Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 5 (Aug. 7)

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we take a look at Lionsgate's Season 5 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (actually the eighth DVD release). Ninja Turtles is of course the hit animated series that caused kids and teens to go crazy for in the late '80s and early '90s. See my mini-DVD review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 5:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season Five (Lionsgate, $24.98) brings all 18 episodes from the series' fifth season on this wonderful three-disc DVD set. Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter, April are all back to battle Shredder, Krang and other villains! Like we mentioned in our last review, Season 4 DVD was finally the best DVD set as that had all 39 season four episodes. Prior to that, we were getting volume releases. Volume 6 had the last 11 episodes from season three, plus the first episode of season four. The third season had a total of 47 episodes, so they decided to split up that season into volumes, so volumes 3, 4, 5, and 6 covered season three. Season one had only 5 episodes, so that was on Volume 1. For season 2 there were just 13 episodes, so Lionsgate released that for volume two.
Season five has a total of 18 episodes, and we get ALL of those on this set, plus a few great featurettes with a nice pizza box style packaging.
The packaging is very cool and even better than the last set! The first six volumes were single disc sets so the packaging was simple. Then for season four we got a 3-D plastic-molded packaging of Raphael's head! But this time we get a pizza box style packaging! It is by far the best of the series and maybe among the best packaging I have ever seen on a DVD set! First we have to remove a clear slip sleeve. When we do that we get a little cardboard holder that is red holding a little pizza box! The back of the red cardboard holder we have red and white checked boxes, that pizza places are famous for. We have a synopsis of the set, with Special Feature Facts (like we have Ingredients on boxes of your favorite foods), we have two cool photos of Raphael and Michaelangelo, and two screen shots. The pizza box cover is like a real pizza box. But of course it is much smaller. If you have ever ordered those Pizza Book It pizzas, the box is a bit smaller than that. It also has those red & white checkered boxes. It also says Cowabunga Pizza, with a picture of a pizza and Donatello. Net Wt. 3 discs...very creative!! The back of the pizza box has the same info as we had in the back of the red cardboard holder. OK, now let's open the pizza box! I'm getting hungry!! In fact, it smells like actual pizza...I'm serious. Inside we have to take out the little pizza box digipak. The same cover and back of the pizza box is present in this little digipak. When we open the case once, we see disc one on the top and a photo of Raphael with his fork and chef's hat. Opening it one final time we see disc two in the middle now and disc three on the bottom. Now since this is a pizza box, each disc is shaped in a pizza! Disc one is pepperoni pizza, disc two looks like sausage pizza, and disc three looks like anchovies...yuck. No cheese pizza?? Just kidding, but this is indeed very creative. I hope no one tries to eat these discs. Great packaging...maybe the best ever, but it is a bit hard to put back together. Now that the new movie (TMNT) came out in theaters and now is on DVD, let's hope Lionsgate doesn't cheapen these DVD sets again for this classic animated series.
The episodes run a little over 23:30, with the highest being 23:36 and the lowest at 23:32. The menu screen is like a pizza menu which is quite nice with the options of Play All Episodes (that will be $3.75) and Episode Selection (that will be $4.25), with the theme playing (loops) in the background and each Turtle rotating and a pizza moving clockwise. Each disc's menu has the famous pizza checkered boxes...disc one is red & white (like the packaging), disc two is blue & white, and disc three is green & white. When we go to episode selection, we have a screenshot of the episode in a pizza and we also have the title of the episode. There are napkins on the side, too. There are 5 chapter stops placed, like the last set. One gripe that I have with the menus again are, that there are auto-trailers before the main menu starts. Annoying! There is a Trailer Gallery section on the main menu on disc three, so why do we need auto-trailers? The extras are all on disc three, thus they are listed on that disc only...under "Today's Specials." Very creative!
The video is on par with the other volumes, with dust and debris here and there but I think it is much better than the previous releases. The audio is also on par with the previous releases, not bad...and listenable.
Season four we had extras for the first time...this season we ALSO have extras! We continue the "Under the Shell" featurettes from the last set and also have a historic look at the Turtles. We have "The Turtles: A Ninjatastic Look Back." It runs 17:54 and has interviews with the voices of all four Turtles from the series...Cam Clarke as Leonardo, Barry Gordon as Donatello, Rob Paulsen as Raphael, and Townsend Coleman as Michaelangelo. This is a must watch for any Turtles fan. The we continue the "Under the Shell" profiles from the last set. This time we have "Under the Shell: Usagi Yojimbo" and "Under the Shell: "Baxter Stockman." Usagi Yojimbo's featurette runs 2:53 and has an interview with Townsend Coleman, who voiced this character that appeared in a few episodes. Find out the history of this rabbit. Then we have Baxter Stockman, which features clips and runs 3:25. Stockman is of course the scientist that worked for Shredder and also turned into that huge fly.
I urge fans to buy this set because the packaging is unbelievable and of course this series is so cool! Do we have another full season set with cool packaging and extras because of the new TMNT CG-animated movie coming to DVD this month? Maybe, maybe not. We will see if the quality dips for season 6.
Anyway, this set will be released this Tuesday, click on the link below to purchase all the thrilling season five episodes and you'll just love the pizza box style packaging that will make you want to eat pizza! This set is certainly 'cheesy'...literally!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4.5/5 stars)

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