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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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Tiny Toons Adventures TV.com Page


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, August 21

Kevin Can Wait - "Unholy War" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After reluctantly settling on a date for Kendra’s wedding, Kevin learns that his childhood nemesis, Terry (Kim Coates), is trying to reserve the church on the same day. As the two battle for Father Phillip’s (Jim Breuer) approval by becoming more involved in the church, Kevin’s drive to get the church for Kendra becomes an insatiable desire to get revenge on his old rival.

Superior Donuts - "Man Without a Health Plan" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The group decides to take up a collection to pay for Franco’s medical expenses when he’s hurt at work and doesn’t have insurance. Also, Tush experiences unusual side effects when he participates in an experimental drug trial.

Mom - "Cornbread and a Cashmere Onesie" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Bonnie worry about Jill after her cry for help on the anniversary of her mother’s suicide.

Life in Pieces - "Babysit Argument Invention Butterfly" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Matt and Colleen have a disastrous time babysitting Lark while Jen is at work. Also, Sophia is far from pleased when John buys her a butterfly kit for her birthday; Tim and Heather rehash an old fight from the early days of their relationship; and Greg gives Samantha questionable advice about being an entrepreneur for her school project.

American Dad - "Kloger" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Roger and Klaus start having a secret affair after they accidentally end up on an online date together; Steve tries to catch Hayley's pink eye to get out of doing a fitness test at school.

People of Earth - "Why Can't We Be Friends?" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Ozzie confronts Walsh about being an alien; Richard gets fired from his job and joins Agent Foster on her search for Walsh.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Monday, August 21

  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Watch Nick on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) - Amy chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Aziz Ansari (Master of None/Parks and Recreation) - Aziz drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Rachel Dratch (Imaginary Mary) and Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex/Dharma & Greg) - Rachel and Jenna are guests on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish) - Yara opens up about beauty standards in Hollywood on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon talks about Marlon on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Lilla Crawford, Taylor Louderman and Elan Luz Rivera (Sunny Day) - The stars of Nickelodeon's upcoming series Sunny Day are guests on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:45am.