Cartoon Review – “Total Drama World Tour”
Another year, another installment of the Total Drama series. Premiering in 2008 with little promotion by the network, the series has gone on to become a ratings darling for Cartoon Network. Why the reality show spoof continues to be so popular with the network’s target audience is beyond me: is it the characters? The humor? The jokes? Or is it the simple idea of a group of teenagers being tortured by their sadist host that brings in viewers, that coaxes the network to renew year after year. First the “island,” then a film studio, and now a musical trip across the world. Time to dive head first into the third installment of this series, that goes by the name of…
Running Time: 22 minutes
Production House(s): Fresh TV
Premiered: June 10th/June 21st, 2010
Unlike Total Drama Island which took place on an “island,” or Total Drama Action which took place on an abandoned film lot, Total Drama World Tour has the characters traveling the globe. From France, to Egypt, to London, our seventeen contestants face challenges that correspond to wherever they currently are. In Egypt? Go through pyramids and ride camels. Japan? Wacky Japanese game show. An added bonus is the fact that they must also sing at random times (at least once) during the program. These random musical numbers, mixed with the locale, can lead to some funny situations and character interactions.
World Tour has two new characters entering the fray, by the names of Sierra and Alejandro. Sierra is a crazed fan of the reality show, and due to a strange series of events that took place during the between-season special, Celebrity Manhunt, was able to compete. Less is known about Alejandro, who can also be classified as our “villain” for the season, using his charm and wit to advance in the game. Other than them, the rest of our cast of seventeen is made-up of returning favorites who are carrying baggage from the previous two seasons. Some of the characters that have developed the most throughout the previous 52 episodes & 2 specials are Gwen, Duncan, and Courtney who have formed a little love triangle. Some of these returners, however, have yet to develop much past the stereotypes of Island. Due to me putting a lot of stake in character development when in comes to entertainment of any kind, I find theis a problem and I desperately hope will be remedied in future episodes.
Unlike previous seasons, creators Pertsch and McGillis have little involvement with the actual production. Despite this, the writing and storyboarding doesn’t suffer: in fact, it has improved from the quality of Action, managing to keep my attention at all times. There were several times throughout the first episode of this season where I found myself laughing at the dialogue, the situations, or both. More than I can say for Island, and far more than I can say for Action. Past seasons pale in comparison when it comes to writing quality of this season. I also find it worth noting that the animation has also improved. Everything feels more vibrant and the characters all move less stiffly. This personally makes it more bearable to for me to watch.
If you weren’t a fan of the first two seasons, don’t expect this hold too much value for you, as the style of humor is very much the same. If you were a fan, then I’d be surprised if you weren’t watching this series already, as it is a massive leap in quality over the previous two installments.