share are awfully cute as they fail at paddling a canoe together (and Grumpy even tells Share, "You're doing it wrong!").  Funshine understandably freaks out as his badge goes over the waterfall, and he considers it gone for good.  Grumpy, however, is adamant that belly badges "don't just slide off like that" and while he, Share, and Oopsy head offscreen, UR-2 and
 Rocketbottom rise up from the lake, holding the mysterious machine, a Peeler Beam, and report to Grizzle (at the bottom of the waterfall), who takes Funshine's badge for his own.
Back in his lair, Grizzle reveals his plan to his minions, who are recovering from their time at the bottom of the river: instead of taking all the Care Bears' belly badges, he just needs one.  So he sticks it to himself with glue, and predictably gets stuck to the floor.  So predictably, in fact, that UR-2 is able to finish Grizzle's sentences as he calls for a crowbar.
Meanwhile, the other Care Bears are worried about Funshine, who has spent all his time since losing his badge just moping around.  Share figures someone should tell Funshine that he's still the same with or without his badge, but doesn't think of the obvious candidate, although Cheer does.  So they get Oopsy and Wingnut to go cheer up Funshine, since neither of them have belly badges to speak of.  Funshine, however, is having none of it, stuck in an existential quandary of who he is without his badge.  Oopsy tries to lead Funshine to the right conclusion for this episode by prompting him, "You don't use your belly badge all the time, do you?" to which Funshine replies, "Well, no, not every minute." (Hey, I liked it.)  Eventually Funshine starts to come around, and the three of them engage in a montage of the kinds of physical activities that can be achieved without use of a belly badge.
Shortly after that, Grizzle has his minions lower him into Care-a-lot while he uses a snazzy new headset to communicate with them.  Unfortunately, he gets dropped too soon, losing his headset in the process.  And while he lands on his feet, he once again regrets ever installing nerve sensors in his suit.  He happens to land in front of Funshine and Oopsy, and he demands the Care Bears fear him, although Oopsy cutely points out a bad wording choice on his part.  Funshine soon notices Grizzle has his badge, and demands it back.  Grizzle, of course, does not comply with his request, but instead announces his intention to use the badge for evil, not fun, and demands the badge give him rays of light to fry all of Care-a-lot.  Instead, the badge gives him rays of light that brighten everyone's day.  Suitably confused, Grizzle tries again, but his demand for "sunbeams of power" only ends up with him tied up in powerful beams.  Not so powerful that he can't break out of them, though.
Funshine, tired of seeing his badge being abused, demands to know how Grizzle got it in the first place, and Grizzle all too readily reveals the Peeler Beam, brought down by Sargent Rocketbottom.  Funshine also demands, for like the third time, that Grizzle give his badge back, but Grizzle simply tells him that it's stuck onto his suit with 50 different kinds of glue.  So Funshine reminds him that belly badges can only be used for good, and Grizzle uses this to his advantage by using the badge to create a barrage of balls for a 'game.'  
The Care Bears take cover, but Funshine knows he has to stop Grizzle somehow.  Oopsy gives him a quick pep talk, and then Funshine enters the fray, challenging Grizzle to a game of Targetball.  At first, Grizzle doesn't take the bait, but after Funshine pulls the old "if you don't think you can win..." line on him, he goes at it with gusto.  While Grizzle is distracted, Funshine sneaks behind him and snatches the Peeler Beam away from Rocketbottom and uses it on the stolen badge.  It melts off Grizzle's midsection and Funshine quickly returns it to its proper place.  Since he wasn't paying attention, Grizzle needs a recap of what just happened, and is chagrinned when he realizes his mistake.  Rather than take direct revenge, Funshine startles Rocketbottom, resulting in the robot getting stuck to Grizzle's still-sticky middle.  Grizzle retreats to get some glue solvent.
The others congratulate Funshine for saving the day, and Oopsy points out that Funshine did it all without his badge.  Funshine has learned his lesson, and they end the episode by playing a round of Targetball with all the excess balls left behind by Grizzle.

What I want to know is 1. why didn't Oopsy comfort Funshine both sooner and without being asked by someone?  Maybe he felt awkward bringing it up?  And 2. why didn't any of the other bears with badges help defeat Grizzle this time around.  Yes, I know that it was so that Funshine could save the day without using his badge, but realistically (as realistic as a cartoon gets, anyway), there are myriads of other Care Bears who could have lent a hand, at least, even if Funshine was the one who got to be the big hero.

All Give and No Take
One fine day in Care-a-lot, Love-a-lot unveils her new fountain in her backyard.  Cheer and Share express a desire to see it all the time, which gives Love-a-lot an IDEA.  She gets Grumpy to move the fountain, and he in turn gets Wingnut to do the actual moving, and it lands with a splash in Care Square (but there's already a fountain in Care Square...).  McKenna shows up out of nowhere, and she just can't wrap her mind around the idea that Love-a-lot would rather have the fountain out where everyone can share it rather than keep it to herself.  
She would never give up anything of hers, she says, like her new favorite heart-shaped ring.  Share explains that it's better to give than to have sometimes, which inspires Cheer to put that principle into practice by organizing a Care-a-lot-wide giving spree.  Everyone is enthusiastic about this idea except McKenna, who eyes her ring worriedly, as if she knows that one way or another, she's not leaving Care-a-lot without giving it up.
Later, Grumpy attempts to wedge a part into his latest invention, but with no success, so he's in no mood to see Share.  Until she whips out the bumbleberry pie that she made, that is.  Seriously, he's all over that pie.  As Share leaves Grumpy's garage, she runs into McKenna, who still can't quite get why anyone would want to go to all the trouble of making something for someone else.  So Share takes her along to witness more selfless giving.  They come across Funshine playing with his "favorite" ball, which he gives to the two cubs (whose names are finally revealed to be Hugs and Tugs in canon) to stop them fighting over another toy.  Again, McKenna is stumped on why anyone would give away their favorite thing, but Funshine just tells her he knows the ball is in good hands.
Meanwhile, Grizzle has been watching the whole thing, and he is sick of all the 'giving and love stuff' (as is Mr. Beaks).  But he decides to use the Care Bears' giving to trap them by giving them something himself, and then luring them back to his lair.  Back in Care-a-lot, Cheer rewards all the Care Bears for going along with her idea by conjuring up a slide, which McKenna rushes to use first, despite her not doing any giving, nor even understanding why the bears were doing what they did.  Perhaps it is fitting, then, that her ride is cut short by Grizzle (literally, he sticks is foot out to stop her).  The Care Bears are suspicious, but Grizzle feigns innocence and hands Funshine a dripping package, which he announces is for everyone.  Funshine opens the package to reveal a dripping pipe with macaroni glued on it (nice touch).  Grizzle tells them it's part of a bigger gift, which they can pick up at a special party at his lair.  While not entirely sure, Cheer and the others decide to give Grizzle another chance, and go to his party, despite McKenna and Grumpy's hestitation.
While the Care Bears make their way to his lair, Grizzle has UR-2 test his plan to capture the bears once and for all.  That plan involves a lever that activates the fake package and grabs whatever is in its immediate vicinity.  And the codeword for pulling the lever is "Surprise."  With the plan all set, the Care Bears arrive and Grizzle ushers them into his lair.  Cheer spots the present and is impressed by its size; Grizzle fakes niceness and tells her that it's to make up for all his plots in the previous episodes.  As his guests head to the present, McKenna notices Mr. Beaks.  Grizzle tries to stop her from getting too close, but McKenna tells him how Mr. Beaks reminds her of a bird she used to have as a pet.  Touched by the resemblance(?), McKenna asks Grizzle if she can give Mr. Beaks something.  Grizzle agrees, and she gives him the ring as a little crown, getting that plot point out of the way.  The other Care Bears are pleased that McKenna finally gets it, and Mr. Beaks is so pleased by the gift that Grizzle is touched and starts to cry, which Cheer calls him out on.  Grizzle tries to deny it, but the sincerity of McKenna's caring for Mr. Beaks took him by surprise, and he tells Cheer so.  Which is the codeword, UR-2 rationalizes, and throws the switch.
The package grabs them all, even Grizzle, and traps them inside the box.  The other bears accuse Grizzle, but McKenna interprets their situation as Grizzle giving them "the gift of togetherness."  Grizzle, seeing an easy out, is quick to agree with her, and tells UR-2 to open the 'present' so they can get the party started.  UR-2 shrugs and does as he is told.  At the actual party, Grizzle busts out some funky dance moves, and even hops out of his suit so the two of them can dance together (I love it!).  UR-2 comments that Grizzle will probably regret it in the morning, but for the time being, everyone just has a good time.

This was actually a pretty decent episode, all things considered.  There were tons of crazy expressions, though (just check out the screenshots below).  I'm just wondering how Grizzle was going to take over Care-a-lot when the only bears who showed up where Funshine, Cheer, Share, Grumpy, and Love-a-lot.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt is Dead

I just heard that Eartha Kitt died earlier today of colon cancer.  She had 81 years of being awesome.  Seriously.  She was Catwoman on the 1960's Batman series, she was Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove, and even had a guest spot on The Magic School Bus series, among many other things.  And she sang "Santa Baby" better than any of the others.  Rest in peace, Ms. Kitt.

Christmas edition: Cricket on the Hearth

I recently picked up that DVD of "The Original Christmas Classics" from Rankin/Bass, although it dubiously includes "Frosty Returns" as one of those 'classics' (why not "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" instead?  At least that one is old enough to be thought of as a classic).  It also included a special from 1967 that I had never heard of, "Cricket on the Hearth," which is based on a story written by Charles Dickens.

In this special, an old cricket tells the audience about his younger days, and how he came to live with the Plummers, father Caleb and daughter Bertha, who make their living making and selling toys.  As it usually is with these stories, Bertha is engaged to a young man named Edward, who is commissioned in the Royal Navy, but is lost at sea near the beginning of the story.  This news renders Bertha blind, and Caleb spends all his money on doctors for her, but to no avail.  Eventually they end up just one step away from the poorhouse, until Caleb gets work with a crooked toy factory owner, Mr. Tackleton.
For Bertha's sake, Caleb pretends that they are doing better than they are, making him and the cricket effectively living in two different worlds.  I don't really get how Bertha was fooled by this, especially since they were eating Tackleton's scraps.  Then again, she may have been aware of what her father was doing and just humored him, but this isn't made apparent in the special.  Anyway, things get moving again when Caleb runs into an old, homeless man and takes him in.  The way he says Bertha's name makes her gasp, though she can't explain why.  Hm...

On Christmas Eve, Tackleton proposes to Bertha, but gives her some time to think about it.  She's of a mind to accept, since her father has described Tackleton as a better man than he actually is.  The old, homeless man comes to tell her something, but loses his nerve after Bertha announces her intentions to wed "the most wonderful man in the whole world."  Determined not to let Bertha marry Tackleton, the cricket gets in the way of the couple that afternoon, so Tackleton commands his pet crow to eliminate the cricket.  The crow, meanwhile, hires some thugs from an animal bar to get rid of the cricket.  The thugs capture the cricket and mean to sell him to a sea captain who sells crickets on the black market in China, but the captain shoots them both instead.  Meanwhile, the cricket manages to escape and makes it back to the shop just as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, which makes the toys magically come to life for one hour.  The cricket rallies them to help him stop Bertha from marrying Tackleton.  They lead him to the old, homeless man, sleeping just outside the shop, and they take off his disguise, revealing Edward! (The cricket is shocked.)  The toys also start telling the cricket about how Edward came to be where he is, but their time runs out before they can tell the whole story.  

Fortunately for the cricket, Edward wakes up, his face chilled by lack of beard, and tells the cricket the rest of the story.  Apparently he felt guilty about Bertha being blind, and took up a disguise to be near her without her knowing, but everytime he tried to tell her the truth, something got in the way.  The cricket doesn't buy his story, nor does he accept Edward's excuse of him being poor for why he should let Bertha marry Tackleton.  To prove that Bertha still loves Edward and only Edward, the cricket wakes her up and the two have a happy reunion, getting married first thing the next morning.  Tackleton is outraged when he hears this, but Bertha melts his heart by calling him kind, noble, and handsome (since no one has ever called him this before), and he leaves them be, full of Christmas spirit.  And that's how the cricket earned his right to be a lucky cricket on the hearth.

The special is bookended by live-action scenes of Danny Thomas, who played Caleb, while Bertha was played by his real life daughter, Marlo Thomas (of That Girl fame).  Hans Conried (whom you may recall from the post I made about him) played Tackleton, but what really made this special enjoyable was Roddy MacDowall as the cricket.  He made a very lively (and occasionally full of rage) character.
Unfortunately, he doesn't get to sing any of the songs, and it's really a shame, since only two of the songs really have anything to do with the plot.  I mean, a saloon cat gets to sing a song, but the cricket doesn't?  Not even part of his own theme song (sung by the Norman Luboff Chorus instead)?  That's just wrong.

Merry Christmas

Click for full-sized Unshelved!  And have a merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spanish DirectTV Christmas Horror(?) Ad

I found this, and well, I just had to share it. Happy early Holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some tidbits I've been saving

I have had that professor, seriously. We were all begging him to be more specific about a certain assignment, but he refused to give us anything more than the base description (it was a core course, so all the sections were exactly the same, regardless of who taught it). And then after the assignment was graded, he berated us for doing it wrong. -_-

Trolling the Jim Hill Media archives, I found this little sidenote in an article from 2004, and thought I'd share it:

Speaking of Disney & money ... There's a fascinating story about that "Mission to Mars" movie. The Walt Disney Company actually let the first director that they hired for that film -- Gore Verbinski -- go because he wanted "M2M" to be a special effects extravaganza. A film with no less than 600-700 effects shots.

Disney wasn't willing to spend the money necessary to to make that version of "Mission to Mars." So they let Gore go and replaced him with Brian DePalma. Who significantly pared down the scope & proposed cost of the project so that his version of the film would only feature 240 effects shots.

Long story short: Brian's low budget version of "M2M" failed to really wow audiences. So -- the next time that Disney hired Gore Verbinski to direct a motion picture -- they let him have all the special effects shots he wanted.

That picture turned out to be much more popular than "Mission to Mars." Maybe you've heard of it? "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"?

I was actually looking in the archives for a story I figured I read there, that gave a brief synopsis of how the Tinker Bell movie (then occasionally called "Tinker Bell and the Ring of Belief") was going to be about.  Turns out I was thinking of an article on a completely different site that was linked through Animated News.
I was thinking about 'what might have been' because the movie that did come out, while probably better than the one planned, felt a little lackluster to me, and all because of one particular plot point.  Now, the meat of the movie is that Tinker Bell, brand new fairy on the block, wants to go to the mainland (London) with the nature fairies, but since she's a tinker fairy, she can't, so she tries to make herself be a nature fairy instead.  However, it's never explicitly stated that she can't go.  All that's really said is that tinker fairies don't go to the mainland.   I mean, if there had been a scene where she asked if she could go and was turned down, then maybe I wouldn't feel so 'meh' about the rest of the movie, or even if there had been a reveal later, a kind of "All you had to do was ask" scene.
And personally, I just don't buy the whole "Tink was the only tinker to ever think of using 'lost things' to make things" bit.  I do, however, believe that Fairy Mary was able to quash any other tinker fairy who tried to, though.  Heh.  But I am glad for the version that we got, because if the original version had come out, there wouldn't have been any Vidia in it, and that would have been tragic indeed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The More, the Yummier - Maryoku Yummy

Today I am going to talk to you about Maryoku Yummy.  You may or may not recognize the name, but if you do, it's because you remember it from descriptions of American Greetings' licensed brands.  That's how I know of it, anyhow.
Now, for a good long while, next to nothing was known about this mysterious and strangely named property.  Only the very basics of the character were revealed: Maryoku looks after wishes that are made before they get granted.  Not exactly all the interesting, but good for birthday cards.  At least, that's what I thought until I discovered that, just like with the revamp of Strawberry Shortcake, AGPbrands.com put a handful of videos of the animated show based on this property, and while only three episodes are up, I think I love it already.

Maryoku Yummy takes place in Nozomu, and as you might have derived from that, the majority of the characters have psuedo-japanese names.  I say pseudo because while some of the names actually mean something relevant to the character (maryoku means magic power/charm), some of the names are unintentionally hilarious (one character's name, Hadagi, means lingerie), but most of them are either too broad (Shika can mean any number of things, including the price of paper or Japanese poetry) to have actual meaning, or just sound japanese-y without actually meaning anything coherent.  I should note here that nozomu means "to wish," but the characters all pronounce it no-ZA-mu instead of no-zo-mu.  Basically, nothing is pronounced the way it would actually be pronounced in Japanese, but is pronounced the way someone looking at Japanese would pronounce it (especially egregious in Maryoku, which is pronounced ma-ryoku, but all the characters call her mary-oku).

Bad pronunciations aside, the show is delightfully cute.  The characters (called Yummies as a group) all have a minimalistic design that was inspired by Japanese silkscreening.  The characters also tend to replace parts of words with 'yum' (as in 'yumderful,' 'yum's the word,' etc.), and they all have some sort of crazy design going for them.
While all kinds of Yummy live in Nozomu (doctors, bakers, handymen, police), the focus is on the wishsitters, groups of three Yummy that keep an eye on ungranted wishes and supposedly help them come true.  (I'm not entirely sure how this is done, even though one of the episodes details the process.  Apparently there are things a wish needs to know before it is granted, and hugs are part of it, too.)  The wishsitters live in a group of three and take care of up to eight wishes at a time.  When there's a deficit, it's usually filled pretty quickly by Bob, who brings the wishes in from somewhere else.  As the show description indicates, Maryoku is head of a wishsitting group, along with her timid friend Fij Fij and boisterous underling Ooka.  Maryoku is one of the those can-do-no-wrong main characters that tend to show up in these kind of shows and is generally the voice of reason in her little group, but she's also a terrible meddler (seriously, in the two episodes posted that focused on someone other than her wishsitting, she went out of her way to check in on the other wishsitter on multiple occasions).  Her touchy-feely approach to wishsitting tends to clash with the by-the-books police officer Shika, whose frequent flaunting of the rules inspires both fear and annoyance from the general population.  Still, he is the one they go to in a crisis.  There's also some kind of wiseman character named Tapu Tapu that the other characters go to for advice, but I'm not entirely sure of his complete role yet.

The wishes themselves are treated as a mix of pets and very young children.  As in, they're obviously sentient, but they don't really understand anything except having a good time, yet the Yummies talk to them as if they could understand, but probably don't.  I have to admit, I just don't get the whole wish concept here.  I mean, the conceit of the show is that when wishes are made by children, they become these candle-like entities and show up at some kind of HQ.  Wishsitters keep an eye on them and teach them what they need to know to be granted, but what about the wishes that can never be granted?  I mean, what if a kid wishes for an elephant for a pet?  Seriously, that kid is never going to get one, so that's a wish that will never get granted.  I guess I'm thinking too hard about it.  This is just a kid's show, after all.
The show is aimed at preschoolers, in fact, but the lessons are not hamhanded, and generally flow in a fun manner.  For instance, in one episode, Hadagi, a member of another wishsitting group, takes it on herself to try and get an enormous wish granted without any help (so she can claim all the credit), and the majority of the episode shows the messes she gets herself into as she tries to keep the wish out of trouble.  (Granted, I could be biased because this was the episode that made me love Hadagi, and not just because she's obviously voiced by Chiara Zanni, who also voices Kani on Sushi Pack.)

The series is slated to come out "sometime in the future" which has been officially stated as 2010, but since it was stated earlier to be 2008 and 2009, there's really no telling when this series will debut.  Which is too bad, because it looks like a fun little series, and I for one am looking forward to seeing more of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sushi Pack - An Ode to Oleander

Can I say how much I love Oleander?  Because seriously, next to Titanium Chef, she's my favorite villain.  Probably because she isn't really a villain at all.  Oh, sure, to the Sushi Pack she is, and she occasionally teams up with the bad guys to get at the Sushi Pack, but only because she wants to eat them.  Obviously, she can't ever succeed, because then there'd be no show, but sometimes, I think I would like to see her actually do the deed.  Maybe a dream sequence or something?
There isn't too much that we know about Oleander, but from what we do know, I can easily map out a history for her.  The way I see it, she got her start as a restaurant critic, worked her way up to having her own TV show, mostly due to her adventurous eating habits (you don't get a nickname like "The Gulping Gourmet" by being picky).  But shortly before the series begins, she'd basically run out of exotic and/or interesting foods to sample, and was growing bored.  So when she heard about living sushi (not just raw, but alive), naturally, she had to give it a try.  And has yet to succeed.  Must be frustrating for a lady used to getting what she wants.  (Seriously, do you want to get between Oleander and her desires?  I didn't think so.)
Which brings me to the episode "Sushi Pack vs. The Fried Food Fighting Force," the first Oleander-centric episode of the new season.  Very lovely Oleander action here, as you will see.

The episode starts with the Pack, as usual, talking about the lower crime rate, which is a little unusual, but gives them some extra time.  Tako suggests that they use this break to redesign the Sushicraft, but no one can agree on what to do: Maguro wants to make it more open, Tako wants to make it more artistic, Ikura's all for painting huge teeth on it (which would be pretty cool, actually, in a kitschy sort of way), Wasabi wants a huge fly bathtub instead, and Kani just wants to keep it the way it is.  She is the one who built it, after all.
Skip over to Oleander in her kitchen at the TV studio, trying to cook up a plan to get at the Sushi Pack.  Since her previous schemes haven't worked, she decides to make her own fighting foods (ala Titanium Chef), which she plans to eat once they've served their purpose (see, that's just awesome right there).  So she fries up a potato, chicken nugget, corndog, mozzerella chunk (not a stick, a chunk), and a glob of ketchup to complete the group.  Then, to bring them to life, she adds a bunch of other stuff, but most importantly, a whole can of hazardous material.  The resulting explosion gives her a new 'do, but also brings forth The Fried Food Fighting Force.
Back with the Pack, they still can't decide on what to do with the Sushicraft, nor can they compromise.  Ben points out that they have differences of opinion because they're all naturally different from each other, but they need to remember that it's their similarities that make them a team.  (a quick animation note: while Ben gives his spiel, Wasabi scratches his nose, or where his nose would be if he had one.  Just a little thing I liked.)  The Pack reflects on this briefly, and are able to put their differences aside long enough to check out the scene of a recent crime.
The chief of police fills in the Pack about a suspicious grease fire in a rock quarry, leaving the Pack puzzled on how rocks can catch fire, especially a grease fire.  It was all the doing of the Fried Food Fighting Force (here on abbreviated F4), of course.  Oleander congratulates them on their successful first mission, but instructs them to do something bigger for the next time if they want to defeat the Sushi Pack.  The F4, however, has an inkling that as living foods similar to the Pack, they shouldn't fight.  Oleander squashes this attitude by filling them with Fried Pride, and they take off for another mission.
Later, The Pack shows up at the newspaper printers just after the F4 leave.  The head printer shows off the greasy finger prints left by the still-unknown-to-them gang, but Maguro recognizes the prints as footprints and hypothesizes that the group responsible for tainting the Late Edition is about the same size as the Pack.  Not only that, but there's a smell of corndogs in the air...  Back with the F4, Oleander details their final mission to defeat the Sushi Pack, after which will be the banquet of honor.  She nearly lets it slip that she's planning to eat them, but manages to cover it up with none of them the wiser.  The final battle will take place at the old clock tower.  After she sends them on their way, Oleander calls Wharf City News and leaves an anonymous tip, using her superior voiceover skills.
While not chasing after the elusive F4, the Pack stays home and fumes at each other over their inability to agree on the Sushicraft (not that they have the time to modify it now, anyway).  Finally, Kani has enough and manages to bring the rest of the Pack together, just in time for Ben to tell them about the anonymous tip.  And so the Sushi Pack is off for the clock tower, which appears to be deserted.  Tako senses a trap, and sure enough, the F4 attacks!  Kani, still in reconciliation mode, tries to stop the two groups from fighting.  She points out all the things they have in common (being made from foodstuffs and taking their jobs seriously, among others), and the members of the F4 add a few themselves.  Kani still has to seal the deal, though, and asks the F4 why they're all there.  It's at that moment that Oleander shows up and announces her intentions to eat them all (and she actually says "There's only one way out -- in my belly!").  An unwise move on her part, since with her deception revealed, the F4 have no reason at all to fight the Sushi Pack, and they all band together to take her out.  Using eerily similar powers, they trap her under a large bell.
With the main plot wrapped up, the F4 decide to head off to other parts and get into modeling for restaurants.  Kani can't keep from spieling some more, seeming way too chipper for her character, but a tearful goodbye between Wasabi and Ketchup is all it takes to bring her back down to her usual self.  And the episode is over.