Sealab 2021-Season One (2000)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Aug-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Deleted Scenes
Bonus Episode-Original Pilot
Alternate Ending
Alternative Version
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 144:55 (Case: 150)
RSDL / Flipper No/No
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Adam Reed
Matt Thompson
Studio
Distributor
Cartoon Network
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Custom Packaging
RPI ? Music Chris Ward
Angus McLynn
Finbar McLynn


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    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:

  1. I, Robot - Sealab is falling apart! Alas the crew are far more concerned with what they would be like if their brains were placed into robotic bodies.
  2. Happycake - The captain's "happycake" light bulb oven has been stolen and the crew must face a giant squid to get it back!
  3. Radio Free Sealab - Captain Murphy uses the lab's emergency radio broadcaster to set up a pirate radio station, bringing Sealab under attack from the FCC.
  4. Chickmate - Debbie's biological clock goes off and she interviews members of the crew to be prospective fathers to the baby she has to have.
  5. Predator - A mysterious invisible alien is aboard Sealab and killing off the crew one at a time.
  6. Lost in Time - Illegally hooking up cable TV to Sealab destroys the station, so Dr. Quinn and Stormy head back in time 15 minutes to try and save the station - repeatedly.
  7. Little Orphan Angry - A "dying" orphan comes aboard Sealab as his final wish, but it soon emerges he is grifting the organisation that sent him there. Unsurprisingly, everybody who finds out wants in.
  8. Waking Quinn - After being repeatedly electrocuted, Dr Quinn subconsciously explores the meaning of life.
  9. All That Jazz - Captain Murphy is trapped under a soft-drink machine while the rest of the crew go on tour with the funky MC Chris
  10. Murphy Murph and the Feng Shui Bunch - Captain Murphy decides to redecorate Sealab with the help of a sinister Feng Shui master.
  11. In The Closet - The crew are all locked in the lab's tool closet while rabid dogs sun the corridors of Sealab.
  12. Stimutacs - Sparks begins selling Stimutacs, a 'mostly kelp' 'energy pill', turning the crew into crazed addicts.
  13. Swimming in Oblivion - A parody of the cult film Living in Oblivion. A "behind the scenes" look at the production of the show, produced as though the cartoon characters were real people.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

Pilot Episode (9:07)

    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.

I, Robot Alternate Endings (1:50)

    Three alternate endings to the first episode. Each is similar but conveys a different punch line. All three are pretty funny.

Radio Free Sealab Uncensored (1:52)

    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!

Little Orphan Angry Deleted Scenes (1:53)

    Scenes that were deleted at the request of the network for being "too mean spirited" to one of the characters. Hilarious stuff.

Madman Trailers

    Trailers for several other Adult Swim DVDs.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, December 14, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony 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 DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE