Warner Brothers has largely started off 2013 in successful fashion. Its only major missteps so far this year have been its DVD and Blu-ray release of Hats Off to Dr. Seuss and Tiny Toon Adventures Volume 4. Save for those two problematic releases, Warner Home Video has largely seen more success through the first two quarters of the year. Now Warner Home Video has started off its new quarter by catching its footing in the first half of Taz-Mania Season One. Taz-Mania Season One Volume One is one of many candidates for the best children’s DVDs and Blu-rays of 2013. That’s because unlike the company’s previous missteps, this release gets almost everything right. The only downside to this set is something that has plagued many of its releases so far this year. And that will be discussed later.
Taz-Mania Season One Volume One is a welcome release from Warner Home Video. This relic of a bygone era is one more example of everything that made not only children’s programming great, but also television in general. As audiences will see in Season 1.0, Taz-Mania made both children’s programming and television in general so great because unlike the cartoons that pollute television’s channel lineups today, it’s a cartoon that even today families can watch together. That’s thanks first and foremost to the show’s writing. The show’s writing is witty and clever. It’s taut enough that adults won’t feel like they’re being dumbed down. At the same time, it offers just enough comedy for even today’s younger viewers to find themselves laughing. The constant fights between Taz and Molly are something to which both adults and kids alike can relate, and thus at which adults and kids alike can laugh. And Taz’s constant adventures with his fellow characters are just as enjoyable. Viewers of every age will love watching Taz go diving for undersea treasure with Digeri Dingo, facing off against Francis X. Bushlad, and even taking on a part-time job in hopes of getting his own motorcycle. There’s even a heartfelt story telling how Taz first got his pet, Dog the turtle. If it doesn’t pull at a viewer’s heartstrings, nothing will. There is so much more that audiences will enjoy from this first half of Season One. This is just a taste of what kids and kids at heart can expect from this set.
The witty, clever writing of Taz-Mania makes it a great addition to any Looney Tunes fan’s library regardless of whether one is seeing it for the first time or for the first time again. It’s just one part of the show’s success. The animation style is another plus to this modern classic cartoon. So many of today’s “cartoons” are cartoons in the loosest sense possible; those that are at all. For the most part, most of today’s kids programming is dominated by CGI created shows and live action fodder for tweens and teens. Those rare hand-drawn cartoons that are left have been spit-shined. Taz-Mania is the exact opposite. Its more “rough” animation style is a throwback to the classic days of animation. It doesn’t have the finely defined borders and background designs of so many of today’s cartoons. It really serves to help Taz-Mania develop its own identity, even among other cartoons from its era. In its own right, one could even argue that Taz-Mania’s animation style is a direct throwback to the golden era of Looney Tunes. That makes this double-disc set even more worth watching regardless of one’s age.
The writing and animation in the first half of Taz-Mania’s debut season are both big factors in the show’s success. There is at least one more factor to consider in determining whether Warner Home Video’s people have succeeded with this latest release. That factor is the double-disc set’s packaging. The packaging is by and large, a success. It follows the same formula that has become the norm for multi-disc box sets. Both of the set’s discs are placed on their own spot inside the standard size DVD case. As with any other set packaged in this fashion, it protects the discs from scratching and in turn, increases their longevity. The discs themselves are the only real downside to the entire set. Anyone that has picked up any previously released sets from WHV this year will notice that the people at WHV have not put a whole lot of thought into appeal on the discs. Sure, there are designs on both discs. But both discs are splashed in a single, flat tone. It would have been nice to see a full color design rather than something that looks like someone took a paint brush and ran it right over a bunch of clear designs. This is a minor issue. But it still plays a part in the overall picture. This might be as simple as a cost-cutting measure. If so, it’s understandable. Otherwise, this is something that the people at WHV will hopefully fix with any of its upcoming release. The double-disc set is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online from the WB shop at http://www.wbshop.com/product/tazmania+taz+on+the+loose+season+1+part+1+1000303587.do?sortby=bestSellers&from=Search.
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