Day 10 - Favorite episode
It’s a tough choice, but in the end, I think if there was only one episode I could ever watch again it would be “Peril in the Pits.” The second runner up (and near tie) would be “The Mighty Monstromurk Menace” two-parter, and third would be “Mom.”
To me, “Peril in the Pits” is the perfect Rainbow Brite episode.
Rainbow is suitably magical, I love the scene where she, Starlight and Twink materialize. It perfectly conveys how nonhuman/magical and other-worldly Rainbow and friends are. They are something that we mere mortals can’t see, that is, unless they want us too.
There are so many little things I love in this first episode, such as how she makes the rainbow that accidentally colors Brian. The orb she created was so cool, and her blowing the rainbow out of it is a nice bit of animation, she looks so cute. These are samples of things I wish were more consistent throughout the series. She never makes the orb again, rainbows just come straight out of her belt, and I think something is lost with that.
While her belt is important, I like the orb, and the organic act of bringing a rainbow to life with her breath as opposed to the mechanical, somewhat more sterile act of pushing of the star button on her belt.
As mentioned in a previous post, the scene of Brian walking into the rainbow is brilliant. There is a similar scene in the Monstromurk episodes, but it’s cooler here. It’s the first time it happens on the show, and the one it happens to is a human, on Earth, as opposed to it being Murky and Lurky in Rainbow Land were something like that is much more expected (though still cool).
It’s also the episode where we learn the most about Brian. Things like his really wanting to be on the baseball team, his father being a lawyer, and his almost being eleven. He’s not as free with personal info in later episodes, in fact he hardly makes any appearances after the first three episodes, which I think is a shame.
Murky Dismal was pretty competent in this episode. He captured four Color Kids seemingly effortlessly, making him a legitimate threat. He’s such a threat to color that even his foot steps drain color and life out of flowers! Something that is, again, never repeated in later episodes. But in this episode it’s quite easy to see why the sprites and Color Kids feel threatened by his presence.
A competent villain, plus real danger and seemingly hopeless odds add a lot to a plot. Even though I knew what was going to happen because I’d seem it a million times, I was always on the edge of my metaphorical seat as a child (Like many, I always sat on the floor, as close to the tv as I could get).
I also think it was a great touch that this episode began on Earth, and ended on Earth. It helped to create a feeling that the viewer was also part of this magical journey to another world, part of the adventure of meeting Rainbow Brite. It transported me out of my living room, and at the end brought me safely back again.
Later episodes are lacking that. Most of them don’t have Earth or Brian in them at all and take place exclusively in Rainbow Land and the Pits. That takes away some of the magic for me.
So there you have it. My favorite Rainbow Brite episode, the first ever episode aired, “Peril in the Pits.”