Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 11) – Hungry Larry / Spider with a Top Hat
Well, what can I say but…wow!
Over the last few weeks, Star vs the Forces of Evil has given us some great character development, underlying story progression, and the entertainment value has kept pretty consistent, making for some of the most entertaining segments so far this season!
So, what does episode 11 of season 2 have in store for us? Well, let’s dive in and find out!
The Diaz’s decide to turn their place into a haunted house for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. However, Mr Diaz’s scare methods don’t even impress the local 8-year-olds.
Wanting to help, Star and Janna summon a spirit called “Hungry Larry,” in hopes that he can help make the place scarier…but maybe they should have listened to Marco, when he cautioned them not to.
Much like Team Spirit and Brittney’s Party, Hungry Larry is another one of those stories where Star wants to help make something better…but, ends up plunging everyone into a chaotic situation.
One of the highlights of the segment, is Hungry Larry himself. At first, he reminded me of the character Sam from Trick ‘r Treat. He may seem simple and docile at first…but after a few minutes…look out!
When it comes to his summoning, it’s easy to see that “Hungry Larry” is a takeoff on the urban legend of “Bloody Mary.” This is evident in the instructions Star and Janna follow. It is neat how the brief conjuring scene manages to be both funny, and eerie at the same time.
The segment also gets high marks from me, in regards to how it is put together. From the timing of the different scenes and scares, to Brian H Kim’s music, this is one of those stories that was fun on so many levels!
While Larry seems to encompass the ‘a-story’ of the piece, Mr Diaz’s ‘b-story’ about not being considered scary is decent, but may put some in mind of Stan Pines’ ‘b-story’ segment, from the Summerween episode of Gravity Falls. In fact, it feels like a bit of that show’s DNA is in this segment, but that could just be me looking for the closest comparison to what we experienced here.
Final Grade: B+
Deep within Star Butterfly’s wand, are living quarters where all of the magical creatures she conjures up, reside. The menagerie include warnicorns, narwhals, and several other non-fighting denizens.
Notable among the inhabitants, is the diminutive Spider with a Top Hat, who usually acts as a cheerleader for the more constant, battle-hardened creatures that come-and-go. However, deep down, Spider with a Top Hat longs to find a greater purpose to his life.
The idea of the creatures Star summons living within the wand, did make me wonder just “where” this living space is, given that we’ve seen the inner-portion of Star’s wand in the past, contains its main power source (a unicorn on a treadmill). Maybe what we witness in this segment, is a pocket dimension that the wand connects to (but that’s just a theory I have, until someone from the show can prove otherwise).
When I first heard what this story was about, I was definitely not expecting much from it. However, as it carried on, it seemed to carry a heft and weight, making it more dramatic than I could have originally imagined. The creatures within the wand, remind me a bit of Andy’s toys from Toy Story: they know they’re there to serve a specific purpose, and there’s a pretty decent camaraderie amongst them.
One would assume that maybe Spider would be looked down upon, but he’s well-liked and appreciated by his fellow magical creatures, who do show some concern when he seems to lose some of his positive attitude as the story goes along.
Brian H Kim’s music also helps the mood along greatly with this piece, including a very memorable 8-bit sounding ‘wake-up song’ that Spider uses to get the day started off for his friends.
The last few minutes of the segment are quite surprising. I liked how we become just as disoriented as Spider does for a few moments, and the effect helps elevate the emotional level so well, that I was actually surprised the segment ‘went’ where it did.
Final Grade: B
I was very surprised to find that this week, both of the episode’s segments blew me away with what they had to offer!
Hungry Larry has the kind of humorous-yet-dark tone that I loved so much in the segment, Monster Arm. The tone of the piece, coupled with the timing and music, makes it a really great watch, that I just can’t get enough of! It makes the most of its 10-minute running time, while also giving over some character development time to Mr Diaz.
Spider with a Top Hat sounded like a low-quality concept for a segment, but much like the little guy, looks can be deceiving. The segment delves into a more dramatic turn, regarding the magical creatures Star summons, and delves into the hopes and dreams of a few of them. Needless to say, you may look at Spider with a Top Hat’s appearance in the show’s closing credits, a little differently from now on.
(And with episode 11 in the can, we are now officially halfway through the second season of “Star vs the Forces of Evil!” In light of that news, word is that we’re about to enter another hiatus…a month-long hiatus!! Luckily, a wiki on the show has revealed some details about what to expect when we finally get around to episode 12. In the first segment, “Into the Wand,” Star has Glossaryck further investigate what has ‘broken’ inside her family’s wand, and see if it can be repaired. The second segment, “Pizza Thing,” involves Marco and Flying Princess Pony Head, attempting to pick up a pizza. One hopes maybe we can get a preview soon on what may happen, but until then, our reviews for the series will return in 4 weeks. However, I may use that time to do an analysis of the first half of this season, and compare it to last season’s 13-episode run. Bye for now!)