RockJem.com / Index / Episode Guide / Disaster

#4042-A, B and C (original three part mini-series, also combined three by three into full episodes)
#4046 (with some edits and released on VHS as a movie)
#5205-09 (with edits, long added scenes and extended music videos)

Disaster

Written by Christy Marx

Synopsis:

Jerrica and the others have nowhere to go, so they head to Howard in hope of temporarily moving in at the Mansion before the contest. But the Misfits don't want them stay in the mansion that they intend to win. Ashley is having a hard time finding her place with the other Starlight girls after she was caught trying steal money from the honor jar. And some new exciting acquaintances enter the lives of Jem and the Holograms, as Countess Danielle Du Voisin comes by and invites them to a party on her yatch. But the Misfits are persistant to cause trouble for Jem and the Holograms, with every step they take up until the big contest.

Characters:

Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms (Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana), The Misfits (Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer), Synergy, Rio, Eric, Lindsey, Starlight Girls (Ashley, Ba Nee, Krissie, Deirdre, Terri, Lela, Anne, Marianne, Joellen, Becky, Nancy, Delaree), Howard, Danielle, Brian, Anthony, Mrs. Bailey, Zipper, firemen, reporter, captain on yacht, crewman on yacht, captain on oil tanker.

Focus on:

Ashley, Shana, Howard, Danielle.

Locations & vehicles:

Starlight House, firetrucks, Rio's car, Misfits van, Starlight Express, Starlight Drive-In, Rockin' Roadster, Howard's house, Starlight Music, Howards car, Starlight Mansion, Eric's car, Du Voisin yacht.

First appearance of:

Starlight Girls (Krissie), Danielle, Lindsey, Brian, Anthony, Starlight Mansion, Howard's house, Howards car, Eric's car, Du Voisin yacht.

Songs:

"Like A Dream" Jem and the Holograms
"Click-Clash" Jem and the Holograms/The Misfits
"Makin' Mischief" The Misfits

Instrumentals:

"We Can Make A Difference" by Jem and the Holograms.

Genres:

Action, Drama, Humor, Romance, Message.

Releases:

Italy: Aired on TV. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Una Nuova Casa Per Jerrica" (A new house for Jerrica).
France: Aired on TV. Released on DVD. The episode title was "La Catastrophe" (Disaster).
Holland: Aired on TV. Released on DVD.
Sweden: Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
Denmark: Released on VHS.
Finland: Released on VHS.
Venezuela: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. The episode title was "Desastre" (Disaster).
UK: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
USA: Originally aired on 27 October 1985, 3 November 1985, and 10 November 1985. Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
Australia: Released on DVD.

Trivia:

The name Anthony Julian is a injoke on Christy's stephson Julian Anthony.

This episode was made in several different versions. Originally it consisted of three segments, which were later put togheter to form this episode. The titles of the three segments were 4: Nowhere to Go, 5: The Mansion, and 6: The Yacht. It then had retakes made, including extended scenes. Read more about the different versions of the material in this episode on Retakes.

When this episode originally aired, it had the title "Set Backs".

The first time they see Starlight Mansion Jerrica thinks it's "magnificant".

Kimber comes up with the name "Starlight Mansion".

The Starlight Girls each get their own room, some of which in later episodes get a consistant re-appearing shape.

Danielle's yacht is called "Du Voisin".

Although it's the first time we hear about it, Jerrica was already a fan of Lin-Z's rock video show.

Jem and the Holograms are featured on magazines like "Rock TV", "Boooo Magazine" and "Quiz".

Jerrica attempts to kiss Rio while she's Jem. And she is even about to reveal her secret, if it wasn't for the Misfits interrupting them.

The music video of "Makin' Mischief" by the Misfits is the one that the Spice Girls ripped off when they released their first single in the 90's.

Fashions:

Recommended:

"The World Hunger Shindig" (Here you finally get to hear the actual song "We Can Make A Difference" of which they only play the instrumental in this episode in the retakes version),
"The Princess And The Singer" (Also has an explosion, and partly written by Christy Marx),
"Britrock" (Also has an explosion, and written by Christy Marx),
"The Stingers Hit Town" (The song "Like A Dream" is re-used, episode also written by Christy Marx)
And as for other cartoons:
"My Little Pony The Movie" of My Little Pony, written by George Arthur Bloom (My Little Pony lose their home and get their dreamhome).

Keywords:

fire, firemen, firetrucks, water, water hoses, jar, rescue, money, car, van, cold, shivering, garden, neighbors, smoke, blankets, concert, sidewalk, car chase, rearview mirror, gear shift, city, dumpster, drive-in theater, holographic wall, fashions, waterfall, palace, flying carpet, music notes, birds, flowers, running, unicorns, alicorns, rainbow, water, sailboat, diving, shipwreck, treasure chest, ring, airballoon, clouds, dancing, bed, bedroom, house, applauds, lawn, bushes, diversion, chase, argument, mansion, keys, push, bulldozer, trees, controls, escape, plant pot, wastebasket, phone, gates, swimming pool, kitchen, chef, mirrors, intercom, reporters, makeup, pinball machine, arcade game, pool table, TV, deal, dollars, purse, camera flash, filmcamera, stage, photographers, clothing racks, magazines, star, flying, duet, bomb, countdown, bag, sofa, sunglasses, explosion, guard, police, fan, party, yacht, work, clean, motorboat, balloons, radioman, director, flirting, sabotage, tables, plates, pig, apple, pirate, shrimps, pie, cassette player, headphones, control room, oil tanker.

Hasbro products:

Dolls: Jem/Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, Shana, Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, Synergy, Rio, Ashley, Ba Nee, Krissie.
Fashions: Jem's original doll outfit, Kimber's original doll outfit, Aja's original doll outfit, Shana's original doll outfit, Pizzazz' original doll outfit, Roxy's original doll outfit, Stormer's original doll outfit, Flip Side: Let's Rock This Town (Jem and Jerrica), Rio: Truly Outrageous, On Stage: Command Performance, Flip Side: Gettin' Down To Business (Jem), On Stage: Encore, On Stage: Permanent Wave, On Stage: Dancin' the Night Away, Smashin': Makin' Mischief, Smashin': Let The Music Play, Smashin': Winning is Everything.
Vehicles/playsets: Rockin' Roadster, Star Stage (Jerrica's office).

Review:

Starting with this episode, the reviews are going to be alot smaller than for the first episode, where I started with talking alot about the main writer of Jem, Christy Marx, who has also written this episode aswell as the following 6 episodes, aswell as introduced the main characters and main locations and vehicles. But alot of additional new characters are introduced from now and, and there's alot of interesting stories to come, starting with this one which is also a great one.

This episode has quite an attentiongrabber for start. But with a jump in time, pretty much everyone is already out of the house safely.

It seems the house is a whole lot closer to the pavement now than it was in the previous episode. Just so the firetrucks will be closer of course. And where are all the trees and all the space to the other neighbour houses?

This next scene is one of the most beautifully written scenes I've seen in my life, and it gave so much heart to this series. The words Jerrica says to Ashley about how important she is. Watch the episode to see what I mean. Remember this people, about yourselves. I try to tell people I care about, things like this. I've listed it with the most memorable scenes on this page.

Turns out the girls are all there for the entire night outside in the cold, with blankets. The neighbours are there but maybe they should had brought them inside, not so good to stand out there in the cold and smoke. I guess for the story to work with the upcoming scene with Rio driving by, they had to still be outside. Either Rio had not slept at his home, or slept through the noise of the firetrucks, or he lives so far away that he didn't even smell the smoke at night, because now it's almost morning. I guess he has by now moved to that apartment I mentioned in the review of the previous episode. And I guess wherever he now lives, there's not room for another 17 people (or maybe 18 people as far as Rio knows).

Jerrica is freezing, we can see she is shaking. I like this kind of realism, which in this case seems to be thanks to the storyboard artist.

I never got Pizzazz' line "Couldn't have happened to a nicer person!". Of course she is sarcastic or something, I just don't get exactly how she meant with this phrase.

Here comes an added scene, everything that goes on while the Misfits follow the Holograms in the car-chase scene. You might spot the sudden difference in animation here, with the kinda weird movements and generally cute, silly, soft, goofy style of animation.

And here is a closeup of the Jem star earrings (with the correct seven spikes!). They even took the chance to add a view of Synergy, which they are a bit more meticulous with at this point in the series, but which isn't so frequent later. Would probably had been easier to understand the concept of Jem if they had continued to be consistant with including Synergy.

The dumpster that Synergy changes the Starlight Express van into, says "Castagna Carting Co.". "Castagna" is apparently an Italian last name, but who knows what the connection with choosing that name is here. An injoke on someone? Well in Christy's script there was no dumpster, and the Starlight Express was disguised as something else.

Here comes a scene with Synergy appearing on the big screen at the Starlight drive-in, which was meant to happen already in the first episode. Strange that they left it still in here, because Synergy's face could be seen so easily by someone else outside even at a distance. Blooper probably.

Not alot of fashion references for Shana in this episode, but atleast here at Starlight drive-in, she is the one who grabs some costumes and tells the other Holograms to "put these on". A blooper here though, because it sounds like Shana is picking out new costumes, which is probably what Christy intended, but the storyboard artist or animators made them wear outfits they've already been seen in at this point. Then comes a fitting line for Aja, being the driver, "I'll go warm up the roadster". Jem says "Showtime Synergy". So three of the girls are thereby making their characteristic references.

Jem gets a new outfit (I remember this was favorite of mine when I was very little), which in the doll line was not named after the song that comes soon here, "Like A Dream", because Hasbro gave that title to another outfit. Instead this outfit was named "Let's Rock This Town". Hasbro even re-colored their outfit to yellow after they sent their prototype pictures to Sunbow, so unfortunately it doesn't match with the cartoon (although the cartoon re-colored it yellow for its only ever appearance after this five-parter, 51 episodes later in Video Wars, well fact is it was meant to re-appear in a music video already five episodes later but they went with another fashion instead). Guess there was already too much blue in the first year of Flipside fashions.

Christy's was great at following a plan for each character. Perhaps not quite as obvious for the Misfits, but Christy does write Pizzazz as the leader, Roxy as the spontanious troublemaker, and Stormer as the nice Misfit. And the Misfits do have their thing they do in Christy's episodes, where they one by one each say a negative comment to Jem and the Holograms in a certain order.

"Like A Dream" music video starts. Of course the first scene they added in retakes, just HAD to be another castle/palace, which was already added in retakes for the previous Jem music video. Yet again Jem enters through the main door, this time with Rio, on a flying carpet. The inside just looks crazy, with a mess of music things like notes all around. Then they just run out of there into a garden where they jump on a unicorn each, and ride up on light beams that become a rainbow, and the unicorns transform into an alicorn (a word used in the My Little Pony world, which has become the most regularly used term for the combination unicorn/pegasus), only to disappear and Jem gets covered by water. Then finally the horrific added scenes stop.

This music video is an example of how the animators of the added retakes scenes did not understand Jem, in any way. When Jem turns around early in the video, her levels of hair is treated as they are braids or something solid that flows together. The hair should blow like single hairs, and create new shapes of that kind. What did they think it was, pieces of fabric or paper?

This music video is the first time we see Jem and Rio portrayed as a couple, before they show any emotions for each other storywise (which happens later in this same episode). But as far as we see before this music video, Jem and Rio met once and atleast talked very briefly (when Jem Rio at the cliff, but that's all!). Before added retakes scenes, the first we saw of them together in this music video was Jem and Rio walking on a beach. I personally like the scene where Jem and Rio dive down and find a treasure. Rio actually puts a ring on Jem's ringfinger as if he proposed (spoiler: Rio never does propose storywise in the entire series, not even in the episode "Hollywood Jem Part Two And The Winner Is...", well atleast not to Jem nor Jerrica). The sailboat and airballoon we see have freehand drawn Jem logos, but the star on top of the "J" is most likely a remainder from when the star was shaped like that rather than the regular five spikes star it later became. A missed opportunity of Hasbro/Sunbow that they went opposite ways with the Jemstar earrings and the star in the Jem logo, instead of matching them and making it more consistant that way.

After they get out of that airballoon, that dancing scene that comes next, later became part of the second Jem intro.

The song itself is a great one, a favorite of many Jem fans, and of my mother. First slow-paced song so far. This song has a real Jem feel (yeah that's a thing!) to it, makes me very nostalgic.

As the music video ends, Jem and the Holograms have arrived to Howard Sands' place, located somewhere near the ocean (although the water we see is his pool), and it turns out they've actually performed this song right there. Nice way to tie this song into the action. Some questions to be picky: Why does Howard live in such a small house (well Christy's descriptions to the model designers / background designers can be interpreted as calling for that, with words like "modest" and "simple", so it was according to her plans). But also, why give away such a large mansion if he didn't have another big place? Well according to the Jem bible, he invests in real estate, among other things, so he probably owns some other ones aswell.

Howard has some Japanese details in and around his home. First thing we see, is that Japanese sculpture, then a little statue in his front yard. I think the bible says he likes to travel, so let's assume he's been to Japan.

When the Misfits arrive, Rio says "trouble, girls", this is actually the first time Rio ever sees the Misfits in real life as far as we know. He has probably seen pictures of them by now, and of course heard they are trouble by now.

Here Roxy's line to Aja actually includes the title of their first song "Outta My Way". Although in the animation it looks like Aja looks at Pizzazz as she replies "looked in the mirror yourself lately".

Another added scene is when Jem runs away from Stormer. Now that Jem has changed into Jerrica, she actually gets her correct matching Hasbro Flipside of the fashion she was wearing as Jem. This is the only time this outfit of Jerrica's ever appears in the series, unfortunately, because I liked it and with that big hat (which looked so different in the doll line though). It has a very 80's feel to it in my opinion.

Here Jerrica takes the blame in front of Howard for getting the Holograms there. She does have the best and most unselfish reason though. Jerrica says it's only until they can find something else, but to be nitpicky... we never do see Jerrica nor any of the others even look for another place while living there. I guess it was alright with Howard though.

Stormer cries when she hears Jerrica's story. This was correct according to Christy's script, but the first animation of this episode had a blooper where it was Roxy who cried instead. I guess the storyboard artist or the animators mixed up the names or didn't realize it was relevant to the script that Stormer was the nice Misfit. But they corrected this in retakes. As you see in the pics below, they even went as far as to make Roxy the one who elbows Stormer, instead of Pizzazz (which was correct though, according to how it was first written).

Time for some really mean mischief by the Misfits again. Yet again Stormer proves to be the good Misfit, well just because she does nothing, other than chasing Jem earlier.

Rio saves Jerrica's life from the bulldozer Roxy let lose. The male hero saving the damsel in distress is not something overdone in Jem, but nice for Rio to get to do something heroic once in a while, and his voice actor Michael Sheehan has mentioned he likes those kind of scenes where he got to be the hero.

Here Rio's line includes the title of a later Jem and the Holograms song "Too Close". In Christy's script someone else actually says Rio's line, and someone else actually saves Jerrica here, because Rio wasn't even there! And Christy originally wrote this entire scene to be different and alot more dangerous.

When Eric leads the Misfits out of his office, comes a kinda immature added retakes scene where the Misfits cause a mess outside Eric's office, and Roxy and Stormer just repeat their lines while agreeing with Pizzazz. But with this scene we do get to see Eric's name is now added on the door, and this scene tells us they are going to the mansion.

Why is Eric so angry at Zipper? Is it because he is worried Zipper caused far too much damage and almost killed everyone at Starlight House? No, although Eric is probably kinda relieved that they're alive, he's probably angry at Zipper because Zipper's disturbance only led to something positive for Jerrica and the others, since they get to live in Starlight Mansion in advance, which the Misfits bothered Eric about.

We now see Starlight Mansion for the first time!

When the My Little Ponies lost their home in their 80's big screen cartoon movie, the replacement home, Paradise Estate, was a Hasbro product (well even their original home was a Hasbro product). I can't help but wonder why Hasbro released no house for the Jem doll line. Maybe they should have given more thought to things like where the characters would live. But had the Starlight Mansion been a Hasbro product it would probably had become more pink or something, unlike the very traditional realistic look it got.

For the Jem doll line, Hasbro were apparently more interested in releasing a dressing room, office, stage, car and later even a studio and actually a waterbed. I guess a waterbed was a step closer to a home.

In this episode, the mansion is pictured as having alot of security, and a fence (that can be seen through, which fits the story in this episode) and a closed gate. But in later episodes the gate is not always closed, and sometimes the fence is a cement wall that can not be seen through, and sometimes it's bushes instead.

Although Christy invented the place and name of the mansion, she of course didn't design it since that was up to the model designers, and Christy has said she didn't like the design of Starlight Mansion, and preferred Starlight House. Christy did have some influence on the designprocess though, mainly through describing as much as possible in her scripts. But why a mansion at all? Was it because the Starlight girls needed more space? Then why didn't she just give them that from the start? I assume starting out in a poorer place was one of the noble reasons for Jerrica to battle Eric for the company.

So what do you think about the look of this house?

I like that Christy gave Mrs. Bailey a comment on the house from her perspective, her working place and perhaps even home, suddenly became much more pleasant, and easier with new luxury kitchen appliances I guess.

Some Starlight girls are so excited about the pool at Starlight Mansion, that they jump in with all of their clothes on. Not written by Christy. Christy wrote another scene though, for retakes with the Starlight girls discovering the mansion, that was never animated.

I can't help but think it was mean of the Starlight girls to not write off Ashley's debt to them even after she risked her life to save the honor jar. Sure Ashley was still rude, and should had let them suggest that solution. And they still might had needed the money for a new fridge since Jem and the Holograms hadn't won the contest yet. But I think Christy was making a point, and they couldn't solve this too soon since Ashley was needed for more stories in this five-parter.

Here it seems uncertain if Christy had yet planned for Pizzazz to have a rich father in the Starbright episodes. Pizzazz argues with Ashley about $30 dollars and tries to lower it to $20. Then she lets Stormer pay for it. Being cheap is one thing, but Pizzazz doesn't seem bothered by money in later episodes.

Originally we had just seen Zipper place a bomb in the sofa, and just as the timer counts down, the music video starts with a bang, kinda tricking us viewers. But instead, is an added retakes scene inbetween where Jem and the Holograms are getting ready with clothes and makeup, for the song "Click-Clash" by Jem an the Holograms / The Misfits. But storywise there's no music video recording going on here, just a photoshoot since it's the media who are taking pictures and the Misfits jump in.

Being the first actual music video duet between the groups, here is obviously a song that storywise could never appear on any Jem and the Holograms nor Misfits album, because they would never do an actual in-story duet, would they? Infact this kinda reminds me of the theme song, which was actually the first duet between the groups. This is a really entertaining music video, which tells a little more of a story where it's easy to follow, with the fight between Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits, and Jem and Pizzazz in particular. A fun playful music video. I kinda get a little Olivia Newton John movie-vibe as for the playful scenes going on here, Grease, or Xanadu perhaps. Or what about Agneta and Anni-Frid from ABBA doing one of their battles for attention? Either way, Christy sure created a great way to showcase the rivalry between Pizzazz and Jem, and even Jem steps up notch in attitude to challenge Pizzazz for the focus in this video.

Infact there's something about exciting about seeing the bands meet in person and interact for the first time, when they're not just standing on different stages or taking part in a car chase. This is the first face to face meeting between Jem and Pizzazz, and also the other bandmembers.

This is the first music video Jem's version of the Hasbro outfit "Gettin' Down To Business" is shown in. A favorite among Jem fans, while most of us probably don't think back to this music video when we think of this fashion, since it's more notable on later occasions. Like in the music video "Who Is He Kissing" of episode "Starbright Part One: Falling Star", from which it was named when released as a commemorative doll in 2013 by Integrity Toys (aswell as Jerrica).

From an art perspective it's kinda interesting, the last scene where Jem and Pizzazz compete in standing in front of the other, meaning the animators had to alternate back and forth placing the cels over and under each other.

When Eric arrives in his car outside the mansion (which was very silly of him since he hired Zipper to sabotage for him) we can actually see the Misfits reflected in his sunglasses (a detail requested by Christy).

This is the first real danger that Eric actually planned for Jem and the Holograms, that wasn't real bad luck like with Starlight House. The voice actor, Charlie Adler, of Eric, sounded very belivable when calling out to save the Misfits, and he is certainly one of the greatest names in the business ever, with a extraordinary voice range.

Here comes one of the neighbors, Countess Danielle Du Voisin, who lives right next door. The wealthy French aristocrat, and as we later realize, fashion designer. Voiced by Synergy's voice, Marlene Aragon. In the Swedish dub this character shared voice actor with Kimber. In the French dub she does not have a French accent (logically), well infact even in the Italian dub she doesn't have a French accent neither. Christy had originally picked another haircolor for her in her script. Danielle is at this point 38 years old according to one version of the Jem bible, or in her mid 30's according to the episode script. But just like I mentioned for Howard in the previous episode review, she aswell was made 11 years younger in a later revision of the Jem bible (assumingly done for the Starbright trilogy, when the show was becoming a series), so I guess she is officially 27 years old, only a few years older than Jerrica. Hey, she might aswell had made it into the 80's Hasbro doll line if she hadn't had such a strict and normal look. But on the other hand, that didn't stop Integrity Toys from releasing a commemorative doll of her in 2014, long before they released many more expected characters.

Having watched "Hello Sandybell" (1981) during the same years as Jem, also animated by Toei, I kinda saw similarities in her look and some characteristics, with the Countess of Wellington. No inspiration for Jem of course, and Danielle is of course edgier with her fashion interest and attitude. And to take it even further, you could compare Kimber to the look of the redhead character Kitty (also quite different personalities there though!).

When Danielle arrives, everyone seems really impressed. Are they impressed because she looks elegant? Polite to a neighbor? Or is she already known to them as a fashion designer? The Jem bible says she has made "...a name for herself by designing an original line of clothing, jewelry and perfumes.". But I think I hear one of the Holograms say "Who is that?" in the background. Either way, they needed to seem impressed to be able to introduce Danielle as a respected person to us viewers I guess, to show how exciting it was to come to her yacht, where they are introduced to some very important people.

When Howard introduces Danielle to Jem and the Holograms and Rio, we learn from Howard that Rio is the roadmanager of Jem and the Holograms. Now I see why Christy made Rio a roadmanager, it gives him more of a reason to be close to Jem and the Holograms without being called just the boyfriend of Jerrica, especially like here when Jerrica isn't present.

What a disappointment for the Misfits when Danielle turns them down for her party. I guess the Misfits had no idea Danielle knew about them at this early point. And poor thing Pizzazz even almost put an effort into saying "pleased to meet you countess".

Here comes one of those retakes scenes. Jem calls for the Misfits by saying "Oh Misfits!...". Seems a little out of character for Jem to talk to them by their group name and in a mocking tone. The animators actually gave Roxy the same haircolor as Pizzazz, oops, and even though Pizzazz is standing right next to her!!!

If you have the retakes version of this episode, you will now hear the instrumental of the song "We Can Make A Difference" playing in the background as we see Danielle's yacht, and it does again during the party. This kinda ties this episode in time to the later, in order 9th, episode "The World Hunger Shindig". Which is interesting because when this current episode got it's retakes and this instrumental was added, this episode also got it's new production number which became 9. Rather than the logical, 2.

When Rio helps Jem up on the yacht, do you see the L.A. city skyline in the background? Jem and the Holograms' outfits are beautifully introduced here as we see them climb aboard the yacht, one by one. Unfortunately they missed animating Shana here, but then she gets alot of attention on the yacht soon. Shana didn't HAVE to be seen here in particular, but why did they miss her? Probably because the animators didn't understand Christy's script that said Jem "followed by Aja, etc.", etc of course meaning = Kimber and Shana. Still they did Kimber though.

Speaking about these outfits, finally we get to see Jem and the Holograms in more glamorous fashions! Hasbro ones infact, which alot of the fashions were in these first five episodes, when they were wearing something other than casual clothes. Of course these are early looks, so they don't resemble Hasbro's finished products perfectly, but rather the prototypes. So this is more or less how they were meant to look once (most notable difference is the color of Jem's dress).

Here comes yet again an example of quality work of the animators. The balloons we see in the roof at first sight of Danielle's party, are drawn in style of a background with more details than an animation cel, but still placed on top of the moving animation cels. So much extra work for a detail like that.

Danielle has a dress on here that she only ever wears in this episode (and thereby also at the start of the next one). Integrity Toys chose to release their doll, as mentioned earlier, of Danielle with this outfit. Nice choice, although I think she wears some better designs (even less appearing though) in later episodes.

Jem and the Holograms met Danielle earlier in this episode, and now it's already time to meet three people who are very important to their career, Brian Morris, Lindsey Pierce and Anthony Julian. You might even say Jem and the Holograms were quite lucky to get to live in the mansion already here, so that they had a chance to meet Danielle and the others who help with their career in time for the big contest. But not unfair, since Starlight Music was meant to promote them, but we can only assume Jem and the Holograms got no money from there with Eric taking charge.

Something you might not have noticed, is that the radioman Brian Morris, who helps Jem and the Holograms bring Kimber home in the next episode, is already present in this one, and probably a friend of Lindsey (as they are standing together alone talking a while) and apparently a friend of Anthony aswell. We see him more up close standing right there when Jem meets Lindsey. Lindsey even mentions him by name and the radiostation (which Christy originally gave another name than "KMAX"). Lindsey says he has been playing Jem and the Holograms' songs (apparently they had a bunch of them by now, which is mentioned more about in the script), so I guess he was part of Jem and the Holograms making a name for themselves (although according to Christy, Jerrica had interacted with the radiostation previously) so that Lindsey could hear and discover them.

Christy meant for Brian to be more visible here, so that it would make more sense when Jem, Aja and Shana come to his radio show in the next episode. Infact Christy had written speaking lines for him here that were cut. Who knows, had his lines not been cut he would probably had been just as known to us Jem fans as Howard, Danielle and Lindsey, with more episodes and perhaps even made into a doll by Integrity Toys later on (or why not date one of the Holograms, since they seem to be in a similar age).

Christy's father was a radioman, by the way, so this may very well be an early tribute to him, although another tribute comes in the later, radio-themed, episode "KJEM".

Jem and the Holograms look up so much to Lindsey here, they've watched her show and seem like big fans. And she seems to have alot more of a personality than in later episodes. Maybe it's that hairstyle and her whistling that makes her stand out, but probably also the voice acting (which was actually done by the same voice actor that did Stormer) by Susan Blu.

Already in the next episode it seems Jem and the Holograms kinda loose some respect for Lindsey when daring to demand that not only Jem gets to appear on her show, but also the Holograms. But after this five parter, Lindsey is kinda written as a stiff character and almost only does her job as an entertainment reporter, and from then on it feels like Jem and the Holograms are doing Lindsey a favor for even letting her interview them. But there are some nice exceptions, especially in Christy episodes like "The Jem Jam Part 1" and "The Stingers Hit Town Part 1" where they seem friendly.

And let me just take the chance to point out that her name is infact spelt "Lindsey", with an "E", and not "Lindsay" nor "Lin-Z", although "Lin-Z" is the spelling of her TV-show.

Look in the background as Jem and the Holograms talk to Lindsey, Rio is actually leaving, just walking right out of there (and you can see Jem notices, as her head turns). Soon we find out it's because he is thinking about Jerrica.

Lindsey introduces Jem and the Holograms to Anthony Julian (voiced by T.K. Carter), and calls him the most dynamite director in the business, and suggests he do a video for them. Christy actually referred to a certain famous science fiction actor for his looks. Anthony Julian was named after Christy's stepson by reversing his first and middle names. Originally he was named "Anthony Daniels" though (so I wonder if maybe Daniel was a middle name of Christy's stepson, or maybe from somewhere completely unrelated).

Anthony walks right up next to Shana and looks her in the eyes, and she looks back with a pleased look. Did you ever notice their subtle flirt? They have another subtle scene later on, in the episode Starbright Part One: Falling Star, which I'll mention in that review. Well Jem seems to have noticed that Shana is kinda in her own mind looking at Anthony, because Jem insists Shana has some ideas for a music video. If you find it TYPICAL for a black man to be paired with a black woman, and wished for something more open minded even in an 80's cartoon? Well then I agree, because I would had LOVED seeing Anthony be paired with Rio instead. Oh you weren't THAT open minded?

Anthony sure seems to be very fond of Shana, so I guess she is the one he was interested in, for talking music business of course. He brings her aside and holds her arm around her, well he even holds her chin and moves her face to him, and calls her beautiful in an added retakes scene.

Here Jem does a big no no, she asks a man right out if he likes her!!! Lesson to everyone out there, if you can't figure out how someone you are dating feels, it's perhaps way too early to push someone into putting words on their emotions, and the answer will be no! Rio's answer is "I hardly know you. And you won't even tell me who you are". Jem was actually about to tell Rio who she is right here. Good thing the Misfit stopped her, because they would had found out otherwise, and it would had been good bye to Starlight Music. But for Jerrica's sake it would had been a perfect moment to tell him before he was deceived too long and got too involved with Jem.

Btw, why are the Misfits so dressed up here? They aren't invited to the party, and they're just going to run around and cause trouble anyway. But never mind, because they don't wear the outfits they arrived in in the music video that comes now anyway.

Here comes one of the perhaps most repetitive Misfits songs, "Makin' Mischief", but I like it. So does Christy, it's one of her favorites according to herself (and apparently the writer Chris Pelzer likes it aswell as he re-uses it in his much later episode "The Middle Of Nowhere"). Yet again we see the animators choose to do the backgrounds pink to create the feel of the pretend scenes in the Misfits music world.

At one point, when the Misfits spin a guy around on a chair, you can see a beautiful painting in the background, or perhaps it's an aquarium. Either way I like the work of the background designers of these episodes.

Here comes Pizzazz as a pirate with a sword. It is very difficult to notice this is Pizzazz in the cartoon, since she turns around so quickly in the only scene it is ever seen in. Most Jem fans probably thought like I used to think, that it was an unknown female background character at the yacht. In over 25 years this pirate outfit was an undiscovered treasure among Jem fans online, until I discovered and posted it on the Rock Jem cartoon fashion page... four months before someone else online took credit for "discovering" it.

Something that occurred to me about the people in this music video, is that not a single one of them are the guests we have so far seen in the story, neither Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana, Rio, Danielle, Brian, Lindsey, Anthony, nor any of the other guests are visible in this video. I guess they wanted to keep the video separate from the story. So who knows what in this video really takes place? It sure seems on Danielle that the Misfits have caused alot of trouble afterwards. The added retakes scenes kinda fixed this by adding some crew men, which connected the events in the music video a little more to the yacht.

The added retakes scenes in this video aren't as bad as in other videos. The worst is probably where the Misfits grab a guy's tail on his suit and drag it out very long and spin him around. Silly animated bit.

After the video, we get to see Roxy's competitive side towards Pizzazz, as she challenges Pizzazz to show her the yacht controls. I'd like to think of this as an early sign that Pizzazz has been on a couple of yachts while growing up, although she apparently hasn't spent alot of time in the control room before.

Conclusion:

This feels like "The Beginning Part 2". Because additional important things are still being introduced and explained. And beyond this episode changes do occur here and there, but after this one we're all set for most introductions in this five parter.

Also some locations and vehicles are introduced, which we might think we're going to see again. But Howard's house is never seen again after this episode, nor his car, neither is Eric's car, nor Danielle's yacht. They're simply not called for in any script after this, or replaced.

Exciting to see Jem and the Holograms start their careers, and their excitement to travel and doing rockstar things for the first time.

Jem really starts noticing the problem with a second identity and Rio in this episode for the first time. And we can see directly that Rio feels awkward.

I like that Aja is really tough in this episode. First she responds to Roxy and then she takes charge of the bulldozer, which fits her character because she knows her way around vehicles. I gather from Christy's description of Aja in the Jem bible that she was meant to be tough. But Aja rarely gets to show her personality later in the series.

Despite all of my praise of the original animation (I don't like most of the retakes) in this five parter, something I notice more in this episode, which I guess is more common than I realize in this entire five-parter, is that the animators now and then do resort to shortcuts, by using a still body and then just making a moving head, to save time and work of course.

For fun stuff:

What could this episode had been titled instead: "The Beginning: Part 2", "Speed 2: Cruise Control", "Let's trash their new home too", "Clash of the titans", or "Spice World: The Prequel".
Beginning: Scary start. Things are even worse now for Jerrica, the Holograms and the Starlight girls. And it even leads up to a car chase scene in retakes.
Question:
How did the Misfits find out about the fire?
Did the song "Like A Dream" really fit into the story at this particular point?
How did they know where Howard lived?
How did they pass through Howard's gates without waking him, and why were the Misfits even let in?
How did they know Howard was home?
How did Jerrica know the Starlight Mansion was empty before the contest was done?
Why didn't we get to see that great Jerrica outfit (Let's Rock This Town) again in the series?
We see some of Zipper's home, but where does he live?
What was Eric doing outside the mansion?
What did the countess know about the Misfits? (Well according to unused lines, she was aware of who they were).
Best thing in the entire episode: Jerrica's line to Ashley outside Starlight House. The song "Like A Dream". Aja's reaction after stopping the bulldozer, this is the kind of attitude I want to see from Aja. Seeing the joy of everyone entering Starlight Mansion. Lindsey's whistling. Shana getting a boyfriend on the yacht. Seeing Jem and Rio interact for the very first time.
Worst thing in the entire episode: Retake scenes in music videos, especially when Jem and Rio fly on a flying carpet into a palace. And a scene from the story, when Pizzazz kicks over a wastebasket and Roxy pushes over a potted plant.
New style: Lots of great new fashions introduced here! Eveningwear would kinda summarize them, although some of them were a little more "rockstyle", but all have in common being Hasbro doll fashions. Rio gets a tux which, perhaps by luck, corresponded with Hasbro's outfit called "Truly Outrageous". The both bands got great outfits for the yacht party, where I guess Kimber's Permanent Wave is a fan favorite that stands out (and I think the coincidence that she got to be the one among the band wearing this jacket and pants, led to Sunbow repeating that "tomboy" style for her in designs, but on the other hand her original stage outfit already had pants too), Stormer's Makin' Mischief, and especially Pizzazz' Winning Is Everything.
Surprises: Howard saves the day by letting Jem and the Holograms and the Starlight girls live in Starlight Mansion. Ashley helps the Misfits in exchange for money, and it's her idea. Eric coming to the rescue (but only for the Misfits sake). Yacht out of control.
Most exciting moment: Before we found out where Ashley is at Starlight House, is a scary moment. Car chase. The high point is of course at Howard's place, with everyone gathered. The bomb at Starlight Mansion. Yacht out of control. Two of these things Christy actually added without the episode calling for a cliffhanger nor a commercial break. Yeah Christy seems to like writing action, it's what she wrote before Jem, and it's what she was promised to get to write for Jem too.
What should be cut out: Of course the added music video scenes. The added scene where the Misfits exit Eric's office, and where Jem teases the Misfits outside Starlight Mansion.
What else could it had done: Once again Rio is kinda late to the scene, but it would be nice to hear where he lives and how he found out something happened to Starlight House. I would had loved to see the lines of Brian Morris included.
Biggest argument: A huge fight at Howard's place. The whole song "Click - Clask" I guess was an epic clash between Jem and Pizzazz.
Best look: Obviously Rio's bathing suit is the best look (did I mention he is my favorite character of them all?). Jem's pink dress Gettin' Down To Business is a classic that I think most Jem fans can agree they like! But I have to mention the fashion I discovered before any other Jem fan, Pizzazz' Pirate outfit, wouldn't that look cool on a doll?
Worst look: Shana's "Dancin' The Night Away" (SH-2) isn't a favorite (Hasbro realized this and didn't re-release it the second year of the line, although Sunbow used it twice after this five-parter), but no bad looks at all here among the new fashions introduced, so I guess I'd have to say the nightwear of Jerrica and the Holograms (well nothing wrong with those either, but not so glamorous).
Where could the Rama Llama fit in: Let me put it this way: where could it not fit in? Had they brought the llama to Howard, he would had given the mansion to them right away. He'd be like "A pink LLAMA???? My life is complete, here are the keys.". A pink llama was kinda missing in the song "Click - Clash", to separate Jem and Pizzazz.
Is Rio a "hero" or "Ken doll": He is late to Starlight House, he is an easy target for the Misfits to stalk, he doesn't make any noise at Howard's house to defend Jerrica and the Holograms, but then he does save Jerrica's life there (but only because someone changed in Christy's script, perhaps Christy). And he gathers up some magazine reporters, makeup artists and costumers for publicity. He's late to the scene again when the bomb goes off, but atleast he seems to be the only person worried where Jerrica is.
Whom does Rio love most, Jerrica or Jem: First he appears to fall in love with Jem in the music video "Like A Dream", which are pretend scenes. Saves Jerrica's life, and says "I don't know what I'd do if anything ever happened to you" (I love Christy's lines in this episode, alot of heart). Rio is looking for Jerrica after the bomb went off, and doesn't even give Jem a hug. Then on the yacht, he leaves Jem and the others and goes out to think about Jerrica, and when Jem goes out to him he says he hardly knows her and that she won't even tell him who she is, but still he almost kisses Jem for the first time here. But I'd say Jerrica still has the overall advantage in this episode.
What character practically does nothing: Kimber I guess, she is saved for next episode which is even named after her.
This episode has alot of...: Action. Speed. Mischief. Stalking. Fashions. Romance. Starlight girls. New friends.
Someone should make a toy of this: Starlight Mansion! How did Integrity Toys miss the opportunity to create fashions for the fan favorite looks "Permanent Wave" and "Winning Is Everything"? But then, all the fashions in this episode deserve to be made into doll fashions. We even get to see Eric's car, a black Rockin' Roadster (can you tell I'm not a car expert?), not very characteristic in itself, but why not. Hey, make Brian Morris into a doll (right after Howard Sands though)!
What would Barbie had done: Barbie would never have foster girls to begin with, she would just have a little sister who would magically appear in a matching pink dress when Barbie wants company to pick flowers or something. Barbie would never move into a place like Starlight Mansion, because Barbie needs to have a pink house especially built for her, with hearts and bowties all around, and pink glass on the windows. Barbie would never go on a yacht so late in the evening, and she would certainly not flirt with a guy there, because in Barbie's world males are only friends and have no genitals or own free will.
Best mischief-award in this episode goes to: The Misfits sing an entire song about making mischief, so there you have it.
Challenge for you while you watch this: Look for Brian Morris. He might be seen in several views on the yacht. We see lots of signs in the streets when they race through town, can anyone identify any of them (if they even refer to something in real life)?
How could Jem's identity have been revealed by mistake: If Jerrica and Aja hadn't noticed them, the Misfits could had followed Jerrica and the Holograms straight to the Starlight drive-in (which they might had done before retakes). Jem went to some extra extent trying to hide while changing back to Jerrica outside Howard's home, thanks to added retakes scenes, otherwise she wasn't very careful there. Also when Jem was about to tell Rio on the yacht who she really is, and the Misfits almost heard.
Animals: Two very lovely doves in the music video "Like A Dream", where there are also two unicorns that even turn into alicorns, and oh three seagulls.
Where could another song fit in: Maybe some kind of happy song like "All's Right With The World" when they got the mansion.
Room for a yeti or timetravel somewhere in here: No.
Would it make any difference if the Holograms switched lines: Well some lines, for the Holograms, and also for the Misfits, but other than that I can't see how it would work.
What made the series take a step forward or back: This was the first episode that didn't have to explain anything about the main characters and surroundings anymore, most of it was set. It has some further introductions, and has Jem and the Holograms settle in Starlight Mansion, but Christy probably felt even more creative freedom here, and creates some very exciting scenes. She even initiates the Jem/Rio/Jerrica love triangle. And we finally get to see some glamour inbetween the action, where the bands wear some fashionable party clothes, which happen to all be Hasbro doll fashions picked out by perhaps the storyboard artist.
Animation quality: Just as good any episode in this five parter I guess. Some moments of stiff cels with only moving the entire cel to display movement or only the head or mouth. And some B-team out-of-character occasions, like Pizzazz outside Starlight House.
Ending: The Misfits really managed to cause some trouble with all of those guests onboard. In the last episode it was somewhat accidents, but here it's more deliberately, but also the Misfits are there for the bomb and onboard the yacht, and in danger aswell. A really scary ending, and I can barely believe Rio can hold onto Jem. I didn't quite get this ending when I was younger, about who was on what ship really, because we see a man with binoculars which I always thought was on the yacht. I guess I wasn't familiar with the word yacht, so him saying a yacht was headed straight for them, I thought he meant that big purple ship.

[Thanks Davide for information about Jem in Italy]

Offsite-links to some things I found online by other people, about this episode in different ways:

Back to index