The Venture Bros.-Season 1 (2003)
Bonus Episode-Pilot Episode - The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay
Bonus Episode-A Very Venture Christmas
Audio Commentary-Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew on Selected Episodes
Deleted Scenes-Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Behind the Scenes on the Live Action Movie
Featurette-Animating Hank and Dean
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||299:01 (Case: 160)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Christopher McCulloch|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Simultaneously spoofing and paying homage to classic Hanna-Barbera action series Jonny Quest, The Venture Bros. is a nutty, off-the-wall cartoon running on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, a late-night set of cartoons with more adult content than the usual American animated series. The Venture Bros. features a lovely array of violence, murder and sex, most of which the two young title characters of the show are innocently oblivious too, which is all part of the fun - the series stretches believability with extreme and ludicrous situations, which play off the kids' innocence, and everyone else's easy acceptance of the general horror that unfolds around them. But that's not all The Venture Bros. has to offer - this is a deeper, more developed and complex cartoon than the usual Adult Swim fare.
The mainstream success of The Venture Bros. in the usually cult Adult Swim cartoon block most likely stems from its accessibility. Venture Bros. is more of a straight spoof than a lot of the other Adult Swim shows, runs for the common half an hour instead of 15 minutes an episode, and tends to be more consistent than its kin: if it's not consistently funny, it's consistently off-the-wall, and sustains momentum with its referentially fleshed out characters. Compare this to the shorter Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, both of which have their fair share of awful episodes that drag on and on without a laugh. Further, although the show is infinitely full of silly, it doesn't rely on non-sequiter gags, also full of racially offensive material, blatant sexual entendre, scenes of extreme violence, and poorly censored nudity. An adult play on the delightfully innocent, bland and offensive Hanna-Barbera cartoons of old, The Venture Bros. works on a lot of levels.
The Venture Bros. continues to thrive and grow with a great mix of new jokes and running gags (a classic example is the episode titles, which usually have little to do with the content of the episode). At the same time, there's actual continuity here, compared to the "Whatever!" approach taken by shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons, giving characters more of a background as well as motivations for their (often bizarre) actions. A particularly interesting running gag regarding the origin of the Venture Brothers themselves and their lack of a mother serves the first season well, and is further elaborated on in the second.
The Venture Bros. Season 1 includes all 13 episodes from the first season including the pilot and Christmas special, a package sure to please fans. This is a must-see for Adult Swim fans, and is definitely worth checking out for others to whom wacky, hilarious off-the-wall comedy may appeal. Go Team Venture!
The video transfer for the Region 1 Adult Swim DVDs were initially extremely terrible, with murky colours, nasty aliased lines, and some of the most horrible interlacing you've ever seen. With this in mind, I'm pleased to announce that this DVD set is a marked improvement: the colours are bright, the lines are sharp, and all would be great if it wasn't for an abundance of unpleasant interlacing that isn't always noticeable, but drags the set down every time it rears its ugly head.
Since Venture Bros. Season 1 was broadcast only in standard definition, this is likely the best you'll get to see of it, and the majority of the show looks fantastic. Some scenes cut to older Hanna-Barbera style scenes, which look lovingly scratched and faded, whereas the opening to each episode is letterboxed to give a more cinematic feel, and both look great. Only during the actual episodes, usually in lighter scenes, does the interlacing appear, and it isn't consistent. As mentioned, it's a marked improvement on the R1 sets, but unfortunately isn't quite perfect.
There are no subtitles.
Venture Bros. Season 1 features a no-frills stereo soundtrack that generally sounds great, but includes a few problems I haven't come across on a DVD of late. Although the background sounds, music, effects and dialogue are all well mixed and crisp, there are occasionally problems with drop outs (particularly around Brock's dialogue in the first episode) and sometimes issues with the sync. This rights itself pretty quickly, but it's disorienting when it happens.The music here is reminiscent of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons and leaves on feeling right at home; the theme song is enthusiastically over the top and a lot of fun to listen to. Aside from the occasional hiccup, this is a strong soundtrack that does have good depth.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video and audio transfers are both above average and retain the original broadcast viewing experience.
The extras are a mixed bag, but ensure the entire first season is available, including the pilot episode and Christmas special.
As a final note, the inner package art by Bill Sienkiewicz may be worth the price of the DVD alone - his awesome depiction of the characters is amazing, especially Brock, who looks like Thor.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|