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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Chuck Goes Good Or So It Seems In New WordGirl Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

WordGirl and her trusted sidekick Captain Huggyface are back with another great brand new adventure for audiences.  In this brand new adventure, WordGirl and Captain Huggyface have to face the evil Dr. Two-Brains again.  And this time, he’s not alone.  Also in Episode #503, Granny May is back with another evil plan.  And of course, Bo Handsome and his trio of contestants are back for another fun episode of everybody’s favorite vocab building game show, “May I Have A Word?”

The first half of Episode #503 opens as Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy is buying (yes, buying) items for sandwiches.  Much to her surprise, Chuck even shows WordGirl his receipt for everything when she accuses him of stealing them.  In her surprise, WordGirl asks Chuck what happened to his mom’s station wagon.  He tells her that he had always yearned for a lunch wagon just like in the old west.  So he converted the station wagon into his own lunch wagon from which he could sell his sandwiches.  After he leaves, Word Girl and Captain Huggyface fly off to keep watch over the city.  While they keep vigil, WordGirl tells Captain Huggyface how she has yearned to tell her friend Violet about her secret identity.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Dr. Two-Brains and his henchmen are driving, when they spot Chuck’s lunch wagon loaded with cheese.  So he pursues it in a plan to hijack it.  Just as Chuck thinks he’s getting away from Dr. Two-Brains, his lunch wagon breaks down, allowing Dr. Two-Brains to catch him.

While all of this is going on, Becky and Violet are at Becky’s house, sharing their dreams.  When Violet tells Becky of her dreams, Becky tells her that she should pursue her dreams.  Then Violet asks Becky about her dreams.  And just as Becky is about to reveal her secret identity to Violet, she’s told by one of the townspeople about Dr. Two-Brains’ plot.  So she has to race off to stop him.  It turns out that not only does she have to stop Dr. Two-Brains, but also Chuck, as he proves that he’s not all good after all.  The confrontation comes down to an old west style standoff, leading to the defeat of both Dr. Two-Brains and Chuck.  Having beaten both bad guys again, WordGirl heads back home to where Violet is still waiting for Becky.  Luckily, Becky/WordGirl is able to come up with a line about where she has been and what she was going to tell Violet, instead of her secret identity, protecting both herself and Violet.

As the first half of the episode ends, audiences get another brand new episode of “May I Have A Word?”  In today’s new episode, the contestants have to define the word, Clutch.  Emily gets the definition right, and wins an official WordGirl dune buggy.

The show moves back to the second half of the episode after this intermission.  In the second half of Episode #503, Granny May is back again.  This time, Granny May has devised a plan that would have made Mr. Big proud.  She has developed a plan to make accessories for everybody’s pets.  What the townspeople don’t know is that Granny May’s pet accessories are in reality mind control devices.  She is using them to get everybody’s pets to steal from their owners for her.  There’s even a reference to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video in this episode that parents will love as the pets’ minds are controlled.  The morning after everybody’s stuff is stolen, Granny May sinks to a new low, trying to frame Becky’s friend, Violet.  So Becky sets out to try and figure out what happened.  Later that night, she does discover what happened when her dad takes Captain Huggyface’s accessory to wash it.  He puts it around his neck to carry it to the wash, when his mind is suddenly controlled.  So WordGirl follows Mr. Botsford and discovers that Granny May really is behind the thefts.  Thankfully, one of the cats there unwittingly sits on Granny May’s mind controller, releasing all the animals from their trance.  Everything is returned and Violet’s name is cleared.

The show moves back to the bonus round of “May I Have A Word” from here, where Emily correctly associates the definition of Clutch to the proper picture, winning her a sand dune to go with her new dune buggy.  Captain Huggyface closes out the episode by showing what the word, perturbed means.

This episode may have aired in some markets and not others.  Audiences should check their local listings to see which new episode is scheduled to air each day.

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Wordgirl wins Daytime Emmy

NEW YORK, NY–WordGirl has become famous for fighting robots and evil supervillains every day.  Now, everybody’s favorite little literary superheroine can add another title to her long list of accolades.  Wordgirl won a Daytime Emmy this past Tuesday, June 17th at the 39th Annual Creative Arts & Entertainment Daytime Emmy® Awards.

The Emmy win was for Outstanding Writing in Animation.  Scholastic Media President Deborah Forte shared her thoughts on the honor.  She said, “I am thrilled the Academy has once again chosen to honor the WordGirl writing team for excellence.”  She added, “This latest recognition of the program is a testament to the tremendous talent and dedication of our writers, who, like WordGirl herself, demonstrate the power of choosing the right words.”

WordGirl is now airing on PBSKids GO! and is in its fourth season.  Since its debut three seasons ago, WordGirl has won thirty awards and nominations, including seven Emmy nominations and a 2008 Emmy award win for “Best Writing in Animation” and many others. 

Parents and kids can get more information on WordGirl online at http://www.PBSKIDSGO.org and http://www.PBS.org/pressroom.   

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