CatDog Goes Out On Top In Its Final Season

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

The end is finally here for another classic Nicktoon courtesy of Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon.  The two companies have released CatDog: The Final Season to the masses at long last.  Unlike the show’s previously released season sets, this season contains only a single disc.  Even in just the one disc, viewers are treated to even more fun, zany adventures from everybody’s favorite canine feline, including the now beloved three-part mini-epic, “CatDog and the Great Parent Mystery.”  This episode was the cornerstone of Season Four.  It’s just one example of the continued top notch work from the show’s writers even four seasons into the show’s run.  The show’s writing isn’t all that audiences will appreciate from this final season.  Also worthy of note in CatDog’s final season is the return once more of Tom Kenny and Jim Cummings as the voices of CatDog.  Also to be noted in this season is the guest appearances by veteran actors Billy Bob Thornton and Jane Krakowsi along with one of the most famed of all voice actors, the one and only Frank Welker. All elements combined together, they make CatDog: The Final Season one more wonderful addition to the library of any true Nicktoons Nostalgic.

The writing in Seasons Four’s episodes is just as fun and zany as it has ever been throughout CatDog’s previous three seasons.  This season sees the boys have to convince Winslow to come back to their house after he’s kicked out by his own niece and nephew in “Harasslin’ Match.”  This is a tried and true storyline, given.  It’s been used in so many cartoons and sitcoms past and present.  But that makes it no less funny in this episode.  In another of this season’s best moments, CatDog’s parents make a return appearance.  And once again they are voiced by some very well-known names in the form of Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa, The Astronaut Farmer, Armageddon) and Jane Krakowsi (30 Rock, Ice Age, Ally McBeal).  The pair return in the episode titled, “Vexed of Kin.”  Having finally found their “parents”, CatDog deals with the issue of sibling rivalry in their own wacky way.  It makes for a very good tie in the season’s three-part premiere episode.  The two episodes together exhibit what is another of the positives carried from the show’s first three seasons into this season.  The positive in question is the writers’ ability to once again balance the show’s zaniness with its heart.

The writers responsible for bringing CatDog’s adventures to life have done an expert job of balancing the show’s funny side with its heart over the course of its past three seasons.  This season is no different as evidenced by Season Four’s three-part premiere episode.  The boys’ adventure and the final reveal about their past are both as zany as any previous episode.  On the other side, this episode shows more heart than previous episodes.  Who doesn’t want to feel love from a parent, regardless of whether or not that individual is one’s birth parent?  The love of a parent is the greatest love of all.  It’s that knowledge that makes this episode just as heartwarming as it is funny.  It is a tribute to the talents of the show’s writers, even four seasons in.  And along with the season’s remaining seven episodes, they all come together to make this season one more enjoyable collection for any Nicktoons Nostalgic.

CatDog: The Final Season is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online through Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.  And to keep up with all of the latest news from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory, parents and kids and go online to http://www.facebook.com/nickelodeon, http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial, http://www.nick.com, and http://www.shoutfactory.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rocko’s Modern Life Series Box Set Is A Modern Hit

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have completed the course for one of the best of the network’s original Nicktoons.  On Tuesday, February 26th, the two companies will release Rocko’s Modern Life: The Complete Series on DVD.  The set contains all four of the show’s seasons in their entirety on eight discs.  This set is a must for any true hardcore Nicktoons Nostalgic.  It is without a doubt one of the best box sets of 2013 all the way around.  From its packaging to its episodes and even the new original artwork by series creator Joe Murray, this brand new upcoming set is everything for which fans of Rocko’s Modern Life have waited for so long.

Rocko’s Modern Life: The Complete Series is a winner from the very moment that it’s picked up in store or ordered online.  Shout! Factory has shown once more why it continues to be the leader in releasing box sets with this set’s packaging.  Rather than place the series into a large, bulky box set, all eight discs are placed onto opposing sides of four separate inserts.  Placing the discs in such fashion gives each disc its own backing, thus helping to increase its longevity.  Adding to the longevity factor is a small “lip” placed at the top and bottom of each insert.  The “lip” allows for each disc to be smoothly removed and replaced safely.  And being on separate inserts, audiences can flip through each insert effortlessly to get to the disc that they want to watch.  Being that the set includes eight discs, the box overall is a little larger than the standard double disc.  But in comparison to the size of other multi-disc boxes still being released today, the overall packaging is still a space saver for any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s DVD rack.

The packaging of this new upcoming box set is a major positive. The episodes are just as much a positive.  As already noted, all four original seasons of this modern classic are contained in this box set in their entirety.  And the transfers to DVD are highly impressive.  The quality of each episode’s footage has been fully maintained.  What’s more, now that the show’s original audiences are all grown up, the show’s episodes will present even more enjoyment as they will get many of the jokes presented.  They’re like a fine wine, for lack of better comparison.  They’re that much more of a joy now that the original audiences can look back on them with a whole different take on them.  And making them even better, those same audiences can now share these laugh riot episodes with their own children, thus preserving the legacy of this outrageous cartoon for a whole new generation of fans. 

In relation to the jokes and the quality of the footage contained on these discs, the original hand drawn animation simply cannot be ignored here.  This has already been noted with the previously released first three seasons of Rocko’s Modern Life.  Having all four seasons together now, audiences can really see how the hand drawn animation served to give this cartoon its own original identity.  This was really a landmark of cartoons during the 1990s.  It’s something that has by and large been lost in the Twenty-first century.  Given, there are still hand drawn cartoons out there.  But for the most part, this generation’s cartoons are created via computer.  It makes them sterile and unoriginal.  In comparison, this show’s animation serves as a reminder of everything that once made cartoons great, and hopefully will again one day both for the show’s original viewers and today’s younger audiences.

Staying on the same vein of hand drawn animation, fans that pick up this new set will even be presented with brand new hand drawn animation both inside and outside the set.  The new box art was drawn by series creator Joe Murray.  It adds that much more vintage feel to the set, thus making it that much more special and a must have for the show’s original viewers.  This new eight-disc set will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 26th.  To sweeten the deal for fans, the first 200 who order their copies of this new box set at Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com will receive an 18” x 24” autographed lithograph of an all new original illustration from Joe Murray himself.  Fans can pre-order the set online at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/216544.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, Nickelodeon Keep The Fun Coming With New Nicktoons Release

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory are at it again.  The two companies are releasing the second half of Nick’s classic Nicktoon, CatDog.  In the second half of Season Two, CatDog learns yet again, the value of the other after they have a fight.  Also during a visit to an art museum, it turns out that Dog might just have some royal roots.  And in the season finale, Cat learns the true meaning of Christmas in a special half hour long episode after Cat sells out to Mayor Rancid.  These episodes and all the others included in this double disc feature make for even more furry fun from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory.  And as has become tradition with Shout! Factory’s Nickelodeon releases, the company continues to lead the way in proper packaging, too, adding yet another bonus in itself to this double disc set.

CatDog has had a number of fights throughout the first season of this classic Nicktoon.  That’s also been the case in the first half of Season Two.  Now, another fight has led to another episode in which the pair learns to value the other in the second half of Season Two.  Cat and Dog learn to appreciate the other after a fight between them leads to a pair of dream sequences that eventually intersect in “It’s A Wonderful Half Life.”  Dog is dreaming of a happy simple life, while Cat is dreaming of living in the lap of luxury.  In his dream, CatDog’s friend Winslow is his personal butler.  There’s even a reference to the Orson Welles classic, Citizen Kane in his dream.  While both Cat and Dog’s dreams start out happy, both turn bad quickly, leading to their intersection.  When their dreams intersect, they wake the boys up and make them realize how silly their fight was.  They end up making up, making for a happy and funny end.

Cat showed in his dream during “It’s A Wonderful Half Life” yet again, his greedy nature.  Apparently he got his greed naturally.  That’s shown in “Royal Dog.”  CatDog take a trip to the art museum in this episode.  During their visit, they discover a painting depicting what could very well have been their ancestors.  The tour guide tells them the story of the painting.  The guide tells of how the CatDog in the picture started out poor, but thanks to Cat’s greed and desire for the good life, he trains Dog to be a Royal Dog.  The training works.  But there’s just one catch.  The position of Royal Dog turns out not to be everything that Cat and Dog thought it would be.  In the end, things turn out not so well for CatDog’s ancestor.  But the end result does make for a good laugh.

CatDog has offered lots of laughs in the show’s first two seasons.  And while it does offer more laughs, the season finale of Season Two also offers a warm feeling in “A Very CatDog Christmas.”  In the season finale of Season Two, CatDog is celebrating Christmas.  Dog drags Cat to the mall to see Santa.  Mayor Rancid brings his niece to the mall, too.  She is, of course, a total brat.  She tells Santa and Rancid that she wants CatDog.  But CatDog says they’re not for sale.  That’s not the pair’s only trouble.  After having to deal with Rancid, CatDog also has to deal with the Greaser Dogs again.  Once they escape the Greaser Dogs, Cat’s greed get the better of him.  He goes back to Rancid and agrees to sell himself and Dog to Rancid’s niece.  This depresses Santa, who turns out to be the real Santa.  Santa’s so saddened by seeing CatDog sell out that he cancels Christmas.  Meanwhile, even though Cat and Dog don’t know the effect of what’s happened, they start to realize that they may have made a bad choice.  So, they escape from Rancid and his niece and head home in an effort to set things right.  But they discover when they get back home that things are even worse than they originally though.  Right when everyone is about to punish them, Dog stops everyone and tells everybody there that they can still celebrate Christmas.  This single moment leads to a happy ending for all, including Santa’s return.

To find out exactly how each of these episodes play out, along with all of the other fun adventures not mentioned here, fans of this classic Nicktoon can pick up the double disc set themselves next Tuesday, September 25th.  It will also be available online at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, Nickelodeon Keep The Fur Flying With Catdog Season 2.0

Nicktoons Nostalgics rejoice.  Thanks to the good people at Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, fans of Nickelodeon’s golden age of animation have one more piece of history to add to their home libraries.  Catdog was one of the last original Nicktoons.  It ran a total of four seasons during its run on Nickelodeon.  Now, thanks to a partnership between Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, the second season of this classic Nicktoon hits stores today!  Or rather, the first half of Season Two hits stores today.  This time out, audiences see these furry friends become professional clowns and get sucked into a big time space adventure movie.  Also,  one of the Greaser Dogs also tries her hand at being more of a “lady” in order to attract the attention of dog.  But things don’t exactly go as hoped.  That’s all in the first ten episodes of Catdog Season 2.

Catdog Season 2.0 opens with the episode, “Send in The Catdog.”  In this episode, Cat gets tricked into going to clown school with dog.  The catch was that dog hadn’t originally told the whole truth to cat.  He had only said he was going to school.  He didn’t clarify that he was going to clown school.  When they get to the clown school, the school turns out to be a clown boot camp.  The camp is headed by Sgt. Sillybill.  Dog gets through everything with flying colors.  But cat ends up getting drummed out.  As the group of clowns-to-be near their graduation, dog volunteers for an assignment that everyone else is too afraid to take.  He has to entertain little Suzy Sourpuss at her birthday party.  When the assignment proves too much for even dog, cat is forced to take his place.  In the end, the only thing that would make her laugh was cat crying.  As a result of his sacrifice and accomplishment, cat is “re-instated” and awarded.

Along with being clowns, Catdog also inadvertently get sucked into a space adventure movie in the first half of Season Two.  Many of Catdog’s adventures are the result of dog’s antics.  But in “Spaced Out”, the pair is sucked into a big time space adventure movie thanks to cat.  When he gets dragged to see Mean Bob in Space Part Twelve for the seventy-third time, cat is anything but enthused.  So he sneaks up to the movie projection booth and attempts to sabotage the reels.  Instead, he ends up literally getting pulled into the movie.  As a result, dog gets sucked into the movie, too.  No one in the theater even realizes what’s happened.  They all think it’s a bunch of special effects and new footage.  Catdog ends up in Mean Bob’s spaceship, leading cat to start pushing buttons.  As a result of cat’s actions, Mean Bob gets sucked into space, leaving catdog to have to fend for themselves.  they fight off the alien hordes, and saving the princess.  The twist is that cat’s hopes are dashed when he discovers the princess’s head is the only normal part of her body.  The rest of her body is a giant slimy alien.  He can’t escape her slimy clutches when she offers him a kiss.  to make matters worse, Catdog get stuck in the movie when Rancid refuses to get them out.  That’s because they’re an even bigger hit than Mean Bob.  So cat has to re-live the kiss with the alien princess seven times a day.

The second season of Catdog has lots of funny episodes.  As with so many shows, not every great episode is centered on the show’s main characters.  The first half of this season has proof of that in “The Lady is a Shriek.”  This episode is centered on Shriek, the only female member of the Greaser Dogs.  When dog doesn’t pay attention to her, Shriek decides to give being more lady like a chance.  She goes to charm school in an attempt to learn how to be more of a lady.  The school’s owner, Randolph, tries a number of things.  None of them work.  So in a desperate last attempt, he puts Shriek through a machine that is supposed to turn her into a lady.  It seems to work.  So when she goes to Catdog’s barbecue, all the guys there try to woo her.  the only one not making an attempt is dog.  That only upsets her more, until she finally goes back to being herself.  Dog explains to Shriek that he was fine with her how she was.  Everybody else in attendance is shocked that Shriek is a girl, which drives her crazy.  She starts screaming she’s a girl to everyone.  Her screams even reach around the world at the episode’s end.  This episode is proof that regardless of the show or era, sometimes, the best episodes of any show are the ones taht don’t focus on the main characters.

Catdog Season 2.0 has ten great episodes.  The episodes listed here are only part of the total enjoyment.  They’re only one part of what makes the overall presentation so impressive.  As with all of the Nicktoons currently released, Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have released this double disc set in a slim case.  Each disc has its own place in the case.  this prevents scratching and maintains the longevity of the discs.  So kudos are in order once again for both Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon once again for this release.  The two companies are once again the models of multi-disc sets done right.  That, combined with the laugh riot episodes included in this set make it a wonderful addition to any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home library.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, you can “Like” the Reel Reviews Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews and its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks.

CatDog Season 1.5 offers fans more furry fun

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon are “unleashing” the network’s classic 90’s Nicktoons fast and “furry-ous” in this first quarter of 2012.  Among the new sets helping fans of the classics “scratch their itch” (is that enough bad puns?) is CatDog Season 1.5, or Season 1 Part 2.  The zany adventures of this crazy canine feline (yes that’s a reference to the theme song) continue in the second half of this season.   This time out, Cat learns that maybe being a collector of action figures isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  Cat also learns the importance of honesty when he goes out on a date with his Swedish pen pal, Ingrid.  He also realizes the importance of his friendship with his canine counterpart when he nearly gets the pair literally split up. 

One of this collection’s funniest moments comes in “The Collector.”  In this episode, Dog drags Cat to the toy store to buy the new Mean Bob action figure.  Cat could care less about Mean Bob at first.  But later that same night, Cat has a dream in which the Mean Bob action figure tells Cat to buy more dolls so that he can sell them and make lots of money.  Cat gives in and suddenly starts collecting all the mean Bob figures, thinking he’s gotten them all until someone comes along and shows him one that he doesn’t have after all.  Fans of Don Adams’ classic series, Get Smart will appreciate this episode as it makes reference to that classic sitcom.  Cat trades Winslow for the figure.  And when a British Mean Bob figure comes out, the same guy from earlier tells Cat he sold his collection.  Sadly for Cat, though, he doesn’t get to the store in time to sell his figures.  Rancid plays the part of store clerk/owner in this episode.  He tells Cat that the Mean Bob figures are worthless, and that everyone wants another figure at that point.  It teaches audiences about the fickle nature of collectors and collecting in general.  And at the same time, it’s a really funny episode.

That lesson isn’t the only one offered in this new set from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon.  In “Armed and Dangerous”, Cat is reminded that honesty is the best policy, especially if going out on a date with someone of the opposite sex.  Cat’s going to meet his Swedish pen pal, Ingrid in this episode.  The problem is that he admits to Dog that he had told Ingrid that he’s a great cook, even though he isn’t.  So Cat gets Dog to help him put on a front for Ingrid, hoping to impress her.  As with any CatDog adventure, things end up going awry.  But in the end, it turns out that Cat wasn’t the only one who was lying.  Ingrid reveals to Cat that she was actually very short, and had come to the date with her twin to make her seem tall.  So not only did Cat learn a lesson, so did his female feline friend.  It’s something that audiences of all ages can take something away from.

Catdog Season 1.5 offers lessons on money management in “The Collector”, and honesty in “Armed and Dangerous.”  But that’s not all it teaches.  It also teaches the value of friendship in a number of the show’s episoodes, including “Catdog’s End.”  After dog drives Cat crazy yet again, Cat sees an ad on television for a place that could swap out anyone’s lower half.  Classic movie buffs will love this for the Cary Grant-esque figure who endorses the office.  Cat decides he’s going to go and get split from dog, and replaced with a different lower half.  But in the process, Cat begins to realize just how valueable Dog’s friendship is, and how bad off he’d be without Dog.  In his realization, Cat saves himself and Dog at the last minute, and tells him he doesn’t want to be split up.  This is one more valueable lesson to audiences young and old alike.

CatDog offers so much that makes it more than worthy of being given the title, “Nicktoon.”  It offers great lessons for audiences of all ages.  It also offers episodes that even without morals and lessons, are great fun, zany adventures for the furry pair.  And of course, the very fact that it’s a real hand drawn animated cartoon makes CatDog Season 1.5 one more great addition to any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home library.