Nightmarish Villains and Nightmarish Abuelita Visit on This Week’s “Hamster & Gretel”

This week’s Hamster & Gretel proves there’s nothing scarier than our deepest fears, except maybe our grandmother.

The Nightmarionette

Kevin and Gretel are going through the belongings of their younger years, being forced to pick toys to donate and get rid of. One of the toys is a sock puppet that Kevin used to entertain and cheer up Gretel with, Mr. Grumpypuss. As he is playing, Kevin receives a phone call from Hiromi, much to his embarrassment. While I thought this would have more to do with the episode, it is merely just a reminder that Kevin has an awkward crush on Hiromi.

But, as with every week, a crime is happening in the city and Hamster and Gretel are on their way to catch this episode’s baddy. In this instance, it’s a guy who scares his victims out of their minds— The Nightmarionette! It’s a bit confusing, he’s not a puppet, but a  former neuroscientist who is now the puppeteer of fears, projecting highly realistic holograms of someone’s deepest fears right in front of them to stop them in their tracks.

That’s exactly what he does to Hamster and Gretel, with Gretel for some reason seeing a giant scorpion and with a toaster body, and Hamster seeing a dark tube. The trick works and the two are so scared they don’t take on the villain. Kevin comes in to rescue the two with the minivan, and while consulting with Fred, we realize that the toaster scorpion thing originates from nightmares that Gretel has had since she was little. As for Hamster’s tube….that’s his own problem to deal with. Kevin suggests “Immersion Therapy” as a solution for Gretel, subjecting her to countless encounters with some sort of Scorpion Toaster in this installment’s musical montage.

After the number, we see Hamster cure himself of his fear, flying back to the pet store where he was acquired and addressing the store worker, Joni. Turns out, that tube thing he was afraid of was Joni’s vacuum that she would use next to his cage. After Joni apologizes, Hamster’s fear is cured and he joins Gretel, ready to take on the villain.

Even the local news is confused by the villain’s name as well, as he has nothing to do with being a wooden puppet, but they are reporting that The Nightmarionette is making his way to the city’s gold vault. All because the city’s economy will collapse, making all the residents…AFRAID.

Gretel takes on the Nightmarionette, and we see the Toaster Scorpion again. Realizing it’s not work, the villain scans deeper into her unconscious and finds something even more terrifying. A Blender Lobster! Causing more confusion than anything as to why her fears are manifestations of kitchen appliances, Kevin saves the day with his sock puppet, Mr. Grumpypuss, cheering up Gretel and helping her defeat the villain, launching him through a harp store where he gets tangled up in strings and it makes sense now. A marionette!

Abuelita’s World

Kevin and Gretel’s parents are heading to a Handyman Convention, and Kevin takes the time to thank them for their trust in him to guard that house and protect Gretel. Too bad it's a moot point since Abuelita is coming to take care of them while their parents are gone! The kids are quickly reminded that there is only one rule in her house and that is to follow all the rules. After the kids hand over their phone, Get ready for a song!

As the song concludes, Abuelita says it's time for her novellas, and if the kids don't want to watch, they can watch Abuelita watch her novellas. Fred comes over, and wonders why they aren’t answering their phones, and suggests that maybe they watch the news, because something important might be happening right at this moment. Kevin has a plan that involves a flan, as we learn moments later make Abuelita sleepy. As Abuelita passes out almost instantly, the siblings turn on the news to find a giant baby terrorizing the city. A former disgraced politician (and news reporter ex-boyfriend) who kept losing numbers is now throwing a tantrum downtown.

On their way out the door, Kevin and Gretel are stopped by Abuelita, who reminds them that she can never trust someone who is hiding something from her. They lie and say they’re heading to the park, and Abuelita says that that actually sounds nice and insists they go together, but not in the unsafe van, rather on the underfunded safety of the public bus. The bus actually runs into the chaos and Abuelia gets out and asks the giant baby why he’s throwing a tantrum. Cue the origin story! His election results kept dwindling year after year, and his news reporter girlfriend ended the relationship so he decided to give the people what they wanted. A taller, younger man ready to run the city, However, after playing with some formulas, he became too tall and too young. Get ready for some King Kong-esque antics as the big baby now takes Abuelita and starts climbing some of the city’s buildings.

Fortunately, the city has some very specific stores for Maracas and Pacifiers so they can calm the tantrum throwing big baby without harming Abuelita. There’s also some nearby beams to help build a crib real quick to keep the big baby in. Abuelita is saved, and finds out Gretel is missing. Trying to cover for her, Kevin explains that she is in the bathroom and gets in trouble for letting her go to the bathroom alone while all of this is going on. Leftover destruction from Big Baby nearly takes out Abuelita again, and Gretel reveals her powers and saves her grandmother once again.

Now, the secret’s out but Abuelita knows they were lying to her to do the right thing, so she’s okay and their secret is safe with her. So now, Hamster, Gretel, Kevin, Fred, and Abuelita are the only ones who know their true identity.

This episode of Hamster & Gretel is now available on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app. You can also catch up with some of the earlier episodes now on Disney+.

Sign up for Disney+ or the Disney Streaming Bundle (Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-supported Hulu) now

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.