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Another great classic Nicktoon from Shout Factory
on August 10, 2011
Hey Arnold is a Nickelodeon cartoon series that originally ran for five seasons from 1996 to 2004. This DVD box set from Shout Factory contains the first 20 episodes of the series.
The series was created by Craig Bartlett and depicts the life of title character Arnold and his interactions with his quirky classmates and bizarre neighbors in the large nameless city in which they all live. It is well known for skillfully mixing comedy with some dramatic moments as well as for devoting at least an episode or two to even the most minor of characters throughout its run. It also has a fantastic jazzy soundtrack. The animation improved greatly over the 5 seasons of the series, and the first season is notably rougher than later seasons, but it is by no means bad, simply a product of its time.
This DVD is the general retail release of Season 1. This season was previously released as an Amazon exclusive Media on Demand (MOD) set burned to order and available for a relatively high price. The retail set has a much more professional feel to it, it comes packaged in a clear case with some nice art on the inside, as opposed to the standard issue black case that the previous release used. Additionally, the previous release had silent menus while this new set has the show's theme song playing in the background. The old set also had some compatibility issues related to the nature of the product; being burned on demand onto DVD-R discs led to complaints about the discs not being playable on certain players. While I personally never experienced that issue with any of the MOD sets, this new set should be free of those problems regardless.
This release contains NO extras whatsoever. Personally, this doesn't bother me as I usually use DVD extras once, at most. I understand that some people fully expect all DVDs to have extras, but for me, it just isn't that big of a problem. The episodes are here, and in the end that's what the fans have been waiting for. Overall, this is a quality release of the complete first season and overlooking the lack of anything but the episodes themselves fans should be happy to finally see this series come to DVD.
This is the fourth Nickelodeon release from Shout Factory, following the first seasons of The Wild Thornberrys, Rocko's Modern Life, and Hey Dude. Several more are planned for the rest of the year, including The Angry Beavers Seasons 1 & 2, Danny Phantom Season 1, Aaahh!! Real Monsters Season 1, Catdog Season 1 Part 1 and The Wild Thornberrys Season 2 Part 1. So far I feel like Shout Factory is doing a great job with these sets and I hope their partnership with Nickelodeon can continue for years to come.
Note: All five seasons of Hey Arnold were at one time available from Amazon. Those seasons are the older MOD releases, and seasons 2-5 have NOT been announced or released by Shout Factory. As of July 16, 2011 the older MOD releases have been discontinued, however they may still be available through third party sellers.
Additional Note: Many of the reviews on this page refer to the old MOD release of season 1. The episodes on this release are the same, however the reviews of the quality of the product itself seen here do not reflect this retail release. I have written to Amazon requesting they remove the old reviews; they have not yet done so.