Judge Dennis Prince now realizes this cartoon disc has absolutely nothing to do with three other goofballs named McMahon, Kennedy, and Murphy.
Believe it or not, there's quite a following of fans—of all ages—anxiously awaiting the arrival of three imbeciles' adventures on DVD. After several holiday-themed offerings over the past year, here now is the first official disc from Cartoon Network that's all Ed, all the time. But is the new Ed, Edd n Eddy Volume 1—Edifying Edventures the dose of dorkness that fans have been clamoring for? Let's bet a jawbreaker over it, okay?
After launching this excursion into low-brow lunacy back in 1999, Cartoon Network found that Ed, Edd n Eddy was a smashing success, garnering a fan following millions strong from around the globe. Although originally intended to run only four seasons, the network quickly commissioned two additional seasons from Danny Antonucci, the creative cretin behind all this. And whether you like it or not (and I'm still somewhat undecided, though the kids absolutely lap this stuff up with vigor), Ed, Edd n Eddy seems here to stay, and there are even rumors circulating about a possible feature film.
"What are you dorks up to now?"
So let's meet some Eds, shall we? First there's Ed. He's the big dumb one with ridiculously wide-set eyes under a well-established mono-brow. He's an oaf, but he's also the most lovable and affectionate of the gang. Next is Edd, often referred to as "Double-D," who's the brains of the outfit with a bent for intellectual pursuits and a yearning to steer his two wayward companions clear of trouble. He's also hiding something under that stocking cap he wears, but nobody knows what it is. Last, there's Eddy, the money-grubbing marketeer who's always looking for new ways to separate the other neighborhood kids from their coveted quarters. Whether he's inventing new products or launching new "thrill of a lifetime" attractions, Eddy gives common sense the backseat in his pursuit for entrepreneurial elitism. The three Eds live in a cul-de-sac in the suburban Peach Creek Estates and usually yearn for the most coveted indulgence of all: giant jawbreakers.
As for the other neighborhood kids, there's Sarah, the screeching younger sister to Ed; Johnny, the amiable little fellow who is never without his wooden companion, Plank; Jimmy, the sensitive little guy with a night-brace perpetually strapped around his mouth and a girlish disposition all over; Kevin, the sneering bully who'd love to pound any of the Eds any time he can; Rolf, the foreign boy who has a penchant for farming and raising wildlife; and the Kanker sisters, homely girls from the nearby trailer park who have unending crushes on the three Eds.
With that, the stage is set for non-stop nuttiness and goofy goings-on that
usually involve a scheme from the Eds that raises the ire of the neighborhood
kids and taunts the affections of the Kanker trio. On this new disc from Warner
Bros., you'll be treated to six Ed outings:
• "Who, What, Where, Ed" (Episode #16; original air
• "Avast Ye Eds" (Episode #26; original air date
• "Know-It-All Ed" (Episode #31; original air date:
• "Mirror, Mirror, on the Ed" (Episode #48; original
air date: 11/29/99)
• "Hot-Buttered Ed" (Episode #49; original air date:
Each episode is offered in its original 1.33:1 full-frame format. Unlike much of what I saw in the previous Cartoon Network holiday-themed DVDs, the picture quality is much more vibrant and consistent throughout. There's a high level of detail that's thankfully free of excessive edge enhancement. The colors are rich and practically pop off the screen. The audio is presented in the original Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, and it sounds quite good. The strange thing about this flagship release, however, is the fact that this particular collection of episodes in no way follows the original output in what's come to be expected as the season-by-season delivery. Instead, this disc offers up only six Ed-ventures, picked seemingly randomly from Season One and Season Two (note the original episode numbers and air dates in the previous synopses). That's just weird, and I have to think it comes as a disappointment to the die-hard Ed fans who'd probably like to see a complete Season One release. What dork came up with this idea?
The extras on the disc, too, leave a bit to be desired. First, there's a bonus 'toon, an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy entitled "Nursery Crimes" (Episode #29; original air date: 7/9/04): After wolfing down 19 Atomic Frenzy Cakes at 3:00 am, Billy is sugared up and can't get to sleep. He calls on Mandy to read him a bedtime story, but Grim also tags along and plops the two kids into a lurid and living storybook version of "Hansel and Gretel." (Rating: 5 jawbreakers)
Okay, so the bonus cartoon is a good one (frankly, I find this cartoon to be a much more clever series than these three Eds, but that's just me). The balance of the extras is rather fluffy. The contrived "Club Ed: The Rules & Regulations" and "Plank's Perspective" features were not enough to really entertain me. I did enjoy, however, the music video, "My Best Friend Plank," which shows frequently on Cartoon Network as a bumper between shows. It has an excellent '70s style that's spot-on reminiscent of those groovy soda ads you'd see at the drive-in. While there were several extra elements on this disc, I'd like to hear a running commentary or see some featurettes on the making of the show along with interviews from Antonucci and his crew.
If you're a hardened Ed fan, you're sure to find pleasure in this disc, but, honestly, knowing that the rabid fan base out there has been clawing for an all-Ed DVD for some time now, I think it's a letdown to deliver such a skimpy offering the first time out. Let's hope that can be corrected for future releases.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "Club Ed: The Rules & Regulations"
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