Dr. Slump: Space Adventure (1982)

A few months ago, when we watched the first of the Dr. Slump films, I talked at length about how I firmly believe every home with under-tens should have a stack of the books and whatever cartoons you can find. The comics still haven’t tempted our son, but he was thrilled when I told him we were watching the second of the Slump movies this weekend. 1982’s Space Adventure is the only feature-length film of the eleven theatrical releases – all of the others are under an hour – and while the first one is grandly funny, this one is next-level. He and I laughed our freaking heads off.

Space Adventure is a goofy lampoon of all the sci-fi stuff that was really popular in Japan in 1982 – Star Wars, Yamato, Mobile Suit Gundam – and introduces a nefarious villain named Dr. Mashirito who’s the spitting image of Queen’s guitarist Brian May. The fiend, who makes his entrance singing his own theme song, has abducted Penguin Village’s beautiful teacher. Our heroes blast into space to track her down. Along the way, they deal with the fact that Dr. Senbei forgot to include toilets on his spaceship, battle a space armada of robot bug ships, and flick boogers through cameras to land on the person on the other end, which just about made me stop breathing.

Either you get this lunatic brilliance or you don’t, and for whatever reason, my wife’s one of the ones who don’t. So she retreated to the bedroom to have a video chat with some nerdy girlfriends, and I swear I didn’t intend to interrupt her, but in round one of Arale’s big battle with Dr. Mashirito’s giant needle-nosed robot, they end up knocking each other through and around a moon and the kid and I were howling so loudly that one of my wife’s pals suggested she needs to check this show out. I didn’t think that I had a lot to write this morning, but I’ll say mission accomplished and think all you readers should follow her example. Bye-cha!

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