When it comes to DVD releases of shows, two of my biggest pet peeves are:
- DVD cases that don’t adequately protect the discs (often done under the guise of being “ECO friendly“).
- Having the episodes in the wrong order. (See TMNT 2003 for some examples.)
Captain Planet’s Season One release manages to do both. The DVD case is a thin little paper/cardboard case which is easily crushed, even during ordinary use. The DVDs just slip in the case with no protection, meaning it is very easy to scratch the discs just by taking them in and out of the case. I fail to see how recycled paper that doesn’t really protect the DVDs is superior to recycled plastic that would protect the DVDs.
And when it comes to the episode order … Well, I think that the fact that an educational show can’t manage to properly put the numbers 1 through 26 in order speaks for itself. (I refuse to blame this screw up on Shout! Factory, since I own other DVD collections from them, and all of them managed to keep the episodes in their proper order.)
Here is the order of the episodes on the discs:
- Disc 1
- Episodes 1, 7, 8, 16, 21, 19, 3
- Disc 2
- Episodes 2, 10, 4, 5, 9, 12, 11
- Disc 3
- Episodes 6, 20, 14, 17, 26, 13, 18
- Disc 4
- Episodes 15, 22, 23, 24, 25
Don’t be too impressed by those last four episodes being in order. Episodes 22/23 and episodes 24/25 are two-parters.
Super Friends is a show that is the cultural standard for cheesy superhero stories. Even many people who have never seen the show know this. Some people love it because they think it’s so bad, it’s entertaining. Others wish it had never existed because of its effect on how non-comics fans view superheroes. Whatever your opinion on the show, it definitely made an impact.
Super Friends changed its name six times during its run, which can make figuring out the order of the seasons a bit annoying. It ran for 10 seasons with 109 episodes in total. Of that, 7 seasons have been released on DVD. The name changing is reflected in the DVD releases, which makes it confusing to figure out what order they go in.
Below is a list of the seasons of Super Friends, the names of the seasons, and the DVD releases that go with them.
- Season 1 (16 episodes), Super Friends
- Season 2 (15 episodes), The All-New Super Friends Hour
- Season 3 (16 episodes), Challenge of the Super Friends
- Season 4 (16 episodes), Challenge of the Super Friends
- Season 5 (8 episodes), The World’s Greatest Super Friends
- Season 6 (8 episodes), Super Friends
- Season 7 (6 episodes), Super Friends
- Season 8 (8 episodes), Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show
- Season 9 (8 episodes), Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show
- Season 10 (8 episodes), The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
Season 10 of the 1987 TMNT cartoon will be released on DVD on August 14th. Two episodes were left off the fifth season release, and they will be included on this set as bonus episodes. That means that all 193 episodes will be available on DVD.
So on the one hand, there’s Lionsgate. Lionsgate will have released the entire 1987 series later this year, which has almost 30 episodes more than the 2003 series. The only season that got broken up into pieces was Season 3, which had 47 episodes. The only real issue with their DVDs was leaving off two episodes in Season 5, which is being fixed with the Season 10 release.
On the one hand, we have FUNimation. Their releases were almost entirely piecemeal, with many DVDs having about five episodes. Season 3 and 4 had episodes that were horribly out-of-order. Season 2 is nearly impossible to find, with Part 2 going for $400, if you can find it all. And they never completed the Region 1 release, so Season 7 may never see the light of day.
In short: Lionsgate > FUNimation.
I mentioned previously that the DVD releases of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were horribly mangled. This annoys me, since I only saw a little beyond the first season, and I really liked what I saw. I’ve been wanting to see more of the series for a long time now, but I haven’t had the money.
Well, I finally saved up enough money to buy some of the DVDs, and I discovered that the DVD releases were even worse than I’d thought.
You see, the simplest way to get Season 2 is to buy the two compilations: Season 2, Part 1 and Season 2, Part 2. The problem? Part 2 is extremely hard to find, to the point that it’s selling for $400 on Amazon. I don’t care how good the show was. I am not paying $30 an episode.
So the cheaper alternative is to buy Volumes 9 – 14 instead of the season box sets. Naturally, the episodes are out of order, just like the later season DVD releases.
Here’s the order of the episodes:
- Episodes 1-4 Volume 9
- Episodes 5-8 Volume 10
- Episodes 9-11 Volume 11
- Episode 12, 13 Volume 12
- Episodes 14-16 Volume 14
- Episode 17 Volume 12
- Episode 18 Volume 11
- Episodes 19, 20 Volume 14
- Episodes 21, 22 Volume 12
- Episodes 23-26 Volume 13
Saban is the maker of Power Rangers (up until 2009), Big Bad Beetleborgs, VR Troopers and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. These shows have been available on Netflix for less than a year, but their DVD availability has been very poor.
Some scattered released of Power Rangers have occurred. Beetleborgs hasn’t had any DVD releases. VR Troopers had a few episodes released on DVD, but only in the UK (Region 2). All of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation was released in Region 2. The UK version of NT:TNM was censored to be the “Hero Turtles.” The UK version also removed some of the non-slapstick fighting (i.e., one of the best parts of any Turtles incarnation). The DVDs retained the censorship.
Yes, I know this because I own the UK DVDs of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. No, I don’t live in the UK. Don’t judge me.
Anyway, it was announced that Shout! Factory has made a DVD deal with Saban, and all these shows will be released on DVD later this year.
Although I didn’t watch the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the beginning, I got in the series before it ended. Sadly, the DVD releases have left a lot to be desired. Some of them are expensive, due to being out of print, and you need a minimum of sixteen DVD sets to have all the episodes available on DVD. And even then, you’ll still be missing the final season.
Oh, and the DVD episodes are horribly out-of-order in the boxsets, which makes actually trying to watch anything beyond Season 2 a huge pain. The Super Friends DVD releases are easier to figure out than this, and that show changed its name about 8 or 9 times! I have never seen another TV show that mangled the DVD releases this badly.
And just to add a cherry on top, there are currently no plans to re-release the DVDs. So for the foreseeable future, fans are stuck with these lousy releases. Since the company producing the DVDs couldn’t be bothered to release the DVDs in a way that make sense, I’ve created this list.
Here is a list of the episodes and what DVD boxset they appear on. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
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