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The Beginner’s Guide to Cary Coatney’s Saturday Morning Cartoon DVD Binge
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THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO CARY COATNEY'S SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON DVD BINGE
As long time readers of this blog can attest - I take my Saturday morning cartoons very seriously. This is a routine ritual that I partake every Saturday A.M. (or early afternoon depending when I wake my ass up after a hard enduring work week) without FAIL!! No matter where I may be in the United States or abroad I always have my trusty portable DVD player with me in a tote bag and a special container that holds up to 16 DVDs - and I think I've been doing this ever since the invention of portable DVD player if I remember right. Even Ms. Sex in Stilettoes had commented to me when we first met up in San Francisco for Wonder Con - "Golly, for a slightly paunchy middle-aged guy, you sure do watch a lot of cartoons!!"
Goddamn right, I do.
So what I'm about to present to you is what's currently going in and out of my portable DVD player (AKA - The Cary Coatney Channel) these past few weekends - and this weekend since I will be up early in the A.M. en route via the Amtrak, I will be taking my special blend of homemade programming with me consisting of:
1. Cartoon Classics - I happened to pick this up at all places: at a WAL-MART during my last holiday visit in Las Vegas to my dad's house. It was on sale for $6.00 and at that price, there was no excuse not to pass it up. I watch like three cartoons on this collection per week, so that it will last me about a year and it's tiding me over until Warner Bros releases the last of their Looney Tunes collection. Includes some rare good Betty Boop Max Fleisher cartoons, along with some early Casper and Baby Huey Harveytoons, and old Three Stooges cartoons from the early sixties that I remember watching when I was a kid. I also like watching these old cartoons for their historical value such as the Felix the Cat cartoons that were produced in an era before 'talkies' became chic.
2. SPIDER-MAN Bootlegger copy of the entire 1994-1998 series that also includes the Ultimate Spider-man series that was loosely based on the Spider-man 2099 comic book series. Never got to see the entire series because it was usually pre-empted by Baseball when it ran on the Fox station out here in Los Angeles. As for the original Fox Kids series - just as the 5th season series was winding down - the network failed to inform its' fans of the series that the series ran the last few remaining handful of episodes on weekdays rather than Saturday morning - in which the finale had Stan Lee as God and thus ending the series with Spider-man swinging his way into the sunset as to serve as a metaphor for death or something wacked out familiarly downplayed for all the little kiddies. I still remember how at the time when this series had a sneak peek of it's premiere episode just before the Northridge Earthquake hit, my best friend Joe Zullo and I were living together in Tarzana getting so 'stoked' that Spider-Man was getting the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES treatment. The high didn't last so long as the series started to delve into such convoluted drawn out story arcs dealing with The Punisher, Blade The Vampire Hunter and Morbius the Living Vampire ( Hey kids - AK-47's and Fangs!) that just seemed to take forever to end. I purchased the entire series on DVD at last year's San Diego Convention from a bootleg dealer for a measley $25.00 and at one episode per week since then- I'm just scratching the surface on the 5th season opener. I probably got another half a year to go before I retire this collection.
3. THE FANTASTIC FOUR - WORLD's GREATEST TEAM The entire 2006 Fantastic Four series that never completed its' original 26 episode run on Cartoon Network is now available as a 4 disc set from Fox. Includes the nine episodes that never made it on television of which two feature the Sub Mariner. It took me a while to warm up to this series - it kept reminding me too much as if it was one of those Adult Swim anime series that I may tuned into by mistake - but as soon as I started to purchase the individual volumes that had three or four episodes per disc I started to warm up to it. It sort of takes place during the movie continuity ( which is probably why Fox is distributing the box set) which has Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm bickering and has them try to out do each other in whose praticial jokes is better played on each other. upon further inspection, it seems as if they based the series bible on the Mark Waid and Mike Wierringo (R.I.P) run in the Marvel comic book from five years back. I really like the voice of Thing which seems to get the naunces of uttering "IT's CLOBBERIN' TIME !!" just the way I hear it said in my head. I really enjoy the Doctor Doom episodes and the guest star episodes featuring IRON MAN, ANT MAN, and in my opinion - the HULK and THING battle in one epsiode is the best I ever seen animated. Upon further research, I was befuddled to discover that the animation was actually done by a French studio called Moonscoop - who I believe is currently handling the reins for the upcoming Iron Man animated series slated to premiere next spring on NICKTOONS. ( uh oh - I don't have that on my TIVO)
4. STARGATE: INFINITY Kinda regretted picking this one up. Really has nothing to do with the live action series at all. I think I picked it at Amoeba Records because it was on sale for half price than where I saw it being sold at either Best Buy or Fry's Electronics. I do give it kudos on the coloring - it' s dazzling to look at - but you get real generatic voice and generatic story-telling for your trouble. I usually find myself nodding off during most episodes.
5. SAM AND MAX: FREELANCE POLICE Good gem of a series that I never got around to catching the first time it aired on Fox Kids. By today's standards- it wouldn't be out of place on Adult Swim. There are enough jokes on here that would go over most kids' heads as it pertains to political humor. Even during its' original run back in 1997 - Al Gore was even being poked fun of. I only watch half a episode a week. ( Most episodes consisted of two ten minute stories).
6. FRISKY DINGO I've been trying to get Editor Santos weened on this series. I only have two episodes left to go on the Season One Disc, so I'll be lending it to him after I'm finished. I keep telling him that THIS is just as good as the VENTURE BROS. It's got spies, plenty of femme fatales with derogatory names, along with a fine assortment of mutants and creatures including the main antagonist, the androgenic alien masochist Killface . It even has Barnaby Jones running around naked in it. It's sort of a spoof on superheroes, monster movies, and alien invasions wrapped a real clever homage to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Brought to you by those same guys who brought us SEALAB 2021 ( as the first episode clearly states)
7. THE BATMAN SEASON FIVE Not really one of my favorite animated takes on the character - but the last season had a bunch of DC guest stars such as the Flash and Hawkman - but rendered in that horrendous Jackie Chan Adventures style. It's just to tide me over until Warner Bros officially releases the Filmation collection of the Justice League and Teen Titans cartoon shorts from the 1960's sometime next month.
8. TEEN TITANS - SEASON FIVE Yayyyyy! Finally the fifth season is out on DVD. I didn't get to see a lot of these - but I'm sure as hell as enjoying the Doom Patrol guest star episodes at the moment! Teen Titans is a very unique animated show, despite all it's apparent anime overtones and influences I've always felt that it was a real sophisicated and strategically written show. It's no suprise that one of the lead writers on this show David Slack is now a story editor on the longest running NBC drama, Law & Order.
9. BIRDS OF PREY - THE COMPLETE SERIES I know this one is a live action tv series that was once produced by the makers of SMALLVILLE and the once aborted AQUAMAN tv pilot -plus I already have all the episodes on videotape - but I went and bought this last week at Best Buy only because of the special features included which has the entire Flash animated 'GOTHAM GIRLS' series that was only once accessible through the Warner Bros website. GOTHAM GIRLS was a series of five minute animated shorts that starred the entire female characters from the BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES - such as Harlequin, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman who were always being pursued or having their plans foiled by BATGIRL. As far as the live series goes: I do have an amusing story to tell about lead actress Ashley Scott - who I had a chance to hang out with on the Warner Bros lot during the time I was employed there. But maybe I'll talk more about it next time. Due to time constraints, I don't time to reminiscent about it now. For the only Batman incarnation I have time to talk about right now rather than the new Dark Knight movie is:
10. BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT Absolutely mind blowing!! Perfect companion to the Dark Knight film. For some reason, I can't gobble all this at once - since it's broken down into six chapters and since each chapter represents a short story all in itself ( the producers say that all the interlocking stories somehow form into one big epic) - I'm only absorbing one per week. The stories and animation is just simply flawlessly breathtaking - IT's no less than what I expect from Warner Bros animated feature presentations that go straight to DVD these days ( and they have no fear of losing money on these - they sell them by the truckload. I've recently read that they've nearly sold 500, 000 units of this new movie already since it's release before the Dark Knight movie opened). I've only watched two of the chapters so far, and the producers are right: there are some subplots that carry over from the new movie into this feature - specifically Commissioner Gordon's story arc. I should take this out to Vegas and show some of it to my dad. He probably dig it as he accustomed to watch some of these with me ( although he probably piss a kidney stone upon Sam & Max or Frisky Dingo) .
Since I devour these an episode at a time- Watching all these in chunks per week only lasts approximately three hours each Saturday sans commericals.
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DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures
Release date: By 2008-08-12
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