Stream Police: The Popcornflix Edition
Welcome back my friends to our look at some of the obscure streaming services in the furthest corners of the internet. This may only be our second outing, but I fear we may have already found our way into the dregs as we make our way into the Popcornflix library. These free streaming services seem to be at a bit of a disadvantage against the likes of Netflix and Hulu.
Prior to a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of Popcornflix, until I noticed an ad on the Xbox 360 dashboard. The ad didn't catch my eye due to it being Popcornflix, it caught my eye because it was rolling the opening to The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. The concept of seeing a Nintendo property on the Xbox's dashboard was more than enough to pique my interest.
I am no fan of The Hulk. I have had numerous arguments with friends over the years due to my hatred of the character. This film stands as the one exception as Planet Hulk tells a surprisingly good story. After being blasted into space by the Avengers, Hulk finds himself on the planet Sakaar. Imprisoned by Sakaar's emperor, Hulk is forced into battles in the emperor's coliseum. Hulk's brute strength quickly gains him notoriety and a group of rebels attempt to bring him over to their side. When the rebels are captured and forced to fight, Hulk decides to join with them to bring an end to the emperor's reign.
Planet Hulk is the pinnacle of the Marvel animated films and is the only one of the series that I still personally own. This story is well paced, has some great performances, and even holds up to multiple viewings. Planet Hulk is one of the few movies that I recommend to any non comic book fan, and if you haven't seen it then giving it a watch on Popcornflix isn't a bad way to spend an hour and a half.
The Legend of Zelda
Not everything notable on a streaming service can be good, right? Sometimes there's something so bad, so hated among fans that it's worth pointing out. Of course, when you look at The Legend of Zelda animated series, you can't possibly use the word "good" in any capacity when talking about it.
Based on the video game of the same name, The Legend of Zelda once aired alongside the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The Legend of Zelda follows the adventures of Link and Zelda as they protect the Triforce of Wisdom from Ganon. The show is loosely based on the original Legend of Zelda video game and its follow up, Zelda II: The Adventures of Link.
I'm not sure how they managed to do it, but DiC Entertainment was able to take the silent protagonist, Link, and turn him into one of the most annoying lead characters in an 80's cartoon. His constant attempts to hit on Zelda end in failure, which always leads to him spout his catchphrase "Well Excuuuuse me, Princess". The series only ran for thirteen episodes, and it widely despised among fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise. The show certainly didn't age well, but I'd suggest that fans of the franchise look it up, just to see how bad the Zelda series can really get. It's also worth noting that the characters from this series also appeared in a crossover episode of Captain N: The Video Game Master, but that's a tale of awful for another day.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
There was a certain something about this series, something that always appealed to me when I was young. Despite the show being very loosely based on the game that it shares its name with and many of the characters, specifically the Koopalings, having the wrong names. The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 is the adventures of the titular brothers, Princess Toadstool, and Toad in the Mushroom Kingdom. Many of the episodes of the show see our heroes visit various locals from Super Mario Bros. 3 and even features music from the game. The show is more faithful to the source material that the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, but it's still an early 90s kids show. If you go in expecting anything but cheesy dialogue and shenanigans, then you're going to be disappointed.
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 isn't anything special, and it's likely that you won't enjoy it unless you look at it through rose tinted glasses. It's still a fun ride and a great watch for the kids, it's just sad that its one of the better shows available on Popcornflix.
Sonic the Hedgehog
I want to start this section off by saying, no this is not the show that spawned a million memes, that would be The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (which you can also find on Popcornflix). This series was the more serious of the two, offering a darker look at Sonic and his world. In the series, Doctor Ivo Robotnik has taken over the planet of Mobius.
After earning the trust of King Acorn, he launched his plan to take over the planet, banishing the King, and turning much of the beautiful planet into a polluted wasteland. Anyone who has come against Robotnik have found themselves "roboticized" or worse, and now only a small resistance remains. This band of Freedom Fighters is led by the king's daughter, Princess Sally Acorn and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic and his friends only received a 26 episode run, and while not every episode is gold, a majority of the series can stand up with modern kids shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Steven Universe. A great story with fun characters, its a show that was cancelled before its time. Thankfully the folks at Archie Comics used this series as the basis for their Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, a book that still runs to this day and features many of the characters and concepts that originated in this show.
The Man Show
I want to preface this section by saying that I am not a fan of The Man Show. I personally don't find the show to be all that entertaining, but I know there are fans out there and that this is one of the only ways to see the show legally. That said, I do enjoy Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla, I find both men to be very funny, and it is interesting to see them in this environment, especially Kimmel who is the current host of his own late night talk show. It's interesting to go back to and see some of Kimmel and Corolla's early work, but I'd give it a pass unless you enjoy girls jumping on trampolines.