Nightmare Ned was Disney’s doomed dream

If you were a kid in the 90s playing CD-ROM games, you probably played at least one Disney Interactive game. For kids learning how to use the computer, Disney games were the best of the best, the cream of the crop. 101 Dalmatians: Escape from Devil Manor, Disney’s Animated Storybook: Mulan, Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, you name it. All your favorite Disney franchises, right on your desktop!

Oh, and Nightmare Ned. You remember him, right? That great beloved Disney franchise? … No?

Nightmare Ned was a platformer game released sometime in late 1997 (it’s difficult to get an exact date, due to vague distribution of PC games at the time). It was, as far as I know, the only Disney Interactive game to not be based directly on an established IP – it only had a single season of a cartoon that was made after the game began development, and by the time the game released, the show was no longer airing even in reruns. It was Disney’s one voyage into making ‘original’ video games, and it disappeared as quickly as it came.

So what even was it?

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Bean Dad, or “Maximum Fun Isn’t That Fun 3”

Welcome to the first week of 2021! Today’s Twitter trends are “Bean Dad”, “She’s 9”, and “Six Hours”. All of these trends are about the same topic.

Twitter, as we all know, is a fantastic website to have thoughtful and nuanced discussion about complicated and difficult topics. So it should be of no surprise that “Bean Dad” is about a father who withheld food from his daughter for six hours.

You’re probably here because you’re wondering: who is the Bean Dad? Why is the Bean Dad? Buckle in for a humiliating public spectacle of awful parenting.

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Cuckoo for Blue’s Clues Blue Foods

I really loved Blue’s Clues. Did you ever watch that one? The kids show with the blue cartoon dog?

I loved Blue’s Clues well past the point where most children would have moved on to other shows. I loved Blue’s Clues to the point of accidentally isolating myself from my peers. I was still watching it when I was 8, and even once I lost interest when they kicked Steve off for Joe, I kept watching it with my sibling well into my preteen years.

I had a Blue stuffed toy. I had the Handy Dandy Notebook, with the giant crayons. I wanted the Thinking Chair very badly, and would randomly declare any particularly comfortable chair or even sofa to be the Thinking Chair. I had a Mailbox I would put random crap in. I had several figurines that would regularly get lost and stepped on. I had the Humongous Entertainment PC games, which were very good. My dog was named Blue.

Above anything else, I loved the Blue’s Clues food. I already loved neon-colored food, something that I know many 90s kids can sympathize with, and in my case I especially loved neon Blue Food. I can’t say for certain if my love of the Blue’s Clues Blue Food was because of the show itself, or if I started to love the show more because it was a consistent source of serotonin-inducing Blue Food. I think solving that mystery might be even harder than the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum.

Would you like to see my collection of favorite Blue’s Clues Blue Foods? Come on into my article! Blue skidoo, you can too.

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Wayback: Helga’s Love Secret

Fansites really suck nowadays. For one, I don’t even remember the last time I’ve seen one, do you?

If you don’t remember or weren’t around, there was a time before blogs were our main medium of contact with the fandom world. There were forums, sure, but niche forums were often run by moderators with a tight fist. If you were an independent person wanting to post about your favorite characters or ships, you probably had a fansite, and it was probably hosted on GeoCities.

The shift from fansite to blogging had already begun with the rise of LiveJournal, but journals were still incredibly personal spaces, and advertisers left it the hell alone. If anything, LiveJournal was a great space to promote and link your personal webpages, and they flourished there.

The death of the fansite started to feel very official once fandoms started moving onto Tumblr. It began with the “Fuck Yeah, [Thing]!” formula of blogs, which rapidly supplanted ‘character shrine’ fansites as a space where people posted screencaps of their favorite characters. Then everyone had a blog, including directors and writers and storyboarders and character designers … and now, nobody has a fansite.

Fear not, fellow web surfer: there’s still a place on the Internet where we can see all the fansites we want, and that’s the Wayback Machine. Today I’ve prepared for you a fansite from 2002, before Tumblr devoured the internet and left us with Kpop Twitter.

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Wayback: Taco John’s

We’re all in agreement that 2020 sucks at this point, right? And it’s really not looking like 2021 is going to be any better. Aren’t you getting tired of this bullshit? Wouldn’t you like to go back?

Great news: there’s a magical website called the Wayback Machine where you can go almost anywhere you want, to almost any point in time where the internet existed. So as long as your fond memories aren’t from before the technological corruption of society, you have a chance to get away from this madness, even if just for a little bit.

Maybe unsurprisingly, I’ve been using the Machine a lot recently to escape the monotony of everyday horror. Today, I’d love to take you on a journey with me. This time I’m going to the website for the midwestern fast food chain Taco John’s, all the way back in 2004 – before online apps were a thing, and before competitor Taco Bell fucking betrayed all of us when we needed them the most.

Let’s go back… wayback!

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Mini Cheddars are ruining my life

Mini Cheddars. Mini Cheddars. Mini Cheddars. Mini Cheddars.

It means SOMETHING. It has to, right? It’s everywhere. It’s torturing me. My life was good before Mini Cheddars. (My life was actually really bad but I don’t care.) Maybe my life would be better without Mini Cheddars. Maybe it’s the one thing weighing me down, or maybe it was there, plotting even in my earliest days. How can I know I’ve never eaten a Mini Cheddar? “They’re British or something,” I hear you saying, “and you’ve lived in America your entire life.” I don’t care. Someone smuggled a Mini Cheddar on an international flight one day and decided to poison me.

That’s the only explanation.

Tons of people get commercial jingles stuck in their head. I don’t care. This is not that. This is nothing like that. This is way worse. I am being actively conspired against. These three commercials are all connected and I will show you how.

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