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Regular Show: Party Pack (2012)
Warner Home Video
DVD Release: 3/5/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Sydny Long, Posted on 2/16/2013
The Annie Awards aired recently, during which several animated films and television series were rewarded for their achievements. Unfortunately, not many people watched or were even aware such an award show existed, probably due to its lack of excess fanfare and the assumption that animation is juvenile and should not be celebrated. This, of course, is a shame, considering how far animation has come since the first Annie Awards were presented. One example of this incline in quality is Cartoon Network's popular show, Regular Show.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, it is centered on Mordecai (voiced by J.G. Quintel) and Rigby (voiced by William Salyers), twenty-something-year-old employees at a park (called The Park) and a blue jay and raccoon, respectively. They spend an immense amount of energy avoiding work and fighting off mythological creatures, the latter of which is often a result of the former. Working alongside them at The Park are their perpetually-frustrated boss, Benson (voiced by Sam Marin); the obscene and obese Muscle Man (voiced by Sam Marin); Pops (voiced by Sam Marin), a naïve lollipop man; a wise yeti named Skips (voiced by Mark Hamill); and the fun-loving High Five Ghost (voiced by J.G. Quintel). Each day presents a different, often supernatural, obstacle for Mordecai and Rigby to overcome, while they handle ordinary issues, such as getting a refund, dealing with annoying co-workers, and hiding an embarrassing video.
The Regular Show: Party Pack contains sixteen episodes:
"Out of Commission"
"Really Real Wrestling"
"But I Have a Receipt"
If you're a fan of Regular Show, I would definitely recommend adding this DVD to your collection. The episodes listed above are from the second and third season, where the show really hit its stride and became consistently funny. It is a bit irritating that Cartoon Network has not yet released season box sets, which would be much more convenient to both die hard fans and first time viewers. That said, if you're just introducing yourself to the show, try watching the first season before running out to purchase a copy of "Party Pack". Regular Show was not created to be accessible to everyone, and might turn off those who aren't a fan of the absurd. Some highlights from this DVD are "Sugar Rush", "Gut Model", and "Free Cake".
As mentioned before, the episodes are from the second and third season, which means more attention could be devoted to developing the characters. For example, High Five Ghost, who perhaps had ten lines in the entire first season, starts to appear more often and plays a genuinely emotional role in "Gut Model". Benson starts to loosen up slightly as he realizes that he has to cooperate with Mordecai and Rigby in order for them to complete their assignments. It's incredibly refreshing for a show to dedicate itself to maturing its characters.
Another improvement is the animation itself. The scenery is painted in soft pastels, which contrasts sharply with the action occurring in front of it. A montage can be found in nearly every episode, sliding in on smooth transition scenes and, typically, a soundtrack of eighties music. People are designed to look crudely realistic and retain the style of asymmetry found in reality. The bizarre creatures are always the pinnacle of the episode, where the most effort is placed by the animation team. Jokes that might sound rude or flat on paper are hilarious when matched with the appropriate expressions and movements, as well as outstanding voice-acting.
So, should you pick up a copy of Regular Show: Party Pack? That depends. If you're searching for a new show for a middle school-aged child, Regular Show is the ideal choice, and they will greatly enjoy the variety of episodes found on this DVD. Followers of the show will appreciate having access to their favorites. However, if you're just starting off or can't cope with violence, mild profanity, and the occasional sexual reference, hold off on Regular Show: Party Pack and perhaps set your sights for something a bit more… regular.
Regular Show: Party Pack offers animals which aren't to scale on DVD courtesy of Warner Home Video. The show is letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain or defects from the source material. This transfer betters HD broadcast quality, as it's very crisp. The colors look fantastic, and the picture is never overly dark or bright. The transfer shows no defects from the animation, although it does highlight how some drawings are more detailed than others. The DVD features a Dolby 2.0 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The bulk of the sound comes from the center channel with occasional audio coming from the right or left speaker. The audio isn't overly impressive, but it matches the style of the show.
The only extra featured on Regular Show: Party Pack is a Party Guest List, which includes character profiles for some of the lesser known characters and villains who have appeared on the show.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.