“The Yogi Bear Show” Re-Issue Is A Welcome Addition To Any Fan’s Library

Courtesy: Hanna-Barbera/Warner Brothers Home Video

Yogi Bear and company are back again.  Everybody’s smarter than the average bear returned last month thanks to Hanna Barbera and Warner Home Video’s re-issue of the classic Yogi Bear Show on three-disc DVD collection.  This latest return for Yogi, Boo-Boo and their friends Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle is not a bad re-issue, but it is not perfect.  On the good side, the series is presented in whole in this three-disc collection.  On the bad side, the set’s packaging is problematic.  It will be discussed later.  It is thankfully the only truly noticeable negative to the set’s new presentation.  Its average price point is another positive, and will be discussed later, too.  Each element is important to note in its own right to this collection’s presentation.  All things considered, this latest Yogi Bear Show re-issue is worth the purchase among classic cartoon (and television) buffs who do not already own the series’ original 2005 release.

Hanna Barbera and Warner Home Video’s recent DVD re-issue of The Yogi Bear Show is a good collection for any of the show’s fans who might not already own the series’ previous 2005 DVD box set.  The same can be said for any classic cartoon and television buffs who don’t already own that noted release, too.  That is due in part to the episodes presented in this set.  Audiences will be happy to know that presented here, is The Yogi Bear Show in its entirety.  All 33 episodes that made up the series’ two short seasons are here including the shorts from Yogi’s pals Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle.   Audiences are given the option of playing the episodes straight through or one at a time on each disc.  The episode menus are basic to say the very least.  The listings are set against a black background along with the set’s box art.  There are no bonus materials to go through either.  Keeping this in mind, even with the set being a bare bones presentation, the fact that it features the series in whole (with the episodes sounding and looking great) does plenty to make up for those other minor shortcomings.  That being the case, the presentation of this classic series in its entirety here is the foundation of the set’s presentation.  It is not the set’s only positive either.  Before getting to the set’s second positive though, it is imperative to discuss the set’s most noticeable negative—its packaging.

The packaging used for The Yogi Bear Show’s recent re-issue is the set’s only major negative.  That is because of the seeming lack of care, concern and thought that was put into this element.  The three discs across which the series’ 33 episodes are spread are stacked one on top of the other on a single spindle inside the box.  Considering the fact that Hanna Barbera and Warner Home used a much wiser, albeit slightly more bulky (but still wiser) packaging in the series’ previous DVD release (and those of its other series), the clearly lazy packaging used here is disappointing. Having all of the set’s discs on a single spindle is the kind of tactic one would only expect from the likes of Mill Creek Entertainment.  Though, Warner Home Video has made its share of mistakes in the past couple of years or so not only in packaging but in other aspects of its home releases.  That only makes this error from the company even more disheartening, since it increases the chance of the discs being marred by one another.  Thankfully though, it is the set’s only major negative.  Keeping that in mind, the next logical step here is to examine the set’s second positive, that being its average price point.

The average price point of Hanna Barbera and Warner Home Video’s recent re-issue of The Yogi Bear Show is important because of the set’s content and its packaging.  This critic used Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon and WB Shop in order to obtain the set’s average price point.  Adding their prices and averaging them, the set’s price point averages to approximately $16.36.  Its highest price is interestingly enough at the WB shop while Wal-Mart offers the most reasonable price at $14.96.  That is especially being the case that so many Wal-Mart stores nationwide offer the series’ set in stores, meaning not having to worry about the additional price for shipping and handling.  Best Buy and Target do not guarantee its availability in stores.  That means even Target’s price mark of $13.89 does not include s&h, which, if the set is not offered in stores, would push up that price point even more.  Target seems to be carrying in store, Josie & The Pussycats: The Complete Series, The Smurfs: Season One and The Flintstones: Season One. This again makes Wal-Mart’s average price the most cost-effective.  Even with that in mind, the set’s overall average price point is still not that bad.  Keeping that in mind, it is yet another reason that audiences who don’t already own the series’ 2005 DVD release will want to pick up this set.  When it is set alongside the set’s episode presentation and that one problematic issue of the set’s packaging, the whole still proves to be a relatively enjoyable presentation.

Hanna Barbera and Warner Home Video’s recent re-issue of The Yogi Bear Show is an enjoyable new presentation of the classic animated series.  That is even with the one glaring negative of its packaging.  Audiences get in this set the original Yogi Bear Show in its entirety, and the set at a relatively affordable price point, too.  Add in expertly transferred video and audio, and audiences get here a set that any fan will enjoy just as much as any classic cartoon (and television) buff.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Hanna Barbera is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wbshop.com/category/wbshop_brands/hanna-barbera+hb.do

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

 

 

 

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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

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Cloudy 2 Is A Rare Ray Of Light Among 2013’s Sea Of Sequels

Courtesy:  Sony Pictures Animation

Courtesy: Sony Pictures Animation

Everyone knows the old adage that a movie’s sequel is never as good as the original. Everyone also knows the old adage that one should never say never. That’s because there are exceptions to the rule. Sony Pictures’ Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of those exceptions to the rule. While it might not have been a necessary sequel, it is still a fun movie for the whole family. The movie picks up right where its forerunner left off, even going so far as to highlight the events of that movie in the outset of this story. The writing team of Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Erica Rivinoja are to be applauded for this. It’s not all for which they are worthy of applause, either. The trio has crafted in this story that while predictable, also has its own share of heart and humor.  The mediations on friendship and environmentalism make the story even more entertaining.  For all the work put in by the script’s writing team, viewers can’t ignore the work put into bringing the “Lost World” style environment to life.  This element makes the movie even richer.  It is especially the case for those with an interest in computer graphics. When they take all of this into consideration, audiences of all ages will find that Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is one of the surprisingly rare worthwhile sequels churned out by Hollywood’s major studios in 2013.

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 seems on the surface to be an unnecessary and even unbelievable story. Much like its precursor, this movie has no link whatsoever to the book on which it was lifted. Rather, it is more akin to Jurassic Park than the book on which it is based. But once audiences allow themselves to get past this factor, they will find that it has real entertainment value.  The script picks up right where the previous movie left off. It even catches up audiences that have yet to have seen said movie.  This isn’t something that’s commonly seen among the masses of sequels that currently jam theaters.  To that extent, the story’s writers deserve a certain amount of credit.  They are also deserving of credit for the fact that despite their script being predictable, it also bears its own share of heart and humor.  The central message in this script is one of friendship and its importance.  Lord and company make the statement that friends are some of the most important people that anyone can have.  This couldn’t be truer.  Any parent will appreciate that this message was included in the script.

The message of friendship made for plenty of heart throughout the roughly ninety-five minute run time of Cloudy 2.  That heart is something that viewers of any age will appreciate.  It’s just part of the whole presentation, though.  There is just as much of a comic element to the movie as there is heart.  The comedy comes in the form of countless pop culture references and jokes.  Younger audiences won’t catch all of the jokes included in the script.  But parents definitely will.  And they will be surprised to find themselves laughing at those jokes.  One could go so far as to argue that the “Live” company and its founder are a spoof of Apple.  That argument could be made considering Apple’s reputation.  Set against the “Live” Company and its loyal legions, the similarities are too obvious to ignore.  Regardless of whether or not a given viewer is an Apple loyalist, any viewer that recognizes this similarity will appreciate the jab at the company.

The mix of heart and humor does so much to make Cloudy 2 fun for the entire family.  There is one more aspect of the movie that as subtle as it is, is just as important to note in its success.  That aspect is the movie’s Jurassic Park style world.  The world crafted by those behind the movie is absolutely stunning.  Yes, the movie as a whole is just another crafted via CG rather than by hand.  This critic will never dismiss that argument.  However, one can’t ignore the detail and depth given to Swallow Falls.  The world crafted for this movie is so lush and rich in color and style.  It actually stands out in its own way against so many other CG features.  This is exemplified by all of the jungle scenes and the inner workings of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.  Yes, Lord and his co-writers went there.  That’s just one of so many of the pop culture references that only parents will get and appreciate.  The colors and detail of the rock candy crystals and walls inside the mountain were so precise and bright.  The same can be said of the onion/brontosaurs type creatures.  It’s obvious in their case that their scenes were modeled precisely after the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.  They moved and acted just like the dinosaurs in question.  There is so much more that could be noted.  But it would be a disservice to audiences to ramble on about all of it here.  Audiences will appreciate what they find when they check out this rare worthwhile sequel for themselves.  It is in theaters now.  More information on Cloudy 2 and other Sony Pictures releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SonyPictures, http://www.facebook.com/SONYPicturesAnimation, http://www.sonypictures.com, http://www.sonypicturesanimation.com, http://twitter.com/#!/sonyanimation, and http://twitter.com/sonypictures.

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New Smurfs re-issue is a “Smurftastic” time for all

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Fabulous Films/Arrow Films

Nearly thirty-one years ago, the world was introduced to what is perhaps one of the most iconic cartoons ever to grace television.  That cartoon was none other than The Smurfs.  That cartoon ran until about 1990.  Until recent years, the Smurfs had all but disappeared until the first couple of seasons made their way to DVD.  And then last year, audiences were re-introduced to the Smurfs with a big screen adaptation that was anything but a hit.  Now, thanks to Shout! Factory, Fabulous Films, and Arrow Films, the honor of the Smurfs has been restored with the upcoming release of the classic movie, “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.”

“The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is a wonderful walk down memory lane for true fans of these animation legends.  The most noticeable thing that audiences will love about this classic movie is its animation.  In an era when so many cg-based movies and TV shows are considered “animated”, it’s nice to see yet another classic hand drawn piece of nostalgia.  Animation may seem minor on the surface.  But one watch of this movie, next to any other true animated feature will note that the animation style is a big part of said features’ identities.  Whereas cg-based “animation” is cookie cutter by nature, hand drawn animation is different from one work to the next.  And this feature’s animation definitely gives it its very own identity.

The animation of “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” gives this feature its own identity.  It’s one part of what makes this classic cartoon such a joy to watch.  Another factor that makes “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” so fun is that while it does lift lightly from the classic Pied Piper story, it still manages to create its very own story.  The story centers on a magic flute discovered by William that makes everyone who hears it dance.  This is where the Pied Piper similarity comes in.  However, it’s also where that similarity ends, and the Smurfs’ own story comes in to play.  When William goes out and talks about the flute, the evil McCreep steals it and uses it to steal people’s money.  So what do the Smurfs have to do with it all?  It just so happens that the wood used to carve the magic flute comes from their magical world.  How this is discovered will remain a secret for those who haven’t yet seen this retro classic.  But it comes in to play in the story’s ultimate outcome, which audiences will love.

The animation and the story of “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” together make for an excellent re-issue for fans.  There’s at least one more factor that makes this such a welcome re-issue.  That factor is the bonus features included in the single disc presentation.  Among the best of those features is the “Glossary of Smurf Terms.”  Parents who grew up with the Smurfs can share lots of Smurf terms and teach their own kids about them.  There’s even a Smurfs Story in the bonus features that will teach new audiences all about the Smurfs. 

From the bonus features to the story to the animation, “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is another wonderful walk down memory lane for audiences who grew up watching the original cartoon series in its near decade long run.  Now that those same audiences are grown up, not only can they re-live some great childhood moments, but they can also share those same moments with a new generation.  That will keep not only family memories alive, but also keep The Smurfs alive for a whole new generation.  “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is available on DVD beginning August 14th via Shout! Factory, Fabulous Films and Arrow Films.  It will be available in stores or to order online at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.

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