The snake, the tiger, and the crane
Lazlo: Hmph! I think a far more appropriate title would be “Princess Misery.”
Popo: Yeesh, ain’t that the truth. Or maybe “New emperor kung fu traitor fiend.”
Partijama: Hehehe, or “Help the princess if you want to die.”
Popo: Boy, it didn’t take long to get the misery started either. Right at the start the current emperor is having a meeting with his remaining followers, basically saying that he’s going to kill himself because he failed to protect his kingdom from the usurper whose army is really close by.
Partijama: The very unenthusiastic greeting the assembly offered the emperor suggested that they weren’t a positive update.
Popo: I would’ve excused myself so discreetly even my shadow would’ve been caught off guard. It would be there looking around – Oy, anyone seen Razz; blue guy, very dashing? He was just here.
Partijama: You do dash well, Razz. (Popo chuckling)
Lazlo: To their credit they did give off a lot of positive energy when they were bowing; and then they sounded like – all…grumble grumble…hail…grumble grumble…the emperor…grumble grumble.
Popo: I wish it was even like that, all I heard was grumbling. That was a sorry assembly…and then in comes Princess Misery.
Partijama: I was touched by her appeal to her father, the emperor, about his duty to stay alive for his people, so instead of taking his life he should undertake a strategic retreat – seek sanctuary in a safe kingdom and make plans to retake this one.
Lazlo: The girl had a good head on her shoulders.
Popo: At that point I saw everything going one way…and then the emperor called her a traitor.
Lazlo: And chopped off her arm so that she would die with him and his supporters instead of being taken by the enemy. I think he got the arm because he looked away when he delivered the blow.
Popo: Man, I had to see that part again. I really thought I must’ve blinked and missed something, you know, like the sword slipping from his hands, or maybe the princess slipping on a banana peel or something. I was going – whaaat, after what she said? Aw c’mon!
Partijama: And then they’d all killed themselves, and the princess was hiding out in a monastery, with her faithful attendant, plotting her revenge.
Popo: I thought that guy who’d followed her out to the field was an assassin. Most of the field was covered in waist-high grass in which the princess was hiding, and he was just standing there looking around for her. I was thinking “okay, here we go; now we’ll see what the princess can do with one arm – kung fu fight!”
Partijama: I saw the way your eyes opened wide then – it was funny.
Lazlo: Not as funny as what happened when the man yelled for whoever was in the grass to come out…
Popo: And out pops a group of guys we didn’t even know were there.
Lazlo: The guy beats them up and calls out again, and the princess just waits to see if he’s talking to her, or maybe he’s addressing someone else because you never know, there could be many people around, even if you can’t see them.
Popo: Oh, that was funny, I mean, how many people used to be in those fields? Two people hidden in that patch there reading comics; or that patch right there, five people having a picnic; or there, someone doing laundry…
Lazlo: If the princess had stood on a rock and made an inspirational speech to the field, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see hundreds just stand up, cheering and waving banners and such.
Popo (cackling): That would’ve been the most awesomest scene ever!
Partijama: I was so happy when the man turned out to be loyal to the deposed princess.
Lazlo: Especially with his skills. He was a master fighter…as far as Bombastykans go anyway.
Partijama: Precisely, and then they went on the mission and…oh, what a mess.
Popo: Yep, break out the mops, clean it up, and start again. Hey, but how about the princess, eh? One hand, with a new injury…what an escape. (Wriggling with laughter) The usurper and his team had no clue where she went. I didn’t either, to be honest, I saw her zip across a veranda and then that was it…princess was gone.
Partijama: That was also when I realized the usurper could fight. I truly didn’t expect him to be that good.
Popo: I hear that; thought he’d be a wuss, but like so many other things in this movie, I called that wrong.
Lazlo: (Smug face) I was right about the flute player; living in that isolated place, crafting poems and such, dwelling on a higher plane…BAH! I saw right through all that rigmarole, I did.
Popo: You sure did, buddy; my money as on the other guy, the servant.
Partijama: The servant was creepy.
Popo: (Giggling) He was. He had fiend written all over him. He was the kind of guy you only turn your back to if you’ve got a rear-view mirror. Hey, Lazlo, what was the biggest red flag? The voice, right?
Lazlo (eyeing Popo): Never trust a bard!!
Popo (clears throat; sheepish grin): Uh…the voice…totally.
Partijama: It was another disappointment for the poor princess.
Popo: And then she lost her mind, and I was going “most unpredictable story, EVER!”
Partijama: That part of the movie with the butcher, and the dying mother, and the marriage and such, sort of put me in a spin.
Popo: Yeah, that was some wonky stuff.
Lazlo: A breath of fresh air from the princess’s point of view I imagine. He came along at just the right time.
Popo: Hey, that coronation scene was awesome, heheheeee…
Partijama: The usurper was in very high spirits, preening before his court as the new emperor while his subjects performed their well-practiced obeisance.
Lazlo: It was certainly a more festive gathering than the one in the beginning.
Popo: Oh yeah, it was a real spectacle for all of a minute until that guy brought a message that some rival, or maybe rebels, or whoever, was advancing on the castle with an army. Wooo, the mood in that place dropped like a brick – SWEET.
Lazlo: The traitor went from “All hail me, I love being emperor” to “I shall crush that pretender and every other” then “I’m inviting all of my faithful to abandon their belongings and flee with me this instant!” in no time flat.
Partijama: It happened so fast I felt disoriented. One moment I was watching the emperor celebrating and then he was looking really sombre, sitting in a carriage, racing along the back roads. The way he fought in those last scenes…my goodness, for one moment I actually feared he might destroy everyone and escape.
Popo: You said it. I had my face in my hands, wondering “uh, i-is there anyone left to take on this guy…anyone?” And of course, when the end came it wasn’t in any of the ways I’d imagined, nope, not one bit.
Lazlo: The emperor’s performance when his carriage was attacked was simply incredible, worthy of a Laquan lord…a less unscrupulous, and more regal, lord, of course.
Popo: People were attacking that carriage from every angle; swords came through the roof, sides, floor…a-and that guy was grabbing them with two fingers, smashing them, throwing shards back at the assailants; I was all, “What?? Are you kidding me, what kind of vitamins does he eat?!”
Partijama: The butcher was doing so well, with all those techniques – snake, tiger, crane.
Popo: Bombastyk butchers have the strangest skill set I ever saw.
Partijama: And then the tyrant bounced back.
Popo: At that point, I didn’t even care if an earth-quake took him…he needed to be stopped.
Partijama: I liked how the butcher caught the explosive in his hair and threw it back at him.
Popo: Butchers are really versatile.
Partijama: It was, not surprisingly one might say, not the cheeriest of endings.
Popo: Cheery definitely doesn’t come to mind.
Lazlo: Well, at least the princess survived.
Partijama: That was a great relief.
Popo: About time she had some luck. So, Lazlo, do you think you would’ve had a better coronation than Emperor Egg-on-his-face?
Lazlo: Hmph, you dare compare that misfit to a lord of Laqua? (Stands, flicks robe back with pomp, regal smile, hands out in welcome) At my coronation I would’ve said to my subjects – Oh, noble minions, how wise you are for choosing-
Popo: Grumble grumble…
Lazlo (flashes eye daggers): Choosing peace, prestige, and prosperity over-
Popo: Grummmble grumble…
Lazlo: Over the chaos and sadness and inequity that has-
Popo: Grumble grumble grumble grum-
Lazlo: POPO! How dare you. Do you know who-?
Popo: Grumble grumble gr…eeep…
Lazlo (launches from his cloud-couch): Graaar!
Popo (dashing for an exit): Partijama, prepare a shuttle, don’t worry about my belongings, I’ll collect them later…weeeee!!