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Animation: Space Thunder Kids

Those of you who are familiar with Joseph Lai's body of work, this is Thunder Prince IN SPACE. A very, very bad Humongous Mecha pseudo-anime released in 1991 about three children (or three teams with three children each depending on how you interpret it) that can pilot giant robots trying to defeat the Big Bad and his army: the Dark Empire. There are also some Space Opera elements thrown in with advanced space stations and dogfights going on in space.

This decidedly weird animated film is a result of Joseph Lai buying South Korean cartoons on the cheap and editing them to make "new" features. The result is a benchmark case of They Just Didn't Care and Cut-and-Paste Translation after putting all the different shows together.

This "film" was edited with footage from Savior of the Earth, Defenders of Space - Phoenix-bot Phoenix King, King Robot, Protectors of Universe - Super Express Mazinger 7, Solar Adventure, Space Transformers - Micro-Commando Diatron-5, Super Mazinger 3 and Iron Man Trio. All of the aforementioned movies are also ripoffs of other anime like Mazinger Z (and all but the last were separately dubbed by Joseph Lai as well).

Download it in its entirety here, if you dare.

Has nothing to do with UFO Robo Grendizer's Finishing Move.

This film provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: A lot of these. Or are there? Thanks to the constant art shifting, it is rather hard to tell what is and what isn't supposed to be there.
  • All There in the Manual: It's a good thing the back of the cover describes the entire movie from start to finish, because otherwise we'd never know what we were watching. Apparently somewhere during the hour-and-a-half of tanks and explosions is the plot about saving a scientist.
  • Child Soldiers: The main characters.
  • Covers Always Lie: None of the characters on the cover are actually in the movie.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: Definitely a lot of these. The same characters changes their appearance completely from scene to scene.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Who the hell are the space thunder kids? There's a random focus on at least three different space travelling groups, but none of them do anything of importance, and none of them ever last longer than a scene or two. Eventually it becomes impossible to discern who's supposed to be the bad guys and who are the heroes, because all the ships look the same.
  • Detail-Hogging Cover: If only the movie looked that good...
  • The Empire: The forces of Earth are supposedly fighting one.
  • Epic Flail: Some of the giant robots of the Dark Emperor fight with these in space, Newton's laws be damned.
  • Filler: Hey, check out this animation cycle of rolling tanks we have! Isn't it great? Let's loop it for 5 minutes straight!
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Dark Emperor.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The general (who is North Korean communist dictator Kim Il Sung) at the end.
  • Hong Kong Dub
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The lines of civilians running away from the buildings being leveled by Neon Light Godzilla.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Perhaps unintentionally, as a result of this film being an attempt to mash several films together, the Dark Emperor has more diverse lieutenants under him than most major villains of contemporary works.
  • Lull Destruction: Averted; there are many moments of dead air throughout, which is a rare moment for English-dubbed "anime".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kim Il Sung, as the evil general working with the aliens.
  • Off Model: Notable instances include pulling someone through the windscreen of a jeep, the face one of the heroes makes, the lip flaps, the tanks tanks tankstankstanks...
    • Arguable, since this trope implies that a majority of the work is on-model.
  • Plagiarism: Hoo boy, where to begin...
    • Phoenix King is Inferno from Transformers Generation One with some more Super Robot-y bits stuck on.
    • As mentioned in the Space Transformers article, Diatron is really a robot with the name "Machine Buffalo" from the Pre-Transformers Diaclone toyline. Interestingly, this & the original film are its only animated appearances, since aside from the toys that were adapted into Transformers, Diaclone never got a proper anime.
    • The various "Mazingers" that, well, aren't.
    • Then Savior of the Earth, which is just TRON, comes in out of nowhere.
    • And that's just a few of many, many examples...
  • Random Events Plot
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: The various animators apparently have never paid attention in science class.
    • Frequently during fight scenes, the background will change in the middle of shots between space and the sky, leaving you wondering just where they are supposed to be fighting.
  • Space Friction
  • Space Is Noisy
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Subverted doesn't even begin to describe it. Apparently the seven foot tall one eyed blonde space pirate badass vixen has a sister who is... a one foot tall robot... pig... thing... named Sandy.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Inverted; the "trailer" found online? The repeated exclamations of SPACE THUNDER KIDS? That's in the actual film.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The space station that was attacked by the meteors at the beginning were never seen again. Either that or the space station was drawn differently from there on out. Who knows?
    • The tanks.
  • Who Is This Guy Again?: Try, just try to keep track of anyone in this movie as they come and go.
  • Widget Series: A special case, in that it's a Weird Korean Thing assembled from half a dozen or more other Weird Korean Things.
  • YouTube Poop: Poop-makers claim this movie was basically YouTubePoop before YouTubePoop existed.

Qin's MoonTurnOfTheMillennium/Asian Animation    
Beauty and WarriorAsian AnimationBurka Avenger
Space JamAnimated FilmsSpider's Web: A Pig's Tale
Southland TalesFilms of 2005 - 2009 Spider Lilies

alternative title(s): Space Thunder Kids
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