Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Canon Televison Review: Two Episodes of Pro Stars

First of all, I apologize for my lack of updates the past two days. However, I haven't been completely inactive the last couple of days, as just yesterday I penned a review of the Nintendo game WCW: World Championship Wrestling over at Axe Bomber Magazine. So, if you want to check that out, head on over to the Bomber now at Now onto the topic of today's post, a little cartoon from the early 1990s known as Pro Stars. Pro Stars detailed the trails and tribulations of three world class athletes, Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson, and Michael Jordan, in their other lives as a crime-fighting team which proclaimed themselves "all about helping kids". They lived in an underground bunker and were assisted by a technical guru known only as Mom and her young apprentice Denise. The cartoon aired on NBC and lasted only 13 episodes, but in that time had two different theme songs. So, with all that said, let's get on with this review.

Episode 1: The Slugger Returns - In the first episode, the pro stars get a tape from young Jimmy Hanks, whose father disappears after a slight disagreement between the two. As it turns out, Jimmy's father is Slugger Hanks, the curator of the Sports Hall of Fame Museum. Mom and Denise come in and show off some of the Pro Stars' new tools of justice. Mom is an over the top old Jewish woman, even to the point of being overly concerned about money. It's a bit offensive, actually. Anyway, the new tools are a wrist band that turns into a hockey stick and a boomerang puck for Wayne, a bat that shoots out baseballs, has a large powered laser, and shoots out a harpoon grappling hook for Bo. As for Michael, he gets some basketballs that fly or something. Anyway, the team takes off in Pro Star 1, a plane that looks like a sneaker, and head to the Hall of Fame museum.

The Pro Stars meet up with young Jimmy, who explains his dad's disappearance. There's a huge statue of Babe Ruth in front of the building, which will come into play later. When the Pro Stars enter the museum, they are greeted by the sweet sounds of mad man Clockwork Delaronge. who explains that he has kidnapped Slugger and is coming after Jimmy next. A statue of former baseball great Cleets Robinson tries to kidnap the kid, but Wayne's boomerang puck stops that. Wayne's hungry, so the Pro Stars go to the snack bar to watch Wayne eat 55 sandwiches. Seriously, he had a stack of sandwiches as tall as Shawn Bradley. Well, Wayne doesn't get to enjoy his sandwiches, be Clockwork Delaronge sends his robot made up of various sporting goods to push a giant basketball at the team. While Michael and Bo dispose of the basketball, another one of Delaronge's remote control statues makes off with Jimmy while Wayne has his back turned. The gang ends up in the hunter's exhibit, and deal unsuccessfully with a giant grizzly bear and a shark, as Wayne and Bo somehow end up in the shark's stomach while Michael takes the mother of all bear hugs. Meanwhile, Clockwork's Delaronge evil plan is revealed, as he's going to lure Slugger into keeping his scheduled meeting with the commissioner of baseball, who is here to present the Babe Ruth statue. Meanwhile, Delaronge is going to control the giant statue through a device to kidnap the commissioner and bankrupt organized baseball. Must be a Cubs fan. Actually, the real reason Clockwork Delaronge is doing this is because he's upset that he didn't play center field as a kid. Um, ok then.

Anyway, Slugger meets with the commissioner, and the two end up trapped in Babe Ruth's belt. Delaronge demands a ransom of either 100 million dollars or the combined salaries of all the left-handed relievers in Major League Baseball. Even in 1991, I highly doubt a 100 million dollar loss would be enough to completely bankrupt baseball, but what do I know. The Pro Stars, now free from their traps, go after Delaronge in his command center in Babe Ruth's right eye. Jordan tries to fly Pro Stars one into the statue, but Delaronge uses the Babe to deliver Michael nearly out of orbit. Although the plane is crashed, Michael ejects and uses his flying basketballs to remain in the air. Meanwhile, Bo and Wayne climb up the statue with special shoes, and Bo delivers a line drive into the control unit on the Babe's wrist. This causes Delaronge to lose control, but also causes the statue to collapse and hang between two buildings. Wayne and Jimmy end up hanging off the nose of the statue, and with the help of the flying basketball, Wayne is able to guide Jimmy down to safety. Meanwhile, Jordan hands his other two basketballs to Slugger and the commissioner, while Bo uses the harpoon grappling hook feature on his bat to make a temporary rope bridge for him and Jordan to cross into safety. Delaronge leaves and promises he'll be back, and everyone ends up happy as Jimmy rejoins his little league team with the knowledge that his dad will support him no matter what. Afterwards, Bo and Wayne answer various viewer questions. As it turns out, both men like to take naps before games in order to be at their best. Also, Wayne would choose Andre Aggasi as the fourth Pro Star, while Bo went with Nolan Ryan. They are both wrong, as the fourth Pro Star should have been Buster Douglas. Well, this was downright silly, as most of the jokes weren't very good and there's a whole bunch of things that bewilder me, such as why is Wayne Gretzky so hungry? Overall, I guess it wasn't all that bad. I'd give the episode a 4.2 out of 10.

Episode 2: Gargantus and the Highway of Doom -The Pro Stars are hanging out at Mom's gym watching a video sent in by Shelia from a small town in Australia. Apparently a gang of bikers led by a man named Gargantus really took to Mad Max and The Road Warrior, so they decided to start their own renegade gang with mohawks and motorbikes and everything. To make matters worse, Gargantus and his merry men have taken the townspeople hostage, including Sheila's father, and Shelia's brother Keith has decided to do what he can to join the Gargantuans. In this episode, Mom's gadgets include a boomerang with a surveillance camera mounted on top of it, with the camera's feed going into a portable television, as well as a remote control for Pro Stars One, so no one has to be in the plane in order to control it. That has disaster written all over it, as Wayne Gretzky shows by accidentally backing the plane through a wall. But I guess the plane is fine, as we are off to Australia.

While Wayne complains about his lack of food, the Pro Stars crash their plane trying to avoid a kangaroo. As it turns out, that is Shelia's pet kangaroo. Shelia leads the Pro Stars into town, which as it turns out is deserted since Gargantus enslaved everyone. This upsets Wayne because now he can't eat. Bo uses the spyerang to find out Gargantus' location, which is on the top of a giant mountain where's he having the townspeople build him a castle. Even though Gargantus destroys the boomerang with a rock, the Pro Stars know where to go now. However, Gargantus gets Keith to drive a car into a giant boulder, knocking the boulder down the path the Pro Stars and Shelia are coming up. Uh oh. Fortunately, Michael Jordan has a basketball in his pocket which inflates to the size of the boulder. Unfortunately, the plan backfires as the boulder knocks the ball down the hill instead. However, Jordan uses his hops to leap on the basketball and somehow the three put a stop to the basketball. Also, the boulder bounces off the giant ball right back to the mountain, where it lands of Gargantus' driver Froggy. Well, clearly Gargantus is not pleased by this turn of events, and so he sends his gang down there to capture Shelia and the Pro Stars. Despite their best efforts using Wayne's egg pucks (seriously, their secret weapons were pucks that turned into eggs? It would have been more effective had Wayne just fired some pucks in their faces instead). The Pro Stars are captured and thrown into a makeshift prison. But on the plus side, Shelia is reunited with her father in the prison, so that's something.

Fate intervenes in the Pro Stars' favor, as Shelia's pet kangaroo somehow comes up to the prison undetected with the plane's remote control in it's pouch. Also, since the Gargantuans have decided to pimp out Pro Stars One by adding some spikes to it, Michael is able to quickly move the plane into the wall, creating a giant hole and freeing the Pro Stars. To escape, the Pro Stars slow their opponents down by flinging body cuffs on Gargantus' toadies. Well, that certainly was more effective than the egg pucks. However, the Pro Stars are about to be caught, but Michael produces another giant basketball, this one with a ring around it, so the Pro Stars and their crew bounces off into safety. Wayne finds a truck, and the Pro Stars get in to get away from the Gargantuans and for Wayne to find the nearest Taco Bell so he can shut his damn mouth about wanting food. One of the Gargantuans leaps on the back of the truck and has Jordan by the ankles, but Keith finally comes to his senses and pulls the hooligan from the truck to his sure demise. Meanwhile, Bo uses Wayne's high protein chocolate shake to thwart Froggy, so he falls off the bed of the truck. But the Pro Stars are not out of the woods yet, as here come Gargantus, and he's mad. The two sides decide to play chicken and Gargantus wins because the Pro Stars bail out on the giant basketball by poking a hole in it and floating away. But Gargantus does not win the war, as somehow the Pro Stars and Shelia's family is able to steer the ball on top of Gargantus, freeing the townspeople and sending a message to Mad Max imitators everywhere. Afterwords, the family reunites, and Wayne gets blamed for the defacing of the plane after Mom shows up conveniently late. Also, Wayne and Bo answer a question with all the energy of someone wanting to somewhere else at the moment, but unlike Michael, at least they showed up. What a ridiculous episode, it wasn't good, and Wayne's constant whining about food made me want to smack him across the face. I'll give it a 2.4 out of 10 and never think about it again.

Well, thanks for reading. Have any memories about Pro Stars or thoughts about this review. Then share them by leaving a comment. Also, if you have an idea for a future post, then let me know about those either by leaving a comment or sending me an e-mail at

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