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"M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series" - A Toy Ad Without a Heart or Soul

There are a select handful of shows from the 1980s that elicit strong feelings of nostalgia in men of my generation: He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, GI Joe and, of course, MASK. These shows have a number of things in common: They were developed primarily to shift plastic toys. They were aimed squarely and cynically at boys. […]

"ThunderCats": Old Cats, New Tricks

Fans always find it tricky to face nostalgia head on. Few things can be as disappointing as a TV show you loved as a kid, revisited and revealed to be nowhere near as great as you remember it, and few things can be as dispiriting as having the warm, fuzzy feelings you had about it […]

"Bedknobs and Broomsticks" Enchanted Musical Edition - Now with Added Jennifer Stone!

Refreshingly Uncute Kids From its release in 1971, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has never been able to escape the inevitable comparisons with Mary Poppins. The points of similarity are almost too obvious to note: a strong and magical female lead, children, the incomparable David Tomlinson, Reginald Owen (i.e. Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins), the mixture of […]

"The Jetsons Season 2": Back to a Very Retro Future

That said, the episodes on offer here are mostly solid if unspectacular. Episodes usually feature one character more than the others, so it’s possible to speak of “Elroy episodes” and “Rosie episodes.” This is a good thing, because it not only gives the show a bit of variety but also lets us get to know […]

"Saturday Morning Cartoons, The 70s": Won't Someone Think of the Children?!

Are you a fan of Scooby Doo? Are you such fan of Scooby Doo that you’d delight in cheap, cynical, carbon-copy knock-offs of that famous mystery-solving mutt? If your answer to both questions is “Yes,” then boy do I have a DVD set for you! Otherwise, suffice it to say that Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s […]

"Lilo & Stitch": New Wave Disney

Despite making its name on glorious animated features based firmly on old fairytales, Disney has never been afraid of the strictures of genre or the conventions of story-telling. In fact, you could quite easily map all 31 narrative functions outlined by Vladimir Propp’s famous analysis of folktales onto the vast majority of the films that […]

"South Park" Season 12: More Messages, Fewer Laughs

As South Park rumbles into its thirteenth season, Season 12 has been released on DVD: 14 episodes on three discs. South Park shows few signs of stopping any time soon and, admirably, steadfastly even, it refuses to succumb to the lures of lazy formula. If Seasons 10 and 11 showed Matt Stone and Trey Parker […]

"The Real Ghostbusters: Complete Collection" Is Terrifyingly Good

There are a few cardinal rules in the world of entertainment. One is the principle that adaptations between modern media almost always result in abject failure. Whether it’s movies based on video games or video games based on movies, movies based on TV shows or vice versa, something always seems to get lost in translation. […]

"Mary Poppins": Practically Perfect in Every Way

Mary Poppins simply needs no introduction. It is arguably Walt Disney’s single biggest achievement in motion pictures; it features one of the all-time great screen performances (and debuts) by Julie Andrews; it is one of the few films that practically everybody has seen; it is universally loved and yet has a literate intelligence rare in […]

"SpongeBob" Season 5, Vol. 2: You Can't Jump the Shark When You Live Under the Sea

If you’ve listened to what a lot of other websites have said about this set of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes, you will have heard a chorus describing a show in gradual decline. The standard line is that, while SpongeBob is still good, it’s not what it once was; the magic has gone. Some of the more […]

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