The Incredible Hulk (1996)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Bonus 1966 episode - "The Origin Of The Hulk"
Episode Introductions-Stan Lee
Featurette-Who is Peter David?
Featurette-Stan Lee's Soapbox
|Year Of Production||1996|
|Running Time||80:24 (Case: 79)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Rich Trueblood|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Incredible Hulk package was obviously designed to cash in on the release of the new Hulk movie and so isn't a complete release of the 1996 animated series. Instead, only four episodes have been used from the series, most likely because of the fact that plot elements were taken from them and used in the aforementioned film.
The two part episode 'Return of the Beast' gives us an update of the origins of the Hulk while 'Raw Power' contains many of the basic plot elements of the live action film. Virtually every episode has a desperate Bruce Banner right on the verge of discovering a cure to his steroidal affliction only to have some bumbling military type ruin the procedure with a few carelessly placed guided missiles, or something equally anti social.
As a reasonably recent animated feature you would expect the picture quality of The Incredible Hulk to be quite good, and it is. However, the most remarkable thing is that the original episodes from the 1966 series which are included as extras are even cleaner and have obviously been given a full restoration as their overall quality is better than the material from 1996!
The Incredible Hulk is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. Being originally made for the small screen, this is the original aspect ratio.
The overall sharpness of the main feature is quite good as you would expect from a modern animated production. There is some pixelization on the black lines outlining character features such as around their hands and face when there is movement, but it is barely noticeable.
The colours are bright, solid and bold as you expect in a children's cartoon, with none of the oversaturation that sometimes mars animated work.
However, there are small imperfections in the main feature such as the white spots at 3:10 to 3:16 and from 11:28 to 11:35. On the plus side, there is no interlacing at all anywhere in the feature or in the extras which is nice to see as it is a common problem with a lot of animated work on DVD.
The RSDL change is nestled in a chapter break prior to the 1966 'origin' episode and is therefore not noticeable.
There are five languages on offer on this release (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish in Dolby Digital 2.0) with the audio on all being free of any pops or dropouts. The sync in the English dialogue track is perfect. I cannot confidently vouch for the others but they seemed as good as the English track.
The music on offer is typical cheesy cartoon fare, all done on synthesisers and coming out quite flat in comparison to a genuine orchestral score, but then you would expect that to be the case.
The audio is stereo, and therefore there is no surround activity, nor anything being sent to the subwoofer, which is a shame as there are plenty of pyrotechnic sequences in the episodes.
|Surround Channel Use|
The main menu is a static affair with the main theme music tune playing over the top.
The first of the extras is listed as 'Bonus 1966 Episode: "The Origin of the Hulk"' However, not only do you get that one but also another three episodes from that early series. These have all been lovingly restored to a pristine state. In fact, they are presented in better shape than the 1996 episodes! The animation is hilariously basic, making South Park look like animation genius. Basically these episodes are just a collection of stills painted by the original comic book artist with the only animated parts being the characters' lips. However, the fact that they look exactly like the original comic books gives them a certain retro charm.
There are introductions for all the 1996 episodes by Mr Marvel, Stan Lee. These are quite interesting and Mr Lee has a few funny things to say about the background to the stories and some insights on what goes on behind the scenes when an animated series is being made.
This is the most interesting of the extras, other than the original '66 episodes, as it places icons throughout the main features which indicate when you can use your 'OK' button to hear specific commentary by writer Peter David. His comments cover his inspirations, anecdotes and explanations for various scenes and aspects of the stories.
Who Is Peter David is basically an interview with the man who has been writing the Hulk comic books and animated series for Marvel for the last 12 years
In this featurette Stan Lee talks about the artistic merit of comic books, possibly attempting to justify his life long passion for children's entertainment, and his own writing methods used over the years. Worth a look if you're a Lee fan or interested in making comics of your own.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R1 version of this disc is completely different to the R4. The R1 version is a complete collection of all 21 episodes from three series, 1996 to 1998, with no extras. If you are after the complete series then obviously the R1 is the best choice however the best Hulk series to collect is the one from 1982, and the value in this R4 release is in the excellent extras.
A great addition to the collection of any Hulk fan due to the wealth of extras, a rare thing for an animation DVD.
|DVD||Denon DVD-1600, using S-Video output|
|Display||LOEWE Planus 4670 70cm 16:9. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Marantz SR7200. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Luxman LV600 valve hybrid stereo amp for front stereo pair and Marantz SR 7200 for centre and surround channels|
|Speakers||Altec Lansing Model 15's front stereo, matched Krix Centrix front and rear, Krix matched rear surrounds, Sony rear subwoofer (Altec's provide sub for front)|