Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 7, Parts 1-4

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Review. Today we take a look at Lionsgate's Season 7 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The season is split up into 4 volumes, though. 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 Blog DVD Review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 7, Parts 1-4:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 7, Parts 1-4 (Lionsgate, $14.98 for each part) brings all 27 episodes from the series' seventh season, including the 13-episode European Vacation, on this wonderful four-part 25th anniversary collectible set. Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter, April are all back to battle Shredder, Krang and other villains! Cowabunga! This is the Turtles' 25th anniversary, as they debuted in the comic world in 1984. This TV series didn't start until 1987, though. This season is split into four "slices" so you will have to buy them separately. Do you actually buy pizza by the slice these days?
Starting with season four we started getting season releases. Season 4 set had 39 episodes and season 5 had 18 episodes. Season six had a total of 16 episodes on its set. Prior to that we were getting volume releases. Here is a recap: 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. For season 2 there were just 13 episodes, so Lionsgate released that for volume two...so yes, technically the first two volumes were season sets. Season one had only 5 episodes, so that was on Volume 1, with four bonus episodes from season ten actually. So do you have all of these? Hope you do!
The packaging started getting very good starting with season four. The first six volumes the packaging was simple (as they were just one-disc sets). Season 6 also had a very simple set, but this season it is different and decent. We get four different boxes called "slices," as the season is split into 4 slices celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Turtles. The first slice is the Leonardo slice, then part two its the Michaelangelo slice, part three its the Donatello slice, and part four its the Raphael slice. This season has four discs in total, with one disc season on each "slice." Each box also has a small action figure of the Turtle on each slice! So we get action figures of Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael! Radical! Each box is similar. We have the show logo on top with coverart of the Turtles the box represents. Next to the Turtle, it says for example "The Leonardo Slice," and below that we see the actual action figure that is inside. On the bottom of each box it has the 25th anniversary logo, and says "Collect All 4" then it has the Season 7 and what part this is. The back of each box is also cool on each. On the top we get four images of each "slice." Then there is a 25th anniversary sentence in yellow and below that we have a paragraph on each "slice." We also have "Fun Facts" of each Turtle the slice represents with Nicknames, Weapons, and Personality. To the right of that we get another image of the Turtle from that slice with him holding an actual pizza slice that says "Collect All 4."And on the bottom of the back of the box we have an image of a pizza, with episode listing and special features from that slice!
That was just the box art, now we need to move on to the case that is inside each box! We open the box from the top and we see a layer for the case. The cases are very simple and thin, similar to the volumes releases from the past. It has the same cover as the box, except of course you can't see the action figure. The back of the case is also the same as the box. Inside the case we have an insert on the left and the disc itself on the right. The insert is two-sided with one side having a promo for the TMNT DVDs and on the other side we have the TMNT Smash Up game promo. As for the disc, is the same artwork as the box and case cover. The first "slice" has episodes 1-6 from the European Vacation. The second "slice" has episodes 7-13 from the European Vacation. A fun fact, these episodes were produced for season four actually but never aired until the time of season 7, but not on CBS or first-run syndication...on USA Network. The third "slice" has episodes 14-20 from the actual start of season seven. And the fourth "slice" has episodes 21-27. So this season actually had only 14 episodes, but it was great they included the 13 episode European Vacation!
The menu screen is not as creative as say season five was, but similar to season six. First, we get autotrailers before the main menu appears on each disc with trailers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men Wolverine, Fast Track movie, and more. Then after that is done, we come to the main menu screen. The theme song is playing in the background, and it does loop, and the photo is similar to the box art, but the bandanna of each turtle is moving a bit. The options are: Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Special Features. When we go to each sub-menu, we see a pizza transition with the Turtles saying "Turtle Power!" Nicely done. Episode Selection takes us to a submenu with episode #, title, and a screenshot from the episode. The Special Features section lists the special feature for that disc and you can also view the auto-trailers again in the Trailers section.
The video is on par with the other volumes, with dust and debris here and there and on par with previous recent seasons. The audio is also on par with the previous releases, not bad...and listenable. The European Vacation episodes were produced for syndication during season four so they run about 22:10-22:15. The actual season seven episodes run around 23:35-23:40, though two only run at 23:05, but they have the shorter opening theme. We get 5 chapter stops per episode...nice.
Seasons four and five had extras (probably since the movie came out to theatres and DVD), but then season six had absolutely nothing! Since this is the 25th anniversary set, we get a featurette on each "slice!" So we do have extras here! On the first slice, we have a featurette called "A Shellabration with Points of Articulation." This runs 6:03 and is about the action figures and toys this franchise has given out, particularly from Playmates. Interviewed are Pat Linden (Playmates, Associate VP), Raymond Geinman (Playmates, VP Product Development-Boys), Rodolfo Gastelum (Playmates, Senior Director of Product Development-Boys), and Kevin Eastman (TMNT, Co-Creator). The second slice has a featurette called "A Shellabration of the Turtles Creation." This runs 11:08 and is about how this franchise got started in the comic book world. It has interviews with co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The third slice has a featurette called "A Shellabration of the TV Sensation." This runs 10:46 and this is about the creation of the hit animated series that began in 1987! See what the process was in creating this series and what differences there are from the comic books. Interviewed are Fred Wold (Executive Producer), David Wise (Story editor/writer), Townsend Coleman (voice of Michaelangelo), Kevin Eastman (co-creator), and Rob Paulson (voice of Raphael). This was my favorite featurette! Then finally on the fourth slice, we have a featurette called "A Shellabration of a Fan-Nomenon Sensation." This runs 11:54 and it is devoted to die-hard fans and they speak out here! Interviewed are co-creator Kevin Eastman and three big fans: Stephen Reese (South Pasadena, CA), Michelle Ivey (Ferndale, MI), and Joshua Christopher (Terre Haute, IN).
I urge fans to buy this set even though it is split into four separate parts. I don't like how they did that especially since he boxes are pretty big. That would waste space on people's DVD shelves for sure. I wish there was a way to have a huge box hold these four boxes. Or a better box holding just the four cases and I guess the action figures would be on a special "25th anniversary" set only? Seasons 8, 9, and 10 still remain to be released. Season 8 is coming out in September, so we are near the end of this series on DVD! Seasons eight through ten have 8 episodes each, so expect one-disc sets from here on out. Four of the eight episodes on season ten was released on the Volume 1 DVD, the very first DVD, though.
Anyway, let's buy pizza by the slice with four slices! Usually people can get 4 slices for a meal, so this is perfect! Order your four slices today and you'll be full with excitement! Katanas, nunchaku, bo staff, and sai are the weapons of the Turtles but you won't need those top open these slices! Cowabunga!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com Part 1
Amazon.com Part 2
Amazon.com Part 3
Amazon.com Part 4

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV.com Page
Official Website


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