Hello, Spongey here.
I’ve talked about Disney Weird Smiley a few times, and I plan to discuss it more in the future. I’ve mostly praised for various reasons and I won’t bore you with the recap of what I’ve said. The main thing is that they do similar things to Disney Channels, but usually do it better.
When Disney XD started, they were trying to find an identity, and they experimented a bit. At the start, they seemed to want to be edgier than Disney Channel, airing some more serious shows, such as Gargoyles rerurns, or their own Aaron Stone.
And in 2009. they throw another experiment out there….with their own original movie.
Yep, they made a Disney XD Original Movie. I guess it just had to happen at some point. Oddly enough, they only made the one and just did nothing else, focusing on TV for the most part.
…Until 5 years later when they randomly made another, which was more focused on Comedy. …Then this week they will come out with another, that they did a good job hiding from us until the last minute.
They seem to be doing one every November which is odd. I suppose with how good they have been doing, they decide to try again and if they are making another, they must be doing well.
I wanted to do their first attempt, Skyrunners, but it was hell to work with, so I’ll go with last years attempt that seems to be starting a new line. I was asked about this one a bit ago anyway, so I may as well answers one of my few requests.
This had a decent amount of promo and reurns compared to Skyrunners, which is why it was a big enough hint to warrant more of these. I was curious, but I didn’t find the the time to watch it…until now.
The director has mostly done Disney Sitcom episodes, which isn’t too shocking. He also did some Haunting Hour which is even better. The writer has done nothing.
Without further ado, let’s see if Disney XD is any better at this TV Movie thing.
This, is Pants on Fire
The movie opens with our main character Jack, played by Bradely Steven Perry, and his friends. A bit of an abrupt opening compared to DCOM’s but that’s fine. We see right away that Jack is big liar, telling some guard that some bear is around to get him away from hos post.
Well, I see why this is called Plants for Hire. …Wait..
“It’s bear Season”
This is not over! Bears!
Then out of nowhere, Jack starts taking to us.
“See, everyone has a special talent….my special talent….I can lie”
That must be some Cutie Mark.
So we get a scene of him explaining how it all started, as we get examples of his lies. This involves some amusing imagine spots. He’s almost charming with his Douchey-ness, even if he’s more or less being Gabe again.
After the exposition, the kids get to meet this guy who is on the Boston Red Sox, and they leave. I suppose this will come into play later besides an easy way to show us his lies early on.
Jack explain that people are happy to let him get away with things, because his lies make them think it’s for a greater purpose. Most notably his lie about a kid he is supposedly tutoring.
“Making people feel good can’t be bad, right?”
Well, someone is learning a lesson the hard way. By the way, yes it is hard to believe they would fall for these laws since he ain’t the best actor. We see an example he uses Mikey as an excuse for being late.
“You are the type of teacher they make movies about”
“Lies are making our world a better place”
Lies are the glue that hold society together..
He gets called to the principal’s office, as he is proud about the Mikey thing. Okay, no one asks for real proof about most of these lies? No one? Really?!
‘I’m going to nominate you for Student of the year”
Hey, before you do that, make sure he’s actually doing this. ….Maybe?
He’s happy because this could get him on the path to becoming a Red Sox bat boy. …Bat boy? That’s your dream? Not a player just a….bat boy?
He goes home and his parents are happy about this. The more they go on, the less I buy this whole set up. Also, we get a scene of his sister and father trying to kill a possum.
Later, he goes on the school’s news show thingy to talk about his nomination, along with the other nominees. We only see one nominee talk, so that the others happen to look weaker compared a kid who helped another kid!
And then, roughly 18 minutes in, our true premise starts to take form. A kid pops up, claiming to me Mikey. He’s played by Leo from Lab Rats, which means Dsiney XD at least takes the star power structure from it’s older sister.
He looks slightly older than I imagined Mikey to be, but the actor was still short so it’s good enough.
Jack is obviously baffled to see Mikey exist, but he’s even more baffled when his imaginary girlfriend (who actually does not live in Canada) shows up. One of his lies was that he had a crazy possessive girlfriend to excuse the fact he was nervous around this girl.
Sure, why not.
“I’m not your Boyfriend”
Insert Chowder Clip Here.
As you can imagine, she is amazingly over the top due how she acts, he can’t protest or dump her. She’s that kind of girl. So as you can guess, his lies have somehow come true. Will this be explained or will this be a random magic thing that just happens?
“How could this possibly can any worse?
PSA: NEVER SAY THAT EVER. IN A MILLION YEARS. JUST DON’T DO IT.
“Why woiuld you say that, you never say that!”
One of his lies involved him beating up some lumberjacks so they are now real. Why can’t a compulsive liar ever has feasible lies so this doesn’t happen?
“I’ve come to wear flannel and kick butt. And I’ve ready got my flannels on”
They give this and for some reason no one sees them running around. He even has time to escape and bump into Mikey and that girl he’s nervous around. By the way, the Lumberjack guys are also amazingly over the top.
Mkey hits it off with Jenny and this is bugging Jack a bit. I foresee conflict on that front. Since the Lumberjacks just vanish for now, he has time to figure out a way to prove “Mikey” is a fake.
It doesn’t work because Mikey remembers stuff he really shouldn’t know. So yes, his lies are coming true. A cliché premise, but a promising one. Hopefully it’ll be as crazy as the Nghtmare room one, complete with Sting cameo!
They take a break from the interesting stuff to spy on Mikey and Jenny because cliches matter more than interesting stuff. Also, we get Discount Mission Impossible music.
One friend distracts her Mom while Jack sneaks around her sounds and gets into some WACKY situations! One such wacky thing is being stuck in the bathrobe as just her Dad wants to take a bath.
He avoids being scarred, but he still slips around to do pratfalls. This scene feels like it goes on way longer than it should, given how little I care for the set up of it. Eventully he hides in the trash as Dad dumps cat litter in here.
After all of that, he escapes having learned pretty much nothing, except that Jenny is maybe worried about Jack or something. I’m sure that will build up to something, but the whole scene was still pointless.
The next day, Jack takes Mikey’s Wallet to find out more info on him. He technically didn’t exist so …i guess it’s okay? They find his address and go there and find out it’s a place Jack claimed he took Mikey to as a reward. So either put a random place as his address, or the lie coming to life magic only goes so far.
One guy claims he and Mikey go there all the time, as if he has those fake memories. Weird. They chase a guy in a Hippo costume (this place is discount Chuck E Cheese) because they think he has a connection to all of this.
It is the most epic Hippo chase I have ever seen.
Sadly, they can’t keep up and lose him,so they just give up and go home. The bad news doesn’t end there as Mikey is at home, just hanging out. Jack is getting pretty determined to figure out the truth at this point. I can’t really blame him, given how odd this whole thing is.
By the way, Mikey is working on a Hippo puzzle. Hippos are the key….somehow. This movie is odd. The next day during Gym, he gets mad and hurls a dodgeball at him, only for it to strike Jenny.
- That was a dick move, even for him.2. He doesn’t even go to this school, so why is he here? …Yes, they point this out but it’s still stupid.
He tries to apologies, but she calls him out for sneaking into his house. Oh yeah she figured that one. He did appear outside all dirty, but how she put that together is beyond me.
She asks what is going on and he doesn’t give a straight answer, but they start to sort of hit off anyway. Ah I love it when forced romance blooms.
By the way, one of Jack’s Mikey lies was that he saved his dog by giving him a Bionic Tail. They do use the word Bionic at least once when referring to this.
Hardy har har. Almost as subtle as Quimby Fletcher.
That is all put on hold, as Jack’s sister tells him a bit more about the Hippo, as she uses to work at Funland. His main habitat is a golf course. This better be going somewhere, to justify focusing on this instead of the lie stuff.
He goes there and finally meets the Hippo. Finally, the most epic confrontation in film history!
He actually does seem to know at least a little something, as he knows about the lies and says he told them so often they stopped being lies. He just needs to confess about everything to get things back to normal.
So….who is this guy? Did he do all of this? What is his deal? Al of this could explain how his lies came to life instead of some….vague stuff. And that solution is too simple.
Also, this whole scene is just amazing. The dark music, the booming voice, and look of it just makes hilariously and weirdly epic.
Jack refuses to confess because he’s an idiot, which bites him in the butt. See, one of his lies involved being abducted by aliens so….that happens next. Given the premise, this isn’t too out there.
They escape the aliens but bump into the Lumberjacks.
“Did you think you could escape from us that easy?”
Given how easy it actually was….yes.
The kids are cornered until Lisa inexplicably shows up to save them. …Well the friend anyway. She’s too mad at him to want to save him. She wants the truth. Out of desperation, he tells her that she is a lie and she lets him in.
Well, that’s one way to get him to realize the moral.
“The hippo speaks the truth”
Words to live by.
Jack isn’t sure about this, because he wants Student of the Year. Not sure why this means so much to him because they don’t go deeper. That and so the friend can call him and given our sad 3rd act scene.
Jack goes home only for another lie to rear it’s ugly head. He said he was adopted by Asian parents so he could get out of something due to Chinese New Year. Somehow that seems scummier than everything else he has done.
This is where Jack sulks, as he realizes just how much he messed things up. It’s actually a rather nice scene with the actor being pretty good here. It’s not hugely deep but the execution is nice.
After some inspirational words from a sports guy (a bit that is played entirely straight for some reason), he decides to pick himself up and set things right.
We cut to the next day during the Student of the year Ceremony.
“Everyone up here is a winner, it’s just that some winners win more than others”
I’m sure how to snarkily reply to that.
Jack wins and for his speech, he finally confesses to everything. He says what he has learned, and it’s all big and nice. I suppose people will forget that Mikey actually showed up for them and stuff like that.
He then apologizes to the friend and they are cool now. Typically, I’d marvel at how easy that was, but I don’t care, i’ve seen worse ways to do this. It was too easy but in context it makes some kind of sense.
However, some of the lies are still at large because there’s one more thing to do. Lisa, the aliens, the Chinese parents, the lumberjacks, and now the bionic dog and other minor things are here to case him.
He confessed that they did not exist, so why are they still here? Does he need to tell each person they don’t exist like with Lisa or what?
The Hippo shows up and in a twist, it turns out to be Hannah. What a twist?
Actually, that’s not the whole twist. As it turns out, his lies were not coming true. Hannah was just so sick of the lying that she got some actor friends to do all of this. This was all a big fake plan to get him to stop lying.
I’m….not too sure how to feel. On one hand, like in Anger Management it’s convoluted and has a bit morally off in some areas….but on the other hand, it’s an interesting way to teach him a lesson and not too bad compared to that one.
It’s also just a weird twist in general. Why couldn’t it be just random magic? DCOM’s can do magic, and Disney XD shows can go supernatural. Why do this when magic would be more interesting?
Ah well, I suppose I can’t bitch too much, as weird as it is.
“You tried to teach Jack that lying is bad by lying to him?”
…Huh, that’s true. A bit weird bit I suppose fitting in a funny way. I just find it odd that Jack is fine and has no problems with this. Everyone just leaves at this point too, like it was nothing.
As soon as they leave, the parents show up to be mad about Mikey. They weren’t on that stuff by the way, Hannah just used their parents being gone as a way to implant Asian parents.
As punishment, he has to clean the garage as Hannah rubs it in his face. …She’s not looking more morally right at the moment. By the way, the parents don’t seem to know what Hannah did and for all we know, she gets away with the seemingly bad thing she kind of did.
We’re not quite done yet, as Jenny is still a thing. Oh yeah, we’re in wrap things up in a weak way mode. Jack visits her and confesses everything for real. She accept his apology and they seem to hit off nicely, despite not a ton of chemistry going on in this.
So they both ride off to do a thing.
“Would I lie to you?”
Yes, the perfect ironic line to end on. Yeah, rushed ending whatever. I’ve seen worse. Not the worst ending, not the best. Got nothing to add, really.
To be honest (haw haw), given the premise and concepts, I thought I would have a lot more to say about this one. But I don’t. It’s…okay, I guess. For all it’s up and downs, it’s just pretty average, even with it’s flaws.
I guess I’ve seen too many DCOM’s at this point, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected Disney XD to be too different with it’s films. I should be more passionate about the flaws of this one, but I’m just not.
I suppose I can say it was fine for what it is, like a lot of DCOM’s. It just didn’t do anything to crazy in terms of writing.
The story itself is a nice idea with a nice moral. And it does it exactly how you think without much deviation. The lies come true, it makes him realizes lying is bad, and after a sulk and speech, he tells the truth. The end.
Going into something like this, you can’t expect anything too new to this story. You just want the moral and all that good stuff. But they could have mixed it up a bit more. They hit the really specific cliches and even rush through them at some point.
But with how the film it is, it’s not a huge issue because despite some dumb bits, the story makes sense. …Yeah, the twist is a mixed bag but it could have been way worse.
The main character is a bit charming but also a bit bland, at least when it comes to his positive traits. I didn’t hate him, so that’s a good thing. The other characters just there, while some are enjoyable.
The acting all around is good, and there are some funny moments and nice bits here and there. Really, there’s nothing too awful here, at least by the standards of this kind of thing.
Sure we have dumb moments, plot holes, and questionable aspects but nothing to terrible compared to what could have been. I couldn’t bring myself to get worked up over this thing either way. It’s nice morals and is fairly amusing despite a weak-ish script.
For what it is, it works out okay but it’s nothing special. I can’t say I’m sad or anything, I just happened to expecting something bigger from DXD, instead of just a DCOM that stars males.
Overall, you already know if you want to watch this or not given what I is. If you like dumb tween stuff, you’ll get a kick out of it, depending on how you can tolerate the writing. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a skip.
There are better written Disney TV Films out there. I can say I tolerated it, but it didn’t give me a ton to say about it, which tells you everything you need to know.
Don’t worry, I don’t find it weak or whatever, it just happened to not the most notable thing ever.
I might cover the new XD movie, but we’ll have to see. I’m doing a shake up on my DCOM’s reviews and what I choose to do but you’ll hear about that some other time.
Next time, Swan Princess 3. ….Sigh.