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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Animals > Children > TV > Aaahh!!! Real Monsters - Season Two/CatDog: Season One – Part Two/CatDog: Season Two – Part One/The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2/Hey Arnold – Season 2: Part 1 (Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory DVD sets)

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters - Season Two/CatDog: Season One – Part Two/CatDog: Season Two – Part One/The Wild Thornberrys – Season 2/Hey Arnold – Season 2: Part 1 (Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory DVD sets)

 

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters - Season Two

 

Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: A-

 

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters is yet another classic Nickelodeon animated series now available on DVD from Shout! Factory.  Now in its Second Season release on DVD Aaahh!!! Real Monsters continues to stay strong with solidly creative storylines, chuckle inducing comedy, and a dash of creepy, crawly goodness.  In many ways Aaahh!! ! Real Monsters was the predecessor to Disney/Pixar’s Monsters’ Inc. as it embodies the same spirit that monsters aren’t all too bad and scaring people in just a way of life.

 

The series aired alongside many of the other series that are being reviewed here, but is one of this reviewer’s particular favorites.  The series focuses mainly on three young monsters named Oblina, Ickis, and Krumm as they get into and out of trouble all while trying to survive monster school.  With the bane of their existence being sexually ambiguous teacher, The Grumble, who loves nothing more than to see his students squirm.   The series originally aired in 1994 and ran for a total of 4 seasons, before continuing its life in reruns on Nickelodeon until 2006.  The series was amazingly popular spawning a crazy amount of merchandising including but not limited to action figures, video games, and lunchboxes.

This set includes the full 13 episode Season Two run.  Episodes for this season are as follows:

 

Spontaneously Combustible / Curse of Katana
Monsters Are Real / This is Your Brain on Ickis
Into the Woods / Krumm Gets the Dreaded Nolox
Mayberry UFO / I Dream of Snorch with the Long Golden Hair
Garbage Ahoy / Goin’ South
Monster Who Came in from the Cold / Puppy Ciao
The Rival / Hats Off
Eau de Krumm / O’Lucky Monster
The Tree of Ickis / Rosh-O-Monster
History of the Monster World, Part 1 / Fear Thy Name is Ickis
Quest for the Holy Pail / Garbage In, Garbage Out
A Room with No Viewfinder / Krumm Rises to the Top
The Five Faces of Ickis / Bigfoot, Don’t Fail Me Now

The series has an odd, dark, twisted, lugubrious tone that still manages to be entertainingly humorous with many gross outs along the way.  The series works just as well today as it did nearly 20years ago.  Nothing feels dated or uninspiring and I would bet children and adults alike would find entertainment in this classic series.  Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was a forerunner like that of Rocko’s Modern Life and Duckman (produced by the same studio as Monsters) in that they were strange and innovative in both storyline and art direction; keeping the masses entertained as it delivered twisted humor that had never been seen before, most definitely inspiring many of the series children/adults are watching today.

 

CatDog: Season One – Part Two + CatDog: Season Two – Part One

 

Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B

 

CatDog aired later than some of the other Nickelodeon classics like Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and Doug but continued to embody the same fun, outlandish humor as its cohorts.  In Season One – Part Two and Season Two – Part One (sold separately) audiences are treated to another heaping dose of great animation from Shout! Factory.  Shout! Keeps snatching up and pumping out the animated classics that defined a generation.  The second half of Season One and as it continues onto into Season Two did not change much when compared to Season One – Part One.  Cat is still bossy and Dog is zany, but together they make a great comedic pair; trying all so hard to be different, when they are attached at the rear.

 

The series is not as infectiously funny as Rocko or Ren & Stimpy, but it is amusing as it keeps the jokes coming.  The artistic direction is also admirable, though once again is a far cry from some of the other series.  Probably the best thing is the opening song, whose catchy beat and twang could get caught in the most stubborn of critics’ head.

 

A nice children’s series that has a formula that is repeated from episode to episode though oddly enough never feels repetitive as there is enough creativity to keep your attention and the series alive.  Plus it is a cat and dog attached at the rear… who’da thunk.

 

Season One – Part Two episodes are as follows:

 

Escape From the Deep End / The Collector
CatDog's End / Siege On Fort CatDog
Armed and Dangerous / Fistful of Mail!
Safety Dog / Dog Come Home!
New Neighbors / Dead Weight
All About Cat / Trespassing
Just Say CatDog Sent Ya / Dog's Strange Condition
Home is Where the Dirt is / New Leash on Life
Neferkitty / Curiosity Almost Killed the Cat
Smarter Than the Average Dog / CatDog Doesn't Live Here Anymore

 

Season Two – Part One episodes are as follows:

 

Send in the CatDog / Fishing for Trouble / Fetch
The Lady is a Shriek / Dog the Mighty
Hail the Great Meow Woof / Battle of the Bands
Adventures in Greaser Sitting / The Cat Club / Cat Diggety Dog
Climb Every CatDog / Canine Mutiny
Fred the Flying Fish / CatDog Divided
The Unnatural / Dog Ate It / Dopes On Slopes
Spaced Out / Nine Lives
Dem Bones / Winslow's Home Videos / You're Fired
Showdown at Hole 18 / Sneezie Dog

 

For more on CatDog please refer to this link:

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/11208/CatDog:+Season+One,+Part+One+++Angry

 

 

Wild Thornberrys – Season Two: Part 2

 

Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B-

 

Not much has changed in two seasons for the Thornberry clan.  We continue to watch them travel across the globe and get into all kinds of unexpected situations.  To be honest it must be a scary life, if every week you are getting into and out of a catastrophic incident…

Anyway, the series continues to be well animated and incredibly fun; though this reviewer feels it is more lackluster than the other two series reviewed above.  Wild Thornberrys though entertaining is absent of the kookiness that Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and CatDog have.  The most interesting parts of the series are Darwin the Chimp and Eliza’s wild adopted brother Donnie, mainly because they are so offbeat and weird.  Tim Curry’s voice work isn’t a bad addition either.

Though none of the Nickelodeon series have much ‘continuity’ or continuing story arches; the other series had a dash of life I am not feeling so much with Wild Thornberrys as it continues into its second season.  Thornberrys feels like a ‘villain of the week’ adventure tale (which it is) as Eliza encounters different animals that are either helping get her into or out of trouble.  All together getting repetitive after a bit.

With that said the series is still wonderfully animated and has great spirit.  It never feels dated or boring; and I am more than certain that children of today (and some parents) will continue to enjoy The Wild Thornberrys and their misadventures.

 

The episodes in this release are as follows…

 

Disc 1:
Two's Company
Show Me the Bunny
Reef Grief
Thornberry Island

Dances With Dingoes


Disc 2:
Tamper-Proof Seal
You Otter Know
Have Yourself A Thornberry Little Christmas

 

 

Hey Arnold! – Season 2: Part 1

 

Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B

 

Hey! Arnold is a step in between Thornberrys and the other wackier Nickelodeon series, but always had charming elements that made it unique (anyone remember Stoop Kid?), but never reached the level of insanity of say Rocko’s Modern Life.

 

We return to ‘the hood’ to meet up again with Arnold, Gerald, Helga, and the rest of the gang as they battle playground bullies, tear up the neighborhood, and even fight off an alien invasion.  Arnold is full of life lessons (much like Thornberrys) and demonstrates the struggles of growing up, even as Arnold is most of the time the voice of reason he has his own neuroses that bog him down.

 

It is all part of growing up, but with a band of friends and family by his side we get to see the brighter side of life in the hood.

 

The episodes for this release are as follows:

 

Disc 1:
Save The Tree / New Teacher
Helga's Love Potion / Gerald's Secret
The Big Scoop / Harold's Kitty
Longest Monday / Eugene's Pet
Monkey Business / Big Caesar


Disc 2:
Ransom / Ms. Perfect
Arnold Saves Sid / Hookey
Freeze Frame / Phoebe Cheats
Mud Bowl / Gerald Moves Out
The High Life / Best Friends

 

The technical features for all of these sets from Shout! Factory are all in line with each other, while being similar to previous ‘season set’ releases.  The picture on Thornberrys, Arnold, Monsters, and CatDog again is a 1.33 X 1 Full Frame/Full Screen that demonstrates bright colors, crisp edges, inky blacks and little debris.  All series are a slight upgrade from previous releases.  The sound on the animated series is a step up with a crisp clean dialogue in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

 

Sadly no extras are found on any of these sets, which is disappointing to say the least. Maybe there is hope for the future as Shout continues to roll out these wonderful sets.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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