Crypt-ober: Nature (Tales from the Cryptkeeper)

Ah, the great outdoors. The perfect place to get a good breath of fresh air. Yuck. I personally hate doing anything outdoors. Not to mention my horrible fear of bugs. Unfortunately for me, today’s episode is all about bugs, specifically the hardships of the life of an ant. Can I get through the episode without bugging out? Let’s find out with Nature.

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Rick and Teddy are two boys who are on a picnic with their family. They decide to play a game called Ant Wars, where they basically torture and kill ants. Nature itself seems to take offense to that and shrinks our boys down to the size of the very bugs they’re torturing. Can they survive this “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” scenario, or will they be turned into a feast for the ants?

Once again, as seems to be the par for season 1, the kids are written pretty realistically. The two brothers work together to try to find a way out of their situation and never so much as yell at each other for any reason. The scary scenario they found themselves in was also pretty interesting, even if the shrinking did seem to come out of nowhere. My biggest complaint about the episode’s writing is that it all seemed really “Magic School Bus” to me. The boys bring along a book about insects that they read from every so often to really drive the point home about learning to respect bugs. Not to mention, after a little while, they just didn’t seem to be in all that much danger. The threat felt pretty much minimal and that lead to the episode feeling more educational than horror-based.

The animation of the episode was particularly spot on with special attention spent making the bugs look as bug-like as possible. It worked well enough to start giving me the heebie jeebies when a cockroach came into the story at one point. There were a couple of hiccups with the human characters (I noticed more than one derp face happening throughout the episode), but the bugs were so well handled that it doesn’t distract the viewer.

CRYPTIE CAMEO: Cryptie’s face is scene rocking a top hat and beard on the back of a giant penny.

This episode was half decent. With likable main characters, an original story, and decent animation, I can’t say it was bad. It just felt a bit boring. So far in my viewings, this is the only episode that was blatantly educational in its execution. It made for a really bland watch for someone who came for the horror. Still, I would say it’s worth a watch, even if it has some bugs to work out.

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