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Submitted on
April 9


5,111 (6 today)
7 (who?)
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Bastille, "Bad Blood"
  • Reading: MLP:FIM Pony Tales Vol. 2
  • Watching: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Part two! There's some pretty obscure stuff on this list, but once you take a look at it all, I think it becomes pretty apparent why I do what I do.

5. We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story
: Louie’s Breakfast-Making Escape Raft Capsizes
Steven Spielberg’s 1993 was going so well up until this point – he had Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List,
and “Animaniacs”, and then this happened. Terrible, terrible movie, folks, believe me. But at least one scene stuck with me, despite its extreme brevity. There’s two annoying precocious kids in this movie, and we’re introduced to one of them in the middle of the Hudson River. Louie is a preteen runaway who’s apparently crafty enough to build a raft equipped with a machine that makes his breakfast for him (what, did he borrow the blueprints from Pee-Wee Herman?). As he rafts down the tranquil river, jamming out to the music on his boombox, the dinosaurs come parachuting in from the professor’s time machine in the sky and capsize him. Boy, there’s a sentence I didn’t expect to type today. Both Louie and his boombox plunge into the drink, and we get a shot of both of them sinking underwater. And the boombox is still blaring its music, though granted it’s all bubbly and warped now. This sparked my creative thinking: if you take something that was never meant to go underwater and put it underwater anyway (in this case, an electronic device), how does the water affect it? The possibilities are endless.…

4. Inspector Gadget: Penny Goes Deep-Sea Diving in an Elevator
This is actually almost identical to the Shelby Woo scene, only I think more people have probably seen this one. Everyone knows that Penny was the real star of this show, not her imbecilic cyborg uncle. She and Brain solved every elaborate crime on their own, while Gadget couldn’t find his own extendable feet with two hands and a map. But despite Penny’s quick thinking, she did wind up in some perilous situations every once in a while. Case in point: while exploring a M.A.D. operation based in the side of a cliff by the sea, Penny takes an elevator down to the lowest level she can reach. Unfortunately for her, that’s well below sea level, and the elevator starts flooding the lower it goes. It’s a service elevator that opens up on the ocean floor – d’oh! Flailing like crazy, the poor girl takes one last breath before the commercial break, then returns after these messages to swim up to the surface with no air tank. This girl isn’t even out of elementary school yet and she swam from the bottom of the ocean to the surface on one breath! Give this kid a friggin’ medal. Or at least a spinoff.…

3. Bill Nye the Science Guy: Bill’s Lake Bottom Biodiversity Lecture
In elementary school, I considered science to be one of my favorite subjects, and that’s all thanks to Bill Nye, the dude who made it cool. From skydiving to mountain climbing, there was no extreme this guy wouldn’t go to in order to show the folks at home how awesome the would around them could be. But there was one episode in particular that really burned itself into my mind. Please, consider the following: this skit opens on a nice tranquil shot of a lake, with ducks quacking in the distance and everything. Then the camera moves underwater to reveal Bill Nye in full lab coat and tie, seated at an office desk on the silty lake floor, talking on the phone, with his incomprehensible bubble-speech being helpfully subtitled at the bottom of the screen. He then turns to us and explains at length what a rich and diverse ecosystem the water can be, providing support to a wide variety of organisms, all while taking breaths off a scuba regulator after every sentence. Meanwhile, the phone receiver floats off its hook and dangles upward on the end of its cord. This was the most realistic depiction of trying to put an everyday task underwater I’d ever seen at the time, and it really got me interested in the physics of water and how they affect people and objects. Bill really wasn’t kidding: science rules!…

2. The Goonies: Data Feeds a Walkman to an Octopus
If you never saw The Goonies
growing up, please return the unused portion of your childhood for a full refund. This is the adventure movie for kids, full of delightful 1980s weirdness, jaw-dropping excitement, and a deformed man who loves Rocky Road ice cream. But there’s actually two versions of the film out there, and the one I saw was a television edit that restored the theatrical version’s deleted scenes. Near the end of the film, the titular Goonies splash into a cavernous lake that hides the pirate ship they’ve been searching for. It also contains one large and angry octopus, which yanks Mouth and Steph underwater and attempts to eat them. Data thinks fast and dives down to help them, stuffing his blaring Walkman in the cephalopod’s gaping maw. (And yes, this is another scene where a non-waterproof electronic device still works underwater for some reason.) Amazingly, this placates the beast, and it swims off to parts unknown, bubbly pop music emanating from its mouth all the way. From what I hear, the producers cut this scene because the rubber octopus prop looked a little too Ed Wood-ish, but when I saw it on TV, all I could think was “Best action sequence ever!”…

1. The Mickey Mouse Club: The Underwater Bedroom
This is it. This is the one. Judging by the stuff I draw today, out of all the memories I have of underwater scenes in various forms of media throughout my early childhood, this is the one that I’m certain left the strongest impact on me. You remember in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when the Disney Channel brought back the Mickey Mouse Club, called it “MMC”, and painted it crazy Day-Glo colors to try and make it “radical”? Yeah, we can thank this bizarre experiment for kick-starting the careers of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, but that’s beside the point. Every episode featured a music video wherein the kids of the show would perform a then-current popular song. Not just a stage performance, no – a genuine music video, with real production values. And there was one episode from 1995 or ‘96 where they did “Backwater” by the Meat Puppets – I know, one of the last ‘90s songs I’d ever expect to hear on the Disney Channel. Either way, it featured three of the kids hanging around a set made to look sort of like a teenager’s bedroom, just chilling out, playing cards, and performing the song, of course…entirely underwater
. They acted like the water wasn’t even there, just going about their teenage business like usual as if they weren’t blowing bubbles or trying not to float off the floor. This whole thing blew my nine-year-old mind. It made no sense, yet it looked so freaking awesome. I actually had to leave the living room, it was so overwhelming. And ever since, I’ve been endlessly fascinated with having my own characters do stuff underwater that should be impossible to do there. The whole video was barely just three minutes long, and the underwater stuff didn’t even start until about halfway through. But the impact it left on my creative spirit will last a lifetime.…
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MatTheSpeedStar Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I guess no honorable mentions from you? ^^;
gonzo22 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014
oh come on, i love Were back a dinosaur story
FenrirLobo Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
Pretty neat list here between this journal and the previous ones. I haven't seen all the scenes you cited, but the ones I have all had a similar effect on me too. I'm totally with you that the appeal of underwater scenes and scenarios comes from playing with that contrast between life on land and life in the depths. Little Mermaid's a good movie and all, but watching Ariel swim around isn't nearly as entertaining as watching Charlie trying to reconcile the fact that he's been dragged under by some big lipped, singing Gator, and he's just gonna have to hold his breath and deal with it for a while.
stephdumas Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
For Penny Gadget, another episode then I could place in "honorable mentions" is "Bermuda Triangle" where she investigated disseapearing ships who was taken by Dr. Claw in an underwater base located in the Bermudas triangle. She access it by using a mini-submarine but when the Mad agents discovered the sub. Penny had to run and she was lucky to find a scuba diving equipment to swim in the underwater case but the air tank was half-empty. Penny was lucky to find an air pocket and having the help of a dolphin for this one. Another one is "Dry Spell" where Penny was chased by 2 trolls who are henchmen for Dr. Claw in an underground reservoir.

Speaking of "honorable mentions", I could mention the Australian series "Ocean Girl", the 1960s British puppet-animated tv series "Stingray" produced by the late Gerry Anderson, well known for making "Fireball XL5, "Thunderbirds", "Space 1999". Stingray featured the story of the crew of the sub vessel "Stingray" of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol meeting some underseas civilazations and other underseas adventures.  Finally, there is an episode of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon "Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels" where they dived searching for a treasure but they faced a shark. 

I'm surprised to see you didn't mentionned Kim Possible. ^^;  I sketched a crossover fanart where KP swims with Penny Gadget then you might like.
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
Kim Possible came on the air when I was in high school, and I never got to watch much of it when it was on - my dad didn't like the idea of me being a teenager and still watching kids' cartoons. But when I discovered the drowning pit scene from the talent show episode (I saw it on YouTube about five or six years ago), it definitely felt like the kind of scene that would have stuck with me.

I remember Ocean Girl, though! And now that you mention it, I'd definitely include several scenes from that show as honorable mentions, like the one where Neri teaches her sister how to hold her breath underwater. Other honorable mentions I can think of would be Daryl Hannah face-up in the bathtub in Splash, and Miss Piggy's water ballet from The Great Muppet Caper - the latter especially, which probably fostered my preference for drawing characters blowing bubbles from their nose instead of their mouth.
cresent34 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
Ah, so now I see where the whole "underwater"' bit came from. :giggle:
Artytoons Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
Shelley Winters in "The Poseidon Adventure". 

 The poor lady sacrificed herself to save a trapped Gene Hackman.
Smithkakarot Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
You know what's funny about We're Back? It was made because Spielburg thought Jurassic Park was too scary for kids...well, they both came out when I was 4, yet it was Jurassic Park I ended up seeing in theaters.
jbwarner86 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
Well, in his defense, Jurassic Park totally was scary! I saw it on TV when I was seven and I couldn't get to sleep that night 'cause I thought a Tyrannosaurus Rex was gonna burst through my wall and eat me.

Of course, We're Back is pretty creepy too, especially in its second half. As maddening as the rest of the film is, Screweyes' death by crows is downright chilling.
torquesmacky Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014
It was toned down. Screweyes had a flashback at one point which revealed he had a screw in one eye because a crow pecked it out.

That's hilarious if it's the only reason We're Back exists (so kids had an alternative to Jurassic Park). There was NO kid that would have accepted such a lousy substitute. Cartoonish dinos vs. real dinos; no contest.
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