Tuesday, March 06 2012 00:11

Review: THE AQUABATS! SUPER SHOW! - Episode 1: ManAnt!

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''Crash is kidnapped by a villain who's half-man, half-ant! That's bad enough -- but ManAnt also has evil plans to grow a whole army of giant ants!'' reads the official description for the series premiere of THE AQUABATS! SUPER SHOW! which aired the past Saturday on The Hub. Yes, the long-awaited (by people like me) Aquabats! show has arrived - but how is it?

abats-image-wall 570x420Anyone that worked with me back in my Sam Goody days knows how much MYTHS, LEGENDS AND OTHER AMAZING ADVENTURES (2000, Fearless Records) got played. That would be, "quite a bit" - and it still gets spins here at The Rock Father™ house in 2012. The reality is that The Aquabats! have been rocking audiences for nearly twenty years, and after a few different attempts at television glory, the band has finally found a home at The Hub - a network that seems to appreciate what they've gotten themselves into. 

The M.C. Bat Commander, Crash McLarson, Ricky Fitness, Eaglebones Falconhawk, and Jimmy the Robot probably aren't names that kids will recognize - but hopefully they soon will. With new episodes airing on Saturday mornings at 11am ET/8am PT, the SUPER SHOW brings back that Saturday excitement that kids of the 70's and 80's remember fondly, and kids of newer generations have been deprived of. I'm saying that it gives you something to look forward to in an age of instant entertainment.

I had the interesting experience of watching the premiere with my 2 1/2 year-old daughter, my wife, and my mother-in-law and her sister - both of whom were in visiting for the weekend. "Tell me why, exactly, you like this show?" my mother-in-law asked from the kitchen. "Well, it's the series premiere, so no one's really seen it yet," I responded prior to explaining what exactly The Aquabats! are.

Take the slapstick superhero action of the 1966 BATMAN series, toss in a little of the 1970's Hanna-Barbara cartoon craziness,  and add a dash of THE MONKEES, followed by a healthy sprinkling of Japanese monster action, and you have somewhat of an idea of what to expect. Why would a network take a chance on such a high-concept affair? The success of M.C. Bat Commander's alter-ego Christian Jacobs' other show, Yo Gabba Gabba! certainly couldn't hurt.

abats-image-jams1 570x420

For a first episode, ManAnt! drops viewers right into the action with no explanation to The Aquabats! motives, nor provides any real background as to what is actually going on. But it doesn't have to, because you just accept it and go along with the fun. It's fast-paced, silly, and rockin' all at once, with a bunch of Godzilla/Power Rangers-style battle scenes, hamburgers, and Rip Taylor. Oddly, The Aquabats! can be seen performing at a Pool Party without playing their hit song of the same name.

The Bottom Line: My DVR is set to "series record," and with The Hub notoriously being owned in part by Hasbro, my fingers are crossed for some Aquabats! toys. That bus/mobile command center (The BattleTram) they drive would look really good next to the DeLorean and Batmobile on the high shelf of my office.

Watch the full episode at The Hub!

The Rock Father™ rating: 4/5 Stars 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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