Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blog DVD Review: The Smurfs - True Blue Friends

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for weekly Blog DVD Reviews! Today we take a look at Warner Home Video's The Smurfs: True Blue Friends. The Smurfs of course is the classic Saturday morning animated series about those little blue people. It is Smurftastic! See my Blog DVD Review of The Smurfs: True Blue Friends:

The Smurfs: True Blue Friends (Warner, $14.98) brings us five episodes from the second season of the classic Saturday morning animated series that lasted nearly a decade on DVD. Handy, Hefty, Grouchy, Brainy, Jokey, Clumsy, Lazy, Dreamy, Smurfette, Papa Smurf and more of your favorite little blue people bring you the greatest show on Smurf are all back in more fun adventures. For some reason they are going away from the season sets that of The Smurfs, to a single disc set of five episodes. The Smurfs, home of the powder-blue pixies who have a way with words and have way-out adventures as they come face to face with Gargamel, a marsh monster, and an evil potion maker!
The previous two sets was a season set of the first season, split into two volumes. But for some reason now they are going with just a one-disc set with five episodes from season two. It doesn't make sense to me, since the second season has even more episodes than the first season! Anyway, the episodes we get on this set are "S-Shivering S-Smurfs," "Turncoat Smurf," "The Smurf Who Couldn't Say No," "The Haunted Castle," and "The Black Hellebore." They are not even in any order it seems...just five randomly picked episodes from season two. Come on Warner!
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a very thin keep case. The front cover sees a big mushroom with Papa Smurf and some of the other Smurfs around it. The title of the show is on the top, with a mention below that that this "True Blue Friends." To the back of the case we go, we get a nice synopsis of the series, along with details on the "5 Cartoons" and "Enchanting Extra." We see three Smurfs, including Smurfette in the green grass as the evil Gargamel is watching. When we open the case, on the right side we see the disc. The disc is in a red background with four Smurf characters. Compared to the first season sets, this is very cheap.
The menu screens are very nice. We see the land of Smurf in the background with Azrael the cat watching. It is very colorful. The catchy theme is playing in the background. Auto trailer for not pirating DVDs starts off the disc before the main menu comes, along with trailers for Snoopy's Reunion and Scooby Doo. Options for the main menu are: Play, Episodes, Special Features, and Languages. A flower is out selector. Languages has an option to turn on English or French subtitles. Episodes have a list of episodes obviously. And Special Features list the one featurette and Trailers for other Warner Home Video sets like the Charlie Brown Holiday Collection.
The video and audio is OK...it is not as good as the first season sets to me. They have cheapened this set. The packaging doesn't state that the episodes are remastered like they were with the first season sets. I am very disappointed, since the first season sets were remastered. One good thing they have added on this set are chapter stops. At least they added that. The first two episodes on this set are mini episodes (as some Smurfs half-hours had two stories per episode) that run 13:48 with 3 chapter stops. The last three on this set are full episodes that run 24:04, 25:39, and 25:33 with 5 chapter stops. You know on the first season, volume two review, I said season two should be on one set...but they have made it worse now. They should go back to the splitting of the season into two volumes. That is certainly better than this!
As for special features, we get the "Meet the Smurfs!" Basically this is a character profile of a Smurf. We get three of them. Papa Smurf (1:27), Grouchy (1:00) and Tracker (1:17). You select each character to view their profile. Next to Papa Smurf, there is a green bag. Looks like that is an Easter egg, because if you select that, you get "Smurfy Storyboards: Gormandizing Greedy." It runs 2:19. And of course we get Trailers for other Warner Home Video DVDs.
I am not sure if I do recommend this set for any Smurfs fan. The set is not Smurftastic, as the first season sets. I hope they are just marketing this for non-fans or casual fans and continue with the season sets soon. Because this is not good to give a popular show that has many episodes and ran 9 long seasons a one-disc set. The special features are not as good either. I wasn't too pleased with the episode situation being split in two volumes, but now I will take that back in a heartbeat. The episodes on this set are of course great but don't look great, especially "The Smurf Who Couldn't Say No," that looks terrible in video. I hope the full season two is out very soon and we get it all in one shot rather than two volumes...but I'll take two volumes anyway over this one-disc crap. They better Smurf to it and get the job done. Anyway, any die-hard would click below to order this DVD, if you haven't already. So Smurf to it!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(3/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
The Smurfs TV.com Page
The Smurfs Official Page


New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)

Mad About You - The Complete Series The Jim Gaffigan Show Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season The Wonder Years - Season Five

05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, May 27

The Simpsons - "Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lonely Professor Fink uses science to turn himself into a man whom women find attractive. Then, overwhelmed by the attention, he invents an algorithm to perfectly pair the lonely men and women of Springfield, realizing that scientific exploration is his true love. Meanwhile, Marge, Bart, and Lisa visit Grampa for Valentine’s Day and try to rescue the old folks from a drug-induced hallucination that allows them to relive their happiest memories.

The Simpsons - "Gal of Constant Sorrow" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Bart accidentally sends a sweet homeless woman’s cart into the river, he allows her to live in his closet for a small fee. When Lisa discovers that the woman is an incredible folk singer, she offers her own closet and plans a concert, only to be disappointed by Hettie’s surprising substance abuse and violent nature. Meanwhile Homer tries to prove he’s handy, but accidentally traps the cat in the walls of the house.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "True Intentions" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Angela and Leslie are shocked when Jennifer confesses she has been keeping a secret.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 23)

Friday, May 27

  • Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Watch Maya on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca/Parks and Recreation/The Office) - Rashida visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about Angie Tribeca on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jason Jones (The Detour) - Jason appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lizzy Caplan (The Class/Party Down) - Lizzy talks about Now You See Me 2 on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig appears on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - Danica talks about the Hallmark Channel original movie Wedding Bells on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie/The Last Precinct) - Ernie shares a fun flashback from the original Ghostbusters on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Sam Waterson (Grace and Frankie) - Sam talks about Grace and Frankie on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/TWo and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton is a guest on Chelsea on Netflix.