Friday, March 22, 2019

DC Superhero Girls: Adventures In Bunnysitting

The first stand alone episode of the new Lauren Faust led DC Superhero Girls aired last week and it was a complete hoot as well as a good look at the personalities of Zatanna and Supergirl. You just knew I was going to love it.

#AdventuresInBunnysitting is a sort of 'Trouble With Tribbles' take on magical rabbits. And while the silliness that ensues from the premise of magical fertile bunnies is brilliant, it is the character stuff that really hooked me.

One thing we knew was this Supergirl was a rebel with a gruff exterior, the 'punch first' muscle of the team, with a chip on her shoulder about Superman. It didn't initially sound like a take I would like. But after the shorts and the hour long premiere, I was sold. This is a magnified take on some aspects of Kara's classic character, attuned for these Looney Tunes shorts. And this episode also showed that there is a different Supergirl simmering under the hard exterior.

Add to that the usual flourishes tossed in for adults and you have a big big win. Please seek this episode out, especially if you are a Supergirl or a Zatanna fan.

On to the show.

The show starts with Zatanna waking up Kara. The night before, Zatanna had asked Kara to babysit her pet rabbits. Zatanna is doing her first paid magic show and needs someone to watch her babies. After a very lengthy text about the rules of bunny care, Kara simply texted back 'whatev'. Remember, this is the emo, 'I don't care' Kara persona. So that fit.

But this was one of those moments that I cemented my love for this series.

One bunny is named Blackberry Hazel von Owsla the Third. The other is named Dandelion Pipkin De Hyzenthlay. There are enough Watership Down characters in those snooty names to make this fan smile wide. Just brilliant!

Zatanna just loves these bunnies too much to leave them alone for even just one hour, the time she will be busy.

And she certainly can't let them stay with Kara in this filthy bedroom. While reviewing a multitude of rules (number of brushes in each direction, temperature of water, amount of food and what size), Zatanna uses her magic to clean up the room.

But before she leaves, she leans in and says the most important rule.

These two rabbits can never be put together. They need to stay in their separate cages.

Yes, there is a sort of Gremlins vibe to this rule.

And the whole 'extra' nature of the bunny names and rules just screams 'Rarity'. The Faust-ness is strong here.

Kara says 'whatev' in a completely blase way.  She has a reputation to keep.

But as soon as the door closes, she sheds that metal rocker shell and just gets down right silly, showering the rabbits with lovey-dovey baby talk.

It is so funny to see this 'tough girl' melt in the face of these little rabbits.

And it gets even better. She lets each bunny run all over her. She is drowning in cuteness.

My guess is Kara would never let anyone see her like this. She is the iconoclast!

And maybe she still is. After all, she isn't going to let Zatanna's rules get in the way of her time with these bunnies. And when 'Merlin' and 'Harry Houdini' (the names Kara gives them) reach for each other through the bars, she lets them frolic together.

Still giddy with their cuteness, Supergirl grabs a selfie, something she didn't think she needed in her life.

But that Zatanna rule was there for a reason. Snuggling together, suddenly Hazel and Hyzenthlay begin multiplying at an absolute ridiculous rate, a magical rate.

An actual wave of baby bunnies break Kara's window and spill out into the city like a flood.

We see how this tide of bunnies rolls down main street.

In what has to be a nod to the 1950's movie The Blob, the ooze out of the theater, causing the crowd to run in fear.

Supergirl tries to stop the flood but it is like telling a tidal wave to halt. They just stream around her and down the road.

I love the art on the show especially pics like this with a forced and skewed perspective. That is gorgeous!

Diverting the bunny tsunami from heading into the city only has them flood a nearby pkayground, the site where Zatanna is putting on her magic show.

She, of course, chastises Supergirl who admits that she could only keep 'Merlin' and 'Harry Houdini' separate for a minute because they love each other.

Supergirl is really a softie.

That is, until one of the kids at the party says a couple of things which reminds her that she holds a grudge on Kal. I just love how she says that she isn't wearing a Superman costume. To her, Superman is probably wearing a Supergirl costume.

And when he calls her Superman's sister, she gets even angrier. She shouldn't be defined by him.

Despite magically removing a glut of magic rabbits, a whole new wave approaches. The 'parents' are still snuggling.

Now Supergirl is literally drowning in cuteness.

That is a nice bit, hearkening back to earlier.

And again, great art.

Now you can definitely tell that Zatanna is a novice magician. Her solution to the problem is a bit odd. Since love brought about the babies, she'll cast an all powerful hate spell on the bunnies.

She definitely has the power .. but ...

All that does is coalesce all the baby bunnies into an angry kaiju bunny.

Unfortunately since it is an amalgam of tiny critters, Supergirl can't really punch it. And Zatanna can't blast it.

Things look lost when the beast swallows Supergirl, throwing her into it's mystic maw.

Luckily, it doesn't kill Supergirl.

Now in the core of the beast, she is able to find the loving bunnies. Despite their love, she pulls them out of their embrace. Finally truly separated, the babies disappear. Safe in their cages, Zatanna leaves them in Supergirl's care once more.

She wouldn't give in to their pleading looks again would she?

So much fun.

I hope everyone has a chance to see this. It is brilliant!


Anonymous said...

"This is a magnified take on some aspects of Kara's classic character."

Don't tell some people who are convinced this take is Power Girl wearing a Supergirl suit.

"Yes, there is a sort of Gremlins vibe to this rule."

Oh, definitely. It's also been compared to a Star Trek episode.

"It is so funny to see this 'tough girl' melt in the face of these little rabbits."

It was the best part.

"I just love how she says that she isn't wearing a Superman costume."

Poor girl.

And her utterly devastated face when she has to pull them apart is funnier than it should be.

It was a very funny episode, unlike yesterday's Super Short whose only purpose was to put Hal Jordan down.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

I loved it. This is a slightly sweeter version of what might have happened if legendary animator Tex Avery had done a kids superhero cartoon. The multiplying bunnies are a modern day version of his giant canary. I also loved Zatana's micromanaging rules and Supergirl's reaction to the bunnies turning into a giant hate monster.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

There seems to something of a Jack Kirby influence in that picture of Kara saying "HALT!". Jack would often draw Captain America in a similar pose, with his fist coming toward the reader. The cover of Captain America 193 is a good example.

There was a record that came out late '40s or early '50s by Spike Jones and his City Slickers called "Ya Wanna Buy A Bunny?"

"Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, everywhere!
There's bunnies on the table, and bunnies on the chair!
Bunnies on the sofa, and there's bunnies on the floor!
And here's some new ones coming through the door! MORE!

George Rock sang it in his little kid voice. Dr. Demento used to play it now and then.

"King Size Canary" was one of Tex Avery's best cartoons. That little bottle of Jumbo Gro went a long way!

Anonymous said...

That reminds me, Anya on Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a thing about bunnies. As in the musical episode:

(Anya) I've got a theory, it could be bunnies...
- all pause - [crickets chirp]

(Tara) I've got a theor-
(Anya) Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes,
They've got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.
And what's with all the carrots-?
What do they need such good eyesight for anywa - y?
Bunnies, bunnies it must be bunnies!

... There's nothing we can't fa - ce. (Pause)
(Anya) Except for bunnies.


Nutation said...

I had it all plotted in my head as soon as Zatana laid out "the most important rule of all". After all, what are bunnies known for when together?
But, it's the journey that matters, and the journey was excellent. Some "Sorcerer's Apprentice" at the very beginning of the building disaster and several Looney Toons sight gags following on.
How do you get rid of magic bunnies? Stuffing them in the magician's hat made perfect sense to me. That's where magic bunnies come from, isn't it? The show failed its own logic at the end, though, when the remaining bunnies simply disappeared. I suppose you could argue that they hopped off to the 5th Dimension or Earth-C, but it doesn't really make sense.
"Superman's Sister." Never thought of that point of view before.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments everyone.

I laughed out loud.

I also never heard of the 'Superman's sister' line. Very funny.

And the Sorceror's Apprentice vibe was obvious, can't believe it slipped my mind! Thanks for bringing it up!