Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law-Volume 1 (2002)
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Episodes: Personal Injury; Dabba Don; SPF; Devlin; Trio's Co
Audio Commentary-Legal: Devlin Made Me Do It
Alternative Version-Casting What-if's
Storyboard Comparisons-Shaggy Busted
Alternative Version-TAB Can Redux with Lyrics
Gallery-Cast & Crew Pictures
Alternate Ending-Live-action opening credits
Trailer-Birdman The Movie
Trailer-Robot Chicken Season 1; Aqua Teen Hunger Force Season 1
Trailer-Powerpuff Girls Season 1; Cromartie High School Season 1
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, very blatant, but funny.|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Who's the man in the suit? Who's the cat with the beak? It's Harvey Birdman, the super hero with power of Attorney! With his assistant, the eagle Avenger, and his other assistant, Peanut, Harvey is the legal representative of all those cartoon characters you'd forgotten about from the 60s and 70s.
This set includes thirteen episodes in total, each running roughly eleven minutes, with episodes 1 to 8 on disc one, and episodes 9 to 13 on disc two.
This animated series is filled with dry, sarcastic humour and sexual innuendo, and as a result is most certainly not for children. If you have fond memories of watching cartoons as a kid and enjoy seeing classic animated characters lampooned, Harvey Birdman is sure to please.
The series is presented on DVD as it was broadcast on television, 1.33:1 full frame. There are unsightly, overlapping frames in the transfer, which indicates to me that we have received an NTSC conversion.
The image is generally sharp and clear, with no dire issues to report. Some portions of each episode are sourced from the original series in which the characters appeared, and these are obviously lower in overall quality and quite obvious.
Colours are bold and rich, with no rendering issues to be seen.
MPEG compression noise and blocking varies in severity, and is visible in most scenes. Expanses of a single rendered colour, such as backgrounds, can be quite noisy at times. I noted some small film artefacts in the episodes that were produced using cell animation, but these are more of a stylistic effect than an annoyance.
An English subtitle stream is provided for each episode. The text follows the dialogue closely and is easy to read.
Both discs in this set are single layered (DVD5 format). This is contrary to the information on the back cover, which claims the discs are dual layered.
The show's original English soundtrack accompanies each episode, presented in standard Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The audio bitrate is rather low at 192Kb/s, but seems to do the job adequately.
The English dialogue is clear and easy to follow, although it does move very fast during some scenes. Audio sync is as good as could be expected.
The stereo soundfield is used to great effect, panning foley effects and passing objects appropriately. Characters often run from one side of the screen to the other, and their footsteps can be heard clearly panning.
The music contained in the series ranges from contemporary pop to dated, very cheesy 60s brass. It's all very tongue in cheek, and totally hilarious.
The subwoofer and surround channels are not utilised.
|Surround Channel Use|
A very short burst of clips that were trimmed from the Deadomutt episode. These can be accessed via the episodes menu.
The producers went to a lot of trouble working on the dated appearance of the animation, but its expense meant it had to be toned down in later episodes. The crew discuss colour choices and compromises that had to be reached for the the network. At this stage the drawn animation was being produced overseas, so there were many occasions where the delivered product didn't match their expectations.
The show's writers discuss how the episode came about. Basically, if you aren't familiar with The Sopranos, The Untouchables, The Godfather or The Flintstones, you're going to be left confused.
There are four deleted scenes for the episode Trio's Company. These amount to basic line drawings and can be accessed via the episodes menu.
The crew discuss their decision to switch to flash animation. All the previous episodes had been traditional, much more expensive cell animation, and the difference is noticeably sharper.
This commentary covers various aspects of the production, including foley work and editing.
Looks at the tweaks and changes that have to be made to logos, dialogue and such in order for the show to be aired. Obviously, one of the show's biggest hurdles is gaining clearance to use the many animated characters. The three legal representatives have a sense of humour, so the experience isn't as dry as you might expect.
Michael, Eric and Richard discuss their personal experiences working on the episode and the decisions that were made along the way.
First, an alternate courtroom scene (1:11), with Steven Colbert voicing Harvey. The second is Birdman's dictation scene, voiced by Todd Barry (1:02).
A rough pencil animation of a scene between Harvey and Avenger, side by side with the finished product. Some subtle differences can be seen.
An alternate version of the infamous live-action love scene.
Cast and crew photos are quickly flashed on screen, along with some live action outtakes.
A live action version of the opening credits.
A bogus trailer for a live action Harvey Birdman film. I'd see it.
Trailers for other animated titles; Robot Chicken Season 1, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Season 1, Powerpuff Girls Season 1 and Cromartie High School Season 1.
Volume Two of this series has already been released in Region 1.
The transfer is faithful to the show's TV presentation.
The extras are numerous and worthwhile, but mostly brief.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo 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 Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|