|In November of 1990, Dirty Pair II: The Dirty Pair Does Disneyland, was still in production (we had voiced about 5 minutes of the total thing). Since we were also planning an Anime party room for LOSCON 17, Corellian decided to do a short promo for Dirty Pair II to see what the audience response would be. He said that he didn't really have much to work with because we had just started doing voice over, but he was going to try and come up with something. The result was a two minute promo with about a minute of lead in, and another minute of actual stuff we had completed.
We showed this promo at our LOSCON 17 party room, and almost immediately after it ended, B. D. Banzai approached Phillip Sral and said, "Not bad, but you have to allow me a little bit of animosity since you stole my title." To which Phillip replied, "What do you mean by that?" To which B. D. stated, "`Dirty Pair Does Dishes', `Dirty Pair Does Disneyland', you have to admit yours is just a rip-off of my title." At which point Phillip described how we had come up with our title as related in the Production Notes section above. If this had been the only thing B. D. had said, Phillip would not have taken a jab at her, or Pinesalad. However, about a month after the Convention, the following article, written by Cameron Wills, appeared on Page 23 in Volume 5, Issue #25 (1991) of the Anime Fanzine The Rose:
Thanksgiving weekend brought with it a convention for the Los Angeles area called "Los Con". For those of you unfamiliar with this convention, it is a general science-fiction con with dealers from the neighboring areas.
Evidently, the convention planners didn't feel there were enough anime fans, so there was no "official" anime room. However, some people in the area who are in a group called Sherbert Productions ran an anime room out of a hotel room. Those people should be applauded because it was, generally speaking, always packed and hopefully the convention planners got the hint that anime is a living part of fandom.
Sherbert Productions makes cartoon parodies similar in idea and work as Pinesalad Productions who makes the Dirty Pair and Robotech parodies. Sherbert Productions has a Dirty Pair cartoon, an Urusei Yatsura cartoon, and a Bubblegum Crisis episode all in English. Since they ran the video room, it was no surprise that they featured some of their cartoons including an upcoming events segment.
In the segment I got the feeling that something in their work was missing. I had seen their other two cartoons and, unfortunately, found that the best parts of their work was in the original animation as opposed to their script or their voice actors. The quality is very good but when compared to Pinesalad shows, they lack a certain amount of originality.
Sherbert showed their version of Dirty Pair (the show PPI became known for), which incidentally has a Carl Macek plot line, something seen in almost every Pinesalad cartoon dating back to their first Dirty Pair. As well, Sherbert's new cartoon, which they showed clips for, is entitled "Dirty Pair Does Disney", the name being slightly similar to "Dirty Pair Does Dishes" by Pinesalad. While the episode looks very funny (actually it looks to be their best work yet) it is the Dirty Pair OAV Halloween episode which has about ten minutes of dialogue and the rest is humor the Japanese made up.
Sherbert Productions has such potential that it is sad that they need to imitate other works. Hopefully this group will be a little more original and be able to make their mark.
Upon reading this, Phillip was a bit pissed off, not because the article was almost totally negative regarding our Dirty Pair II, but that the reviewer based most of his accusations on only 60 seconds of actual footage. In subsequent talks with B. D. after all this blew over, she swears she had absolutely nothing to do with the above article. However, at the time Phillip first saw it, he believed that if she didn't write the entire thing personally, she was at least looking over the shoulder of the reviewer as he wrote it. So, Phillip decided that he was going to do something so completely original, B. D. would be flabbergasted. Phillip would put B. D. Banzai into the parody as a character.
There was a blonde female character that was originally written to be Priscilla Presley, (playing on the Presley character joke we had going in both Dirty Pair parodies). Phillip re-wrote all the scenes involving this character, and made her B. D. Banzai. He then wrote a scene where B. D. Banzai encounters Kei and Yuri and says, "Ah, Kei and Yuri. Want some Pineapple salad?" To which Yuri replies, "No thank you. We prefer Sherbert." To which B. D. Banzai remarks, "Sherbert makes me ill."
Also, after we completed Dirty Pair II: The Dirty Pair Does Disneyland, Phillip wrote a reply to The Rose's earlier article, and asked the Editor Lorraine Savage to print it if she felt it was appropriate. For those of you who may be wondering how we proved to the staff of the Rose that we were who we said we were, we sent Lorraine a short tape containing a few VERY SHORT snippets of our work. She evidently did believe us since the following article appeared on Page 4 in Volume 5, Issue #27 (1991) of The Rose:
My name is Phillip Sral of Sherbert Productions. This letter is in response to an article about us written by Cameron Wills that was published in The Rose #25. First, I would like to thank Mr. Wills for his kind comments regarding the Japanese Animation Room Sherbert ran at Loscon 17. However, there are some points Wills raises about the nature of Sherbert Productions that I would like to respond to.
Wills states that Sherbert "makes cartoon parodies similar in idea and work as Pinesalad Productions", and later writes, "when compared to Pinesalad shows, they lack a certain amount of originality". This is Wills opinion, and he is most welcome to it. However, we are a group local to California and most of [The Rose's] readers have probably not had the opportunity to view the work of Sherbert Productions for themselves.
First, while it is true that we mainly produce parodies, I take exception to the comment "similar in work". Pinesalad's stock and trade is to use human voices to create the majority of their sound effects (i.e. someone in the background saying something like "ker-splash"). Sherbert takes great pains to find realistic sound effects, either by using commercial sound effect CDs or when that fails, by creating the required sound effect using foley techniques. Our sound editor then spends a large amount of time making sure everything is in sync with what you see on the screen. "Similar in work"? No, I believe we put much more time and effort into our final product.
I also take exception to "similar in idea". Yes, we have indeed done two Dirty Pair parodies, but I think the similarity ends there. Sherbert's first Dirty Pair was entitled The Arrest of Mr. Macek. It was done using the OVA series prison episode, and the plot is as follows: At Harmony Gold Headquarters, Carl Macek is holding animation fans prisoner and forcing them to watch Robotech II: The Sentinels. Kei and Yuri's job is to arrest Macek and restore order. In the video I also have jokes about Adam Warren and Toren Smith (regarding their DP comic), Battle of the Planets and Voltron
What is the point in relating this synopsis to [The Rose's] readers? Just this - Sherbert's first DP video had a story that revolves around the person of Carl Macek directly (he appears throughout the video). Wills asserts that all of Pinesalad's DP parodies have plots relating to Carl Macek, and that Sherbert is just copying their style. This is not true!
I have since seen all of Pinesalad's DP parodies. They all contain one or two jokes about Macek, but none of the Pinesalad stories center about the person of Macek or have a character that is supposed to be Macek appear in their videos.
In Pinesalad's first DP, Kei and Yuri go after some counterfeiters of Monopoly money. In the second, they go after a character from Megazone 23. Their third involves a pasta recipe and the Mafia. Their latest (done over a year ago) involves a drug smuggling ring. My point in all this is that if you apply Wills' logic to Sherbert's first DP, it is just as fair to say that it has a plot line involving Adam Warren and Toren Smith (two people that Pinesalad has never written about in any of their scripts).
Wills' assertion that the title of Sherbert's latest production, The Dirty Pair Does Disneyland, is derived from the earlier Pinesalad title, The Dirty Pair Does Dishes (the one involving the counterfeiters), is utterly ridiculous. When I write a script, I like to give it a title that relates to the story I'm presenting. This one makes use of the DP Halloween episode, and in my script, Walt Disney's brain has been put into the body of the Terminator, and he goes to Disneyland to seek revenge on Michael Eisner. If anyone has seen the Japanese version of the episode, it has a lot of Disney-type characters, and I take full advantage of this. The form of the title was actually a play on Debbie Does Dallas. In all honesty, when I came up with the title, I didn't realize that Pinesalad's first DP had an actual title. It doesn't appear in any form whatsoever on their video.
Sherbert did indeed produce an Urusei Yatsura parody (which has absolutely nothing to do with Carl Macek, Robotech, or the Dirty Pair). Our production of Bubblegum Crisis 5 was not a parody, but a straight translation with all the original music and sound effects intact. To my knowledge, Pinesalad has never even attempted to do a straight translation, and in the last three years has done only Dirty Pair parodies. Wills states that Sherbert "lacks originality", but I believe that if you compare the work that Sherbert and Pinesalad have done, you can see for yourself which one really "lacks originality".
In looking back on all this Phillip does feel bad about the Pinesalad joke, and sees how some people might consider this stepping over the line. In his defense, he can only say that he's human, and at the time he was pretty upset with Pinesalad Productions for what he perceived as an unjustified attack.