Release date: March 21, 2017
Tagline: This film has grown a large following, but despite it being beloved, are there a FEW things that might be off about it?
This review contains examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Malcolm does not appear in the review.
- Acting for Two: Tamara plays both Aunt Despair and her niece.
- Actor Allusion: In-universe—the Critic jokingly suggests that adult Rosie is Professor Sprout visiting the Muggleverse. Both adult Rosie and Professor Sprout are played by Miriam Margoyles.
- Bears Are Bad News: The Critic talks about how bears ruin animated films like Open Season, Brother Bear, Brave, and Norm of the North before going into how black the bear is. He asks if it bathed in ink after swimming through oil in a lake in Sin City. Just for further measure, the bear is so black his blood is coffee.
- Foreshadowing: One of the movies the Critic shows during the bear attack scene is Norm of the North, which ended up being the subject of his tenth anniversary review just a few months after this episode.
- Framing Device: Mimicking the film itself, the review is set in "the future", where Aunt Despair tells her niece a story about how the Critic reviewed this film. Subverted in the end, when it turns out they are in the same timeline, and Aunt Despair just used her black magic to create captions such as describing her and Tamara!Niece's timeline as "the future".
- For an extra bit of Mind Screw, it's revealed The Critic hadn't even reviewed Balto yet and actually arrives at the end of the review to start said review.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After the Framing Device ruse is exposed, Tamara!Niece asks why there was a caption describing their timeline as "the future".
- Mood Whiplash: He's genuinely moved by Boris's statement of "Not a dog, not a wolf. All he knows is what he's not." He then wonders out loud how you follow up a statement like that, only to show a clip (less than a minute later in the movie) of a depressed Balto getting distracted by a bizarre cat toy Boris lamely used to cheer him up.
- Obviously Evil: The Critic points out just how every scene—indeed, every frame—Steele's in makes him dripping with evil.Critic: Good Lord, it's like his face has ten different personalities and they all eat children!
- Saying Too Much: Aunt Despair tries to deflect Tamara!Niece's questions over their purpose for visiting the Critic's studio throughout the episode. Then she simply blabs to the Critic that she is shoving her niece to his care after her parents died of "double erotic asphyxiation".
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the "Saying Too Much" incident above, Aunt Despair quickly bails out of her mentally traumatized niece. In turn, the Critic abandons her to Chester A. Bum.Chester: Oh my God, I'm a mother!
(Embraces Tamara!Niece, who starts crying.)
Critic: Don't act like it can't happen! There are dogs in this world!
- The Critic compares old lady!Rosie to Professor Sprout. Doubles as an Actor Allusion, as both characters are played by Miriam Margoyles.
- The beginning of the film, featuring a dogsled race, has the Critic compare it to an Alaskan version of Ben-Hur, which he calls "Ben-Fur" Just for Pun, joyfully listening to the booing from the audience.
- The polar bears are compared to a moogle that ate Chien-Po.
- At a scene where coffins were prepared for children who might die from the diphtheria epidemic, a shocked Critic thinks that three such coffins shown are prepared for Tiny Tim, The Little Match Girl, and Nina Tucker (credited as "Fullmetal Alchemist spoiler").
- Signature Style: Rob, who is fairly knowledgeable with anime and video games, wrote most of the review, hence the Final Fantasy and Fullmetal Alchemist Shout-Out above.
- Take That!: In a cutaway gag, Steele becomes Donald Trump's press secretary ("Steele Spicer") and tells Blatant Lies about the huge size of Trump's inauguration and insists that all opposing information of the incident are "Alternative Barks."
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Not in the review itself, but in the Real Thoughts On... companion video, Doug and Rob muse that after learning how Togo got shafted for publicity (and indeed, is nowhere to be found in the movie itself), it would have been interesting if the medicine run had only been the first half of the movie and the second half involved Togo trying to get his share of the limelight while Balto is the one getting all the credit (further complicated by the fact that Balto would still be a Nice Guy who isn't intentionally trying to steal Togo's spotlight).
- Unexpected Character: More like "Unexpected Shout-Out"—no one expected the Fullmetal Alchemist reference mentioned above.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The episode is a story told by Aunt Despair to her niece.
- To further parallel the film's creative license with history, the Critic off-handedly mentions that Rob actually wrote most of the review, similar to how Togo actually did the longest and most dangerous part of the medicine run while Balto only got most of the credit because he delivered the medicine to Nome itself.
- We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: When the Critic refers to the fight between Steele and Balto as Michael Vick's favorite scene, it abruptly cuts to him dusting off a cardboard box labeled "Michael Vick Jokes."