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Plantar Kids Time to Shine

Amphibia episode 6 Review/Recap

I don’t have anything smart to say at the start today, so I’m just going to hop into the adventure: Sprig becomes head of the Plantar farm, and Anne drags Polly along for some girl time.

Sprig vs. Hop Pop

Plantar family feud

After learning that Hop Pop refuses to consider anyone else’s ideas, Sprig beats him in a bout of Frog Sumo to take control of the farm. Now in charge, he declares any idea a good idea and starts approving anything Anne and Polly come up with. Meanwhile, Hop Pop starts squatting in the Wartwood Cemetery with a group of beetles.

Jeremy, Hop Pop's new friend
I hope we see more of Jeremy the Blue Beetle

Once the euphoria wears off, though, Anne and Polly realize Sprig doesn’t know how to run the farm. Despite hypocritically shooting it down, the girls convince Hop Pop to come back for a rematch.

Plantar Family Sumo

In the bout that follows, both boys admit their shortcomings, with Hop Pop promising to listen to their ideas from now on. Satisfied, Sprig throws the match, putting HP in charge once more. True to his word, the old frog starts listening to the family’s suggestions and implements them.

He still burns the ideas he doesn’t like though.

Girl Time

Girl time with Anne and Polly

Concerned that Polly’s picking up too many of Sprig and Hop Pop’s disgusting boy habits, Anne takes her out for some “girl time.” That means spa days, makeovers, and massages. For a tomboy like Polly who enjoys wrestling and being active, it’s torture.

Polly in an uncomfortable dress

When she finally ditches Anne to do things she likes, the girl ends up insulting her by calling her a slob.

Before this escalates further, the townsfolk arrest Anne and the Plantar family. Anne’s been paying with Hop Pop’s IOU’s, and since he’s not good for it, they’re going to debtors prison. The only way they can get out of it is through Polly winning the solid-gold Wartwood trophy for spitting distance; but she’s too ashamed of what Anne said to go all out. After Anne admits she was wrong, though, Polly shatters the town record, saving the family and proving Polly’s fine the way she is.

Polly the new spitting champion of Woodwart

Review

I’ve noticed a trend in Disney’s cartoons lately: they’re trying to make their female leads tomboys. Wendy from Gravity Falls lived this trope while Mabel had shades of it. Star Butterfly’s a comfortable mix with this and traditional girlish traits; and Webby from the DuckTales reboot’s the textbook definition of a tomboy. Polly Plantar is the latest example of this trend.

Polly Plantar: the next Wendy Corduroy and Star Butterfly

I can’t say for sure if its a good idea to be reinforcing a certain image about girls, but I will say this: I like the idea of teaching kids that gender shouldn’t define what people can and can’t do. If a girl’s happy wrestling like Polly is, I’d say its a good thing. As Anne points out at the end of the episode, “girl time” doesn’t have to be about spa trips. I share Sprig and Hop Pop’s love of spa trips.

Overall, I liked this episode because it gave the main cast character development, and it gave us some time with Polly. Until today, she was the only one in the cast to not take the spotlight, and that’s not a good idea for a show. Plus, it teaches kids lessons about listening to others and not letting gender define what you like to do. That’s a sign of a good cartoon in my book.

I Give “Sprig vs. Hop Pop” and “Girl Time” A 4/5

Stray Observations

  • I’m convinced that Tuti the massage therapist might be Buff Frog’s cousin. They both have Russian accents, are warriors, and super strong.
  • Things Hop Pop has in common with Grunkle Stan: Both give out fake currency.
Hop Pop not good at paying people back.

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

Click here to see the first episode on YouTube

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