Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hey... I am alive! Just wanted to drop a few notes on some things...

I have the Ren & Stimpy Show UNCUT First and Second Seasons DVD box set, and I have to say I'm really pleased. The menus animations and music are pulled right from the show, but unlike most things where they pulsate with lameness as a result, it's PERFECT for this particular set. There's a great interview with John K as well where he talks a bit about how he created the characters and how he ran the studio (nothing too long, just ten minutes or so) that's great fun to watch. I haven't watched the commentary yet, but the episodes are the best quality you're going to get them at, considering the animation quality wasn't spectacular in those early episodes.

The annoyances I have with the set are just sort of nitpicky things. One is that these episodes were all digitally remastered and prepared with Spike TV's "Ren & Stimpy Cartoon Classics" show in mind. Anyone who watched the show may have been annoyed (as I was) that they shoved an extra commercial break into the show. If you watched closely, you'll notice that they always have a less-than-a-second fade to black before a commercial, and then a fade back in. This fading thing (which literally is gone in like half a second) is still in this cartoon, though obviously there is no commercial left in. This is just a little annoying, but half the time I don't notice it.

The other annoyance is that they have a really stupid "WARNING: This DVD contains mature content" notice that you have to wait through every time you stick the disc in. Now, okay... in the John K featurette, he says "damn" and "old wrinkly cock" when describing a character... and I haven't watched the commentary yet, but the episodes themselves are really quite tame. I've watched most of disc one with my younger brother. I don't know if it's just a marketing ploy to make this more acceptable to the South Park-saturated adult audience or what, but it's obvious that these shows were created for and aired on Nickelodeon. The Invader Zim DVDs just have you put in your parental code when you turn the commentary on, it seems like they could just implement something similar for this...

Maybe Viacom is still just too scared by the show from the old Nick days and is just trying to cover their tails. I'm not sure... like I said before, in an animation world with South Park, do you really need to justify THESE cartoons?

Oh, and one thing that's potentially important is where you buy the thing. I would normally recommend Amazon.com, which is around $27.00. HOWEVER, if you go to Best Buy, it's still on the "New Releases" shelf and, despite it's sticker price of $32, it rings up as only $27.98. I don't know if this is at all retail outlets, but I've heard rumblings that it may be a Best Buy exclusive that the set comes with a fourth bonus disc. The disc has two episodes from season three on it; Ren's Retirement and Lair of the Lummox. A price roughly $12 under list and a fourth disc would be reason enough for me to go out of my way to purchase it from there.

Anyway, I'm having some rumblings in my brain about giving this page a redesign, taking advantage of Blogger's new on-site commenting feature, etc. More on that later.

   - posted by Tyler Sticka @

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