An Animated Dissection: My Top 5 segments of Star vs The Forces of Evil, Season 1
A little while ago, I got my issues about some rather flimsy storytelling, mind-boggling characterization, and failed jokes about “mess-up twins” out of the way, regarding my least favorite segments for Star vs The Forces of Evil, one of the most recent series to premiere on the DisneyXD cable channel.
To counter the list of least-favorite segments from the first season of Star vs The Forces of Evil (and to cope with the still-in-the-air announcement for when Season 2 starts), here’s the Top 5 episodes from the first season, that ended up sticking with me.
*Note: Please be advised that some spoilers will be given, regarding certain episodes.*
Sooner or later, some series will eventually get to the “uninvited houseguest” storyline. That’s the case with Royal Pain, when Star Butterfly’s father, the King of Mewni, shows up on the Diaz’s doorstep, after the Queen ‘banished’ him from the castle.
Star at first thinks her loose-ruled father will mean they’ll have a fun visit, but she soon grows annoyed and a little disgusted at some of his habits.
As much as Star shirks away from her regal and overbearing Mother, I felt this episode showed that she is a bit like her Mom in some ways, notably in how she soon grows exasperated with her Father after a whole day.
The episode is also notable in making its running gag entertaining and relatable, in the form of Marco Diaz being constantly at the mercy of having wet socks!
There’s no real mind-blowing revelations to be had, but still, it was nice to see some more time devoted to supporting characters like Star’s Father…though one wonders what an episode revolving around Star and her Mother would be like.
There’s also the added bonus, of much like Star trying to understand Earth customs, we get to see her Father (mis)interpret certain things.
After defeating Ludo and his monsters in another fight, Marco treats Star to some Chinese food, and convinces her that the fortunes in the cookies at the end of the meal, can predict the future.
Meanwhile, Ludo has had enough, and hires a manager to help him with his monsters. He gets some ‘help’ in the form of a suited lizard-creature, named Toffee.
I’ve often been a fan of cultural misunderstandings, ever since seeing the alien girl Lum come to Earth in the Japanese series, Urusei Yatsura. I figured Star would have some decent misunderstanding episodes, and this one I felt worked pretty well. After all, most people are apt to believe fortune cookies as much as their daily horoscopes.
The episode also gets ‘brownie points’ from me, given its introduction of Toffee. With Ludo and his minions pretty much doing the same rinse-and-repeat job trying to get Star’s wand, this rather questionable lizard-creature was a welcome respite. Toffee’s appearance was like opening a new book, but not knowing just where the story would take us…and in seeing the final minutes of the segment, I was eager to know more about him, as well as what seemed to be some plan involving Ludo and his monsters.
I did waffle on including the introductory episode in this Top 5, but the more that I thought about it, it feels like it balanced pretty well in introducing us to some of the major players of the show’s universe, as well as giving us plenty of notable character information.
When I saw the episode for the first time, the first 3 minutes of Star’s on-screen appearance did make me question if I had wandered into another out-of-control kids show. However, as the segment went on, and we saw Star show some uneasiness and remorse for some of her magical mishaps, I grew more intrigued.
Marco Diaz’s footnote as “the safe kid” of Echo Creek Academy, also seemed to get steamrolled over pretty quickly following this episode. Even so, the introduction to the fact that Marco knows karate, helped give me hope.
The fact that both Star AND Marco can handle themselves in a fight (and that they can help each other out), was one thing that made me want to come back for more.
Many people know I have a thing for emotional animation, and I will admit that Cheer Up, Star, really gets to ping-pong around the room with what it entails.
The episode starts with Ludo and his Monsters already attacking Star and Marco, with Marco claiming this attack is ‘his fault.’ This then delves into a backstory, told as the monster onslaught continues around them.
We get some great little comedy moments as Marco has a bad day, and then Star tries to cheer him up. From there, we see Star infatuated with a keytar-playing boy named Oskar. However, her note for him to call her goes unanswered, and Marco in turn, tries to cheer Star up.
I felt this episode really showcased some nice moments between Star and Marco, regarding their friendship. The bits where they both try to cheer the other up led to some of the funniest moments, that are making me smile even now, just thinking of them.
As well, the weaving of the past-day’s events into the Ludo attack story, just feels like it’s cut together so well.
A plus is Brian H Kim’s music during a few moments, and the fun use of the song Space Unicorn, as Marco’s (ironic) ringtone.
It’s a little hard to be unbiased, when there’s been one segment out of the entire season that has never left your number 1 spot since seeing it…and Monster Arm is that episode!
When Marco breaks his hand before an upcoming karate match, he convinces Star to use her wand to heal it..only for her to misinterpret a bone-healing spell, giving Marco a sentient tentacle for a right arm.
To me, this episode just encapsulates the weirdness of Star vs The Forces of Evil, and does so in a way that’s both funny, and stomach-churningly serious. It’s also the one episode that to me, balances out incredibly well between humor, and uneasiness.
For this segment, Star is moreso a secondary character, and it feels like Marco is at the helm of the story. Even so, we do get to see Star’s personality on display, as she is willing to go without sleep to help fix Marco’s arm.
I also love the underlying, questionable storytelling of giving someone a tentacle arm, let alone one with the great, ominous voice of Corey Burton.
The segment also ends on a grand cliffhanger, that has had me questioning it ever since we last saw Marco’s scared face.
And just as we’ve had ‘the bad,’ I’ve given my opinions on what I feel is ‘the good’ for the first season of this new series.
We’ve been clued in that Season 2 of Star is heading our way sometime this Spring, but as of this posting, there’s been no further word as to when that might be.
Even so, I do hope Season 2 can continue to grow story and characters in a creative, and emotional way.
Tags: Cheer Up Star, Daron Nefcy, Disney, Fortune Cookies, Marco Diaz, Monster Arm, Royal Pain, Star Butterfly, Star Comes To Earth, Star Vs The Forces of Evil, SvtFOE, Walt Disney Television Animation
About MWH1980Growing up in the state of Iowa, one would assume I'd be enamored with pigs and corn. Well, I wasn't. Instead, I grew fascinated by many things that were entertainment-related. Things like movies, animation, toys, books, and many more kept my attention. This blog I hope to use to express myself regarding my varied obsessions. (P.S. There's no Photoshop involved in that Gravatar-I really am holding an Oscar)
- An Animated Dissection: Freddie as F.R.O.7. – the ‘Best Worst Movie’ of animation?
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