Top positive review
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Strong Season and Great Bonus Feature
on July 4, 2012
The third season of Rocko's Modern Life was pretty clearly where the whole team hit its stride. This particular season is full of memorable episodes and is an instant recommendation for any fan. 13 episodes across 2 discs, plus an excellent bonus feature that I'll get to below make this the best Rocko DVD release yet.
The packaging is reminiscent of the first two seasons. Like season 2, there is new artwork (as far as I can tell; I don't think I've ever seen these images before) for the sleeve, discs, and menus. It's great and all appears to be done by Joe Murray, the series' creator. The main color scheme on the spine and back is a lime green color. Inside, the rear of the insert can be seen through the clear plastic case--which is mercifully NOT one of those horrible and flimsy "eco-cases"--and contains a full episode list with summaries of each episode. All-in-all, this is precisely what fans would want from a Rocko release and Shout Factory delivered in a huge way.
Each disc has basic menus. They're easy to navigate, very clear, and attractive. The theme music plays in the background. Each episode is broken up into two segments and there is a Play All option. It's all completely appropriate for this sort of release. The bonus feature is on the second disc.
Without being able to say why, I can note that the video quality in this release is slightly better than the last two seasons. It's enough that I noticed it, though still not on par with remastering done on higher profile shows like The Simpsons. All the same, the video quality is pretty solid for this type of release. Oddly, it's better than Hey Arnold!'s DVD releases, which is strange considering Hey Arnold! is a newer show. The audio is crisp and clear with basic stereo panning as appropriate. The show is closed captioned all the way through based on the packaging and a spot check I performed.
These are arguably the best, most memorable episodes of the whole series. "Bye, Bye, Birdie!" has Heffer inadvertently killing Filbert's bird Turdy while Rocko is bird-sitting (Heffer sits on him). "Belch of Destiny" has some of the most ridiculous 'belch talking' ever recorded. This season also had the Halloween episodes, which are appropriately bizarre. "Camera Shy" is a hilarious episode where Rocko is filming himself for his parents; Filbert and Heffer get ahold of the camera and film Rocko naked from outside his house looking in through a window, and the Chameleon Brothers edit the footage all together for an art house video. This season also has Filbert getting married and, in a separate episode, declaring himself "Mr. Lucky," but getting a fortune cookie fortune that reads "Bad luck and extreme misfortune will infest your pathetic soul for all eternity." In the same episode, we see the return of Really Really Big Man and the infamous scene involving his 'Nipples of the Future.'
Probably the two biggest shows on this set are "Wacky Delly" and Zanzibar. "Wacky Delly" is a tongue-in-cheek behind the scenes look at the creation of a cartoon as Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert work together to produce "Wacky Delly," a show associated with 'Fatheads' creator Ralph Bighead. Ralph hopes the show will completely tank and he will finally be free to pursue his dreams of creating true art. What follows is an inspired, hilarious, and downright crazy series of events as Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert make a horrible show that everyone (except Ralph Bighead) loves. "Zanzibar" is the musical episode that features the well-known song "R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, Recycle!". For anyone who remembers singing that back in their youth, it's great to revisit such a memorable episode.
For people who watched Rocko in the early-to-mid 90s, this collection of classic episodes really should speak for itself and more than warrants a purchase.
Just as a note, unlike Season 1, nothing is edited out of this release. If anyone catches anything, kindly leave a comment and correct me on that so I can update this review, but I don't believe I noticed anything missing.
There's one bonus feature on this set, but it's a good one. A half-hour long interview/commentary with Joe Murray where he goes on camera and shares some fantastic behind-the-scenes stories and answers fan questions about quite a few episodes on this set. For fans, this is such a fun feature to watch. It's got some really interesting stories about how different episodes or scenes came about, including the reason "Zanzibar" became a musical and so many more things. For a show that's about 20 years old and doesn't have a lot of additional material floating around out there, it's great that Shout Factory got Joe Murray so involved with this release, and the end product is benefitted extensively for it.
As I said at the outset, this is the best release yet. The extra feature is fantastic, the episodes are extremely strong this time around, and the whole release is handled with care. Attention late-80s and 90s kids: go buy this now. If Rocko is part of your childhood, it's hard to explain how great it is to go back and rewatch these episodes being able to finally get all of the jokes and references included in them. For those who have kids, share these memories with them so that they can experience one of the most creative, unique, and hilarious shows from the early Nickelodeon days. You won't regret it. Easily a 5-Star product here.