BCI Eclipse // 2006 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // April 21st, 2006
For those of you still on dial up on your TRS 80 or Commodore 64, here's the best of Joe Cartoon Dot Com.
Animation has grown leaps and bounds with the arrival of computers, and curiously enough Flash Macromedia animation has become quite popular as a way to do funny gags on many Internet sites. One such place on the World Wide Web that features vignettes designed to keep you amused at the office or on a study break is www.joecartoon.com. The site is run by Joe Shields, a man who is seen by some as a pioneer of interactive animated cartoon content on the computer. His site has been described as "a cross between Gary Larson and Stephen King." Now with Joecartoon.com Greatest Hits #1 you can clear your cache and check out the cartoons on your DVD instead of your computer screen. You get forty two minutes of animated shorts divided into four categories: "Joe Shows," "Press and Splode," "Thuh Greenfields," and "Bogus Features."
I don't really get the attraction of having all of these on DVD -- other than that it's easier than trying to track them down on the site, and you don't have to wait for them to download. On the computer it's easy enough to catch an episode here and there of "Thuh Greenfields" (who farm pot), or catch a "Joe Show" with various plots featuring animals, kids, or flies. The "Press and Splode" shorts are certainly better on cyberspace, if only because it is easier to control these babies with a mouse than with a DVD remote. The "Bogus Features" contain some video clips and vintage era Joe cartoons. The problem with sitting down in front of your TV and watching a ton of these back to back is that they wear out their welcome all too quickly. I can only laugh so long at foul language and animal bits splattering everywhere. I find many of Joe Cartoon's shorts witty, but best in small doses.
The transfers are impressive because this all comes straight out of cyberspace. You couldn't ask for clearer fullscreen images. Sound is better than I got from my computer speakers, but there's not much to it other than expletives from a gerbil trapped in a microwave and some stoned flies. It's a simple, straightforward presentation that does the proceedings justice. There aren't any extras, which is a little disappointing. I would have liked to have seen some background on Joe and how he runs his site. But alas, we get nothing but the cartoons and some video clips of Joe visiting various demolition derbies and running around in an apartment, and a kid dancing to the Big Mouth Bass toy. The packaging is cute, with a 3D frog in a blender on the front.
If you're a fan of Joe Cartoon, this is an easy way to have interactive cartoons at your fingertips. The DVD remote directional buttons help you navigate the cartoons when they require your input to continue. The length of each cartoon depends on how long you hesitate or how many options you chose, so it's hard to gauge the exact running time of the DVD. Extremely filthy language permeates these cartoons, so they are not for the easily offended. Tons of "f-bombs" and other curse words fly with alarming regularity. Also many animals are offed, splatted, or destroyed during the course of the plots. Of course it's all animated...but PETA members beware.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BCI Eclipse
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Joe Cartoon .Com