TELEVISION

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Shmej > Television

ROCKET POWER

Year of release
1999-2001

Four friends who have become victims to the addictiveness of extreme sports as they enjoy the surf, the sand, the sea and the sun on the Nick Toon Rocked Power. Otto Rocket, along with his sister Reggie, his best friend Twister, and a nervous Sam make use of the surf, the skateboard ramp and their hockey sticks.

Ocean Shores is a sunny city full of attractions and excitement. Their aging surf-mad father works at the Shore Shack with Tito, who shares some ancient Hawaian wisdom with the kids.

Otto is confident, but is often taught a lesson by Reggie, who shows girl power is everything when surfing, skating, skateboarding, playing hockey or having a game of rugby union with fellow surf-obsessed youngster, a Mäori from New Zealand named Trent. Reggie is usually willing to help Sammy, who's a bit of a technology and computer genius from a southern state. Then there is Otto's best friend Twister, who's a bit of an idiot and always agrees with Otto.

The obsessive use of slang words in this cartoon could drive you mad though, as could the simple fact that Reggie produces a regular periodical that she distributes across the town of Ocean Shores with no funding and sometimes produces a personal edition just for her friends.

Generally a nice enjoyable cartoon struggling to be cool. The great animation is a big bonus.

By Michael Sergel.

Length
30 Minutes
Production companies
Klasky Csupo
Nickelodeon
Country
USA
Censorship rating
USA TV-Y
Tagline
None.
 
Rocket Power: Race Across New Zealand (Movie)

I was very pleased to see the Rocket Power movie, Race Across New Zealand, was going to screen here in New Zealand. It is isn't very often overseas productions remember our existence.

However, when we finally were able to see it, 11 months after the original release, I was very disappointed. The movie turned out to be saturated in stereotypes, vividly obvious throughout. The level of research taken prior to its production was poor.

Within a matter of moments the stereotypes were obvious. One shot featured a dirt skate board ramp, rather than the wooden skate board ramps we use in New Zealand. 'Mug' is apparently New Zealand lingo for tourists, yet I have a list of 250 of New Zealand's most popular lingo, and it never features. It seems the täpu status of some of the land the event was played on was disrespected on a number of occasions.

The Mäori culture was incorrectly demonstrated. One evening on their trip they watched a 'haka' which consisted of three performances. One of these performances was fire jugglers, which has absolutely NO relevance to Mäori culture at all. The only fire jugglers we might see in New Zealand might be in an AMERICAN circus touring New Zealand. Another performance was a dance with singing. This is not part of the 'haka,' but rather the 'waiata,' or song. Only one of the three performances was actually part of a 'haka.' To describe the 'haka' as simply a dance is wrong, since it is actually the meaningful offering of a challenge.

Kraft was not included on the container of Vegemite, and the amount of Vegemite placed on the Vegemite sandwich was ridiculous. Anyone who eats yeast spreads like Vegemite and Marmite on their toast, of which there are plenty around the world, would know that placing very large amounts on toast would be too rich and would make someone sick.

Most New Zealand wildlife are very hard to find, do not come out in broad daylight, would not be found on a farm, and our not very common. The kiwi came across the screen in broad daylight. And again. And again. And again. And again. Look up 'kiwi' in most Encyclopedias and you will immediately discover it is a nocturnal bird. It is almost extinct and are usually found in protected areas.

Maybe they were in the New Zealand bush? One might think so, considering they sat around a fire on logs at night. Then again, where were the trees, rivers and rocks? Yet if it were a farm then where were some of the 30 million sheep? Or the cattle? Or a Fonterra dairy truck full of milk? Or even a farm house? Our a forest? Or a lake? Or a town? Most New Zealand farms have fences, yet the farms featured in the movie had none.

And Klasky Csupo Productions most certainly cannot spell. "Waikikamukau" is not the correct spelling, though it was the spelling given on the show. The Mäori language does have macrons, though I do not suppose the researchers were able to realise this, and hence did not consider that a word is not longer spelt correctly if it does not contain macrons. Some words change meaning if a macron is or is not placed on the word.

None of the characters in the movie, including the suppossed 'locals' knew how to pronounce most of the words. New Zealand is not pronounced Nu Zealaand. Kia ora is not pronounced ki a or a. And why was it that the so-called 'locals' could not pronounce words properly? My case lies strongly in their central AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS. I repeat AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS. I repeat AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS. I repeat AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS. I repeat AUSTRALIAN ACCENTS. These accents even appear strange to many in Eastern Australia.

The incorrections must overcome the correct aspects to the point I label the movie offensive. Offensive because it features the New Zealand Mäori juggling with fire and speaking in Australian accents, yet does not feature any sign of realistic New Zealanders. It is like any Klasky Csupo cartoon - well animated but badly researched.

By Michael Sergel.

Otto Rocket
OR Rocket Boy
Joseph Ashton
Reggie Rocket
OR Rocket Girl
Shayna Fox
Maurice Rodriguez
OR Twister
Ulises Cuadra
Sam Dullard
OR The Suid
Gary Gray
Raymond Rocket
OR Raymundo
John Kassir
Tito Ray Bumatai
Lars Rodriguez Lombardo Boyar
Mrs Stimpleton Edie McClurg
Mr Stimpleton Henry Gibson