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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters
The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters
Sony Pictures // Unrated // February 28, 2006
List Price: $9.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Mike Long | posted March 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Shows

Given the success of Ghostbusters (which grossed over $200 million at the box office during its initial release), it wasn't surprising that a TV spin-off was created. But, when The Real Ghostbusters debuted on ABC in the Fall of 1986 as an animated series, there was one surprise on the show. The green ghost which famously "slimed" Bill Murray in the original film had been brought to the television show as a character named "Slimer". This annoyingly affectionate ghost became a key figure on the show and figures prominently in the DVD collection The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters.

Just as in the movie, The Real Ghostbusters focuses on the four members of "The Ghostbusters", who are dedicated to eradicating New York City of supernatural creatures. Dr. Peter Vinkman (voiced by Lorenzo Music), Ray Stantz (voiced by Frank Welker), Egon Spengler (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) and Winston Zedmore (voiced by Arsenio Hall) live in an old firehouse along with Slimer (voiced by Welker). Slimer is equally dim-witted and ravenous and he is usually either eating or making a mess.

The four episodes contained on the The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters are as follows:

"Adventures in Slime and Space" (Original airdate 9/15/87) -- Egon has created a new machine which will enable The Ghostbusters to better capture and dispose of ghosts. However, when Slimer accidentally flies into the machine, he is separated into dozens of little Slimers. This seems like a mere nuisance at first, until the little Slimers escape into the city and continue to multiply. This minor problem becomes worse when they reform, making a giant Slimer.

"They Call Me Mister Slimer" (Original airdate 9/18/87) -- When Peter accuses Slimer of being useless, the little ghost runs away from home. He soon meets a teenaged boy who is constantly being picked on by bullies. The boy has read a great deal about ghosts and when he meets Slimer, he's convinced that the green entity should be his bodyguard. This plan works well, until the bullies decide to get ghosts of their own.

"Victor, The Happy Ghost" (Original airdate 10/15/87) -- While on a call, The Ghostbusters find what appears to be a young, innocent ghost. Charmed by the spectral cutie, they take it home and Janine (voiced by Laura Summer) names it Victor. Slimer is immediately jealous of the attention showered on Victor and things get worse when Victor does some damage in the firehouse and blames it on Slimer. But, this is only the beginning of Slimer's problems, as he soon learns that Victor isn't the peaceful spirit that everyone else thinks he is.

"Slimer Come Home" (Original airdate 10/4/86) -- When Slimer eats Winston's birthday cake, Peter yells at him and the ghost runs away from home. (I'm seeing pattern here.) Meanwhile, a group of poltergeists have been terrorizing neighborhoods around town. Egon theorizes that the poltergeists are banding together to create one powerful entity. He also suspects that the spectral energy of just one more ghost could make the poltergeists powerful enough to be unstoppable. Could Slimer, who is now wandering the streets, be that one ghost?

Despite the fact that it was an animated series ostensibly aimed at children, The Real Ghostbusters actually did a fairly good job of maintaining the balance of comedy and spooky happenings found in the original film. Slimer was clearly added to the show as comic relief and perhaps as a more kid-friendly characters, as "The Ghostbusters" are comprised of four adults. But Slimer-centric episodes, such as those included on this DVD, lean more towards comedy and often careen into silly.

Although Slimer is a ghost, he is played strictly for laughs (save for some scenes in "Adventures in Slime and Space). Slimer's typical antics -- eating something, breaking something, saying something unintelligible, sliming Peter -- make for nice material when they are peppered throughout episodes, but when the entire show focuses on Slimer, things get off track. The similarities in the plots of "They Call Me Mister Slimer" and "Slimer Come Home" -- the fact that Slimer gets into trouble and runs away from home -- demonstrate just how limited the character is. And each of the four episodes have the exact same conclusion, once Slimer has created a problem, The Ghostbusters must save the day. (With "Adventures in Slime and Space" having the unique privilege of being the show where The Ghostbusters use helicopters to save the day.) If Slimer was your favorite part of The Real Ghostbusters, then you will cherish this DVD. All others may want to check out some other episodes.

Video

The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters oozes onto DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The four episodes included on this are presented in their original full-frame aspect ratio. The episodes certainly show their age, as the image is littered with black & white specs, as well as what appear to be small scratches on the source material. Also, the colors are washed out in some scenes. Video noise is noticeable and jagged lines abound in the animation.

Audio

The DVD carries a Dolby Digital stereo audio track. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The track is well-balanced in the sense that the music is never louder than the dialogue. However, the music sounds very flat, as do most of the sound effects. The audio is adequate, but certainly not outstanding.

Extras

There are no extra features on this DVD.

Some problems aside, The Real Ghostbusters yielded some good episodes which did justice to the feature film. But, the shows included on the The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters DVD are not prime examples of the show. Yes, Silmer is a cute character, but the episodes built around him aren't very good.
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