Cartoon DVD Releases

My personal top 5 wish list
December 03, 2009
Greetings and salutations to my fellow pop-culture junkies! What a great website this is. I've been basking in the nostalgic glow of old TV shows, movies, and toys, and I figured it was time for me to give back to the community.

I've been lucky enough to see the DVD releases of many cartoons I watched back in the day - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, The Real Ghostbusters, and on and on. But there are still a handful that don't quite seem to be making any headway. Some were obscure, so I can understand that, but some were rather popular, and I can only imagine that it's licensing issues keeping these releases at bay.

Well, without further ado, here's a list of my top five cartoon DVD releases that I would love to see happen.

5.) Oggy and the Cockroaches (1999)

Okay, this one was actually released on DVD in 2003, but has since become discontinued. You know what that means, right? Sellers on Amazon and eBay are selling these things for insanely high prices (a search on Amazon shows one of the DVDs going for over $600). The same thing happened to the Rhino release of Jem.

Anyway, I first caught OatC when I was a freshman in college (back in good ol' 1999-2000). I don't even remember which channel it was, just that my roommate and I said "WTF??" and immediately became addicted to the show. It's a deranged Tom and Jerry, with the craziness amped up quite a bit, and instead of a cat and mouse it was a cat and three cockroaches. The thing that really separated it from Tom and Jerry, though, is that (in my memory, at least) Jerry always seemed to come out on top, whereas in OatC you never knew who was going to be the victor at the end of an episode. There was no dialogue, so everything that happened was done visually, and was always really funny.

I hope we see a rerelease of this, because I think it really can find an audience. Especially in the midst of the crap cartoons that are out there right now. Bleh.

4.) The Tick (1994)

Yes, again, this series has DVD releases. Sort of. The first two seasons have episodes missing and are syndicated cuts (meaning they were edited down for time during reruns of the show), and the third season hasn't been released at all, with no mention anywhere of when (or if) it will be released. (Note: According to Wikipedia, a complete series box set was released in the UK. You lucky ducks.)

The Tick is one of those cartoons that even if you didn't watch it, you knew about it. Based on a cult comic book series written and drawn by Ben Edlund, the cartoon was a bit of a different entity, but wonderful in every respect. The Tick was a superhero who had super strength and nigh-invulnerability, and was occasionally out of touch with reality (unlike his comic book counterpart who was certifiably insane). His sidekick, the simply-named Arthur, was dressed in a moth outfit that was frequently mistaken for a rabbit suit, and could fly with moth wings. Rounding out the rest of the misfit heroes was the narcissistic Die Fledermause (a Batman parody), the patriotic American Maid (a female Captain America parody) and, my personal favorite, the Rainman-inspired Sewer Urchin. Together, they fought villains who were just as ridiculous as they were.

Come on people, we have the live-action TV series on DVD, and so many people hated that (not me, though). Why can't we get the third season of this beloved cartoon on DVD?

3.) The Adventures of T-Rex (1992)

I'll be surprised if anyone other than me knows this one. As far as I can tell, there have been no DVD releases of this show, which lasted all of one season. My friends and I ran across it one morning while waiting for the school bus, and we were hooked on it.

The premise of the show is that in this world of anthropomorphic dinosaurs there are five brothers who make up a singing nightclub act (think the Rat Pack but with dinosaurs), but when they're not singing they're a team of masked crime fighters. The cartoon was great because it had a very 1940s gangster-movie feel to it, but with zany humor and superheroes.

I will be very surprised if this show ever makes it to a DVD release, but one can hope, right?

2.) Eek the Cat (1992)

Seriously, who in my age bracket (I was born '81) didn't watch this show on Saturday mornings? Or at least in the afternoon once it was syndicated? Eek the Cat was one of the funniest cartoons of its time.

Eek, the iconic purple cat with a lisp, lived by his motto: "It never hurts to help!" Unfortunately for him, it always did. Especially if Sharky the Sharkdog was involved (yes, the name is the perfect description of the character). Sharky was owned by Annabelle, Eek's rather rotund girlfriend ("You're girlfriend is... fat." "Really?"). And who could forget Elmo the Elk or his brother Timmy? Good times, my friends, good times.

This one really boggles me as to why it isn't on DVD yet. It had a really loyal following, and people still talk about it to this day. I guess we'll just have to keep waiting patiently.

1.) Big Guy and Rusty (1999)

My numero uno most wanted DVD release that will probably never happen. I was hoping that due to Frank Miller's rising popularity that the show would see a release (he wrote the comic book that the show was based on), but then he went and made The Spirit and, well, kind of faded back into obscurity. Thanks, Miller. Anyway, my brother and I were nuts about this show, and even my dad got hooked on it (I actually bought him a Big Guy action figure for Christmas one year, and he loved it).

Big Guy and Rusty is a take on old Japanese Godzilla and Gamera movies, with giant monsters frequently roaming the earth. Who can take on these monsters? The BGY-11, or "Big Guy", a giant robot secretly piloted by a human (Lt. Dwayne Hunter). Big Guy reluctantly finds himself with an overly enthusiastic sidekick, Rusty, a boy robot who has a true AI. The secret of Big Guy's human pilot is doubly kept a secret from Rusty, who idolizes the gigantic robot. While each episode was pretty much a standalone, there was an overarching theme that involved a shadowy group of AI-driven robots known as the Legion Ex Machina.

The show had two seasons before the plug was pulled. I would give up seeing the first four shows on this list reach a DVD release if I could get my hands on a complete series of Big Guy and Rusty. You can watch episodes on Crackle, but it's not the same as physically owning the DVDs.

So there you have it! Hopefully you enjoyed this article and will enjoy my future ones as well. Keep the flame of the past bright and strong!
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