James’ Shamelessly Nostalgic A-Z Of Cartoon Characters That He Liked As A Child – Part 22: Venkman

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It’s the 25th day of April and victory is in sight. Well that’s if you can count the the act of writing 26 cartoon-themed blog posts in alphabetical order, within a thirty day period as something it’s possible to be victorious in. Perhaps it is, or perhaps there are no winners in this race. Or more pertinently we’re all winners. Perhaps I should avoid talking about winners until tomorrow, as that is the ‘W’ post. Today I should stick to the term ‘victory’ as the designated letter is ‘V’. But, in the battle to represent ‘V’, just who was victorious?

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V is for Venkman

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I love everything Ghostbusters. I loved the original 1984 movie, I loved the slightly inferior, but still great 1989 sequel and I liked the 2016 reboot, which was not as good as it could have been but much better than perhaps it should have been.

But more than all of those, I loved The Real Ghostbusters, the spin off cartoon that ran from 1986-1991.

Sorry, did I say I loved the cartoon more than the original movie. Obviously that’s not true at all. It was nowhere near as good as the first film. Let’s not lose our heads in all this nostalgia.

But it was a good cartoon, with some notable deviations from the movie. The most obvious of these was that the Harold Ramis character, Egon, had white hair in the cartoon. Also Slimer, the green ghost who was primarily a minor, though memorable, antagonist in the movie, was part of the team. Because a loveable ghost made it easier to sell merchandise probably. The show was called The Real Ghostbusters rather than just Ghostbusters, was because there was a different Ghostbusters cartoon around at the time, which had nothing to do with the movie. I didn’t watch the other Ghostbusters cartoon (I don’t know anyone who did) but The Real Ghostbusters was an after school favourite for many years.

Peter Venkman was my favourite character. He was obviously played by the brilliant Bill Murray in the movies but he was voiced by Lorenzo Music in the cartoon (who was also the voice of Garfield – so perhaps appropriate that Bill Murray would later go on to voice Garfield in the movie version of that particular franchise). Apparently Lorenzo Music was replaced after season 2, which I don’t recall, although that could be because I was just a kid and didn’t notice such things. Lorenzo Music did have a distinctive voice though, so more it’s likely that I didn’t watch too many episodes after season 2, which is entirely plausible given that together, seasons 1&2 totalled 78 episodes. I definitely don’t remember the show changing it’s name to Slimer and the Real Ghosbusters, but apparently this happened from season 4 onwards. I’m not sure how I feel about that; Slimer was a great image for lunchboxes, but I’m not sure the character contributed as much to the show as the actual Ghostbusters.

Having re-watched a few episodes of the first season in preparation for writing this, I can say they hold up pretty well after all this time. Definitely a fitting homage to one of the greatest movies of all time.

The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Door 5

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It’s day 5 of December, so it’s no coincidence that we’re opening door 5 of The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) films.

And out of the  shadows comes the ‘spooktacular’ Ghostbusters 2.

Which is the sequel to the original 1984 Ghostbusters and not the 2016 reboot.

Ghostbusters (1984 version) is one of my favourite films ever. I actually quite enjoyed the 2016 effort, but you can’t help but compare it to the source material and in that light it can’t quite stand up.

But the same could be said of 1989’s Ghostbusters 2. It isn’t quite as good as its predecessor. But it seems unreasonable to expect it to be.

It is, nonetheless, still very very good.

Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts are all back and all have their moments to shine. It’s Bill Murray who steals the show though. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bad Bill Murray performance but he is on fine form here. Ghostbusters 2 might be a good film without Murray, but from the moment he appears on screen, the film is elevated to something a bit special (albeit still not quite as special as the first film).

Score For Christmasishness

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The culmination of the film is New Year, and there are numerous indications that we begin the narrative prior to Christmas. So the movie almost certainly covers the whole of the Christmas period, yet, aside from the occasional festive reference in the dialogue, and the odd decoration in the background, you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of it. We manage to pass the big day itself without any acknowledgement.

So it really isn’t very Christmasish at all.

But it’s still a great film.