Thursday, October 21, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Review Of The Official Thundarr DVD Release

The blurb on the back of the DVD case says it all, as if the copywriter was acutely aware of the demand for this cartoon series:


I placed my order for the Thundarr the Barbarian DVD set on October 14 and received it five days later. Very impressed with the speed of delivery, but how would the set itself stack up to this very demanding Thundarr fan? I knew the set was going to be a "made to order" DVD set, so I was concerned about both the quality of the materials used as well as the quality of the video itself. I needn't have worried.
The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the case and discs themselves. The case artwork is one we've seen thousands of times, and I was disappointed that the actual 'toon logo was not used on the cover. But that aside, this did not strike me as something that was "custom-burned." This has the appearance of a DVD set purchased at any retail store. The discs themselves are DVD-Rs, but the disc art is silk-screened on rather than paper labels. Very sharp-looking product.
Each DVD holds five episodes (with the exception of Disc Three which holds six), and the episodes are organized by their original broadcast order. If you want to see how the show progressed over the seasons, just watch them in the order presented. I was a bit disappointed with the menus as they were very basic in appearance and presentation. The master menu doesn't even identify the set, allowing you to either Play All or choose a specific episode to play.
However, the episode selection menu gives you a taste of Thundarr by presenting the title cards for the episodes rather than just a list of episode names to choose from. That was a nice touch and was appreciated.
One slight disappointment: There are no extras in this set. It would have been nice to have added some concept art or seen some interviews with the creators, artists, animators, and actors of the show. A disappointing oversight considering the recent "Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s Volume 1" only had one Thundarr episode, but managed to also squeeze in an 18-minute Thundarr retrospective, including interviews with creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. (And that DVD was also a Warner Bros. release, so I assume there wouldn't have been any rights issue to have the WBShop place it on this DVD set as well.)

And how are the video/audio quality of the episodes? I'll let you judge with two screengrabs. The first is from the absolute best bootleg set that I have. (I use it for all of my Thundarr Thursday screenshots.):
Same scene from the DVD set:Obviously, the video is as crisp and clear as I've ever seen in an animated cartoon release. The cleanest video master available was used to create this set and it shows. Bright colors, sharp lines, and none of the generational breakdown you'll see from a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy.

Ordering info: The Thundarr the Barbarian Complete Series DVD Set is $29.95 with free shipping. Plus, until 11/30/2010, use code SCIFI25 at checkout for a 25% discount!


  1. Thanks for the info! Exactly what I was needing.

  2. The only galling thing about this whole new "publish-on-demand" gimmick of Warners is the DVD set "Ships to U.S. Destinations Only" (to quote their website).

    Because of the production method it seems highly doubtful it will appear on Amazon and eBay sellers are charging massive mark-ups, either on the item itself or shipping, rendering it impossible for anyone outside the US (such as me) to get hold of this box set :(

    I shall continue to read of your enjoyment of this with great envy!

  3. Nice review! I ordered this the day it was available and haven't been disappointed in the picture or sound quality. You're right on the mark about the extras--how weird.

    I missed out on the discount, but I managed to magically get free shipping!

  4. This one's on my list! Glad to hear the quality of the visuals are there.

  5. Awesome! Thanks for the info, just placed my order thanks for your assistance!

  6. My copy shipped quickly, and indeed the quality of the source material shines through.