I remember as I was growing up, that I would often find myself glued to the television screen on the weekends and watch cartoons. This memory of watching cartoons on the weekend gave me the idea to do a cartoon review feature over the weekend on my blog! These are any type of cartoons, as I deem appropriate. This could be a cartoon special, an animated movie, or a review of some episodes of a cartoon series!
These posts are reviews of cartoons, in whatever capacity I deem them to be cartoons (specials, episodes, movies), and occuring on the weekend on my blog!
The World of Strawberry Shortcake
Written by Romeo Muller
Directed by Charles Swenson
Starring the Voices of: Russi Taylor, Romeo Muller, Robert Ridgely, and Julie McWhirter
The title character, Strawberry Shortcake, lives in a fictional place called Strawberryland. In the special, narrated by Romeo Muller (as Mr. Sun), she and her friends celebrate her sixth birthday. While preparations for her party are underway, a villain called the Peculiar Purple Pieman plots to steal the berries from Strawberry’s home in order to make his pies.
For a first animated special, this special is pretty good. It is not a long special running at the length of what most episodes of modern cartoons are (25ish minutes). The special focuses on introducing Strawberry Shortcake and her world of Strawberryland. The story is largely told by the sun, as he is the narrator. We are introduced to most of the side characters of the franchise as well here. The special focuses on the fact that it is Strawberry’s birthday and that her friends have seemed to forget it. During all this we are aware that the Peculiar Pieman of Porcupine Peak wants to get the all berries in Berryland. The special wraps up as you would expect, I won’t say though so you can watch it.
The issue that I do have, watching it as an adult, is that the side characters are interchangeable personality wise. You could have literally given any of these characters these personalities and they would have fit. Basically they are just there, which in this special makes sense as it was largely an introduction to Strawberry more than the side characters. The issue, however, for me is that this was for a toy line. The company that was selling the toys (Kenner) should have realized that they needed to give life to all the characters, so that people wanted to buy all the dolls. They didn’t do this though, so it results in rather flat side characters. I am wondering if this will be remedied within the other specials. They are probably of similar length though, so it may not be possible as I am sure they want to introduce more characters to try to sell even more toys.
The animation is well done for the period of time that this was made. I was not expecting sleek with this since it was made in 1980. The style is very childlike, which is perfect for this particular special. It is very pink and pretty throughout the special. Berries, of course, are everywhere. It definitely hit a sweet spot for me. I had a bit of nostalgia for this franchise because I had watched them growing up, so it felt like just returning to a safe place that I loved. I wish I had been allowed to own the dolls growing up, but I didn’t. I am so thankful that I was able to rewatch this and remember a fond, happy show from my past. Sometimes it is wonderful to go back to something you enjoyed as a kid and remember something you really enjoyed without having to worry about what others thought of you. It reminded me that you are allowed to love and watch whatever you want and you shouldn’t be judged by anyone (parents included) for loving something. Everyone likes different things and that is a good thing. I loved and still love this special. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that!
“The World of Strawberry Shortcake” is the first of 6 specials for the character! Next weekend will be a review of the second special!