If youíre a fan of The Smurfs, then you are certain to have a Smurf-tastic time with THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO ($27). As for me, I remain too much of a cynic to for anything more than small doses of THE SMURFS, as all that sugarcoated goodness has a tendency to put me into a diabetic coma. Created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo back in the late 1950ís THE SMURFS were adapted to television by Hanna-Barbera in 1981 and became a staple of NBCís Saturday Morning programming until 1989.
The basic premise of the television series follows the adventures of the tiny blue good-hearted Smurfs, who live in a mushroom-esque village in the forest. Lead by the suitably named Papa Smurf, Smurf society consist of a hundred or so virtually indistinguishable Smurfs, who have names that fit their personality/temperament- some examples are Hefty Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Jokey Smurf, Grouchy Smurf, Dreamy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, Greedy Smurf, Vanity Smurf and Handy Smurf. The sole female to the group is called Smurfette.
Of course, our good little protagonists lives would be awfully boring if they did not have antagonists- with the evil wizard Gargamel and his pet feline Azrael fitting the bill nicely. In most episodes Gargamel is hatching a plot to catch the Smurfs, which always goes awry in some fashion, but our evil wizard has the persistency of Wile E. Coyote. The vocal talent behind THE SMURFS includes Don Messick, Paul Winchell, Lucille Bliss, Danny Goldman, Barry Gordon, Frank Welker, William Callaway, Alan Young, June Foray, and Janet Waldo.
THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO comes to DVD in a two-disc set that features the following twenty Smurf adventures: The Magic Egg, Smurfette's Dancing Shoes, Supersmurf, The Baby Smurf, The Fake Smurf, Paradise Smurfed, Sir Hefty, The Purple Smurf, Haunted Smurfs, Sideshow Smurfs, The Magnifying Mixture, Foul Weather Smurf, Painter And Poet, The Adominable Snowbeast, Gargamel The Generous, Now You Smurf 'Em, Now You Don't, The Fountain Of Smurf, Spelunking Smurfs, The Clockwork Smurf and The Smurfs And The Money Tree. Note: the episodes donít seem to follow the original broadcast order and may have been rearranged to make them appear more chronological for first time viewers.
Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. The episodes look astonishingly good for Saturday Morning cartoon show from the early 1980ís. Image quality is pretty impressive, as everything appears very crisp and produces as much definition as can be eked from this type of 2D cell animation. Bright colors really tend to pop against a primarily pastel palette. Blacks and whites are quite accurate. The film elements appear pretty clean, but some signs of age do creep in on occasion. There is some grain, as well as imperfections that were printed into the original animation. Digital compression artifacts maintain a low profile.
The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are pretty much what one would expect from Saturday Morning cartoons produced more than a quarter of a century ago; all the dialogue is clean and crisp, but the sound effects and music only provides adequate fidelity. Still, the tracks sound pretty good and are free from major distortions. No other language soundtracks are provided on the DVD, English subtitles are included.
Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as I Smurf The Smurfs!.
As I stated above THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO is a Smurf-tastic collection that will appeal to children and oneís inner Smurf.
reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied
or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.