Friday, August 08, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1

Welcome to a special Friday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we look at Warner Home Video's Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1. Tiny Toon Adventures was created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. It premiered in as a syndicated cartoon in 1990. See Seth's mini-DVD review of Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1:

Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1

Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 1 (Warner Home Video, $44.98) is finally on DVD. I love this show. I really do. I watched this show when I was young and absolutely loved it. Loved it in reruns as I got older. It’s a great show that’s enjoyable no matter what your age. It’s time to finally join Babs and Buster Bunny (no relation), Plucky Duck, Hamton Pig, and all of the other residents of Acme Acres on DVD. Contained on this set are the first *35* episodes of the first season. I know many of you may have cringed when you saw “Volume 1”, but for a cartoon who had 65 episodes it’s first season splitting it was a must. There are some absolutely great cartoons in here, and some fairly good ones. Sometimes one cartoon in an episode may be weaker than the others, but this is to be expected.

This DVD set contains the first 35 episodes, which means the episodes included start at the series premiere, “A Looney Beginning” and run through “A Ditch in Time”. A full episode list is (at least as of the time of this writing) available on Wikipedia for your reference. Because of the number of episodes in the release, Warner was faced with a tough choice – either deal with a large number of discs, use double-sided discs entirely, or place quite a few episodes per disc. The end result is 4 discs, the first three of which are single-sided, the final disc being double-sided. The first three discs and the first side of the fourth all contain 8 episodes each, while the reverse side of the final disc contains the last three episodes and the disc’s special feature. I’m not sure if this was the ideal or optimal layout, but it works well enough. Packaging is a clear-plastic case with two swinging plastic panels in the center containing the discs. The discs themselves feature a variation on the orange colors used on the cover art, with a central cast member on each of the first three discs.

I really wanted to just launch into an overly positive stream of consciousness, as I got to do with Freakazoid’s DVD set, but that’s not entirely possible here. Placing 8 episodes per disc *has* led to some compression issues, which are particularly evident against solid colors. The colors themselves appear duller and less vivid than they should be, though it could just be a result of the age of the episodes. The audio, however, IS spectacular – 5.1 is available! This is great considering the orchestral bits used as background music, scene transitions, everything. It’s great. Chapter stops are placed at the end of each individual cartoon. Runtime for the pilot is just over 23 minutes; average for the rest is around 21:45 – for a cartoon series from the early 90s this IS normal.

There IS a great special feature in the set: Looney Tunes to Tiny Toons, a Wacky Evolution: Features an outright plethora – yes, a plethora – of interviews, clips, etc. that detail the origin of the series and how the show launched off the shoulders of the classic Looney Tunes franchise. Runs a bit over 23 minutes, and is a great extra feature. It’s great to see well-done sets like these for shows I enjoy.

Of course, *my* favorite episode of the series isn’t on the DVD set as it’s the 51st episode of the season – Tiny Toons Music Television. It features re-done videos for several songs using the Tiny Toons cast, including TWO songs by They Might Be Giants, a take on Respect by Aretha Franklin, and more. It’s great stuff, and I can’t wait for the next volume for this very reason. Ultimately, though, future sales depend on the success of the initial release. It’s a great cartoon, and recommended not just for cartoon fans but fans of comedy as well. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4.5/5 stars)

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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, April 22

Bob's Burgers - "Cheer Up Sleepy Gene" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Gene gets invited to his first sleepover, and things don't go as planned; Bob and Linda record themselves while sleeping to prove who snores more.

Bob's Burgers - "Go Tina on the Mountain" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The Belcher kids go to Outdoor Education only to have it rain; Tina meets a hermit living in the woods; Bob and Linda experience what it's like to be empty nesters.

The Simpsons - "Lisa Gets the Blues" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Simpsons' flight is rerouted to New Orleans, Lisa rediscovers her passion for jazz; Bart is intrigued by voodoo; Homer is intrigued by drinking.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Gray Star Mutual" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When a fire destroys Charles' food truck, Pimento unexpectedly shows up to the scene as the insurance agent; Rosa helps Amy to see that it's okay to get excited about picking her wedding dress; Gina and Terry coach Holt in the art of social media.

Family Guy - "'Family Guy' Through the Years" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A reimagining of the show as a series that's been on the air for 60 years; a look back at the cultural events and issues tackled on the show through the decades.

The Last Man on Earth - "The Blob" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A thermal heat detector reveals a potential sign of life, but Tandy doesn't want the group to split up to investigate; Todd and Erica have trouble seeing eye to eye.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 16)

Friday, April 20

  • Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) - Rory chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lahti (The Harvey Korman Show) - Christine Christine talks about her book True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • T.R Knight (Charlie Lawrence) - T.R. talks about Nat Geo's Genius on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) - Emmanuelle talks about Super Troopers 2 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/Sean Saves the World) - Sean speaks out about his terrifying health scare and his fight against hearing loss on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly talks about Meet the Peetes on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Alia Shawkat (Search Party/Arrested Development) - Alia talks about Duck Butter on the BUILD Series at 10am.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House), Beverley Mitchell (Hollywood Darlings and Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Jodie, Beverley and Christine talk about Pop's Hollywood Darlings on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season

02/06 - All in the Family - Seasons 1-5
02/06 - Bosom Buddies - The Complete Series
02/06 - Women of the House - Complete 12 Episode Series
02/13 - Broad City - Season 4
02/13 - Three's Company - The Complete Series - Come and Knock on Our Door Collection
02/27 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season
02/27 - Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season
02/27 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
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