Thundercats Season Two Volume One DVD Review
PictureThe image, like those of the first Season discs, is in full-screen 1.33:1 and much of what I remarked upon for that initial release still applies. Colours are often very strong and bold and hold up well if not scrutinised too closely. Detail is adequate and the transfer probably replicates its broadcast picture with regards to stability and clarity. It is hard to imagine these episodes ever looking pristine, clean or sharp as no restoration is in the offing - but on a 44 inch screen the blurry edges, wayward lines of animation and jitters only distract if you let them. On smaller screens the image seems a little less unkempt, but the grubbiness of certain shots and the print damage that still remains is, sadly, unavoidable to detect.
Grain is not such a problem and nor is digital noise, but there is a degree of edge enhancement and some colour bleed afflicting certain episodes more than others. However, it must be said that those who have bought the previous Season Volumes 1 & 2 will know exactly what to expect and shouldn't be put off.
SoundWell, the track is in Dolby Digital 1.0 and, as such, no-one could ever expect too much from it. But, it does its job without too much fuss or bother. The volume level is sometimes inconsistent, with some episodes playing louder than others - there are even scene-to-scene instances of this within the same episode. The music and dialogue sounds nice and punchy, though ... even if voices do sound somewhat dislocated from the on-screen action.
To be honest, though, this is just nit-picking. This is an old TV cartoon show and this has to be kept in mind whilst viewing. And, since there are no glaring errors - like the music and effects track that was missing from the English mix of one episode from Season 1 Volume 1 - there is really little to complain about.
ExtrasNot too much to speak of here, I'm afraid. This extras this time around focus on the memorable music of Thundercats.
We get The Rembrandts performing their version of the classic main title theme in a 2.57 mins video that also sees guest appearances from Lion-O and his chums via some pretty woeful superimposition. And some equally uninspiring reactions from the band.
The Music Of Thundera (8.31 mins) introduces us to score composer Bernie Hoffer and supervising producer Lee Dannacher as they talk about the creation of the music for the show. However, The Rembrandts feature in here too, discussing the background to their music video of the title track.
Bernie Hoffer - Live! is a pretty deplorable rendition of the main theme as performed by the composer, himself, on a little electronic keyboard. Erm, this initially looked like it could have been a cool, nostalgic treat. It isn't. This is pure dross ... and it sounds just terrible.
VerdictAfter a fairly shaky start, this Season soon begins to find its way. The new characters eventually grow on you, fitting in with the established pride, and the juggling act to keep everything balanced becomes less chaotic and much more enjoyable after the initial introductory series. As a ThunderCats convert, I found a great deal to enjoy in this Season, although I can clearly see the ragged edges that are beginning to creep in to the format. That said though, my son still relishes the appearances of Mumm-Ra and the catchy theme-tune and eagerly sat through every episode in this volume with wide-eyes and an ever-present smirk on his face. Through his eyes the magic still remains and that is recommendation enough for fellow fans and those of an older generation with young 'uns who like their heroics in bright and colourful bite-size chunks.
The extras are interesting, but only of a one-watch-only variety and the AV quality is totally on a par with the Season One - not restored but still perfectly watchable, all the same. Volume Two of this season is still something that I am looking forward to.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £40.29
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