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Thai Fusion Food Wars

Amphibia Episode 9 Review/Recap

In today’s episode of Amphibia, Anne put’s her pride on the line for her family’s Thai cooking, while Hop Pop goes Grunkle Stan to save his stand.

Lily Pad Thai

When Anne and the Plantar’s go to Stumpy’s Diner for lunch, Anne overhears the restaurant being chewed out by local food critic, Albus Duckweed. Fed up with him criticizing how to run a restaurant, Anne challenges him to come back in two days, and she’ll have turned the place around. Anne pours everything she has into cleaning, remodeling, and changing the menu. By the time she’s done, Stumpy’s Diner is Wartwood’s first Frog-Thai fusion restaurant.

With Anne’s help, Stumpy’s more successful than ever, but Duckweed’s still not impressed. Anne brings out the big guns with her family’s squid and basil special. Unfortunately, the Kraken they use isn’t dead and almost kills everyone before they can beat it down. Amazingly, Duckweed loves the experience and recommends Stumpy’s to everyone, saving the restaurant.

Plantar’s Last Stand

Hop Pop’s always prided himself on his family’s vegetable stand and their policy of honesty. That’s of little help, though, when Mayor Toadstool quadruples the rent on stands at the farmer’s market. Desperate to keep their livelihood, Hop takes Anne’s suggestion and starts selling a new health drink. Dubbed Plantar’s Potions, Anne encourages HP to make stuff up, and he starts to get into it.

When the Plantar’s run out of vegetables, Hop Pop goes from Grunkle Stan to full on Eddy and starts selling garbage as Potions. When his oldest customer reminds him of his family’s reputation for honesty, the guilt leads him to confess. Right as a group of flies almost kidnap the kids, forcing him to give up the potions to save them. In the end, he keeps his reputation but loses the stand from the lack of money.

Review

One of the biggest inspirations for Amphibia was creator Matt Braly’s summer trips to his family in Thailand. Like Anne, he got confused at first by the new land he was in, but he grew to love it. Now he finally gets to share some of his cultures with the kids who watch Disney.

Brenda Song, Anne’s voice actress, also happens to be Thai-American; both have said that portraying Thai culture through Amphibia means a lot to them. After seeing Lily Pad Thai, I can tell that Matt and his team put their hearts into this. They should be proud of what they did.

Speaking of pride, I was proud to see Hop Pop stick to his honest ways rather than become a con-artist. I have to admit, though, he’s good at being a salesperson. Seeing him in action reminded me of Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls; makes sense, since Matt worked on the show. It felt good to see another show I love to inspire a new one. Maybe someone who works on Amphibia now could give us their hit show in the future.

Altogether, this was one of my favorite episodes of Amphibia. I loved seeing how passionate Anne was about her culture. I also think that Hop Pop losing the stand will end up playing a more significant role down the line in the show. We’ll wait and see. Here’s hoping Stumpy’s keeps its Thai theme, though!

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

Click here to see the first episode on YouTube

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