Amphibia: Lily Pad Thai
August 11, 2021 2:23 AM - Season 1, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Local food critic Albus Duckweed threatens to close the family's go-to restaurant, Stumpy's, with a bad review, so Anne promises to turn the place around in two days. As a result they almost die.

  • The premise, of Anne bringing Thai food to Wartwood, and thus to Amphibia, is terrific, and helps make this a standout episode of the first season.
  • We find out a bit more about Anne's life on Earth; her family runs a Thai restaurant that she helps out at a bit, called Thai Go. (She has pictures of it on her phone, although she has to flip through photos of Domino to get to them.) This explains why Anne can cook fairly well for her age, and relative to the Plantars.
  • It's worth taking a moment to notice how cartoons tend to depict cooking skill, an ability that in real life consists almost entirely of knowledge, which isn't something that reads well on-screen. Amphibia shows Anne can cook by having her dexterously chopping a turnip. (BTW notice, the green of the turnip just vanishes as Anne chops it up.)
  • The usual plot for this kind of story goes like this: character unwisely boasts that they can do something, that thing is either outside character's ability entirely or at least there is some restriction that makes it impossible, character fails but is wiser for it, then other characters forgive that character because they have a good heart and only wanted to help. Well here, Anne actually does make Stumpy's into a much better place to eat, and it's a change that lasts into other episodes. She has difficulty (because Albus has a chip on his shoulder), and there's a complication (kraken attack) but succeeds in the end. Anne does good.
  • The Plantars don't actually play a major role in this episode, it's the first episode where the focus is on Anne and minor characters, here, Stumpy and Albus Duckweed.
  • Albus Duckweed writes reviews for the paper. I don't think we ever actually see Wartwood's newspaper in the show, although we do see later newspapers from several other towns in the valley.
  • Stumpy is missing both and and one leg. He has various attachments to allow him to run his restaurant. BTW, it must be especially difficult to run a restaurant when you have to source your own food from the wild.
  • The story says Anne made a wager, but really, there is no penalty for losing other than what would have happened anyway, and the only benefit of success is preventing that thing from happening, because for all his jerkiness Albus doesn't seem willing to give Stumpy's a bad review if the place actually improves. Calling it a wager seems more a part of the plot template of the episode than what it actually is. I must run out to the message board and inform the world! Wait, I'm already doing that right now. (Not that it's really a problem, it's just fun to read these stories way more closely than most people would.)
  • Kevin MacDonald of The Kids in the Hall voices Duckweed perfectly, he's one of my favorite characters for that.
  • Anne unrolls a blueprint showing her planned renovations for Stumpy's Diner. How do you get blueprints made in Wartwood? Frog Kinko's? It's only on screen for a split second, so here's the notes written on the blueprint: ENTRANCE decorated with orchids; kitchen entry <>Full Kitchen Renovation*; lotus leaves on walls; =ALL= NEW MENU; MUSHROOM STOOLS; *LOTUS* FLOWERS; FLOOR MAT (needs change); Attention to small details * -> BIG Difference! There's also various notations of dimensions. It's almost drawn out as if it could be a real blueprint, a nice touch!
  • Duckweed is present the first time Thai food has ever been seen in this froggy world but is still set to give the restaurant a bad review, he must really have it out for Stumpy. BTW, how about a world in which a critic somehow wields enough community respect that their word alone could destroy a reputation? Even extremely famous critics like Roger Ebert never wield that kind of power in this age.
  • Sprig doesn't feature much here, but we do get another instance showing that he is absolutely incapable of leaving a button unpressed.
  • After Anne's renovation, later episodes use the new design for Stumpy's seen in this episode.
  • Predator of the episode: kraken
  • From the backpack: actually, Anne probably could have sourced the material for her Thai hostess costume from Wartwood, so, nothing out of the backpack this time out.
posted by JHarris
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