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Future Spotlight: Skunk Fu! – Exit The Dragon

by on September 16, 2009

The past two decades have given us a lot of animated programs, but it also gave us a lot of feature films based on those animated programs. “Doug”. “Hey Arnold!”. “Rugrats”. “SpongeBob SquarePants”. “Teacher’s Pet”. “The Powerpuff Girls”. “The Wild Thornberrys”. I could go on. However, the trend has slowed down dramatically after several mediocre performances at the box office and feature films for animated programs are becoming a thing of the past. I know that live-action adaptations are on the rise, but as a fan of animation, it’s just not the same thing. Fortunately, Cartoon Saloon in Ireland has decided to roll the dice and try their luck with: Skunk Fu! – Exit The Dragon.

The animals of the valley are in a race against the ninja monkeys, who are trying to procure the rare and mystical ingredients for a magical balm that will cure dragon’s burns and release him from his icy prison. Panda and his forces must get the ingredients first, but should they fail, he knows that his apprentice Skunk is the only one who has a chance at stopping Dragon.

The one thing that people need to know about “Skunk Fu!” is that, contrary to what one would expect, the series didn’t rely that much on toilet humor. Skunk’s…  unique talent was obviously important to the series and was used in several episodes, but it was seldom the focal point and many episodes went by without Skunk spraying anybody.  That’s why I have reason to believe that the movie would be handled in the same manner; Skunk’s spray will likely be used during the movie, much to my chagrin, but I doubt that it will be overdone.  I just wanted to get this out of the way because a lot of people refused to watch the series out of concern that it would be nothing but toilet humor, including myself, but the series used such humor infrequently.

I have been looking forward to this movie since it was announced, but the thing that I’m looking forward to the most is seeing Dragon actually do something.  I thoroughly enjoyed the series, but it was highly monotonous.  Dragon had to stay in his icy prison to soothe his wounds, which meant that episode after episode, all he did was sit there and send the same incompetent soldiers to do his bidding.  However, it appears that there is a good chance that Dragon may actually get free in the movie and we’ll have a decent fight between him and the animals of the valley. Speaking of Dragon, something about his backstory always bothered me.

Heaven made Dragon into the animals’ guardian and gave him power over water to keep his natural fire in balance. However, to test his loyalty, Heaven sent a terrible drought to the land. Seeing his friends suffer, Dragon defied Heaven and made it rain. Heaven punished Dragon by taking his power of flight and blackened his colorful scales. Enraged, Dragon vowed revenge against Heaven and chased the animals down from the mountaintop with fire, burning the lotus flower which connected Heaven and Earth in the process.

Heaven was a jerk.  Dragon was sworn to protect the animals, so when Heaven made the animals suffer, Dragon made it rain in order to help them.  Because of that, Heaven punished Dragon.  I guess that’s a good moral for the kids: if you have the power to help those who are suffering, you shouldn’t help them.

Regardless, the movie is still in the early stages of development and it may be a while before production kicks into high gear, but I sincerely hope that all goes well.  “Skunk Fu!” was well animated and often looked impressive as a series, so I can only imagine what they can do with a larger budget.  Cartoon Saloon also has more experience now, as they recently developed “The Secret Of Kells” which received a lot of critical acclaim. The only concern that I have is that the series no longer has an active partner in the United States, but I’m sure they’ll find some way to distribute it.

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