Between families and grown-ups, plenty of positive content has been released this year on DVD and Blu-ray in the form of newly released box sets. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s full series presentation of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Arrow Video’s classic creature feature collection, Cold War Creatures, and the latest collection of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood do well to support the noted statements. Between them and so many others, there is more than enough to create a list of this year’s top new DVD/BD box sets overall. Enter Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets.
As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the top 10 titles from this year as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15. There’s already some positive news about new releases coming in the new year about new box sets, but in the meantime, the titles on this list will help people pass the time. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New DVD/BD Box Sets list.
PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD BOX SETS
1.Cold War Creatures
2. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series
3. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection
4. All Creatures Great & Small: Season 1
5. The Watch
6. How To Train Your Dragon: Ultimate Collection
7. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack
8. Jekyll & Hyde
9. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 12
10. Rugrats: The Complete Series
11. Star Trek Discovery: Season 3
12. Doom Patrol: Season 2
13. Josie & The Pussycats In Outer Space: The Complete Series
14. Human: The World Within
15. Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series
Okay that it’s for this list. There is still one more list to go for this year. It will come tomorrow in the form of the year’s top new family friendly DVDs/ Stay tuned!
Maybe it is just this critic, but it seems that increasingly the case that families are becoming increasingly segregated in their own homes. That is due to the advancement of technology and to the fact that there seems to be less programming than ever for families to watch together. Even if there is less for families to watch together, it does not mean that there is nothing out there. PBS and its home distribution arm proved that true this year with their new family DVD box sets alongside Nickelodeon, Universal, Warner Brothers and other companies.
This year actually saw a wide range of enjoyable new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for the whole family to enjoy together, not the least of which was another new collection of classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes from PBS and PBS Distribution. The first time release of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory is another great new offering for the whole families that released this year. Even fans of Universal’s How To Train Your Dragon franchise got something special recently in the franchise’s “Ultimate Collection.” All three of these titles and plenty of others make up what are this year’s top new family DVD and BD box sets list from Phil’s Picks. Between these new releases, new offerings from Nickelodeon’s Loud House,Spongebob Squarepants, and The Casagrandes, another new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood collection from PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution, and so many other releases, this year showed that thankfully there is at least still some programming left for families to enjoy together.
As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the year’s Top 10 new releases in the given category and five honorable mention titles for a total of 15. Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.
PHIL’S PICKS‘ 2021 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD/BD BOX SETS
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tigertastic 50 Pack
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series
Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete 12th Season
Loud House: Season 3 Volume 1
Loud House: Season 3 Volume 2
The Casagrandes: Season 1
How To Train Your Dragon: The Ultimate Collection
Curious George: 5 Movie Collection
Rugrats: The Complete Series
PBS Kids’ 20 Snowy Stories
Garfield & Friends: The Grumpy Cat Collection
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
Thundarr The Barbarian: The Complete Series
Animaniacs Season 1
It should be added as a special note, this year marks the first time ever that Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space and Thundarr The Barbrian have ever gotten a proper, official release. There are DVD releases for those titles, but they are not official releases. They are DVD-R sets that Hannah Barbera and Amazon partnered to release, so they are not official. This year’s BD releases of the series’ are in fact the real deal. They are released through Warner Archives and are well worth the money and the watch. Speaking of the watch, that show is one of the many that made Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Grown-Up DVD/BD Box Sets list. That list will come Monday, so stay tuned!
Another of Nickelodeon’s classic Nicktoons has finally received a proper home release.
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius was released Tuesday on DVD in a full-series set. It marks the first time that the series has ever received a full series release, and came through a partnership between Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It is just the latest to get a proper release, too. The companies’ partnership has also garnered full releases of Aaahhh!!! Real Monsters, The Angry Beavers, CatDog, Danny Phantom, Hey Arnold!, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Wild Thornberrys. Nickelodeon meanwhile released Rugrats on its own last year in a full series DVD set. So now all that is left for release are: Rocket Power, Doug, and The Fairly Oddparents. One can only hope those classic Nicktoons will finally get a proper release sooner rather than later. Getting back on topic though, Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s brand new DVD presentation of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series is an impressive presentation. That is due in large part to its bonus content, which will be discussed shortly. The set’s packaging is also important to examine, and so will be a little later. The set’s pricing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation. All things considered, they make the collection a must have for fans of this and any classic Nicktoon.
Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon’s brand new, first-ever release of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series is a strong new presentation from the companies. It is a presentation that continues the companies’ trend of success with Nickelodeon’s classic animated series releases. That is due in large part here to the bonus content featured in the set. The bonus content features not only the series’ original pilot episode, but also all three hour-long “Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour” crossover episodes as part of its whole. Audiences will be quite interested to see the difference in the show’s look in its pilot episode and its actually three-season run. The CG animation in the pilot episode is far more raw and rough. It is more comparable in this case to that used in ABC’s short-lived Saturday morning series, Reboot (which Shout! Factory has interestingly enough also released in full on DVD and also has as a free streaming option) than to the animation used in the series that followed. The voice talents are all the same. The look of the show is just so starkly different. It makes one happy that with the show having been picked up, the animation was cleaned up and more fine tuned.
On a related note, knowing that the TV series launched in 2002 and its big screen companion piece premiered a year earlier, one has to imagine that the story in the pilot episode was the influence behind the Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius movie. In that case and in the pilot episode, Jimmy is forced to face off against a group of gooey, green aliens who are bent on taking over Earth. Of course in the pilot episode, the parents are not kidnapped by the aliens, unlike in the movie, but regardless, the pilot episode marks the first time that Jimmy encountered the aliens, so one has to assume that, again, the pilot episode was at least in part responsible for the creation of the movie that then led into the series. Keeping all of this in mind, it should be clear that why the pilot episode is such an important part of this collection’s bonus content. It not only serves to help make the series’ presentation complete but helps paint a full picture of the series’ roots and its end.
Moving on to the featured “Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour episodes,” all three episodes are there, beginning with the duo’s first introduction to one another in which they meet due to Timmy’s selfishness. Seeing the different animation styles and universes cross here and in the other episodes is so fun. The same can be said of the stories featured in each episode. The expanded universe builds in each hour-long episode until Jimmy and Timmy are forced to work together in the final special in order to defeat two bad guys from their respective universes. Each special is shown in whole, so audiences get that whole story arc here, too. Keeping that in mind, the inclusion of these specials and the pilot episode do indeed complete the series’ presentation. The addition of some storyboard featurettes as extra bonuses just put the proverbial cherry on the top of the bonus content presentation.
Having noted the positive of the set’s bonus content, the next point of interest to note is the set’s packaging. The packaging is its own positive, beginning with the placement of the set’s discs. In all, the series’ three-season run spans nine discs, with a tenth containing solely the already discussed bonus content. The discs are each placed in their own spot on separate “plates” inside the case. The first disc of the first season even sits on a spindle on the inside front of the case, giving it its own place in the case, too. This is important to note in that it ensures the discs will not touch and/or scratch one another as they are moved in and out of the case. Such an approach is nothing new for Shout! Factory. It has taken this smart approach with every Nicktoons set that it has released to this point, so this is no surprise, but a welcome continued approach.
Adding to the interest of the set’s packaging is the presentation of a printed episode guide on the inside of the case’s wrap. Audiences get a full episode guide aligned with each disc. This is an aesthetic element, yes, but still important. It is important because having that guide will allow viewers to more quickly and easily decide which episodes they want to watch and simply go right to the associated discs. Again, this is nothing overly new to Shout! Factory’s Nicktoons presentations. It is just as welcome here as in every other case and makes the set’s presentation that much more appealing. It is just one more of the set’s most important elements. Rounding out the set’s most important elements is its pricing.
The average price point for The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series is $56.63. That number was reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and Shout! Factory. While the set was not listed through Walmart, this critic was lucky enough to find the set in store at Walmart at a price of $39.99, the least expensive of all of the listings. Target and Barnes & Noble each list the set at a price far exceeding the noted average at $64.99 while Books-A-Million’s price of $64.98 is right there with Target and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. From there, the price decreases to $52.87 through Walmart and $51.98 through Shout! Factory. Looking at all of this, Walmart’s pricing is clearly the best. If audiences can find it in store at their local Walmart store, they will benefit greatly. Otherwise, the noted prices for a three-season set is honestly outrageous. Add in that only a day prior to this review’s posting, Target listed the set at $47.99, it makes one wonder what caused such a dramatic change in price at that retailer. That aside, at least a price that barely tops $40 at Walmart is relatively affordable as long as audiences can find it in store like this critic did. It is a price that is well worth paying for what truly is a complete series presentation for another great classic Nicktoon series.
Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory’s brand new DVD presentation of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series is a mostly successful presentation. The presentation succeeds in part through its bonus content. The bonus content is composed of the series’ pilot episode, all three of its hour-long “Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour crossover specials” and a handful of featurettes. The pilot episode and specials complete the full episode presentation in the set’s discs. The packaging builds on the appeal established through the set’s bonus content to make the whole all the more positive. The set’s pricing is a little problematic to say the least, save for its pricing at Walmart (pending availability even though it was not listed online through Walmart). Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the set’s presentation. All things considered, they make the collection a mostly successful new offering that Nicktoons fans will – again – mostly appreciate.
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: The Complete Series is available now. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available along with the company’s latest news at:
Nickelodeon’s programming today is comprised largely of live action sitcoms aimed at teen viewers. However, from the early 1990s up until the mid-2000s, the network was known more for its vast array of cartoons. It’s “Nicktoons” were its heart and soul. While Nickelodeon does have some cartoons today, the network’s sole remaining real Nicktoon is Butch Hartman’s hugely successful series Fairly Oddparents. Fairly Oddparents is a standout series, too. Interestingly enough, it isn’t his first series to have the honor of being added to Nickelodeon’s list of beloved Nicktoons. His first notable “Nicktoon” was the short-lived supernatural series Danny Phantom. Now thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon, fans of Danny Phantom will be able to own the complete series in one box later this month. Danny Phantom only ran for three seasons. In its defense, it could be argued that this was because it was ahead of its time. That aside, series creator Butch Hartman and his writers crafted a number of enjoyable episodes throughout the show’s short run. Just as worth noting about this new upcoming box set is that is alleviates some minor problems raised in the box sets containing the series’ second season. Lastly, those that know their Nicktoons history will appreciate the voice talent that made up the series’ cast. That who’s who of voice actors combined with the enjoyable stories, and the fact that they are all available together for the first time collectively make this upcoming set well worth picking up for any Danny Phantom fan.
Fans of Danny Phantom: The Complete Series will appreciate this new complete series set first and foremost because it presents the series’ entire three-season run in one complete box set. Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have already released three complete series sets from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life, and The Angry Beavers. Those sets proved to actually take up far less space on DVD racks than the stand-alone season sets that had originally been released. This set is no different. All nine discs that make up all three seasons are included in this box. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have sweetened the deal even more for fans in that they have maintained the established wise packaging that was used in the aforementioned complete series sets. The discs are placed inside the box on either side of their own “insert” with the ninth and final disc being placed in its own spot inside the back of the case. As with the previously noted box sets, this protects the discs and allows the episodes contained within each one to be enjoyed much longer. It is the starting point of what audiences will appreciate about Danny Phantom: The Complete Series.
The packaging for Danny Phantom: The Complete Series is a good starting point in discussing everything that makes this box set well worth its price. The episodes contained across the set’s nine total discs make the presentation as a whole even more enjoyable. It would be easy to say that because its main characters were high school students, Danny Phantom was just another program aimed at audiences of the same age. To a point, it could be seen how teen audiences would take an interest in the series. Case in point, one of the series’ story arcs involved a potential inter-racial romance between Danny and black classmate named Valerie Gray (voiced by Cree Summer—The Cosby Show, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Codename: Kids Next Door, etc.). It really is a sign of the times that the show’s writers would include this without making a big fuss over it, either. It is a subtle, but nice addition to the series. There are also the constant struggles to balance trying to be a regular teen with being a superhero. But the jokes that are tossed in each episode aren’t above some younger viewers, either. So while teens might have been the primary audience, younger viewers would have obviously enjoyed the show, too. The same applies to today’s teens and pre-teens, too.
The packaging and writing that make up Danny Phantom’s episodes are collectively a big part of what makes the series so enjoyable even for today’s younger audiences. There is at least one more aspect of the series’ new set that audiences will appreciate in examining the presentation as a whole. That aspect is the series’ voice cast. The series’ primary cast reads like a who’s who of voice acting. It has already been noted that veteran voice actress Cree Summer is part of the primary cast (even though she doesn’t come into play until the second season). Along with Ms. Summer, Grey DeLisle (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford: The Puppy Years, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, etc.) Kath Soucie (Futurama, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Beauty and the Beast, etc.), Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, etc.) and a whole slate of others each play roles in the series. Fans will also recognize the voices of Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, Hellboy & Hellboy II), Martin Mull (Roseanne), and the man who is perhaps the busiest male voice actor in the business, one Frank Welker (Curious George, The Real Ghostbusters, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, etc.) Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Taylor Lautner (the Twilight saga), and the late David Carradine even make appearances throughout the series among so many other big names. If the massive list of A-listers that play roles in Danny Phantom isn’t reason enough to check out the new Danny Phantom: The Complete Series box set, then one need only set that alongside the enjoyable writing and the equally wise packaging to see just how worthwhile this set is for kids and kids at heart. It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, January 28th. It can be pre-ordered online now from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/danny-phantom-complete-series. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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.
Halloween is right around the corner once again. That means that lots of people are looking for entertainment for their annual parties. This includes parents looking for entertainment for their children’s parties. Next Tuesday, Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory will release one more new fun release for the whole family that is a perfect fit for those parties in the form of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series is great fun for both new young audiences and for those that grew up with the series. It is one of Nickelodeon’s famed Nicktoons that brought Arlene Klasky and Klasky Csupo to fame during the 1990s and early 2000s. And just as the pair set itself apart from the crowd with its groundbreaking series, Rugrats and the equally innovative Wild Thornberrys, it did so just as much with this series, too. Klasky Csupo showed just how far ahead of its time it was with this series. To an extent, one could argue that it might well have been the influence behind Disney/Pixar’s 2001 movie, Monsters, Inc. That’s because the movie in question didn’t come into being until at least three years after Aaahh!!! Real Monsters had ended in 1998. This is just one part of what makes the series so important for any fan of Nickelodeon’s golden era. In direct connection, audiences will appreciate the show’s writing. Again, a comparison to both Klasky Csupo’s other cartoons and to Monsters, Inc. is necessary to show how far ahead of the times and quick the writing was in this series. A third factor to consider in deciding whether or not to buy or order this new set is its packaging. Yet again, Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon have set the bar with another box set’s packaging in this collection. What can be said that hasn’t already been said about that? But that’s a good thing. And it seals the deal on what is another great trip back in time for any purist Nicktoons Nostalgic.
Klasky Csupo was the Pixar of the television world from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. That is thanks to its long strain of original hit cartoons that would be the backbone of Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons programming. Those hits included the likes of Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, and what would end up being the studio’s last Nicktoon, All Grown Up. Throughout all of the cartoons created by the studio, each one was entirely different from the last. And Aahhh!!! Real Monsters was one that definitely stood out. It stood out among both other Nicktoons and other cartoons in general. The only other studio doing anything remotely similar at the time was DiC Enterprises with its claymation based Bump in the Night. Between the two, Klasky Csupo’s cartoon still stood out and in a good way, as it lasted well past the latter of the two toons. No one at the time had thought of the concept of a trio of young monsters living in a dump, learning how to scare humans. Even the characters themselves were original. One look at David Eccles’ Krumm makes one wonder if he in fact wasn’t an influence behind Mike Wazowski. Both of these factors (and others) show just how far ahead of its time this series was.
Aahhh!!! Real Monsters was well ahead of its time in so many ways. From the general story and characters to other smaller aspects, its cast and writers proved that in so many ways. In direct connection, it is just as impressive thanks to its writing. From learning how to scare and avoiding the wrath of their teacher, The Gromble (Gregg Berger—Garfield & Friends, The Angry Beavers, The Garfield Show) to trying to escape capture by Simon the Monster Hunter (Jim Belushi—Life According to Jim, Hey Arnold!, the Adventures of Jimmy Neutron), the writers found so many ways to keep the show fresh through all four of its seasons. There was even a hunt for a pail that sends Ickis on a wild chase that will leave audiences laughing. It’s one more of so many wonderfully entertaining moments that make this new set so fun for anyone that grew up with the series and for their kids, too.
The writing and general ingenuity of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters went a long way toward making it one more of Klasky Csupo’s most beloved cartoons. The same can be said of what made it one of the best Nicktoons of Nickelodeon’s golden era. There is one last factor in this new set that fans of the show will appreciate in its upcoming release. That factor is the set’s packaging. Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory have already released both Rocko’s Modern Life and The Angry Beavers in complete series sets. Those sets both managed somehow to contain eight discs in a box that only takes up the space of two standard DVD cases on any DVD rack. The same can be said of this set’s box, too. Each of the set’s discs are placed on either side of their own “plate” within the case. As large as it may make the box seem, it actually manages to conserve space in the long run. For that, both companies are more than deserving of even more credit. What’s more, this form of packaging also protects the discs from being scratched up. So it serves as a double whammy in the best possible manner. Keeping this in mind along with the original writing and the generally original concept behind the show, audiences are presented with another welcome shining release from Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. One can only hope that from here, the two companies will eventually strike a deal to release Klasky Csupo’s other classic Nicktoons next. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series will be available online and in stores Tuesday, October 8th. It can be ordered direct online from Shout! Factory’s store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/218263. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon is available on the official Shout! Factory website, http://www.shoutfactory.com and Shout! Factory Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. 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.
Fans of Nickelodeon’s classic 90s Nicktoons are getting a special treat just in time for Halloween courtesy of Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon will release Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Complete Series on Tuesday, October 8th, just in time to plan those Halloween get-togethers. The entire series’ four-season run is contained on eight discs in the upcoming release. The first two hundred people to order the set will receive a free 12” x 18” collectible lithograph. It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/218263.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters follows the adventures of monster friends Ickis, Oblina, and Crumb as they attend scare school and learn how to properly and effectively scare humans. The classic Nicktoon ran for a total of four seasons from 1994 – 2000. During its run on Nickelodeon, it received a nomination for a Daytime Emmy in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Animation.” The show boasted an all-star voice cast, too. Charlie Adler (Rocko’s Modern Life, Tiny Toon Adventures, Aladdin), Christine Cavanaugh (Rugrats, Dexter’s Laboratory, Recess), Gregg Berger (Garfield & Friends, The Garfield Show, The Transformers), Tim Curry (Clue, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and James Belushi (Life According to Jim, Hey Arnold!, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) round out the cast.