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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cartoon Network Halloween - 9 Creepy Capers
Cartoon Network Halloween - 9 Creepy Capers
Warner Bros. // Unrated // August 10, 2004
List Price: $14.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Mike Long | posted November 4, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Sampler compilations have been around in the world of music forever, ranging from the old K-Tel releases to the current "Now That's What I Call Music" craze. However, we haven't seen this phenomenon catch on in the world of home video. That may change thanks to DVD and releases such as Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers, which features samples from several of the network's shows.

Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers contains episodes from 8 Cartoon Network series, each of which deal with creepy or supernatural subjects. (Only one actually takes place on Halloween.) The segments vary in length, as most are taken from shows which contain more than one segment per episodes. The shows are as follows:

"Billy & Mandy's Jacked Up Halloween" from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy -- On Halloween night, Mandy (voiced by Grey DeLisle) and Billy (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz) go trick or treating, with Mandy dressed as Hamlet (using Grim's (voiced by Greg Eagles) head as part of her costume) and Billy disguised as The Grim Reaper, completing his outfit with Grim's very own scythe. Irwin (voiced by Vanessa Marshall), who has a hopeless crush on Mandy keeps appearing in a series of non-scary costumes. As they go from house-to-house, Grim relates the story of a prankster who he once met who attempted to steal his scythe. This man went on to be the inspiration for the modern "Jack O'Lantern". Mandy & Billy scoff at this story, until they realize that Jack still lives in their town and is still seeking revenge on Grim.

"Bravo-Dooby-Doo" from Johnny Bravo -- On the way to visit his aunt, Elvis sound-alike Johnny Bravo (voiced by Jeff Bennett) meets the gang from Scooby-Doo (Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne) and asks them to help him find his missing relative. The entire episode is simply a mixture of musical-montage gags lifted directly from Scooby-Doo and scenes in which the egomaniacal Johnny hits on Daphne.

"Dawn of the Eds" from Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy -- While on their way to see a sci-fi/horror movie, Ed (voiced by Matt Hill), Edd (voiced by Samuel Vincent), and Eddy (voiced by Tony Sampson) take a detour through a junkyard and there pretend that they are astronauts stranded on a planet which is run by murderous robots.

"Boogie Frights" from The Powerpuff Girls -- As this episode opens, we learn that Bubbles (voiced by Tara Strong) is afraid of the dark, and the ribbing from her sisters, Blossom (voiced by Cathy Cavadini) and Buttercup (voiced by E.G. Daily), doesn't help. But, The Professor (voiced by Tom Kane) assures Bubbles that everything will be fine. Unfortunately, The Professor doesn't realize that The Boogie Man (who looks like "The Violator" from the "Spawn" comics) has set forth a plan to create perpetual night-time so that all of the monsters from under the bed can roam freely.

"The Demon in the Mattress" from Courage, the Cowardly Dog -- Muriel (voiced by Thea White), tiring of her shabby mattress, decides that it's time to get a new one. When the new mattress arrives, it's delivered by two vile creatures who are driving an ancient, horse-drawn hearse. This sets the ever-anxious Courage (voiced by Marty Grabstein) on edge. Things get worse when the evil mattress possesses Muriel (in scenes which spoof The Exorcist). Courage must convinced cranky Eustace (voiced by Lionel G. Wilson) to help him save Muriel from her new bedding.

"Picture Day" from Dexter's Laboratory -- Nerdy Dexter (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) may be very smart, but he's never had good luck with school photos. He decides to change that trend this year by using his scientific know-how to create a totally new look for himself.

"Cow with Four Eyes" from Cow and Chicken -- Cow (voice by Charles Adler) arrives at school wearing glasses and suddenly seems much smarter. Overcome with jealousy, Chicken visits the optometrist and fakes his way into very thick glasses. Chicken attempts to appear smarter to his friends, but his inability to see in the glasses only causes trouble.

"Courage Meets Bigfoot" from Courage, the Cowardly Dog -- When courage hears a report that Bigfoot has been spotted in the area, he becomes very nervous. But when he finds Bigfoot in the kitchen, things become even more bizarre than he could have ever imagined.

"I.M. Vampire" from I Am Weasel -- Weasel (voiced by Michael Dorn) and I.R. Baboon (voiced by Charles Adler) are vampires. When they visit a local barn dance to hunt for victims, they come across a vampire hunter played by The Red Guy (voiced by Adler).

The beauty of musical compilations is that they can introduce the listener to a new performer or musical genre. This doesn't really work with video compilations and may explain why they aren't as prevalent. As Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers contains individual segments from various shows, it can be very hard to become engaged in or even understand some of the shows unless one is already familiar with them. For example, I had no clue as to what was happening with the Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy, Cow and Chicken, and I Am Weasel segments. (And something tells me that even if I had seen that last one, I still wouldn't have understood it.) The Billy & Mandy episode is fairly easy to follow, but I'm sure that I would have understood it more if I knew why these two kids are hanging out with The Grim Reaper. I had much more interest in the segments which I'm familiar with, such as The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory. The first being an average episode, while the latter is essentially a one-joke segment. The only real stand-out here is "Bravo-Dooby-Doo", which plays as an extended version of one of Cartoon's Network's creative commercials. (I'd much rather have a DVD of that.) Seeing Johnny Bravo with the Scooby gang is hilarious and the jabs at Scooby-Doo are dead-on. Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers isn't necessarily a disaster, but it is clearly aimed at fans of the shows.

Video

Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers creeps onto DVD courtesy of Warner Home Video. The shows are all presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratios. The video quality varies from show-to-show, but for the most part, the images look fine. Only The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory show any real defects, as (I assume) they're the oldest entries here. They both show some minor defects from the source material and are visually soft. Otherwise the other segments show bright, crisp colors and rare moments of artifacting.

Audio

The shows offered here carry a Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0 mix. These tracks offers clear dialogue and sound effects, with no hissing or distortion on any of the shows. However, I didn't detect a great deal of overt sound from the rear speakers, save for the occasional musical cue.

Extras

There are an extras on this DVD, save for trailers for other Cartoon Network releases.


Cartoon Network Halloween: 9 Creepy Cartoon Capers may appease die-hard Cartoon Network fans who have been waiting for a home video release of their favorite shows, but newcomers or casual viewers will be disappointed and confused. And the fact that most of the shows barely deal with Halloween or anything scary doesn't help.
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