Out Of The Vault Returns Is Another Treasure For Classic Nicktoons Fans

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

It is official.   The vault is open again.  No, not that vault.  Not that warehouse from which the people at Disney pull the same movies over and over again every few years or so either.   It’s Nickelodeon’s classic Nicktoons vault.  Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have teamed up once again to release yet another collection of classic Nicktoons cartoons for all of the 90s Nicktoons Nostalgics and their kids.  The collection, Out of the Vault Returns is available in stores nationwide today.  Just as with previous OOTV (as it will be known from here on out) collections, this single-disc compilation features ten more episodes from some of Nickelodeon’s most beloved Nicktoons series.  That is just one important and notable element of this collection.  The writing within the episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.  The work of each show’s cast rounds out the compilation’s positives.  Each element proves important in its own right to the whole of Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s new Nicktoons collection.  Altogether they make this set another collection that any Nicktoons Nostalgic will want to add to his or her own home DVD library.

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s latest collection of classic Nicktoons episodes is yet another piece that any Nicktoons Nostalgic will want to add to his or her own home DVD library.  The main reason for this is the list of episodes collected for the disc’s presentation.  There is a total of nineteen shorts over the course of the DVD’s roughly two hundred twenty minutes.  For the most part the episodes are equally divided among the five featured series.  Each series is represented with four episodes save for Rocko’s Modern Life.  That series is represented by three episodes.  Even with that slight discrepancy it still doesn’t take anything away from the DVD’s overall presentation.  Audiences will love the inclusion of “You Only Scare Twice” from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters which spoofs the old James Bond spy flicks, and “Harold The Butcher” from Hey Arnold!  That episode is one of Hey Arnold!’s best episodes hands down.  It sees local bully Harold show his softer side as he discovers his calling.  It is one of those episodes that clearly exhibits the heart that made Hey Arnold! so great and still does so today.  Just as great is “Fatal Contraption” from Rocko’s Modern Life.  This episode is actually one of the series’ more controversial episodes believe it or not.  As if that isn’t enough, “Meat Dog’s Friends” will have audiences laughing just as much as Dog discovers where meat comes from.  He turns vegetarian but only for a short time.  That is because of a dream that he has that unnerves him even more.  There are just as many laughs from Dag and Norbert in the featured episodes from The Angry Beavers.  Whether for the noted episodes or any of the other included episodes, it can be said that the episodes in whole make for plenty of reason for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to add this new DVD to their own home DVD libraries.

The episodes that are featured in Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s new OOTV are in themselves plenty of reason for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to add this latest compilation to his or her own home DVD library.  The writing within the episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.  This is especially exemplified in Hey Arnold!’s “Harold The Butcher.”  Harold discovers his calling in this episode.  But that is just one part of what makes this episode so great.  He discovers his calling after having been caught shoplifting a ham, which as his rabbi exclaims (yes, rabbi) is not even kosher for Jews.  That brings up another important element of the episode’s writing.  That the writers would tackle religion so openly in a popular, mainstream children’s series is brave to say the very least.  It isn’t the only time that they did either.  What’s more it showed that Hey Arnold!  was so strong not just thanks to its episodes centered on Arnold but on the series’ supporting cast, too.  That’s rare in television.  It’s just one example of what makes the episodes’ writing so impressive.  Aaahh!!! Real Monsters spoofs Hollywood’s classic James Bond movies in “You Only Scare Twice.”  Right from the title, which spoofs the classic 1967 Bond flick You Only Live Twice the spoof is on.  The episode sees Oblena, Ickis, and Krumm chasing a secret agent in an attempt to scare him all while he hunts down an evil villain.  The chase comes from the trio being forced to make up a scare that they were supposed to have done previously.  Simply put it’s just a fun, turn off your brain episode that adults will enjoy just as much as their kids.  “Wacky Delly,” from Rocko’s Modern Life, is another important example of the importance of the episodes’ writing.  This episode sees the Fatheads’ son in his attempt to get out of his contract with a major TV network.  He employs the help of Rocko and company in order to create a series so bad that he can get out of his contract, hoping that the network execs will hate the creation that badly.  Of course the plan backfires on him at least to a point.  Those that might not be familiar with Rocko’s Modern Life will be interested to know that this episode is actually linked to series creator Joe Murray and his own frustrations.  It is just one more example of the importance of the writing within the episodes featured in this latest collection.  It is hardly the last notable example of the episodes’ writing, too.  The joking commentary about the fanatical view of some vegetarians in CatDog’s episode “Meat Dog’s Friends” will have any viewer laughing hysterically with its biting commentary.  And the full-on zany approach of the writers behind The Angry Beavers provides its own share of entertainment, too.  All things considered the writing exhibited in this collection’s featured episodes goes well beyond exhibiting what makes the episodes’ writing just as important as the episodes themselves.  Both elements come together to strengthen the collection even more.  Even as important as the episodes and their writing is to the overall presentation of this latest OOTV collection, the noted elements are not the collection’s only important elements.  The work of the series’ various cast members is just as important as the episodes and their writing.

The episodes presented in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s latest OOTV collection and their writing are both integral in their own way to the collection’s overall presentation.  As important as they are to the presentation, the work of the series’ various casts is just as important to the episodes’ collective presentation.  Justin Shenkarow (Disney’s Recess, Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego?, Life With Louie) is wonderful as Harold Berman in Hey Arnold!  The same can be said of Francesca Marie Smith (A Bug’s Life, The Prince of Egypt, Disney’s Recess) as Helga Pataki.  Her laughing-gas induced call to Arnold in “Helga Blabs It All” will have viewers laughing nonstop as will her attempt to recover the answering machine tape containing her profession to Arnold after her revelation of what she’d done.  It’s the kind of reaction that can only be pulled off in a cartoon series, and a timeless classic at that.  Jim Cummings (The Lion King, Shrek, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)  is just as great as the voice of Cat in CatDog as he realizes here meat comes from and his subsequent reaction in his own twisted dream.  On a related note,  Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, WordGirl, Miles From Tomorrowland) is just as great as Cat’s canine counterpart Dog when the duo has a big fish story of its own to tell in “The Old CatDog and the Sea.”  Going back to the episodes’ writing for a moment, this episode’s title is another example of the importance of the episodes’ writing.  That is because the title is a playful take on the take of author Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and The Sea.  Younger viewers today likely won’t know much of the book or its famed author.  But older audiences will.  To that extent, it makes the writing once again all the more enjoyable.  Getting back on track voice actress Christine Cavanaugh (R.I.P. 2014) proves once again to be just as entertaining as ever as she and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters co-stars Charles Adler (Tiny Toon Adventures, Aladdin, Cow & Chicken) and David Eccles (Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, Duckman) have to stop humans from discovering the monster school in the junkyard in “Less Talk, More Monsters.”  The trio will keep audiences entertained throughout as Oblina, Ickis, and Krumm try to protect their school from the humans.  It’s yet another way in which the work of the different series’ voice actors proves important to the overall presentation of Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new OOTV collection.  Together with the episodes and their writing all three elements come together to make this collection one more great addition to any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home DVD library.

Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Out of the Vault collection is yet another enjoyable addition to any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home DVD library.  That is thanks in large part to its presented episodes.  The episodes represent each of the five presented series in a relatively balanced fashion.  And for those that were not able to get their hands on any of the series’ stand alone season sets or full-series runs it is especially great because of its cost effectiveness.  The writing behind each of the series’ episodes is just as important to the collection.  That is because it runs the gamut from the wildly outrageous (as in the Angry Beavers episodes) to the more substantive such as in the presented Hey Arnold! episodes and everything in between including the spooky and silly in the presented Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episodes.  The work of each series’ voice cast is just as important to the collection’s presentation as the episodes and their writing.  That is because the casts’ interpretation of each script is the finishing touch to each episode.  It is their work that brings the episodes and their scripts to life and in turn makes them entertaining.  Each element shows in its own way to be important to the presentation of Out of the Vault Again.   Altogether all three elements show clearly why this latest collection of classic Nicktoons episodes is another enjoyable piece for any Nicktoons Nostalgic.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, Nickelodeon To Release New Nicktoons Holiday Collection Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have teamed up to release another special Nicktoons holiday collection next month.

On Tuesday, October 6th Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon will release the latest Nicktoons holiday collection Out of the Vault: Christmas Collection. The single-disc DVD will feature ten more episodes from five of Nickelodeon’s most beloved classic animated series. Those episodes include: “A Very CatDog Christmas” (from CatDog), “Arnold’s Thanksgiving” (from Hey Arnold!), and “A Gift Hoarse” (Angry Beavers) as well as seven more episodes. The DVD will retail for MSRP of $9.99. More information on this and other titles from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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

Out Of The Vault: Halloween Is A Frightfully Fun Treat For Every Nicktoons Nostalgic

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

August is almost over and September is about to begin. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is right around the corner. With the unofficial start of the annual holiday season nearing once again audiences are going to start seeing any number of seasonally-themed DVDs and Blu-rays hitting store shelves if they haven’t already. While many of the DVDs and Blu-rays are the same ones that are seen every year, there are some new additions each year. One of the most notable of this year’s crop of new holiday-themed DVDs is Nickelodeon’s new Out Of The Vault: Halloween collection. This new collection of Halloween-themed classic Nicktoons episodes is one that audiences of all ages. The main reason for this is the collection’s episodes. The collection features sixteen classic Nicktoons episodes pulled from five classic Nicktoons series. Their presentation is relatively well-balanced over the course of the disc’s roughly three and a half hour run time. The writing behind each of the featured episodes is just as important to the collection’s enjoyment as the episodes and their distribution. The writing incorporated into each of the episodes equal amounts and frights and fun. Rounding out the reasons that this brand new compilation is so much fun is the various animation styles of each series. It is a subtle factor. But it really shows in the bigger picture one of the most important parts of what once made cartoons great. That will be discussed at more length later. But it is just as important as any of the other reasons noted here. All things considered, Out Of The Vault: Halloween shows in the end to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays and one more collection that any “Nicktoons Nostalgic” will want to have in his or her own home collection.

Nickelodeon’s new holiday DVD Out Of The Vault: Halloween is one of the best of this year’s new crop of holiday DVDs and Blu-rays. Holidays aside, it is also another collection that any “Nicktoons Nostalgic” will want to have in his or her own home collection. The main reason that it is such an enjoyable watch is its featured episodes. The episodes are not limited to just a small handful from one classic Nicktoon. Rather they are pulled from a healthy spread of the network’s classic animated series. Those series include: Hey Arnold!, Angry Beavers, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, and CatDog. Each series is well-represented, too with four of the series being represented by three episode each and the fifth—Rocko’s Modern Life—being represented by four episodes. That brings the episode total to sixteen episodes and roughly three and a half hours of programming. In an even larger sense, what such a balanced representation does is give those that might otherwise not have any of the series’ previously released box sets the chance to finally own at least a part of the featured series and kick-start their collections. Keeping this in mind, the episodes presented in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Nicktoons Halloween collection show that on their own, they collectively make a solid reason for this collection to be part of any Nicktoons Nostalgic’s home library.

The episodes featured in Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s new Nicktoons Halloween collection by themselves why this collection is one of the best of this year’s new crop of holiday DVDs and Blu-rays. Of course the episodes themselves are just one part of the reason that the collection proves to be so impressive. The writing that went into the episodes is another reason that this collection proves to be such a solid new release. “Arnold’s Halloween” is just one example of how the writing behind the collection’s episodes makes the collection in whole so much fun. This episode playfully pays homage to both to Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. It just adds a little bit of a spin that will have audiences of all ages laughing throughout the episode and will ultimately leave them wanting to watch it again not just during Halloween but during any time of the year. The Angry Beavers episode “The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up” shows doubly just how important the writing behind the collections episode is to the presentation in whole. The first way in which it does so with this episode is the very title of the episode. The title is a playful poke at the classic 1951 sci-fi flick The Day The Earth Stood Still. the episode itself pays tribute to all of the classic sci-fi/horror flicks that were churned out throughout the 1950s. Having Dag and Norbert actually become part of one of those classic films puts its own spin on those classics that will have older audiences and younger viewers alike laughing together at the inanity of it all. “This Is Your Brain on Ickis” is yet another example of how the episodes’ writing makes this collection so enjoyable. As with the noted Angry Beavers episode, the title of this episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in itself an example of how its writing makes it so fun. The title is a playful homage to the 80s anti-drug campaign that told viewers “This is your brain on drugs” as it showed an egg frying in a pan. The episode itself shows the strength of its writing as Ickis shrinks down and takes over monster hunter Simon’s brain. The end result will have viewers laughing tears of joy. It is just one more example of how the writing behind the episodes featured in this collection makes the presentation in whole so enjoyable. There are plenty of other episodes featured throughout this collection that could be used as examples of the strength of the episodes’ writing. Those episodes and the ones noted here together show in whole why the writing behind each episode together with the episodes themselves makes Out of the Vault: Halloween a must have this Halloween for any Nicktoons Nostalgic.

The episodes featured as part of Out of the Vault: Halloween and the writing behind each episode both make for plenty of reason for any Nicktoons Nostalgic to add this DVD to their personal home DVD library. While both of the noted elements are clear reasons that this collection shines so brightly, the animation presented in each series proves to be just as important to the set in whole. Most people probably won’t pay that much attention to the animation style of each series presented in this DVD. But the reality is that the animation style of each series is just as important to the enjoyment of this collection as anything else. That is because it serves as a reminder of the artistic originality that once made cartoons so great. By comparison there is a troubling lack of that artistic creativity and originality in today’s cartoons. The series on television today by and large don’t even deserve to be called animated series being that they are cookie cutter creations made by computers rather than the human hand. Looking at the animation style of each presented series, it reminds audiences of the importance of putting one’s heart and soul into a cartoon rather than just moving a mouse and using a bunch of desktop tools. From the somewhat grainy look of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters to the softer design style of Hey Arnold! and CatDog to the rigidity of the animation in The Angry Beavers and even the almost free-flowing style of Rocko’s Modern Life the different animation styles within each series serves to give each series just as much of its own identity as the writing behind each series’ episodes. Both of those elements come together with the episodes themselves and their balance from one series to the next to make fully clear why Out of the Vault: Halloween is a must have for any Nicktoons Nostalgic and one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays.

Out of the Vault: Halloween is not the first Nicktoons compilation to be released this year by Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It is however, just as enjoyable as the companies’ previous compilation disc. The episodes featured in this collection and their balance from one series to the next are collectively one reason that it is so enjoyable. The largely laugh-inciting writing behind each series’ episodes is another reason that the collection proves so enjoyable. And the original, hand-drawn animation at the base of each episode rounds out the presentation. Each series’ animation reminds audiences of what once made cartoons so great. All three reasons considered together, they make Out of the Vault: Halloween one of the best of this year’s crop of new holiday DVDs and Blu-rays and a frightfully fun treat for every Nicktoons Nostalgic. It will be available next Tuesday, September 1st in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, Nickelodeon Teaming Up To Release New Nicktoons Halloween DVD

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Nickelodeon

Next month, Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory will release another new installment of classic Nicktoons episodes when it releases Out of the Vault: Halloween Collection.

Out of the Vault: Halloween Collection will be released Tuesday, September 1st alongside Shout! Factory Kids’ new Littlest Pet Shop Halloween DVD Halloween Festival. Out of the Vault: Halloween Collection features ten episodes from Nickelodeon’s classic Nicktoons series. Among the disc’s highlights are Hey Arnold!’s “Haunted Train,” “Sugar Frosted Frights,” from Rocko’s Modern Life and “The Switching Hour” from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. “Haunted Train” follows Arnold and his friends as they take a trip on a train that Arnold’s grandpa (Dan Castellaneta—The Simpsons, Futurama, The Batman) told them was a train to that place way down south. Of course the reveal is far less scary than Arnold and company were led to believe. “Sugar Frosted Frights” has Rocko’s pal Filburt having to fight his fear of Halloween. And in “The Switching Hour,” the series premiere of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Crumb and company disobey The Gromble (Gregg Berger—Garfield & Friends, The Garfield Show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and go out on Halloween. This leads to a bit of a mix-up thanks to a child scared by Ickiss dressing up just like him for Halloween. Of course this leads to its own share of Halloween fun for the whole family. It’s one more of the disc’s episodes that audiences will love to watch this Halloween and the days leading up to the big night. The full episode listing for the DVD is noted below.

Episodes Included:
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
The Switching Hour / Monsters, Get Real
Monsters Are Real / This Is Your Brain On Ickis

Angry Beavers
The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up
Damnesia / The Posei-Dam Adventure

CatDog
Full Moon Fever / War Of The CatDog
CatDogula

Hey Arnold!
The List / Haunted Train
Arnold’s Halloween

Rocko’s Modern Life
Power Trip / To Heck And Back
Sugar Frosted Frights / Ed Is Dead

Out of the Vault: Halloween Collection will be available in stores Tuesday, September 1st on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $9.99. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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

Nickelodeon, Shout! Factory Finishing Off Another Classic Nicktoon Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Nickelodeon

Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon established a partnership only a few years ago that has seen some of the network’s greatest classic series, called Nicktoons, get full, proper releases. Almost all of those classic Nicktoons has seen releases in separate seasons and complete series box sets. Now what is one of the last of those series sets will be released next month in the form of CatDog: The Complete Series.

CatDog: The Complete Series will be released on DVD Tuesday, October 14th. The series’ complete four-season, sixty-eight episode run will be released in one complete multi-disc set. It will retail for MSRP of $29.93. After this release, the only full series sets that are left to be released under the companies’ current partnership are The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series and Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Audiences can keep up with the latest on all of these releases online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

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

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 https://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.

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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

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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.

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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.