The Dangers of Social Media and Major Franchises According to “Hamster and Gretel”
The latest episode of Hamster & Gretel shows us the dangers of social media, as well as artists being overshadowed by big media franchises.
For whom the Belle Trolls
A villain attacks the city with their divorced cakes—- the whole city now has to experience a messy divorce…cake. After defeating the villain, Gretel is approached by two children who do NOT want her autograph and instead want to know why she hates toddlers so much.
Bailey runs up to Gretel at school the next day and explains. It turns out that this is the work of a social media influencer, Belle, who slanders Hamster and Gretel to gain followers. Soon after, when Gretel helps an elderly woman across the street after she trips and falls and spills her groceries, Belle is conveniently located nearby to capture the footage, reverse it, and post it online to make it look like Gretel was busy to throw the groceries on the ground. . The story made the local news, where we find out that Belle went viral overnight because of her posts.
Bailey doesn’t stand for any malarkey that tarnishes the good name of Hamster and Gretel, so she recruits Fred who is good with computers to help her and take Belle down herself.
After a musical number about building influence through followers, which is so frighteningly accurate it doesn’t even read humorous, we see another montage of videos edited by Belle to make Gretel look bad.
Kevin does what he can to cheer up Gretel, but to no avail. Despite Bailey’s best efforts, the police show up and try to arrest Hamster and Gretel for their new life of crime they’ve seen on social media, along with Kevin for help and assistance. Even though Gretel would surrender herself, she saves Kevin and flees the scene with him.
After a lot of effort, Fred and Bailey are able to get into Belle’s systems, but each of the thousands of files is encrypted with a unique password, so unless they have thousands of people who will volunteer their time to help, it seems like all effort to clear Gretel’s name may be lost. Luckily, Bailey is the president of the Hamster and Gretel fan club, and it has thousands of loyal members!
Kevin has arranged for an appearance on a talk show to help Gretel maintain her heroic image, but Belle is also there. After lying and manipulating and twisting Gretel’s words, Belle finally shows unedited footage, this time of her fleeing the scene of a crime with Kevin. She goes outside and is about to be arrested by the waiting police, when Bailey arrives with Fred and an army of Hamster and Gretel fans. They show the unedited footage for all to see on the Times Square-esque screen outside, proving Belle is a fraud just for the followers. Belle is then arrested, but for completely unrelated charges – the practice of unlicensed cosmetology.
An Art House Divided
We open with a distinctly villainous type posing as a seat inspector installing restraints at a local theater before learning that Kevin himself is going to a special advanced screening of “Larry The Magic Boy” thanks to tickets he obtained from Fred got Unfortunately, Bailey and Gretel are forced by their mother on Kevin to join, so any hope that Kevin will turn this into a date with Hiromi has now gone out the window.
Fred is busy taking tickets when the same ridiculous type from earlier sneaks in, pretending to be the projectionist for the exact show of “Larry the Magic Boy” that everyone is currently lining up to attend.
Hiromi and Kevin get snacks while the younger kids take their seats, and we see our villain set up a special projector and also get his backstory – turns out that when he was in film school, he debuted his project in an empty theater , because a new trailer for “Larry the Magic Boy” dropped and everyone went to watch it on their phones.
Kevin still can’t figure out if this is a date with Hiromi or not, and that serves as the premise for this episode’s musical number, and there are three kids – well, two kids and a hamster, between them. Kevin gets the popcorn, which is covered in an alarming amount of butter, causing him to spill it and he goes to the snack bar for more. Gretel goes with him and wants more drinks. Since we’ve already seen the seat restraints installed, I feel like we already know where it’s going.
The villain is in the projection room, ready to debut his new film to his captive audience and sure enough he activates the restraints and everyone is strapped in for a four hour experimental short. Everyone, except for Kevin, Gretel, and the theater guy, Fred.
In the theater the crowd goes crazy because the film has no narrative structure or coherent storyline and the film is pure, torturous, painful.
Fred knows exactly what’s going on, with Grietie getting dressed and destroying the door to get into the projection room… even though Fred has the keys. However, Hamster is not present as he is actually enjoying the film shown on the screen. The villain, Arthouse, splits himself into an optical illusion so Gretel can’t figure out which one is the real version of him, until she quickly sees the only one casting a shadow. Game over.
As she goes to apprehend, she embarks on a bully trip that wraps her and Kevin in celluloid that is 2% stronger than Gretel’s powers. Now, nothing can stop Arthouse from his big plans to… make everyone watch his movie so he can now talk non-stop about the thing he made.
Out of options, Kevin remembers his shirt is covered in congealed theater popcorn butter. Gretel uses her heat vision to heat the substance which liquefies into a convenient lubricant and allows them to escape and free the audience. Kevin goes after Arthouse and Gretel takes the projector, now in a destruction sequence mode, out of the building.
Kevin tackles Arthouse and he warns everyone to stand back, he has the theaters only copy of Larry the Magic Boy and he will crush it if anyone makes a move.
Luckily, Hamster is small enough and strong enough to capture Arthouse, even if it’s a little awkward for him considering how much he loved the movie.
In the end, Hirimo had a great night too, but if only Kevin knew how she felt about him too…
This episode of Hamster & Gretel is now available on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app. You can catch up with earlier episodes of the series, which are now streaming on Disney+.