Paramount // 2005 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 14th, 2005
I won't try to hide it -- I'm a fan of Nickelodeon's The Fairly Oddparents. Yes, some of it is too loud and too bombastic, but for a kids' cartoon I find it surprisingly witty. However, the last of creator Butch Hartmann's DVD releases that I reviewed was the abysmal School's Out, which was headlined by a feature-length movie that was simultaneously unfunny and migraine-inducing. Scary Godparents sports a super-sized episode as well...did I suffer the same fate?
Ten-year-old Timmy Turner (voiced by Tara Strong) lives a typical life, menaced by the usual kids' issues -- boring school, weirdo friends, malicious bullies, and a depraved babysitter. However, he does have one edge over everyone: his own fairy godparents. With a limitless supply of wishes that nearly always end in cataclysm, Timmy embarks on an array of adventures, which usually involve his clueless parents, Vicki the maniacal babysitter, or the always great Crimson Chin (voiced by Jay Leno), to name just a few.
Can Scary Godparents rinse out the bad taste that the endlessly irritating School's Out left in my Fairly Oddparents palate? The short answer: sort of. For the latter disc, I lamented the soul-sucking sensory overload of the titular feature, but praised the crop of included bonus episodes for salvaging the mess. For this disc, I felt the reverse. The double-length episode "Scary Godparents" is great, but the assorted extra episodes are largely subpar. I don't know what that will mean to you or your kids, who may in fact slurp up any- and everything Oddparents, but for me it was a mixed bag. Let's take a closer peek.
* "Scary Godparents"
Timmy, upset over his crappy Halloween costume (he's a mummy wrapped in toilet paper), and seething with jealousy over the rich kids' ultra-cool, super-expensive costumes, wishes that everyone's outfits were real and scary. Yeah, it's kind of like that Buffy episode.
Anyway, despite the inclusion of a musical number (which, to be fair, didn't
hurt my brain nearly as much as past original songs from the show) this is as
funny and clever an episode as I've seen -- and it's double-length!
Verdict: Two wands up!
* "Shiny Teeth"
And now the downward spiral. Dr. Bender, a deranged dentist (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) removes pop star sensation Chip Skylark's teeth. Timmy enlists the help of the Tooth Fairy to track them down. Some other stuff happened.
This episode sucks. I hate Dr. Bender's character. The end.
Verdict: Two wands down
* "Which Witch is Which"
To solve the mystery of who Dimsdale's true hero was, Timmy heads back in time to find Dale Dim, after whom the town was named, but is surprised at the rampant witch hunting that's taking place.
Another blah episode populated by unfunny gags about Dale Dim's
intelligence. The exception: some clever jabs at Puritanism.
Verdict: Two wands down.
* "Timmy's 2D House of Horror"
When a wish goes awry, Vicki and her family move in with the Turners, much to Timmy's chagrin. Now he is faced with one option: scare them out of the house.
Ugh, another giant headache. Just too much happening, and all traces of
clever subtlety go bye-bye.
Verdict: Two wands down.
There you have it, a really good feature flanked by some below-average episodes. Ironically, the best episodes on the discs are the two bonus throwaways: "Genie Meanie Minie Mo" (guest-starring Norm Macdonald) and "Catman Meets the Crimson Chin," a superhero spoof -- a type of story that this show always does well. Judging by actual quality Fairly Oddparents minutes available on the disc, these two bonus episodes, plus the double-length show, outnumber the three crappy ones. For that reason, the disc earns a passing grade.
I dig this show, but like any other series, it has its share of downers. Why three of those downers were included on an otherwise solid disc is beyond me. But if your kids love Timmy and company regardless, I don't see much unhappiness in your future if you throw this in the family player.
Not guilty, barely -- though one wish this judge would like to make is for a DVD crammed with the high-quality shows I know lurk out there.
Review content copyright © 2005 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Two Bonus Episodes
* Official Site