Another set of Apple & Onion episodes bite the crust in “Hot Dog’s Movie Premiere” and “Bottle Catch.”
Lights, camera, oven! Apple and Onion are invited to attend “Hot Dog’s Movie Premiere” for the movie Robotot II. They get to ride in a long car, or “limousine,” with their friends. Once at the theater, they are of course sucked into Shenanigans. This time it’s with Chicken Nugget, a security guard with a large chip on his shoulder, who catches Onion and Apple at the wrong place and time and bans them from the premiere. They are unsuccessful in their attempts to sneak in until they start believing Chicken Nugget is secretly a robot (a la the antagonist of the movie, Robotot). But in the end, they realize that Chicken Nugget is a person too, and they all become friends.
In “Bottle Catch,” Apple and Onion have cooked up a scheme to sell water bottles in front of the Dollar Store to passing marathon runners. In the meantime, they sing about and play their favorite game: bottle catch! Of course, their plans are foiled before they even begin: Apple misread the poster. It’s not a marathon for running, it’s for knitting, and it’s in the next town over, to boot. Now they are stuck with a lot of water bottles and no market in which to sell them. They realize they can use bottle catch itself to sell the bottles. Except that Energy Bar, the dastardly next-door rival owner of the Two Dollar Store, tries to upsell a fancy printed water bottle for $2, marketed as “the ORIGINAL bottle catch bottles.” Apple and Onion challenge Energy Bar to games of bottle catch, and prove that they are the real masters. Plus, it turns out Energy Bar’s bottles are just the same as theirs, only with a colorful label glued on. They sell their water bottles and Patty tells them both they have done a good job.
I have become quite fond of these friendly foosdstuffs. When Hot Dog responds to Onion’s gratitude at “letting” them be his friends with “aw hey man, we’re friends because we like each other!” my heart swelled. It’s a genuine fear that so many young people have, that your friends are only tolerating you, and it’s nice to hear a show acknowledge a serious issue for their target demographic in such a casual way. Apple and Onion may be bumbling, but they face their mistakes, and always seem to leave the world a little friendlier than when they left it. I predicted that if they could settle their differences, Chicken Nugget and the best food friends would get along deliciously. Sure enough, the end of “Hot Dog’s Movie Premiere” finds them all in the Limousine o’ Friendship together, having a great time.
Another charming aspect of the titular characters of Apple & Onion is that despite their generous naivety, they are not pushovers. They are willing to engage politely with Energy Bar up until the point she reveals her true colors, after which the (bottle catch) game is on. I like the inversion in “Bottle Catch” of the grumpy boss– Onion and Apple aren’t nervous for Patty’s potential disapproval, they are sad about losing the possibilities for her “good jobs.”
Speaking of Patty, her accent is adorably Afro-Caribbean. Together with characters like Falafel, Onion’s mom, and Chicken Nugget, who is clearly coded Black, it’s truly remarkable that a Cartoon Network show about food people does better with racial representation than most of its adult contemporaries.
After “Hot Dog’s Movie Premiere” and “Bottle Catch,” there are just two episodes left of Apple & Onion’s limited run. It’s bittersweet, but I’m excited to see how it wraps up, and to see what George Gendi has in store for us next.
Author: K-K Bracken
K-K Bracken grew up overseas and in the Washington, DC area, went to the Ohio State University to get her BA in English, and has been in Columbus, Ohio ever since. She is currently querying her first novel ORCHESTRATION under the name Bracken Beveridge. She is the founder and organizer for the first Steven Universe exclusive fan convention, Beach City Con.
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