Friday, March 21, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere! (March 25)

Today is Good Friday and the news seems to be very slow today. So, I decided to give you all a mini-DVD review today instead! Not to fret, we still have one tomorrow on its regular day...and it will be The Price is Right! Today week we take a look at 20th Century Fox and DiC's Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere. Dennis the Menace was one of my favorite '80s animated series. It is based on the comic strip and I think everyone knows what it is about...a little boy named Dennis is a menace, but in an innocent way. Mr. Wilson seems to be the one always suffering. Join the Mitchell family and the rest of the gang for some holiday fun, as they travel all sort of places on this best of set! See my mini-DVD review of Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere:

Dennis the Menace: Trouble, Trouble Everywhere (Fox, $14.98) brings us seven classic mini episodes from the '80s animated series. The series is based on the comic strip and is not to be confused with the '50s sitcom starring Jay North. Although I like both. On this set, entire nations can't run and hide from Dennis. The Mitchells (Henry, Alice, and Dennis) love taking vacations (usually with their neighbors the Wilsons, George & Martha) and we get seven of them on this set. Wherever they head, young Dennis seems to wind up in the center of numerous catastrophes...whether he's chasing crooks in Venice, kangaroos in Sydney, outrunning Mayans in South America, bulls in Spain, or even proving that erupting volcanoes in Hawaii wreak less havoc than he does...Dennis is always drawn to finding trouble wherever he is! The Queen of England would agree!
Let's now move on to the packaging. It is a very nice colorful design. We get a snap case that holds the single disc inside. The cover art features Dennis on an airplane with the world in the background. The show logo is above him along with the Trouble, Trouble Everywhere mention. The back of the case features a nice shot of Dennis surfing in Hawaii with a volcano erupting. Two screenshots also are found (Dennis, Mr. Wilson, Margaret; and Dennis and Petey). We also have a nice synopsis of the set and technical information. When we open the case, we see a nice episode listing insert on the left side, with the seven episodes on this set listed in the black of the red guards at Buckingham Palace. Dennis' frog, Willy, is also on the guard as Dennis is below the guard. On the back of that insert there is a mention that Inspector Gadget: Big Little Problems is coming to DVD June 17, but it was just announced that is delayed now. We also have another insert, this time a booklet of other DVDs from Fox and DiC. On the right side we see the disc. It is similar to the cover art, with Dennis and the world and Dennis on a skateboard now, but this time we see the torch on the Statue of Liberty falling off along with the time on Big Ben falling off. Dennnnnnis! No artwork are on the inside background of the case, just a red background.
The menu screen is very nice. But before that we get auto trailers of other DVDs such as Care Bears, Garfield Gets Real, and Bob the Builder. The design of the main menu is nice. We get the logo of the show with Dennis and Ruff smiling, in a post-card style design. Two other postcards seem to be behind that, as I can see a stamp of Henry and a stamp of Mr. Wilson. No theme in the background, though. The options for the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, and Language Selection. For the latter, we can have English or Spanish stereo audio or subtitles in English or Spanish. In episode selection, we get a list of episodes with a screenshot in a post-card form. The post-card thing is very nice since this is a vacation/traveling themed set.
The video and audio is good. The sound is very good since it is in stereo. The video seems to be just OK. Nothing bad and nothing great, but very watchable. The best episode it seems in video quality is the New York one. Each episode runs 11:47, except one runs 7:01 ("Dennis Plasters Pamplona"). The show was a half-hour show, but had three mini episodes (approx. 5, 10, 5 minutes not counting the opening/closing credits) in each half-hour...so that is what I meant by seven mini episodes on this set. Since Fox/DiC chose seven vacation episodes from the entire run, these episodes are not in their full 22-23 minute episode format, but we do get the opening/closing themes on each episode. I wish Fox/DiC would release every episode in its full half-hour format and in order. Maybe if this set does well, they will. For you closing logo fans, we get two closing logos after the closing credits on this set. The blue DiC logo with DiC in yellow and flashing in and the DFS Program Exchange logo with the scary sound. Why a Program Exchange logo? Since that was for syndication. Are these prints from The Program Exchange?
Unfortunately, we get no special features at all. Here's hoping if they release the series in order, we get some in those.
I highly do recommend this set for any Dennis the Menace fan, fan of the comic strip, the sitcom, or '80s animation in general. I have always had a soft spot for this series. I grew up watching it in the '80s and early 90s and even watched reruns on cable on Fox Family and Cartoon Network over the last decade. I just hope we get all 78 half-hours on DVD, and not just seven mini-episodes. If you want this to happen, you'll have to buy this DVD. It is pretty cheap on Amazon, you can find a link to that below. This series has never hit DVD, so this is a major release, I just wish it was in order instead of a best-of set. It is a start, though! This set is right in time for the traveling season as families are planning where they want to go this summer. Maybe the Mitchells will persuade you to where to go? So, head on back to your childhood and buy this set because I'm sure we all had a Dennis in us as a child! Dennnnnnis!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
My Dennis the Menace Episode Guide
Dennis the Menace TV.com Page

Stay tuned tomorrow for our regular mini-DVD review on our regular day...Saturday. We take a look at BCI's The Price is Right. Also tomorrow of course is Solomon's Weekly Rant.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 3

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color! - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
CBS will honor the memory of legendary actor, producer, director, writer, comedian and Emmy Award winner Carl Reiner with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW – NOW IN LIVING COLOR! A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO CARL REINER, featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, Friday, July 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As series creator and co-star, Carl Reiner personally supervised the original colorization of the episodes.

The special features “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time,” and “October Eve,” which Mr. Reiner considered to be one of the series’ funniest episodes. Both were written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

In “October Eve,” a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (played by Carl Reiner) takes the liberty of “undraping” her. The episode was first presented on April 8, 1964, during season three.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 29)

Friday, July 3

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:35am on ABC.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Tina appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa guest hosts a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Camping/Fleabag/Love/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Tika talks about the season finale of mixed-ish and her latest project helping new moms on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie/The Secret Lives of Men) - Peter talks about Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Grace and Frankie on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April/May/June)

Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season Head of the Class - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season

02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/05 - Kidding - Season 2
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
06/02 - Work in Progress - Season 1
06/09 - Head of the Class - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
06/09 - Letterkenny - Seasons 3 & 4
06/09 - Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season
06/23 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Third Season (Blu-ray)
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