June 29, 2002

COMPUTING BY CANDLELIGHT: No, really. The power went out shortly after we got home from the “Hey, Arnold!” movie. I’m on the laptop — still with a highspeed connection, since the router and DSL modem are connected to an uninterruptible power supply that’s good enough to run them for hours. But I’ve got a candle burning for room illumination — it’s like Abe Lincoln in the 21st century, sort of. Here at InstaPundit Secret Headquarters we don’t let no stinkin’ thunderstorms get in the way of bloggin’!

The “Hey, Arnold!” movie was pretty darn bad. The Nickelodeon show is okay, and my standards for kiddie cartoon flicks are low — I was even able to enjoy “Return to Neverland,” which most people panned. But I have some standards. It was a rehash of an ancient plot: developer wants to bulldoze neighborhood for mall, kids have to stop him. The developer, in a slap that Virginia Postrel should take personally, keeps telling people not to be afraid of change, and constantly repeats “change is good!” right to the very end. The heroes all want to keep things just the way they’ve always been.

But forget the lame plot. The animation sucked; the drawings all looked faintly blurry all the time. It wasn’t even up to Hanna-Barbera standards. And it wasn’t bad projection — the previews were sharp, and so were the titles. It was just crap.

My daughter enjoyed it, though, and when we got home we finished The Prisoner of Azkaban (on our third time through the series) by flashlight before she went to sleep.

UPDATE: Brian Carnell says the movie sucked like a bilge pump. Yeah, I was actually being kind. He’s right: Nickelodeon should be ashamed. At least it was short.