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TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN

If you love the dark, adult world of Japanese animation or Anime and feel that there is no American equivalent, well I’ve got news for you. TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN ($25) is one DVD that you will absolutely want to add to your collection. This animated version of SPAWN is based upon the comic book character created by Todd McFarlane. TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN made its debut on HBO as a six episode series. McFarlane serves as the series executive producer and creative force, insuring that the television series maintains the integrity of the very popular comic book character. As an animated program, TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN is replete with violence, nudity and adult language. It is not intended for children.

This release edits together the original six episodes that comprised the show’s first season, as well as its first complete story arc. I know I’m looking forward to season two as well as the second animated SPAWN DVD. The mythology of TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN concerns one Al Simmons, a top government assassin who is killed, but returns to earth as a hell spawn, a demonic creature who will be a general in Hell’s army, fighting a war against Heaven. Simmons made the deal with the demonic forces of hell so that he could return to Earth and be with his wife. Unfortunately, Hell returns Simmons to earth five years after his death, where he finds his wife remarried to his best friend and the mother of the friend’s child. TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN features the vocal talents of Keith David, Richard A. Dysart, Michael Nicolosi, Dominique Jennings, Victor Love, Kath Soucie, James Keane, Michael McShane, John Rafter Lee and Ronny Cox.

HBO Home Video has done a tremendous job putting together this special edition DVD release of TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN. The 140-minute animated program is spread across two sides of this DVD. TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN is presented in its original television aspect ratio and looks very good. The animation is very stylized and dark, attempting to retain much of the look of the original comic book. The image is crisp, detailed and faithful to the intended look of the animation. There are splashes of color used for effect and they reproduce vividly. Digital compression artifacts were never really bothersome anywhere on this DVD.

The two-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack decodes to matrixed Dolby Surround. The track adds atmosphere to the program, plus some pleasing channel separations. Other soundtrack options include a Spanish language track, in addition to a running audio commentary with creator Todd McFarlane. McFarlane’s commentary is great. Fans of the character are going to enjoy hearing about the genesis of the character and the series, and how McFarlane went to great lengths to maintain the integrity of the character in all media. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus have been animated and include music. Through the menus one can gain access to an on camera interview with Todd McFarlane, character biographies, storyboards, plus a theatrical trailer for New Line’s live action movie version of SPAWN.

Without question, TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN is the best American produced adult animated series. SPAWN is such a great character; the first season left me wanting more. I can’t wait for the next DVD. Absolutely recommended for animation and comic book fans.

All reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 
TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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