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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Children > TV > Heathcliff & The Catillac Cats (Animation)

Heathcliff & The Catillac Cats (Animated)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Episodes: B



For having arrived back in 1973, Heathcliff remains an enduring and beloved comic strip character who has gone through a few changes in appearance over the years.His most familiar look occurred in the early-to-mid 1980s when he had his own marketing boom.That was also caused by his animated 1984-5 TV series; one of the only enduring such shows of all the 1980s, now available here in Shout! Factoryís new 4 DVD set Heathcliff & The Catillac Cats.The Cats had their own segments and this is the first time these shorts have ever been available.


One great coup was that the producers at D.I.C. (the animation company) managed to sign the late, legendary Mel Blanc to do the orange catís voice.A great fit, the genius that Blanc was knew exactly how to make the character even more finicky, naughty and amused than just about any other voice could have.This set has all 24 episodes, one show per character, so there are 48 adventures in all.The stories are funny, sometimes unintentionally, but it is a show that respected the intelligence of its audience, even when Heathcliff was on a tear.The Catillacs stories are also amusing with a family of streetwise characters (Riff Raff, Mungo, Woodsworth and Hector, with few shades of Top Cat) that very believably exist in the same world as Heathcliff and could make a comeback at any time.One of the best highlights are the tips Heathcliff himself gives to talking care of pets!


The image quality varies from episodes to episode.At its worse, the 1.33 X 1 image is soft and the colors are dulled, while the best copies have a great use of color.The animation is not that great made at a time when animation was done with few frames, but the artwork and solidness of the color more than make up for that.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad throughout either, though the awful theme song (overly happy bubblegum would-be hit record) and the very bad imitation of New Wave electronic music and beats are the only thing that dates the sound besides it obvious fidelity.The voices sometimes sound forward, but that is better than dull or poor, especially considering Blanc is here.


Extras include a section of stills with an artwork for each year to 2005 Heathcliff has been in print on DVD 2, three promos with music that one could had voiceovers to on DVD 3 and on DVD 1, a nearly 10 minutes featurette in which current artist/writer Peter Gallagher explains the history of the character and much more.He is the nephew of creator George Gately.All this makes Heathcliff & The Catillac Cats one of the best-animated childrenís TV on DVD box set titles to date.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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