Sealab 2021-Season One (2000)
Bonus Episode-Original Pilot
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||144:55 (Case: 150)|
|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)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Sealab 2021 was part of the original Adult Swim 2000 line-up, Cartoon Network's first stab at assembling a full line-up of original content for its late night Adult Swim programming block. Like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, the show is primarily put together from redubbed footage from a forgotten Alex Toth Hanna/Barbera cartoon and features an absurd sense of humour (much like its other Adult Swim compatriots).
The premise is fairly simple. Sealab 2021 is made using footage from Sealab 2020, an early 1970s environmentally conscious cartoon set in a deep sea research facility. Vaguely continuing the saga of the original series, Sealab 2021 is set a year later in that same facility. By this time the crew have grown apathetic to their jobs and have a general disdain for the outside world. Rather than saving the world, they are more concerned with getting free cable, world domination, and otherwise satisfying themselves in some other immediate way. This usually results in the destruction of Sealab and/or the deaths of most of the crew. There's no continuity here, and it is for the best.
The crew of Sealab is made up of some fairly sharp stereotype parodies. Lead by the not-so-intrepid Captain Hank Murphy, possibly the shadiest of the bunch, there is token female Debbie (a manic mess of hormones), the pretty-boy action man "Stormy" Waters (emphasis on the "boy"), token black guy-genius Doctor Quentin Q. Quinn (the only smart person on the station), radio operator "Sparks" (a crooked companion to many of Captain Murphy's hair-brained schemes), Latino muscle-man Marco Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar Gabriel Garcia Marquez (voiced by Eric Estrada), and a pod full of unfortunate orphans.
Sealab 2021, this season at least, is one of the funniest shows to have graced the Adult Swim slate. Not one of the 11-minute episodes is a dud. Many actually get funnier with repeat viewing. Highly Recommended.
The episodes in this set comprise:
The film is presented in its original 1.29:1 aspect ratio and is (rightfully) not 16x9 enhanced.
The video is pretty flawless in terms of the transfer to DVD, however quality of the source material varies from scene to scene depending on the quality of the re-edited footage. The image is generally quite sharp and free of low level noise or grain.
The colour is generally very authentic - looking just like every other cheaply animated Hanna/Barbera cartoon of the day.
Occasional specs of dirt and other film artefacts are occasionally visible, but add to the charm of the show more than anything. A small degree of pixelation is occasionally visible, but this looks to be more to do with the cheap digital compositing of the re-edited footage than a compression artefact.
There are no subtitles on these discs.
The show is presented on two single layer discs.
A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kbps) audio track is present.
The dialogue is clear and as well timed as you could ask of a redubbed cartoon!
There isn't a lot of music in the show barring the rockin' great theme by US indie rockers Calamine.
There is no surround speaker usage. The dynamic range of the stereo soundtrack is reasonably good however and contains enough low points for the subwoofer to pick up a little.
|Surround Channel Use|
A fairly amusing pilot episode, preceded by apologies as to how bad it is! Many of the characters are very different to the final show, all are voiced by one of 2 different guys (including Debbie, the token woman), and the compositing is pretty rough but the laughs are up to the standard of proper episodes. Great stuff.
Three alternate endings to the first episode. Each is similar but conveys a different punch line. All three are pretty funny.
The closing credits bit to the Radio Free Sealab is largely bleeped out for comic effect. This featurette presents a "before and after", with and without the bleeps. It's funnier with the bleeps!
Scenes that were deleted at the request of the network for being "too mean spirited" to one of the characters. Hilarious stuff.
Trailers for several other Adult Swim DVDs.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and Region 4 versions are identical.
A hilarious time-waster, that bears repeat viewing.
The extras are modest, but well worthwhile. The video and audio are all you could ask for from this type of show.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|