Amphibia: Escape to Amphibia
April 3, 2022 4:12 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

At last, with the help of their friends and family, Anne and the Plantars are on the verge of returning to Amphibia, but Mr. X and the FBI are closing in.

Escape to Amphibia, written by Gloria Shen and Michele Cavin, storyboarded by Eleisiya Arocha, Danny Ducker, Cassie Zwart and Anna Lencioni, and directed by Joe Johnston and Jenn Strickland.
  • It's the last of Amphibia's Earth sequence, which I'm on record as adoring. It's a fun way to end it though! These lists have gotten longer and longer, which tends to happen when I write things up for Fanfare, so I am purposely trying to keep their length down. But there's a lot of cool details in this episode!
  • We start in a secret FBI office, within "Conspicuous Inc." A computer shows images from several prior episodes, including the Santa robot from the last episode. An FBI bigwig gives Mr. X permission to go after the Plantars based on the evidence, setting up the tension of the episode.
  • Mr. X's equipment request for the mission is for a "tricked-out van," the X-mobile, which is drawn on a sheet of paper as if it were taken from a middle schooler's notebook. Among the requested items is a "pirate sword" (held by a mechanical arm sticking out of the front of the van), "big ol' tires," a "jet rocket," "super fast Wifi like crazy fast," and a "shark fin."
  • Terry figures that the Calamity Box is a music box because musical notes are used as coordinates. Dr. Jan is also there.
  • A cool thing about the episode is, it foregoes the drama of Anne telling her parents she's going back to Amphibia. Her folks realize she has to go, and are fully supportive of her choice. They even pack the Infinite Backpack full of new Earth items for her! The drama involves Anne not being sure she wants to leave.
  • To get supplies for the portal, the Boonchuys and the Plantars go to a trip to Spendco, giving us one last frogs-out-of-water scenario before the feds close in.
  • The Spendco security camera that Mr. X spots Anne and the Plantars through has an infrared mode, it seems. Anne shows up warm, but the Plantars show up cold, of course.
  • Hop Pop's new-found addiction to Earth avocados is the B story in this one that comes into play in the end. Polly carries Frobo with her to Spendco. Anne's parents spend some quality bonding time with their daughter too! It's all really adorable.
  • Anne's improved fighting skills are on display throughout the episode. How much of that is practice, how much is swordfighting training from that dodgy daycare in Amphibia, and how much is Weird Calamity Power, is unknown.
  • I'm really trying to keep the list size down, but I have to ask, with all the stuff they pick up at Spendco, how much money do the Boonchuys have? Hop Pop mentions Mr. Boonchuy has eight credit cards. Remember that Anne goes to a fancy private school. That restaurant has to be really successful.
  • DVDs Polly picks up: Die Difficulty, Dragon Liver, Low Lander, Bottom Gun and some others. Polly has become a fan of action movie star "Bryce Wallace."
  • After Mr. Boonchuy slots all the boxes (and the Plantars) perfectly into the back of their car, the soundtrack plays some pseudo-Russian chiptune music, ala Tetris.
  • When chasing the FBI van through the streets, the Boonchuy car swerves around a van labeled MR. GALAXY, with a familiar space-and-music motif. Nice Steven Universe reference!
  • Polly's enemy list: Duckweed, Buck, Gary, Tritonio, Barry, Gunther, Lucy, Nelly, Clifford, Lacey, Hartford....
  • Anne assembles all the friends the Plantars have made since coming to Earth: the IT Gals, the actor friend Hop Pop made (Humphrey), the girl Sprig saved as Frog-Man (Mary-Jo) and a couple of the Thai grandmas from the temple.
  • A poster in the base advertises "FBI Stand Up Night."
  • Anne knocks out six guards all on her own! Even with training that'd would be very difficult.... It's all done with Star Wars lightsaber-like effects, making good use of that Disney IP.
  • A Cynthia Coven book is visible on the floor of Mr. X's FBI van.
  • Anne is back in her school uniform and armor for the trip back.
  • There's some code that looks like malformed HTML on the screen of the computer Terri uses to open the portal.
  • In the end they don't have enough power to open the portal any wider, but a burst of Calamity energy from Anne charges it and enables it to open wider... but also allows one of Amphibia's monsters to come through to attack the FBI agents. Notably, Anne splits Hop Pop's avocado open with Calamity power to lure the mantis monster through with its aroma.
  • Back in Amphibia... it looks rather different than how Anne and the Plantars remember it....
  • In the backpack: Cookies, a bag of shrimp chips, two books, a power bank, a cat doll, a pack of tennis balls, a pencil another bag of snack chips, a family photo and two yellow objects I don't recognize.
posted by JHarris
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