Happy Tree Friends-Volume 3: Third Strike (2002)

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Released 2-Nov-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Bonus Episode-"Dino-Sore Days" Featuring Cro-Marmot
Bonus Episode-"Books of Fury" Featuring Buddhist Monkey
TV Spots-HTF Commercials
Audio Commentary-Cast And Crew
Audio Commentary-Commentary On Commentary
Featurette-Sound FX
Featurette-Vision-O-Rama (multi-angle)
Gallery-Fan Art
Seamless Branching-Follow The Yellow Rabbit
Audio Bites-See & Scream
Gallery-Comic Strips
Featurette-Making Of-Books of Fury
Featurette-Making Of-Dino-Sore Days
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 29:02
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Rhode Montijo
Kenn Navarro
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Aubrey Ankrum
Dana Belben
Jeff Biancalana
Mark Giambruno
Warren Graff
Peter Herman
Michael 'Lippy' Lipman
Nica Lorber
Rhode Montijo
Kenn Navarro
Liz Stuart
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music RJ Eleven
Michael E. Cole
Rhode Montijo


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In my review of the first Happy Tree Friends DVD, I described this series as Miffy meets Itchy & Scratchy, which in hindsight is pretty spot on. This animated series is violent, depraved, hilarious and most certainly not for children! Fourteen episodes are included in Volume Three, clocking in at almost half an hour of gory mayhem. All of your favourite characters are here, including Lumpy, Flaky, Cuddles, Pop & Cub and Handy.

  1. Milkin' It
  2. Out of Sight, Out of Mime
  3. Class Act
  4. The Way You Make Me Wheel
  5. Better Off Bread
  6. I Get A Trick Out Of You
  7. Shard At Work
  8. Water Way To Go
  9. Out On A Limb
  10. Keepn' It Reel
  11. A Hard Act To Swallow
  12. Let It Slide
  13. Icy You
  14. Hello Dolly

    Each episode boasts razor sharp comic timing and cute furry animals being disposed of in every sadistic manner imaginable. If you're wondering what kind of depraved minds could conceive of such mindless violence towards defenseless creatures, check out the accompanying commentary. Listening to the group of animators discuss the technicalities of this animation manages to negate any fears you may have regarding their sanity (or lack thereof). You'll find my review of the Volume 1 DVD here. (We have not yet received a copy of Volume 2 for review.)

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This animation is very sharp and clear, with a transfer of near reference quality. The transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1, full frame.

    The level of detail and clarity within this animation is very good. There is no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    The transfer is void of compression artefacts and grain. Despite the sharpness inherent in the transfer, the animation is smooth and free of any ugly aliasing. Because the program is generated via a digital medium, there is no film artefacting to be concerned about.

    The animation is comprised of highly contrasted rich colouring, and clearly tries to emulate the cute, pastel-like palate of many children's shows. There are absolutely no issues with the quality of the colour rendering and there is no oversaturation to be seen whatsoever.

    There are no subtitle streams available on the disc - in fact, there's no need for them.

    This disc is dual-layered (DVD9 format). There is no transitional pause during the feature.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    On this volume of episodes we have a very nice Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, encoded at 448Kb/s.

    There is no English dialogue in the soundtrack per se - only guttural noises, verbal gestures and Foley effects. All of these are easy to discern and sound perfectly in sync with the video.

    The use of the surround channels is generally subtle, but effective. I noted several examples of Foley effects directed to the rear channels and these were not out of place at all. The front soundstage is very active and contains plenty of panning from left to right. As a whole the soundtrack is bright and clear, with plenty of depth.

    The score is credited to RJ Eleven and suits the playful mayhem of the animation perfectly.

    The subwoofer is used effectively to accentuate thuds, crashes and explosions.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This is an exhausting array of extra features, all worth watching at least once. All are presented in 1.33:1 full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio unless otherwise noted.

Menu

    The menu page is static and silent, with some graphics containing familiar characters.

Bonus Episodes (2)

    The first, Dino-Sore Days (2:40), is presented in black and white and has a bizarre drunken introduction (1:13). The second, Books of Fury (3:10), features my favourite Happy Tree Friends character, Buddhist Monkey. Books of Fury also has a fantastic Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Making-Of Featurette- Dino-Sore Days Storyboards with Director Commentary (19:12)

    This is an extensive look at the development of the character and story, from concept drawings to backgrounds and animatics.

Making-Of Featurette- Books Of Fury Storyboards with Director Commentary (19:02)

    This featurette follows the Buddhist Monkey animated short from conceptual art through to final product.

Trailers- Get Into Advertising (2:06)

    A sequence of promo pieces advertising the series and assorted merchandise.

Commentary-Assorted Crew (34:38)

    This commentary is hosted by an array of animators and artists, all of whom contribute to the show. The commentary is lively and the crew obviously get along very well, sharing a lot of laughs. The video is split into two frames, the animation on the left and original storyboards on the right.

Commentary-Directors and Writers (34:38)

    Labelled a Commentary on the Commentary, this is a much smaller group of people who sit through the first commentary and make derogatory comments about their colleagues. Yes, it's overkill - but this show is about extremes, after all.

Featurette-Sound FX (4:01)

    A short segment showing the recording of various Foley effects. This featurette is contained in the Commentary menu and is confusingly labelled Sound FX Commentary for some reason.

Multi-Angle Featurette- Vision-O-Rama (0:46)

    The classic episode Spin Fun, from the Volume 1 DVD, can be viewed through the eyes of five Happy Tree Friends characters, one of whom is blind.

Gallery-Fan Art

    Fifteen pages of paraphernalia submitted by fans of the show. Some of the pieces are good, while others have been included for a laugh.

Branching Feature- Follow The Yellow Rabbit

    Obviously a parody of the Matrix DVD, you activate this feature and press enter when the Rabbit appears on screen. Lots of extra material can be found here, including storyboard art, trivia, Foley recording and computer animatic sequences.

Audio Clips- See & Scream

    With this feature you can select from seven of the Happy Tree Friends characters and hear them laugh, giggle or scream in agony. Sadistic fun.

Gallery- Comic Strips

    Four short comic strips (one page each), featuring those lovable characters.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Besides the usual PAL / NTSC differences, there doesn't appear to be any compelling variations between regions.

Summary

    Happy Tree Friends: Third Strike is another collection of mindless cartoon violence, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you've ever laughed at the violence in the classic Warner Bros. animation (who hasn't?), this could really be up your alley.

    The video transfer is great.

    The audio transfer is excellent.

    The extras are extensive and entertaining.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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