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Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
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The fertile imagination of Jim Henson spawned this colorful puppet program that was not only an international hit during the 1980s, but remains a much-loved favorite of viewers to this day. This series for both the young and young at heart follows the adventures of the Fraggles, a race of short, furry creatures living a carefree existence in a complex network of magical caves. When they're not filling their time playing games, singing songs or dancing their cares away, Gobo, Mokey, Red, Wembley and Boober Fraggle seek the sage advice of Marjory the Trash Heap, nosh on the confectionary constructions of the industrious Doozers, and attempt to stay clear of the giant beings known as Gorgs.
Fraggle Rock Characters
Note: Disclaimer: This set is REGION A COMPATIBLE ONLY.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.75 x 1.25 inches; 1.1 Pounds
- Media Format : Widescreen
- Run time : 44 hours and 38 minutes
- Release date : September 25, 2018
- Actors : Gerard Parkes, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Terry Angus, Jerry Nelson
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B07F7W7WWG
- Number of discs : 12
Best Sellers Rank:
#516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #54 in Kids & Family Blu-ray Discs
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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- It’s Fraggle Rock!
- The extras are plentiful and fairly substantial.
- The animated series is also included. (Most of it, anyway. I’ll get to that, later.)
- The packaging is great.
- Better transfer than the previous release.
- This was shot on 480 video. You can’t do a real HD transfer of it, because the images simply do not exist. As a result, the Blu Ray looks pretty bad. Selling it on Blu Ray was essentially a lie.
Unless they’ve over-compressed the new DVDs, or your player upsizes very poorly, you’ll get a better image from those than the Blu Ray. The same improvements in color and contrast that some reviewers are lauding as a result of the Blu Ray’s “HD” should also be present on the new DVD counterparts.
- The animated series is missing the live action wraparounds, so it’s not actually “complete.”
If you don’t already have it on DVD, this is the version to get. But don’t expect much of an upgrade, if that’s what you’re looking for. And there’s no reason to shell out for Blu Ray if the 2018 DVD release is cheaper; you won’t likely be getting a better picture.
Trade descriptions act - take note. This does not do what the packaging promises. See pics.
The new Sony release of Fraggle Rock has some significant positives and negatives. This review is specifically for those who are wondering if they should upgrade from a previous DVD version.
First, a comparison of the new Sony DVD release and the previous Hit Entertainment DVD release (this is the same as the Lionsgate release, as far as I can tell. I have Seasons 1-3 on Hit Entertainment and 4 on Lionsgate, and it seems to be the same).
1. The Sony DVD picture quality is noticeably better than the previous Hit Entertainment DVD release. Sony clearly put some work into adding detail and improving the colors. As others have noted, don't expect a miracle -- the show was shot on video. But it is an improvement.
2. They restored the ending of the show. The Hit Entertainment version visually cuts off the ending of the closing song by superimposing a Jim Henson logo over the last few seconds or so, which is unfortunate.
1. This is a big one: the Sony DVD changed the aspect ratio of the show from 1.33:1 (square shaped) to 1.78:1 (widescreen), in an attempt to accommodate today's widescreen TVs. They took the square-shaped original version of the show and cropped it, taking off the top and bottom. The show was originally shot for television, and it was originally aired in this square format. Most importantly, the show's framing was shot with this square format in mind. For a lot of shows, it might not make a difference if it's cropped, but this is a show with puppets who spend all of their time in the bottom half of the screen. The cropped version significantly cuts off the Fraggles. For example, in the end credits song, Boober's head barely peeks out from the bottom of the screen. The Hit Entertainment DVDs have the correct aspect ratio.
2. The packaging is terrible. I cannot overstate how bad it is. I'm normally not someone who would care, but it is really awful: a pile of DVDs in a truly flimsy piece of plastic with a protective piece of junky cardboard keeping it from moving around. There is no protection for the discs.
3. This is more of a missed opportunity on Sony's part: not all of the intros had Boober saying "down at Fraggle Rock" at the end of the show's theme song. Some of them had different Fraggles. For example, in the Terrible Tunnel episode, Wembley eerily whispers, "down at Fraggle Rock." Oddly enough, the audio of Wembley saying this is in the Sony version, but visually it's the standard shot of Boober saying it. The Hit Entertainment version is even worse than the Sony -- in the Terrible Tunnel episode, it's just the same shot of Boober at the end with Boober's audio. So they clearly cut and paste the same intro onto every episode. At least Sony got the audio right.
Sony DVD vs Blu-Ray
The blu-ray has the correct 1.33:1 aspect ratio!!! So if you are considering getting the new Sony version, the blu-ray is the way to go. It has all of the same benefits as the DVD: better picture quality than the previous DVD release and the restored ending. The blu-ray also features a bunch of extras. On the downside, it also did not restore the opening theme (like the DVD, the audio is there but not the visuals).
The blu-ray packaging is great. No complaints.
Here is where the blu-ray fails: the menu is terrible. Absolutely the worst, clunkiest, slowest menu I've ever used. I'm not exaggerating (lots of superlatives in this review: worst packaging, worst menu. But I mean it!). Trying to select an episode is a chore. Especially for a children's TV show, episodes should be very quickly accessible. They're not. A simple list of them on the home page would've been nice. The disc also takes a long time to load up, presumably for the overly-complicated menu experience. Again, for a kids' show, getting from inserting the disc into the player to watching the show should be as fast a process as possible.
SUMMARY: Get the Sony Blu-Ray and mentally prepare yourself for a frustrating menu experience. If you have the old Hit Entertainment (or Lionsgate) DVDs and are looking to upgrade to the Sony DVD, be warned: the visuals are better, but the aspect ratio is terrible. To me, that's a deal breaker.
Then I bought the Animated Series too and it was good.
But they have done a top notch transfer to the blu-rays, the colors are more vibrant, and even though it was originally on tape, there is a lot more detail visible on these blu-rays compared to my old DVD's.
I am SOO glad I decided to buy this even though I owned the Animated series and the entire series on DVD previously.