Welcome to Versus, where each time I will do an in-depth analysis compare an aspect of every season of Total Drama to see who did it the best way! As you read in the title today I will be talking about the openings. (this is the last post i will be recycling from my Tumblr)
Every opening is very similar to each other, in fact they all follow a similar pattern and they all have the same function of presenting the show, the setting and the cast and each one is accompanied by the very fitting “I Wanna Be Famous”.
The TDI opening starts with four camera popping out of everywhere It might not seem important, but by watching those cameras coming out of the grass and out of a tree you immediately get that what you are watching is nothing like anything you’ve seen before, from those cameras you know that the episodes, the pace and the narrative have to be different compared to other tv shows. Of course this mean of introducing the show was carried over to every other intro except the cameras came out of places that reflected the setting of that season: in TDA they came out of parts of the studios, in TDWT out of the plane and than in TDROTI in a very clever way the same cameras of the first season were shown deteriorate and surrounded by radioactive themes, In TDAS they showed that the island was cleaned and in TDPI they showed parts of the new island. So basically every season does its job well.
Than an overview of the main location followed by the run up the hill and the cliff dive for those set in Wawanakwa, cleverly replicated in TDA with a synthetic hill but for TDWT and TDPI this was a hard task; the main location of the first one is the plane but you can’t really do an overview of something relatively small (compared to islands and cinema studios) and in fact the sequence immediately comes out of the plane and goes through a generic airport that we’re never going to see in the show, and than instead of doing the iconic sequence, it shows the CN tower, meaningless to the show (Yeah I know it’s made in Canada but I don’t remember a challenge featuring the tower). For TDPI I though that the lack of the cliff dive was the reason I thought something was wrong, but then I realized that Pahkitew Island is not shown in its entirety, we only see the beach, so we don’t familiarize with the new Island, and that is something crucial especially when we are used to see Wawanakwa since the first season.
During these sequence we expect to hear:<Dear mom and dad I’m doing fine…> but instead for the last two season something strange happens, we hear the final “nanana”, in fact these intros last 40 seconds less than the others because Cartoon Network decided that people don’t have time to watch a 1 minute long intro, so the producers had to shorten the intro; that means that the song is butchered and we have less time to see the characters. Good Job! Now It’s time to meet the cast! the Intros do a great job at introducing the characters, establishing relationship and foreshadowing events: The first contestant to be shown in the first three seasons is Owen, a smart move since he is basically the face of total drama the most recognizable character and one of the finalists of the first season; in TDROTI there is Cameron in the water, in fact he is one of the protagonists of the season. In TDPI we see Topher next to Chris a position in which no other contestant has been, reflecting their relation and in TDAS we see at the same time many characters doing things than the camera moves upwards and the others are fighting, it tells us nothing about this season and the characters friendships and conflicts, excpet for the love triangle between Duncan Gwen and Courtney… Basically a mess.
The openings continue to show the cast linking the various sequence in smart an original ways, while also showing various places that will be visited during the season; since TDA is set in an abandoned studio the locations shown in the intro are not very interesting, this can be seen especially during my favourite part of the song that is pulled off greatfully in the other season. I’m talking about :“I wanna live close to the sun….already won (Guitar kicks in)”; in TDI the sequence is perfect with Heather and LeShawna arguing on the raft than falling behind Harold doing his Kung-Fu moves, and than Izzy swings in, smashing him in sync with the guitar.I also like how TDWT did with so much going on the staute of liberty and Cody falling down into the Yukon in Sierra’s arms; TDROTI also did a good job with Lightning lifting the trunk and Zoey and Mike crashing onto him. TDA instead had Beth on a fake beach and Justin in the confessional…..EXCITING!
In the end everyone is reunited while whistling the song and there is the recurring theme of a couple being interrupted by something, nothing much to say about this bit so let’s see who won:
6th) Total Drama All-Stars: for obvious reason.
5th)Total Drama Pahkitew Island: It was also very short but at least it tried to do something original with every contestant.
4th)Total Drama Action: Even though there were some funny scenes they were not enough to compensate for the uninteresting scenery.
3rd)Total Drama Revenge of the Island: A lot of funny and clever scenes, I really like the sudden gopher scaring Dawn and the sequence featuring Dakota, but it relies too much on the original opening.
2nd)Total Drama World Tour: The world being the setting makes it probably the most diverse, also I love the final shot where the cast does a pyramid onto the plane while singing “I Wanna be Famous” reflecting the musical aspect of the season.
1st) Total Drama Island: Of Course it had to be the original, its just that it does nothing wrong and also being TDI the season with the most competitors, in every sequence there are different characters, it really gives the sense of the island being full of people.Let me know your opinions on these openings: which is your favourite? which is your least favourite? Do your own rankings with reasonings if you want and let me know if you like these kind of reading or do you find it to long and boring! And of course see you next time!