Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law-Volume 1 (2002)

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Released 5-Apr-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes
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
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 153:56
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Richard Ferguson-Hull
Vincent Waller
Ben Jones
Robert Renzetti
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Gatefold
RPI $34.95 Music Michael Kohler
Jon Dilling
Dawn Hershey


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, very blatant, but funny.
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    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.

  1. Bannon Custody Battle - Race Bannon, the male "travelling companion" of Doctor Benton Quest, is claiming custody of their two adopted boys.
  2. Very Personal Injury - Apache Chief sustained a nasty coffee burn to his manhood and has lost his "power". He's suing, of course.
  3. Shaggy Busted - Scooby and Shaggy have been locked away for possession, and it's up to Birdman to clear their names.
  4. Death by Chocolate - Boo Boo lost his way when Yogi took on corporate sponsorship of Jellystone Park. A corporate terrorist, he's now standing trial as the Unabooboo.
  5. Shoyu Weenie - Japanese pop sensation Shoyu Weenie suspect the Neptunes of stealing their hit song. A great episode.
  6. The Dabba Don - Fred Flintstone wants to start a business on the side, but through numerous concussions has developed a serious personality disorder.
  7. Deadomutt Part 1 - A new partner is hired at Sebben & Sebben, and Birdman is left on the outer.
  8. Deadomutt Part 2 - Birdman finds himself in jail and is forced to hire his rival as his defence.
  9. X. The Exterminator - X the evil genius charges a million dollars to retrieve Birdman's crest. 26 years later, he's overweight and modern technology has left him behind.
  10. SPF - Comedic genius Dingaling wants to start a website for his fans, but finds all suitable domain names have been taken by pornography sites. Birdman gains his energy from the sun, but he begins using tanning cream as an alternative when he's diagnosed with skin cancer. My favourite episode.
  11. The Devlin Made Me Do It - Stunt Motorcyclist Ernie Devlin is being sued by a kid who tried to emulate one of his stunts and wound up in traction.
  12. Trio's Company - Harvey is chasing Gigi, a girl he met at his local gym. He's unlucky in love, and pretty naive.
  13. High Speed Buggy Chase - Speed Buggy is facing court for a high-speed police pursuit. Avenger resigns after twenty years as Birdman's assistant, but finds the grass isn't greener.

    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.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are static and 16x9 enhanced, with audio. The commentaries can be found by selecting the episode individually via the episodes menu.

Disc One

Deleted Scenes (0:37)

    A very short burst of clips that were trimmed from the Deadomutt episode. These can be accessed via the episodes menu.

Audio Commentary- Very Personal Injury

    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.

Audio Commentary- The Dabba Don

    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.

Disc Two

Deleted Scenes (1:58)

    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.

Audio Commentary- SPF

    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.

Audio Commentary- The Devlin Made Me Do It (Producers)

    This commentary covers various aspects of the production, including foley work and editing.

Audio Commentary- The Devlin Made Me Do It (Standards and Legal Commentary)

    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.

Audio Commentary- Trio's Company

    Michael, Eric and Richard discuss their personal experiences working on the episode and the decisions that were made along the way.

Alternate Version- Casting What-if's (2)

    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).

Pencil Test Comparison- Shaggy Busted (0:53)

    A rough pencil animation of a scene between Harvey and Avenger, side by side with the finished product. Some subtle differences can be seen.

Alternate Version- TAB Can Redux with Lyrics (1:19)

    An alternate version of the infamous live-action love scene.

Featurette- Cast & Crew Pictures (0:54)

    Cast and crew photos are quickly flashed on screen, along with some live action outtakes.

Alternate Opening Credits (0:51)

    A live action version of the opening credits.

Trailer (1:28)

    A bogus trailer for a live action Harvey Birdman film. I'd see it.

Madman Trailers (2)

    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.

R4 vs R1

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

    Ours appears to be identical to the Region 1 version, even down to the menus.

    Volume Two of this series has already been released in Region 1.

Summary

    Harvey Birdman is very entertaining, but watching the entire set in one viewing is a task. I guess they make the episodes eleven minutes long for a reason. If you're fond of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, this is a must.

    The transfer is faithful to the show's TV presentation.

    The extras are numerous and worthwhile, but mostly brief.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI 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 DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR3806
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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