The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 – Part 1 + The Angry
Beavers: Season 3 – Part One + Rocko’s Modern Life – Season Two + Hey Dude –
Season 2 (Shout! Factory DVD Sets)
The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 –
B Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: B-
The Angry Beavers: Season 3 – Part
B Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: B
Rocko’s Modern Life – Season Two
B Sound: B- Extras: B- Episodes: A-
Hey Dude – Season 2
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: D Episodes: B-
Beep Beep* Nickelodeon Overload!! *Beep Beep Beep*
Factory has done it again as with the release of four more seasons of four
great series audiences across the world get to relive their childhoods. There was a time when Nickelodeon ruled
television animation; producing some of the zaniest and most creative series on
The Wild Thornberrys
Season Two: Part 1 the series focuses on Eliza Thornberry and her family as the
travel the world in search of life and adventure. Nigel Thornberry (Tim Curry) is a world
renowned Animal documentarian who hosts his own ‘National Geographic’ type
series; with his wife Marianne as camera woman and his daughter Eliza and two
other children Donnie and Debbie tagging along for the adventure.
has changed between the first and second season with each episode being an
independent story that does not rely too much on connecting storylines to
propel the tale forward. Eliza possesses
the mystical ability to speak to animals, which often gets her (and her family)
in and out of trouble. The plots are
simple and truly intended to pull in a younger audience. Season
One seemed to have more varied plots, whereas Season Two: Part One relies on Eliza helping one animal per episode
get out of trouble of some sort. I feel
the true stars of the series are Eliza’s family and less so the animals; Season One understood that fact,
whereas Season Two became all too
Wild Thornberrys remains a fun series that is sure
to entertain a wide range of viewers.
The Angry Beavers
Like Wild Thornberrys, The Angry Beavers has not changed much between the Season One/Two release and this new Season Three: Part One release. The series continues to follow beaver
bachelors Norbert Foster and Daggett Doofus as their conflicting personalities
quickly set up hysterical hilarity.
series progressed the creators took more risks and made the characters even
crazier. With episodes like “Too Loose
Latrine” and “Spooky Spoots” setting the first half of Season Three apart this release is full of wonderful moments. The characters, for lack of better words, are
out of their minds and this in turn makes the series refreshing and enjoyable
to watch. Angry Beavers was of an
era where series like Rocko’s Modern
Life and Ahhh! Real Monsters were
not holding back and brought on the insanity.
Unlike Thornberrys I can see Beavers being just as appealing to
adults as it is to children; with many of the jokes being above children’s
heads. Twisted and creative Angry Beavers is a standout animated
series that delivers the laughs every episode.
Rocko’s Modern Life
Heffer, Spunky, Mr. Bighead, Filburt and all the rest are back for the second
season release of Rocko’s Modern Life.
By far one of the best animated series of the 1990’s with the right blend of
grotesque humor, imaginative animation, and inventive storylines. Rocko’s
Modern Life: Season Two in general maintains the same level quality as that
of First Season with the episodes
being both excellent and memorable. Rocko’s Modern Life has a wonderful
sense of odd, borderline inappropriate humor that establishes the series as
being a daring, psychotic adventure.
Joe Murray’s sense of humor coupled an excellent voice cast made Rocko one of the most memorable
animated series from my youth; granted at that time I didn’t understand many of
the jokes, but somehow the absurd wittiness shined through.
In Season Two we get such gems as Rocko
getting out his appendix, bad hair day, ski resort, clogged drains, Filburt
marries Rocko, and many many more. The
stories have only gotten better with time and nothing has faded into obscurity.
Rocko’s Modern Life continues to impress me with its
out of this world animation and brilliant sense of humor. Like a fine wine it only got better with
age…especially now that I get the jokes.
other series not much has changed between Seasons
One and Two, but the same level
of fun is there. I don’t feel Bar None
Ranch has stood the test of time like the animated series chronicled above, but
it does bring back some memories.
episode jogs a memory for this reviewer, as prior to viewing this set I could
not have named a single moment from the series; but oddly enough all of the
episodes bring back a flood of fondness and emotion, reminding me of a more
Hey Dude follows a group of ranch hands as
they help run Bar None Dude Ranch for owner Benjamin Ernst. Each episode has the crew getting into and
out of trouble in a very jovial, slapstick manner. The series stars Christine Taylor (current
Mrs. Ben Stiller) as lifeguard Melody, David Lascher as manager Ted, Kelly
Brown as horse Trainer Brad, Debrah Kalman as ranch hand Lucy, Josh Tygiel as
Ben Ernst son Buddy, and finally Joe Torres as Hopi Indian native Danny.
waited years for many Nickelodeon series to hit the shelves, but Hey Dude was always one of the most
requested along with Salute Your Shorts *yet
to be release* and Rocko’s Modern Life (see
fun series that is worth a second look, even if it doesn’t hold up as well as
the other animated series mentioned above.
Perhaps it is time to pass this series down to a younger generation.
animated series once again definitely have the edge as compared to the live
action Hey Dude. The picture on Thornberrys, Angry Beavers, and Rocko again is a 1.33 X 1 Full Screen that demonstrates bright
colors, crisp edges, inky blacks and little debris. On Rocko
there is noticeably more grain and debris; with Thornberrys and Beavers being
slightly newer and looking a tad better, but not by much. Hey
Dude sadly is again a major downgrade from the animated series, with
blurred images at times, weak colors, an element of grain throughout, and an
overall soft quality. The sound on the
animated series is a step up from Hey
Dude (also in stereo) as well, with a crisp clean dialogue in a 2.0 Dolby
Digital Stereo. Hey Dude continues to have a muffled, distant quality and though
most of the time is passable it is not as good as the animated series.
Thornberrys, The Angry Beavers, and Hey
Dude all contain (sadly) no extras; whereas Rocko’s Modern Life houses several including a “Behind the
Characters with Joe Murray” where he teaches viewers how to draw Rocko, Heffer,
and more as well giving insight into their original creation. Rocko also
includes the original unaired “Trash-O-Madness” pilot that is a different
version from the first aired episode; a nice inclusion.
hosted some of the best and memorable animated series to ever air on
television. Though I am not as well
versed on children’s broadcasting these days I can only hope that Nickelodeon
continues to be a breeding ground for creatively inspiring takes.
- Michael P. Dougherty II