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 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: Full DVD Reviews Page
The Smurfs Page
The Smurfs Official Page

New on DVD/Blu-ray (October)

Bewitched - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - Season Seven My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection

10/06 - Bewitched - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Happyish - Season One
10/06 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/06 - Party Down - The Complete Series
10/06 - South Park - The Complete Eighteenth Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - C.P.O. Sharkey - Mr. Warmth: The Ultimate Don Rickles TV Collection
10/20 - The Facts of Life - Season Seven
10/20- King of the Hill - The Complete 13th Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series
10/20 - Nurse Jackie - Season Seven ((Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, October 7

The Middle - "The Shirt" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie is speechless when Mike — whose entire wardrobe consists of long sleeved flannel shirts — decides to wear a short sleeved Hawaiian shirt when they go out to dinner with some friends. Meanwhile, while Sue excitedly finds herself signing up for as many no-cut college clubs as she can, she accidentally tells Devin how much Axl loves her, which scares Devin and leads her to question their relationship; and Brick gets a little too ambitious while tackling his chore of cleaning the bathroom.

The Goldbergs - "Jimmy 5 Is Alive" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Murray attempts to help Adam transition into adulthood by building a robot, but their creative differences drive them apart, the opposite of what Murray was trying to achieve. Meanwhile, Barry makes a huge mistake when he accidentally tapes over Beverly’s beloved video of his 5th birthday party.

Modern Family - "The Closet Case" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Being the cool dad that he is, Phil helps Haley convince Claire to allow Dylan to move in temporarily, but after seeing how intimate living together means, Phil is having major second thoughts. Mitch takes on a much needed consulting job that just so happens to be for Jay’s biggest rival – Closets, Closets, Closets, Closets! – which doesn’t go over well with Jay, and elsewhere, Gloria and Cameron disagree on how to handle Manny’s girl problem at school.

black-ish - "Dr. Hell No" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After Dre gets his yearly physical and comes home traumatized, Pops explains his generation’s strong aversion towards healthcare and admits that he hasn’t seen a doctor in years. Shocked by this disclosure, Dre and Bow try to convince Pops to get a check-up and he begrudgingly agrees. When Pops finds out he has a clogged artery and needs a small procedure, the rest of The Johnson family handles the news in different ways.

Kevin From Work - "Escape From Work" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Homebound Kevin has a black-and-white dream about Audrey and his work-related troubles.

Kevin From Work - "Team Kevin From Work" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kevin decides to take advantage of Audrey and Brock's relationship difficulties.

Bella and the Bulldogs - "Girls' Night" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bella, Sophie, and Pepper plot the perfect revenge when a boy who wronged Bella winds up delivering their pizza during their sleepover. Newt and Sawyer help Troy move in to his new dorm, but they begin to overstay their welcome.

The League - "The Bully" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Kevin is uncomfortable with Ellie¹s new sex-ed class. Taco starts a Little Eskimo Brothers program at the EBDBBnB.

You're the Worst - "We Can Do Better Than This" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jimmy questions his ability as a writer but finally zeroes in on his next project. Meanwhile, Gretchen and Lindsay discover all they do is talk about men and set out to change the status-quo. Edgar gets close to his improv teacher, Dorothy.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 5) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, October 7

  • Joel McHale (Community) - Watch Joel on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Nasim Pedrad (Scream Queens/Mulaney) - Nasim visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris offers his 60-second love advice on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michaela Watkins (Casual/Trophy Wife) and Tommy Dewey (Casual) - Michaela and Tommy discuss their new Hulu comedy series Casual on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Sophia Bush (Partners) - Sophia is a guest on Chatter.
  • The Cast of Family Ties - The cast reunites on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Marcia Gay Harden (Trophy Wife) - Marcia talks about her new hospital drama Code Black on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke is a guest on People Now.