T-McBee’s Top 10 Canadian Media and Successors

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Canada Day is coming in about a week, which it is time for me to write up a Canadian themed countdown for 2013. Last year, I made a list of my Top 10 Favourite Animated TV Series from Canada. This year I’ve decided to think about the great media, legends, and celebrities that came from Canada, whether it is an actor, a singer, a TV show, a film, an album cover, an animation or even an athlete. There are many skilled and talented Canadians out there as they presented some of the most creative ideas to the media or they had brought out greater impacts to Canada and worldwide. Everyone! I’m here today to list down my Top 10 Canadian Media and Successors.

Now I’m not looking for the best successful Canadians or Canadian made content ever. These choices are just my favourite. I’m also specifically looking at the people and things that remind me of Canada the most. Therefore, if your favourites don’t end up on my list, you’re free to mention your favourite Canadian celebrities, people and media content by leaving a comment below or at the forum topic at itstailtime.net.

Well without further ado, let’s wave our red and white flags and eat our pancakes with maple syrup to begin this countdown.

10. ReBoot

The 1994 TV series Reboot is my third favourite animated show that was ever created in Canada and there is a huge reason why it’s a huge Canadian success. Reboot was the first fully CGI animated show that was ever made, which MainFrame Entertainment (now called Rainmaker Entertainment) brought out a massive innovation to animation for kids TV programming in the 90s. After all, Reboot grew a huge amount of popularity from many fans at different age groups and  it still has fans today.

Reboot became one of those show that made many viewers so curious to know what’s going to happen next, including having a concept that we haven’t seen before in an animated TV show. There were many cartoon series in 90s that were cartoony or settings that people have seen already, but a show like Reboot really pulled audience into this virtual world. Season 3 of Reboot was especially mind blowing as the plot for those episodes were slowly changing from being mis-adventured and vibrant to dark and open-ended. Though it still kept the odd humour and action oriented tone from previous episodes.

“An epically fun moment that fans remember from Reboot”

With likeable characters, fun action sequences, and one memorable intro, Reboot is one of the most known Canadian shows that became pretty big worldwide. Too bad the series had a disappointing ending with its 4th season or…half hour film….or……whatever the hell you wanna call it.

9. Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette became a huge success in the music industry in the 90s, who has won 16 Juno Awards and has sold millions of copies globally for her 1995 album “Jagged Little Pill”. Alanis is one female singer that had a natural vibe to her appearance and became the Queen of alternative rock. She didn’t had to look glamorous like other female artists and bands did in the 90s. She was being herself and still continues that today.

While I haven’t had the chance to catch up with Alanis’ latest music today, I had such high nostalgic of her music in the 90s when my sister and I first purchased a tape album of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill”. Hearing the songs in that album was something that wasn’t like any other and we were pretty shocked to hear her throw in the F word in her song “You Oughta Know”. Not only the songs in “Jagged Little Pill” is what made me appreciate Alanis Morissette more, but her music videos were on the uncommon side that I haven’t seen in music videos before. “Head Over Feet” and “Thank You” are good examples of this statement.

“Thank You Alanis….for your powerful messages and singing”

While I am not a huge fan of Alanis Morissette, but I do appreciate what she offered in the music industry when she became well known in the 90s. Her voice really stands out strong and it’s great to see a female artists that’s not afraid of being herself unlike many artists that we see today. Why do many of them have to act so fake or douchy in order to be successful? It doesn’t make any sense to me at all!

8. Maurice LaMarche

Maurice LaMarche is one of the most well known voice actors who have voiced many recognizable characters like Kif Kroker (Futurama), Egon Spengle (The Real Ghostbusters)  and Brain (Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain). I literally became speechless that a voice I recognized from many shows, films and games was Canadian all this time and I didn’t even knew he was for so many years. But now I know, which made Maurice managed to squeeze through this top 10 list.

What great about Maurice LaMarche is that he can make some really distinct voices and put a lot of character and energy with the characters he voices for. Everyone knows LaMarche for his impressive imitation of Orson Welles which he has used that voice for various animated Orson Welles characters like from The Critic and The Simpsons, including getting his role as Brain from Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain. Also, LaMarche can really make an entertaining monstrous yells and laugh that always tends to crack me up every time I hear it.

“Oh LaMarche! Only you can pull a laugh like that”

There are many talented Canadians in the voice acting business that I would love to pick all of them on this list. However, there’s something about Maurice LaMarches’ acting that makes his performances extremely memorable and continues to voice characters that many people are aware of. Keep up the good work LaMarche!

7. The Log Driver’s Waltz

The 1979 short animated cartoon, The Log Driver’s Waltz, is a huge part of Canadian history and also a big part of my childhood past. When I was around 5 years old, I remember watching this musical short cartoon on TV a lot of times before a show ended on YTV. The folk song in the cartoon really charmed me and the cartoon itself had a wild life and nature ambience that reminded me to be proud of being Canadian 100%.

Part of the Canada Vignettes, The Log Driver’s Waltz contains live action footages with such remarkable animations in a watercolour cartoony style. It basically felt like an old cartoon comic strip every time I view this intriguing cartoon. Plus it was always exciting to see the Log Driver character rafting on those logs like a pro.

“Let’s dance with the Log Driver!”

There isn’t much that I can say about the Log Driver’s Waltz except having high nostalgia with the cartoon. It truly keeps reminding myself the good things about the place I was born and raised in. Too bad we don’t see animated shorts like these showing on TV anymore.  

6. Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox is one Canadian success that got his career in famous shows and films like Family Tides, Spin City and the Back To The Future series. Unfortunately in 1991, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease that lead him to semi-act, though he became an activist to create The Michael J Fox Foundation. Not only Michael J. Fox was huge in his acting career, but he became an inspiring figure for his activist work with his research on Parkinson’s disease.

Michael J Fox is an actor I recognized really well as a kid. However, when my sister and I found out the actor announced that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, we became pretty speechless about it. We were pretty bummed out that his disease would be the end of his life and career until we saw him slowly coming back to the public a few years ago. It is absolutely mind blowing to see an actor come back from living through a hard time with Parkinsons and finding a way to stay positive during his severe moments with that disease.

“Though the announcer said that Michael J Fox is American, but truly he is Canadian”.

Michael J Fox is an idol by many people and there is a reason why they are incredibly inspired by him and his accomplishments. He did many things to make a difference and became more than just an actor. His generous personality and fascinating stories is what makes Micheal J. Fox a true Canadian legend.

5. Ryan (Animated Documentary)

The 2004 animated documentary Ryan was created at Seneca College that was about the life of a Canadian animator from the late 60s named Ryan Larkin. This disturbingly looking, but creative, short documentary blew my mind completely about the message that director/interviewer Chris Landreth brought into this film. No wonder why this fascinating film won an Academy award for Best Animated Short Film in 2004.

What’s so fascinating about the animated documentary Ryan is the way the film presents its interview. This film’s premise is both about Ryan Larkin and Chris Landreth getting together in a rehab cafeteria to discuss about Ryan’s greatest success in animation from the 60s and 70s. However, Ryan thought about his devastating spiral moment that lead him to drug and alcohol abuse in the film. I never seen a CGI film that’s heavily art inspired which speaks the truth about the struggling artist’s life and career. Plus the CGI is so creative in its animation that you start to notice things that you didn’t see the first time.

“Every art inspired thinker should definitely watch this film”

The character depictions might look terrifying and the message in the end might be hard to comprehend the first time you watch it. However, if you give the film a second view or more, you will definitely appreciate the message and vibe a lot. I’m proud that one of my old college instructors showed this feature to my class because his recommendation of Ryan wouldn’t be on this list.

4. The Raccoons

The 1985 animated series The Raccoons was one of the first 30 minute animated TV series that was made in Canada starring Bert, Melissa and Ralph Raccoon, as well as other characters like Schaffer the Dog, Cedric Sneer and his villainous father Cyril Sneer. The TV show ran for 5 seasons and won a few Gemini awards, including one for best animated series. Whenever someone mentions animations done in Canada, The Raccoons is the first thing that comes to my mind.

I always found The Raccoons one charming show with its cast of memorable characters, good morals (at least from the first season) and outstanding background layouts. I also cannot forget the musical montage segments that this show had, especially the ending credit music “Run With Us” sung by Lisa Lougheed (or Steve Lunt from the first season). Everything in the animations, music and the conflicts of greed v.s. nature in the episodes made the Raccoons one intriguing TV series to watch. However, the way some of the characters were drawn out (especially Bert and Cyril) had noses that kinda bugged me back then.

(singing) “Run with Us! We got everything you need.” (singing)

The Racoons is one show I will never forget that it was made in Canada. The overall ambience of this TV series really brings me back to a period when the great outdoors was highly appreciated. I’m sure every one of you were expecting the show Clone High on my list, though I felt like that it didn’t bring a huge impact of its Canadian identity unlike the Raccoons. To me, The Raccoons screams out Canada 100%.

 3. Victor Lucas

Victor Lucas is a Canadian TV host who is also the founder of his daily programs the Electric Playground (EP Daily) and Reviews on the Run. Victor also has the heart to talk about video games to get viewers and consumers appreciate games as successful work of media such as films and TV programming. Since I am quite a gaming enthusiast and consumer, it is amazing to see a successful Canadian that truly supports video games and its industry.

The first time I found out about Victor Lucas was watching an episode of Reviews on the Run starring him and ex co-host Tommy Tallarico during my late high school years of 2005. I didn’t know that Victor Lucas’ TV programs were running since the mid 90s and it highly invested me to check more on the latest game news and game reviews from his shows. Victor Lucas was one person that released entertainment news about games in a fun and respectable matter because seriously…Video Games Top 10 on YTV was a complete joke.

“The best moments of Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico in Reviews on the Run”

Though Victor Lucas’ shows today is falling in the pretty mainstream vibe, but I do respect Victor Lucas for bringing out shows that gamers can highly become invested whenever they turn on the television. If his shows haven’t existed, I wouldn’t had games like God of War 2 and Beyond Good and Evil in my game collection today.

2. Colin Mochrie

Oh Colin Mochrie, my one and favourite comedian from Who’s Line is it Anyway. Though Colin Mochrie was born in Scotland, he was mostly raised in Canada, which made everyone consider him as a Canadian citizen. I’ve always liked Colin’s personality and sense of humour since he is one comedian that doesn’t need to be highly offensive in order to be funny. Colin Mochrie is definitely one successful Canadian that I really appreciate a lot.

Colin Mochrie has a witty sense of humour,which he does it so well in both gestural and verbal comedy. Whether he used this kind of humour on Who’s Line is it Anyway, Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza, or any stand up shows he stars in, Colin can sure make people laugh like a pro, even if it doesn’t go out as planed. Plus I got to give him credit for bringing out the most memorable one-liners and jokes in Who’s Line is it Anyway such as “Nice Pants”, “The Impossible Cat Mission” and randomly shouting “Meow” in the Irish Drinking Song.

“The Best of Colin Mochrie in Who’s Line is it Anyway”

Colin Mochrie is someone I’ve appreciated back then when Who’s Line was airing primetime and I still appreciate him and his work today. Colin is one of my inspirations in comedy and it is great that I have one funny Canadian that I like from my favourite comedians of all time. I can’t wait to see more of him in new episodes of Who’s Line is it Anyway coming out this July because he’s just awesome!

 1. The Littlest Hobo

Anyone who lives or have grew up in Canada from the late 70s to the early 80s knows about the show The Littlest Hobo. The Littlest Hobo is the Canadian version of Lassie, except this German Shepherd travels on his own and stopping crimes from those who interferes with the people he meets in his journey. This is an all time Canadian classic that became big back then, which networks today airs re-runs of this show.

The Littlest Hobo is one show that was so cheesy with dry acting and inconsistent shots, though that was one of the things that made this show highly memorable. But of course, the main canine star London, who plays the Littlest Hobo, makes the show even more memorable since the stunts  he does always makes me squeal like a little school girl every time he appears on the screen. The best thing that The Littlest Hobo also had to offer was its theme song. It is incredibly a heart warming tune that makes me smile every time, thinking about the good old days. It’s definitely one of my favourite TV theme songs of all time.

“Best TV Theme Song Ever”

The Littlest Hobo is one Canadian show that certainly gets me to think of the best things about Canada. Though the show is pretty outdated with quite horrible acting (though it was surprising to see a young Mike Myers in one of the episodes), but The Littlest Hobo holds a strong part of Canadian television. Heck! Even the show Corner Gas did one episode that made a tribute to The Littlest Hobo.

“That doesn’t even look like the Littlest Hobo!”

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