You all know Dorkpool just did this story. But I actually now have a different approach to it. Let’s take it out of context of being a rip-off. Will it improve? Lets see.
I just want to start off by saying if you want an answer at the end, prepare to be disappointed. There just isn't one. No closure to a story is a bad closure.
I was an intern at Cartoon Network Studios for a year in 2012 for my degree in animation. It wasn't paid of course, most internships aren't, but it did have some perks beyond education. To adults it might not seem like a big one, but most kids at the time would go crazy over it. So you are a man-child.
Now, since I worked directly with the editors and animators, I got to view the new episodes days before they aired.(Interns can’t do that) I'll get right to it without giving too many unnecessary details. They had very recently made the Ninjago specials (I watched Ninjago and I am a fan, but there aren’t any specials other than the first two episodes) and the entire staff was somewhat sapped of creativity so it took them longer to start up the season. But the delay lasted longer for more upsetting reasons. There was a problem with the series 4 premiere(A.k.A Rise of the snakes, WAIT thats season 2, there is no season 4) that set everyone and everything back for several months.
Me and two other interns were in the editing room along with the lead animators and sound editors for the final cut. We received the copy that was supposed to be "The Snake King"(OBJECTION, The Snake King is episode 6) and gathered around the screen to watch. Now, given that it isn't final yet animators often put up a mock title card, sort of an inside joke for us, with phony, often times lewd titles, such as "How drugs don't work" instead of "Never Trust a Snake" when Lloyd joins the Ninja. Nothing particularly funny but work related chuckles. So when we saw the title card "Pythor's Suicide" we didn't think it more than a morbid joke.(HA HA suicide is funny, BITE ME)
One of the interns did a small throat laugh at it. The story began with Pythor playing the Sacred Flute, hitting a few sour notes.(Objection he is a master at playing it cause he is immune to its powers) We hear Skales laughing outside(Skales isn’t a goofball) and Pythor stops, yelling at him to keep it down as he has to use the Sacred Flute against the other Generals in the Slither Pit battle, and needs to practice. Skales says okay and goes to see Acidicus with Fangtom. The sword swish screen comes up and we see Pythor playing the Sacred Flute. This is when things began to seem off. Yes something is off, while Pythor is immune to the flutes powers, all other snakes are affected by it, kinda like a dog whistle)
While playing, a few frames repeat themselves, but the sound doesn't (at this point sound is synced up with animation, so, yes, that's not common) but when he stops playing, the sound finishes as if the skip never happened. There is slight murmuring in the crowd before they begin to boo him. Not normal cartoon booing that is common in the show, but you could very clearly hear malice in it. Some of them said things like, "You jackass!" and "Go to hell!" Seriously?
(Horribly written much? USE COMPLETE SENTENCES)
Pythor's in full frame and looks visibly afraid.(Pythor isn’t very cowardly of other snakes, he is not a wimp) The shot goes to the crowd, with Skales in center frame, and he too is booing, very much unlike him.(No, I would expect him to do that) That isn't the oddest thing, though. What is odd is everyone had hyper realistic eyes.(They are part snake. They have snake eyes,NOT HUMAN!) Very detailed. Clearly not shots of real people's eyes, but something a bit more real than CGI. The pupils were red. Some of us looked at each other, obviously confused, but since we weren't the writers, we didn't question its appeal to children yet.
The shot goes to Pythor sitting on the edge of his bed(He doesn’t sleep), looking very forlorn. The view out of his window is of a night sky so it isn't very long after the Slither Pit fight. The unsettling part is at this point there is no sound. Literally no sound. Not even the feedback from the speakers in the room. It's as if the speakers were turned off, though their status showed them working perfectly. He just sat there, blinking, in this silence for about 30 seconds, then he started to sob softly. He put his hands over his eyes and cried quietly for a full minute more, all the while a sound in the background very slowly growing from nothing to barely audible. It sounded like a slight breeze through a forest.
The screen slowly begins to zoom in on his face. By slow I mean it's only noticeable if you look at shots 10 seconds apart side by side. His sobbing gets louder, more full of hurt and anger. The screen then twitches a bit, as if it twists in on itself, for a split second then back to normal. The wind-through-the-trees sound gets slowly louder and more severe, as if a storm is brewing somewhere. The eerie part is this sound, and Squidward's(Ignoring it) sobbing, sounded real, as if the sound wasn't coming from the speakers but as if the speakers were holes the sound was coming through from the other side. As good as sound as the studio likes to have, they don't purchase the equipment to be that good to produce sound of that quality.
Below the sound of the wind and sobbing, very faint, something sounded like laughing. It came at odd intervals and never lasted more than a second so you had a hard time pinning it (we watched this show twice, so pardon me if things sound too specific but I've had time to think about them). After 30 seconds of this, the screen blurred and twitched violently and something flashed over the screen, as if a single frame was replaced.
The lead animation editor paused and rewound frame by frame. What we saw was horrible. It was a still photo of a dead child. He couldn't have been more than 6. The face was mangled and bloodied, one eye dangling over his upturned face, popped. He was naked down to his underwear, his stomach crudely cut open and his entrails laying beside him. He was laying on some pavement that was probably a road.(POINTLESS)
The most upsetting part was that there was a shadow of the photographer. There was no crime tape, no evidence tags or markers, and the angle was completely off for a shot designed to be evidence. It would seem the photographer was the person responsible for the child's death. We were of course mortified, but pressed on, hoping that it was just a sick joke.(Yeah, a dead body and a horrifying episode, just a joke.)
The screen flipped back to Pythor, still sobbing, louder than before, and half body in frame. There was now what appeard to be blood running down his face from his eyes.(even though not shown, it is safe to say it’s green, green blood can’t be realistic. PERIOD) The blood was also done in a hyper realistic style, looking as if you touched it you'd get blood on your fingers. The wind sounded now as if it were that of a gale blowing through the forest; there were even snapping sounds of branches. The laughing, a deep baritone, lasting at longer intervals and coming more frequently. After about 20 seconds, the screen again twisted and showed a single frame photo.
The editor was reluctant to go back, we all were, but he knew he had to. This time the photo was that of what appeared to be a little girl, no older than the first child. She was laying on her stomach, her barrettes in a pool of blood next to her. Her left eye was too popped out and popped, naked except for underpants. Her entrails were piled on top of her above another crude cut along her back. Again the body was on the street and the photographer's shadow was visible, very similar in size and shape to the first. I had to choke back vomit and one intern, the only female in the room, ran out. The show resumed.
About 5 seconds after this second photo played, Pythor went silent, as did all sound, like it was when this scene started. He put his claws down and his eyes were now done in hyper realism like the others were in the beginning of this episode. They were bleeding, bloodshot, and pulsating. He just stared at the screen, as if watching the viewer. After about 10 seconds, he started sobbing, this time not covering his eyes. The sound was piercing and loud, and most fear inducing of all is his sobbing was mixed with screams.
Tears and blood were dripping down his face at a heavy rate. The wind sound came back, and so did the deep voiced laughing, and this time the still photo lasted for a good 5 frames.
The animator was able to stop it on the 4th and backed up. This time the photo was of a boy, about the same age, but this time the scene was different. The entrails were just being pulled out from a stomach wound by a large hand, the right eye popped and dangling, blood trickling down it. The animator proceeded. It was hard to believe, but the next one was different but we couldn't tell what. He went on to the next, same thing. He want back to the first and played them quicker and I lost it. I vomited on the floor, the animating and sound editors gasping at the screen. The 5 frames were not as if they were 5 different photos, they were played out as if they were frames from a video. We saw the hand slowly lift out the guts, we saw the kid's eyes focus on it, we even saw two frames of the kid beginning to blink.
The lead sound editor told us to stop, he had to call in the creator to see this. Mr. Hagemann arrived within about 15 minutes. He was confused as to why he was called down there, so the editor just continued the episode. Once the few frames were shown, all screaming, all sound again stopped. was just staring at the viewer, full frame of the face, for about 3 seconds. The shot quickly panned out and that deep voice said "DO IT, NOW" and we see in Pythor's hands a knife.(At least they were decent enough to change the weapon to Pythors dagger) He immediately thrusts the knife in his chest and carves it down to his stomach and dies. Pythor's fatal cut wound bled, but the blood was real. You could see his ribcage and organs. The last 5 seconds of this episode show his body on the bed. Then the episode ends.
Mr. Hagemann is obviously angry at this. He demanded to know what the heck was going on. Most people left the room at this point, so it was just a handful of us to watch it again. Viewing the episode twice only served to imprint the entirety of it in my mind and cause me horrible nightmares. I'm sorry I stayed.(You deserved it you idiot)
The only theory we could think of was the file was edited by someone in the chain from the drawing studio to here. The CTO(WHO?) was called in to analyze when it happened. The analysis of the file did show it was edited over by new material. However, the timestamp of it was a mere 24 seconds before we began viewing it.(Highly Illogical) All equipment involved was examined for foreign software and hardware as well as glitches, as if the time stamp may have glitched and showed the wrong time, but everything checked out fine. We don't know what happened and to this day nobody does.(Still no closure)
There was an investigation due to the nature of the photos, but nothing came of it. No child seen was identified and no clues were gathered from the data involved nor physical clues in the photos. I never believed in unexplainable phenomena before, but now that I have something happen and can't prove anything about it beyond anecdotal evidence, I think twice about things.
Unfortunately, this episode was aired (ONLY ONCE), so, a skeleton popped out and I died.(Unsatisfying ending)
THIS STORY STILL SUCKS. It breaks continuety. The main character is an idiot. The ending has no closure. And you can’t take this story out of the context of being a ripoff. If you want a riff on how it’s a ripoff. Read Dorkpool’s Riff.
I literally want to turn this story into a being, and OMNISLASH AND GO MORTAL KOMBAT ON THE ABOMINATION IT IS. I could write a good version of this story, I COULD.
I am going to get some therapy from Skales. See ya later.
*yells of cam*