Saturday, May 08, 2010

Digital Digest: Alvin and the Chipettes in Cinderella, Cinderella DVD Review; Saturday Morning Cartoons - 1980s DVD Review

It's time for the weekly roundup of news and reviews that we call Digital Digest around here. This week we have more news for you, including a late-breaking discovery of an upcoming release of a TV series about a girl who is fantastic and made of plastic! We're also going to have reviews of two DVD sets of cartoons, including Alvin and the Chipettes in Cinderella, Cinderella, and the hodgepodge of the fun, quirky, and sometimes awful (but fun and quirky for the reason) cartoons of the 80's, in Warner's Saturday Morning Cartoons - 1980s. So let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

We've been covering a lot of news relating to current and on-going series on DVD in the past few weeks, and while that news is starting to slow down (as everything has seemingly been announced by now), we have learned that the first season of an animated sitcom is coming soon to DVD. The Cleveland Show - The Complete Season One has been made available for pre-order on Amazon.com at a $49.98 MSRP. No other details are known at this time. That isn't the only current animated sitcom coming soon to DVD, though. Although the series itself is in season 21, The Simpsons - The Thirteenth Season is coming to DVD on August 24 in a box that makes Ralph Wiggum the star this time. But that's not all! The season is also going to be released on Blu-ray on the same day at a $59.98 MSRP, which marks the first time that an "older" season of the series has been made available on Blu-ray.

Shout! Factory has been a factory of good news, so to speak, and this week, we have some really exciting news to report from them! First of all, Small Wonder - The Complete Second Season is coming very soon, on June 22! It will only be a Shout! Select title (their new name for their direct-to-consumer division) and is not yet available for pre-order, nor is any information known about this title... yet! We even uncovered some low-resolution cover art for it from Shout! Factory's website, as seen below (though keep in mind, this is definitely subject to change as the title hasn't even been officially announced yet):



No details about Small Wonder are known yet... we are just learning this info ourselves!

But before we get to June, there is a surprise announcement for another Shout! Select title that is coming in just a little over a week! California Dreams - Season 3 (which was said to be "in the works" a few months ago) is coming to DVD on May 18! It comes at a $29.99 MSRP and includes the Video Jukebox feature once again.

You would think that is enough news for one studio, but it isn't! According to this post by Brian Ward, Father Knows Best - Season 5 can be expected on DVD sometime in the fall! Again, it isn't available for pre-order yet, but this season brings the series down to only one remaining season to be released.

CBS DVD had two announcements this week for some sitcoms, including one that is making it to DVD for the very first time in season format. Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show - The First Season will make it onto DVD on July 27... and it will be loaded with special features! You can find a complete list here. The five-disc set will be available at a $39.98 MSRP. But just as one series is beginning for CBS DVD, another one is finishing, with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Final Season, to be released on the same day. It will also include the TV movie Sabrina Goes to Rome! It isn't available for pre-order just yet.

The HBO series Flight of the Conchords (which, in my opinion, was one of the funniest series on TV in years until the lack of new musical material forced the stars to bow out after just two seasons) is coming together in Flight of the Conchords - The Complete Collection, which contains all of the episodes of the series as well as the HBO stand-up comedy special that they did in 2007 (currently not available on DVD). It comes at a $49.99 MSRP.

Finally, we have a little bit of old news that may be beneficial to DVD bargain hunters out there. Last week, the DVD rental chain Hollywood Video (also doing business as Movie Gallery) announced that they would soon be closing all of their remaining stores--over 2000 of them--in the United States... and there are quite a few of them. While their TV on DVD selection is certainly limited and most mostly reflects more recent series (and often only the most popular of those even), there will be some deals to be found as stores begin to liquidate their DVDs and start their going out of business sales! I have no clue when these will start (or end for that matter), but my local stores have not begun the liquidation process, and it will likely vary on a store-by-store basis (and we can't post news for each and every store each and every day, so you are on your own to check that). Go find those bargains!

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Next week (May 11) brings us a new release of a series that had been stalled for quite a while, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Fifth Season. The set comes at a $29.98 MSRP with no special features. You can read our review of this set here. Also on the way for May 11 is My Wife and Kids - Season 2, from Lionsgate. We'll have a review of this set on our main reviews page in the next few days. Stepping out of the sitcom realm, there are two more releases worthy of noting (that we won't be covering, but only because we can only cover so much outside of sitcoms), including Daria - The Complete Animated Series (which contains every episode of the series, although with replaced music, at a $72.99 MSRP) and thirtysomething - The Complete Third Season ($59.97 MSRP).


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

DVD Review: Alvin & the Chipettes in Cinderella, Cinderella
by Pavan

Alvin & the Chipettes in Cinderlla, Cinderella (Paramount, $16.99) brings the classic Alvin & the Chipmunks episode "Cinderella, Cinderella" on DVD plus two additional episodes. The two additional episodes "Alvie's Angels" and "The Brunch Club" are from later seasons.
We have had many Chipmunk sets, some even re-released. Basically, we have had Chipmunks Go To The Movies sets (which featured episodes like "Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom," "Robomunk," "Star Wreck," "Chip Tracy," "Batmunk," and "Funny...We Shrunk the Adults"). We have also had holiday themed sets such as Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials releases. Paramount has also released the Chipmunk Adventure feature film from 1987. We also had episodes featuring The Chipettes from the original series 1983-87 series. We even got the old 1961 pilot of The Alvin Show. And my personal favorite was the Alvinnn! Edition, which was the first set to have episodes from the 1983-87 series.

In the 1986 episode (so from the original 1983-87 series) "Cinderella, Cinderella," when Brittany refuses to do her chores, Miss Miller tells her that she must mop if she wishes to go to a dance that night. Brittany falls asleep and dreams she is Cinderella. She awakens to find a new party dress and Miss Miller is mopping for her. Brittany realizes she is not living with the wicked stepmother after all. This episode runs 22:01 and has 4 chapter stops with the original opening and closing themes. The next episode on this set is "Alvie's Angels" from 1988, where the Chipettes are Alvie's Angels, a crime fighting team to hunt down the most popular jewel thief named Chazz Fleming. This is a nice Charlie's Angels spoof and runs 22:33 with 4 chapter stops and has the new jazzier opening and closing themes. The final episode on this set is "The Brunch Club" from 1988, where the Chipmunks and Chipettes are in detention and they figure out together who could have knocked over the statue of Thomas Edison. This episode runs 23:20 and also has 4 chapter stops and has The Chipmunks opening title and closing. Nicely done!

Packaging is simple and in the same line as the previous Chipmunks sets--a nice simple case with the discs inside. Cover art features The Chipettes basically, with Brittany as Cinderella in the center, as Alvin, Simon & Theodore are in the background. Back of the case we have info on the set and the episodes, with nice artwork including a strip of episodic photos. Disc art has the same artwork as the cover art, but only features Brittany and Alvin. So, the packaging is simple but effective.

The menu screen has a shot of Alvin and Brittany in a red/blue background. Options are Play All, but the episodes are listed right on the main menu. We also have a Previews option, but it the same as the auto-trailer for Chipmunks sets found before the main menu starts. At least we don't get any other trailers.
Like previous sets, the video and audio are OK at best, some episodes look good (not great though), some don't. The two 1988 episodes look a bit better than the main episode from this set "Cinderella, Cinderella" (1986). If you have any of the other sets, you'll know what I mean. They are certainly not remastered or anything, like I have mentioned before. They are watchable, though. So it is worth the buy, especially since this series is not on television anymore. The copies are a bit better than VHS that you may have recorded from the original run or '90s syndication. The audio is in Dolby Digital Stereo.

As with previous sets, no special features whatsoever. It would be nice to have SOME one day...

I still highly do recommend any fan to pick up this set. Especially if you have all the Chipmunks sets so far. It is hard to collect, since there are SO many of them. It would have been better if all were released at once or in seasons rather than all these sing disc sets, but what can we do? It is nice to see some episodes from the 1983-87 seasons and even the 1988-89 season on DVD. So quickly order this DVD, because Brittany's "fairy godmunk" is not needed to guide you to order!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Alvin & the Chipmunks TV.com Page
Chipmunks.com


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Ever wonder if you'll get these obscure and rare '80s cartoons on DVD? Well, Warner Bros. Presents Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s! On this DVD are some obscure and rare stuff such as Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, The Biskitts, and some not so obscure like The Flintstone Kids. Heck the Mister T show is the second most least obscure show on this set!

DVD Review: Warner Bros. Presents Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s
by Pavan

Warner Bros. Presents Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s (Warner, $26.98) brings some rare and obscure animated shows (mostly from Ruby-Spears) from the 1980s on the DVD for the first time! I don't think none of these shows have had any DVD releases yet. Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s features a diverse collection of 11 different shows from the 1980s that will either have you reminiscing or wondering how bad some of these shows. There are some good ones, though, like The Flintstone Kids!

So what shows are on this set? Disc one showcases such animated series as Goldie Gold & Action Jack, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, The Flintstone Kids, and Mister T. Disc two features such obscure shows as The Biskitts, Monchhichis, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Dragon's Lair, Thundarr the Barbarian and Kwicky Koala Show. We have a full episode of each on this set. My personal favorites are The Flintstone Kids and Mister T. Eveyrthing else to me, is pretty weird. I mean seriously, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos? In The Flintstone Kids episode on this set we get "Bad News Brontos," where little Fred is on the losing baseball team called the Bedrock Brontos. Accompanying this show there were three other shorts Captain Caveman and Son, Dino's Dilemmas, & Flintstone Funnies. Captain Caveman and Son has the episode "Invasion of the Mommy Snatchers," where mothers are being kidnapped in Bedrock and Captain Caveman and his son, Cavey Jr. Unga-Bunga are here to save the day. In Dino's Dilemmas, we get the episode "Dreamchip's Cur Wash," where Freddy and Dino visit Dreamchip at Gemstone Manor and she asks Freddy to tell Dino to test out the new dogasaurus washing machine. In the Flintstone Funnies episode on this set, "Princess Wilma," where Wilma is stuck in bed and her father will not let her meet Betty at the Bedrock Mall, so while in bed she imagines being a real princess and doing whatever she wants.
In the Mister T episode, "Mystery of the Golden Medallion," Mr. T joins his team, a group of young gymnasts in San Francisco, as the team gets a new gymnast, Woody, meanwhile Woody is performing, someone takes all the gold medallions and Woody is unable to get his first place medal.

Here are all the listings and runtimes from this set:

Disc 1
1. Goldie Gold & Action Jack: "Night of the Crystal Skull" (20:15, 4 chapters)
2. Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos: "Deadly Dolphin" (21:36, 5 chapters)
3. The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley: "Tall, Dark & Handsome" (22:47, 5 chapters)
4. The Flintstone Kids: "Bad News Brontos" (23:05, 4 chapters)/Captain Caveman and Son: "Invasion of the Mommy Snatchers" (8:17)/Dino's Dilemmas: "Dreamchip's Cur Wash" (3:11)/Flintstone Funnies: "Princess Wilma" (12:09, 3 chapters)
5. Mister T: "Mystery of the Golden Medallion" (24:01, 5 chapters)

Disc 2
6. The Biskitts: "As the Worm Turns" (11:17, 3 chapters)/"Trouble in the Tunnel" (10:47, 3 chapters)
7. Monchhichis: "Tickle Pickle" (22:36, 4 chapters)
8. Galtar and the Golden Lance: "Galtar and the Princess" (21:21, 5 chapters)
9. Dragon's Lair: "Tale of the Enchanted Gift" (20:48, 4 chapters)
10. Thundarr the Barbarian: "Secret of the Black Pearl" (20:37, 4 chapters)
11. The Kwicky Koala Show: Show #1 - "Dry Run (1:48)/"Robinson Caruso" (5:57)/"High Roller" (0:49)/"The Claws Conspiracy" (5:59)/"Hat Dance" (0:49)/"Dirty's Debut" (6:32)

Packaging has an outer box holding a simple keepcase. The cover art on both the box and case are the same, with colorful squares with various characters such as Fred & Dino, Thundarr, and Mister T. The title of this set is on the top (Warner Bros. Presents Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s) and on the bottom it says "11 Shows on 2 Discs." The back of both the box and case are also same, except one thing -- the artwork. The case has different artwork than the box, with the case having ones like with Barney Rubble. Everything else is the same, with info on the set and some series, a listing of Special Features, and Languages.
Inside the case, it is pretty simple. There is no artwork on the panels, so it is plain black. Disc art is similar to the cover art, but feature just one show, such as the first disc has Fred & Barney.

The menu screen has the same style artwork as the cover art. There is some music playing in the background, but I am not familiar to it. Before the menu comes, there is a "quality" message, saying some episodes on this set are not too good in video quality, but more on that in the video and audio section. Main menu options are Play, Episodes, Special Feautures, and Languages. In the Languages menu, we have options for audio in English, Espanol and Portuguese, while subtitles in English, French, Espanol and Portuguese. Episodes menu has the listings of each show with their episode title. It is pretty easy.

The video and audio differ from show to show. I think Thundarr the Barbarian looks the best, but The Flintstone Kids looks decent, too. Everything else is OK to good. There are some that are worse than OK, but that is expected. There is a message saying that the quality is not too good before the main menu comes, so they flat out say it. We should be happy some of these shows are even on DVD, as frankly they are so rare. Like the video, the audio also differs from show to show. With multiple shows on a set, it is hard to grade the video and audio. But in general, I would give it 3/5 stars.

There is even a special feature! It is on disc one. It only focuses on Thundarr the Barbarian, though. I am not a fan of that show really (sorry I preferred He-Man). The special feature is titled "Lords of the Light! Thundarr the Barbarian" and it runs 18:28. The show only lasted two seasons, but sort of still remains popular today. This special feature explores the origins of this timeless hero and why it remains popular today. Interviewed are Charles Zembillas (Founder, Animation Academy), Ken Spears (VP, Ruby-Spears Productions), Joe Ruby (President, Ruby-Spears Productions), Chuck Sheetz (Professor of Animation, UCLA), and Christopher Vogler (Author, Writer's Journal). On disc two, there is a trailer for Peanuts '60s Collection. Auto-trailers on disc one are for the new Scooby Doo show and Peanuts. Auto-trailer on disc two has Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s.

I think all fans of 80s animation should buy this set. If you grew up in the 70s/80s, then you'll want it for sure as you might remember these shows. Personally I think The Flintstone Kids and Mister T are by far the best ones on this set. Everything else seems so obscure and strange, but that is just what I think. I know there are big fans out there for Thundarr the Barbarian, so they will want to pick this set up. I wish some of these will get fully. This set is for adults and not children of today, so be aware of that if you are thinking of buying this for your 8 year old. So relive the '80s once again and see how much you missed some of these '80s series. I just wish we had Smurfs on here, too! But anyway, join little Fred & Barney, Mister T, Thundarr the Barbarian, and even Chuck Norris for some narly 80s fun!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
The Flintstone Kids TV.com Page


LOOKING AHEAD

That's all for this week, folks! We'll be back next week with more news (and we really hope to have more information regarding that Small Wonder - The Complete Second Season release) and (hopefully, assuming that we have the DVDs in time... the studios have been slacking lately) reviews of some Stephen J. Cannell series being released by Mill Creek. We'll also be getting back to some of those special feature stories that we were doing at the beginning soon, and we have some exciting ones in the works! Remember to tell us what you want to see here by telling us on the message board or Tweet/Facebook us. Until next time, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

New Girl - The Complete Season Three The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season

Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season Mom - The Complete First Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season

09/02 - Benson - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/02 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Halloween Episodes Collection
09/02 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season Nine
09/02 - The League - The Complete Season Five
09/02 - New Girl - The Complete Season Three
09/02 - Soap - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/02 - What's Happening!! - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/09 - The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season
09/11 - Growing Up Fisher - Season One
09/16 - About a Boy - Season One
09/16 - Awkward - Season 3
09/16 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray/DVD)
09/16 - South Park - Season 17 (Blu-ray)
09/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One
09/23 - How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season / The Complete Series
09/23 - Mama's Family - The Complete Fifth Season / The Complete Collection
09/23 - Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season
09/23 - Mom - The Complete First Season
09/30 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 1 (MPI)
09/30 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season
Other TV Series:
09/02 - Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Tenth Season
09/09 - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
09/16 - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Fourteenth Season
09/16 - Castle - The Complete Sixth Season
09/23 - Nashville - The Complete Second Season
09/23 - Scandal - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, September 19

Jessie - "Between the Swoon and New York City" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessie gets a to know a new guy she met in the park named Brooks; she later finds out that he is Ms. Chesterfield's son.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets 1961" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Riley and her friends experience New York circa 1961 when Corey hands out a living-history assignment.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 15) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, September 19

  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Watch Michael on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Catch Tina on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Kaley appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is tentatively scheduled to appear on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Rachel Lefevre (Life on a Stick/Big Wolf on Campus) - Rachel will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Billy chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island) - Dawn talks about her new book (What Would Mary Ann Do? A Guide to Life) on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel at 8:52am.