Saturday, May 29, 2010

Digital Digest: Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2 DVD Review

An extended weekend is upon us, and hopefully you all have exciting plans for the weekend... but in the downtime that you'll inevitably have, what better plans could you make than to watch your digital media? Sure, every holiday has marathons, but with more options than ever before, you can now make your own marathon with any series that you'd like with any episodes that you'd like. Just an idea. But in the meantime, we have to get on with the news, upcoming releases for Tuesday, and our review of Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2. It's another light news week, but what we do have is all positive.

DIGITAL NEWS

The last week of May isn't your typical week for news, but we have a ton of news from Shout! Factory this week! There haven't been any "surprise announcements" so to speak, but there have been several announcements of continuations of series already being released by Shout! Factory, including Designing Women - The Complete Fourth Season (September 14, $44.99 MSRP), Leave it to Beaver - Season Four (September 14, $39.97 MSRP), The Facts of Life - The Complete Fifth Season (details TBA), and thirtysomething - The Complete Fourth and Final Season (date TBA, $59.97 MSRP). Designing Women, Leave it to Beaver, and thirtysomething are already confirmed to be regular retail releases, and although we don't have confirmation yet, we believe that The Facts of Life will be as well.

Now on to some shows that had been announced by Shout! Factory, but have yet to see a release so far... The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series and The Norm Show - The Complete Series finally have release dates set! The Larry Sanders Show will be released on September 28 at a $149.99 MSRP, and The Norm Show will be released on September 7 at a $59.97 MSRP. These will also be regular retail releases.

While we are discussing Shout! Factory, don't forget their upcoming release of Small Wonder - The Complete Second Season next month, as a Shout! Select title! It is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. We encourage you to purchase this and other Shout! Select titles to make this program work for Shout! Factory!

The Phil Silvers Show - The First Season is coming in July, but we now have some more details about special features, directly from the studio. The set will include the following:
  • Commentaries on two episodes
  • Original lost audition show
  • Cast commercials
  • Bonus episode of The Lucy Show guest starring Phil Silvers
It sounds like it should be a nice set for a series as old as it is, and of course, we will have a review of the set as soon as we receive it!

One of NBC's newest series, Parenthood, is going to debut on DVD later this August. Parenthood - Season One will contain all 13 episodes from the first season of the comedy-drama about a family trying to balance all aspects in their far from perfect lives. It is set for a release on August 31, and will include commentaries, deleted and extended scenes, and a behind-the-scenes look at the series. That may not sound like much, but if my experience with other current Universal series on DVD is an indicator, it is probably more than what it sounds like... they tend to downplay their special features. It isn't available for pre-order yet.

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (June 1) has quite a few releases in store, but very few that are of interest to us. The one of the most interest to us is Mister Ed - The Complete Third Season from Shout! Factory. We'll have a review of it coming up as soon as we receive the set from the distributor. Also, though not a sitcom, we have Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2. We have a review of this set in today's Digital Digest.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Almost anybody born in the past 70 years grew up with the Peanuts gang, Charles Schultz's classic comic strip of characters including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and the many other members of the Peanuts gang. And as we all know, there were many TV specials and movies made for this cast of characters. Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2 brings more specials from the 70s together in a special compilation.

DVD Review: Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2
by Pavan

Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Vol. 2 (Warner, $29.98) brings us the next six 1970's TV specials on DVD digitally remastered...and again it is really worth it! These are the remaining six TV specials from the '70s. On this set we get Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown; You're A Good Sport, Charlie Brown; It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown; What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown; It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown; and You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown. Please note that, What a Nightmare is being released for the first time ever on DVD!

Among the stories on these six specials are: Charlie Brown hoping he gets a Valentine's Day card from the little red haired girl; a motorcross race between Charlie Brown and Snoopy; the gang play baseball and plant trees for Arbor Day; Snoopy has a nightmare that he is a sled dog in Alaska; Charlie Brown gets a chance to kiss the little red haired girl; and Charlie Brown goes for the decathlon victory.
Let's take a look at the runtimes for each special:

Disc one:
1. "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" (25:12, 6 chapters)
2. "You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown" (25:16, 6 chapters)
3. "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown" (25:03, 5 chapters)

Disc two:
4. "What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown" - First Time on DVD! (24:19, 5 chapters)
5. "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" (24:15, 5 chapters)
6. "You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown" (24:21, 5 chapters)

Let's now move on to the packaging. Like all the previous Peanuts sets, we have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is white in color once again, and has a shot of Charlie Brown getting ready to throw a pitch at a baseball game. The title of the set is below, with a mention that the six specials are remastered on the top with a Snoopy Peanuts logo! To the back we go, we get a nice shot of Charlie Brown next to the mailbox being kissed by Snoopy and the wording "Happiness Is Another Cool Peanuts Collection, Charlie Brown" is on top. The back also has a disc-by-disc breakdown on what specials to expect. When we open the case, we get nice artwork (baseball/Arbor Day themed) and details on each special on each side. The first disc is on the left panel, while disc two is on the right panel. Disc art has a white background, with artwork of Snoopy on top of his dog house with Charlie Brown watching on disc one and Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown and Snoopy motorcross racing on disc two.

The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that white background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art of Charlie Brown getting ready to throw a pitch at a baseball game. We get auto-trailers before the main menu on disc one for items like Peanuts '70s Collection Vol. 1 and Saturday Morning 60s/70s Vol. 2. For Languages, we can have either have English, Espanol, Portuguese or Japanese. For subtitles we have those four again and also French! The Features section has the specials listed by title, we can also select Play All to play them consecutively. Finally, Special Features is on disc two only and lists the featurette and a trailer for Free Willy 4.

The video and audio is tremendous once again. It looks HD even if this isn't Blu-ray. These specials are all so good ever since they started the Remastered Collection sets. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I continue to say about these digitally remastered sets? Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. And the main thing is that all of the specials are unedited! These sets are must buys for the video quality alone, as it is a major improvement over the VHS versions or anything you taped from TV in the last two decades.

As for special features, we get a nice featurette nice again! Each set seems to have a cool featurette. It is titled "You're Groovy, Charlie Brown: A Look At Peanuts In the '70s" and runs 18:23. We get to see the behind the scenes of all 12 specials from the '70s. Interviewed are Lee Mendelson (executive producer), Alexis Fajardo (cartoonist), Craig Schulz (Charles' son), Paige Braddock (creative director) and Jean Schulz (Charles' wife). While these are good, they should also consider putting original specials/documentaries on here. The 1969 special "Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz," the 1976 special "Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown," and the 1979 special "Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown" remain unreleased and would be cool to see. Hopefully Warner Bros. releases these at some point!

I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Continue your collection, because we get another special that we never had on DVD before and all are remastered again. This is worth it! It is now safe to say we have the remaining 6 specials from the '70s remastered! We are done with the '60s and '70s, now we have the '80s next! There are about 14 of those, too! Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras for each set. I just hope we get some of those original specials/documentaries as well. Let's hope they continue to release more Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So head back to the grooving '70s once more and relive the first next six classic specials from that decade all over again! Who knows we might see a sighting of the little red-haired girl!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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LOOKING AHEAD

We have a busy slate of reviews coming up both on the blog and on our regular reviews, so you won't want to miss any of those. We'll have a review of The A-Team - The Complete Series next week, along with a special feature story that we do every now and then on Digital Digest. Until next time, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, January 20

Last Man Standing - "A House Divided" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Mike and Vanessa ask newlyweds Mandy and Kyle to tone down their constant displays of affection, Mandy agrees but only if her parents become more discreet in the way they express their feelings to each other. Meanwhile, Kristen gets Eve a gig playing at the Grill, but Ed wants to fire her after a lackluster performance.

Dr. Ken - "A Day in the Life" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Amy (guest star Yvette Nicole Brown), the producer of a documentary health series, follows Ken around to record a typical day at an HMO, giving Ken his big moment in the limelight.  But much to Ken’s chagrin, a series of the less than thrilling day-to-day parts of the job at Welltopia leads Ken to doubt his own career choice.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Friday, January 20

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.