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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bump in the Night The Complete Series
Bump in the Night The Complete Series
Shout Factory // Unrated // April 20, 2010
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Shoutfactorystore]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 22, 2010 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
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The Show:
 
I have very fond memories of the clayanimation show Bump in the Night.  Not because I watched it when it was airing, but because I didn't have to.  It was about 15 years ago and my oldest son was about three.  He used to run into my room and wake me up every morning when he woke up, about 6 am, until I taught him how to turn on the TV and reciever by himself (something my wife still has problems with) and turn the station to the Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.  He soon discovered an early morning show that he fell in love with:  Bump in the Night.  After that he'd get up by himself and run downstairs, which meant that I got to sleep just a little bit longer.  When I'd wake up he'd tell me everything that happened on the show.  The only problem was that his vocabulary wasn't very large, and so he'd make up words to fill in the gaps.  "Dad, dad, dad!  Today Mr. Bumpy got a grubbl and he and he and he put it ssmither tong and then it wessquer IN THE TOILET!" That would be followed by fits of uncontrollable laughter.
 


I did manage to catch a handful of episode way back then and I was pretty impressed.  It was pretty funny and wasn't as sappy as most kids shows.  It was pretty creative and the humor wasn't only aimed at the preschool set.  The show was just a bit twisted... something I really enjoyed, without being sick.  It was just slightly askew and that's what makes it so much fun.  The good folks at Shout! Factory, who have been doing a great job of releasing quality obscure shows, have now released the complete series of this forgotten classic for a whole new generation of kids (and their parents.)
 
The premise is pretty simple:  Mr. Bumpy is a monster that lives under the bed of a ten year old boy.  He loves to eat dirty socks (that's why there's always one missing) and having fun with his pals Molly Coddle, a comfort doll made up of parts from other dolls and the show's straight man, and Squishington, a blue monster who lives in the toilet and is a neat-freak.
 


Each episode consists of two short stories and a "Karaoke Café" song.  For some reason the songs were moved to the bonus features, probably because they were repeated over the course of the show and they didn't want to waste the space by repeating the same bits on different discs.
 
While some of the half-episode stories are fairly straight forward sit-com fare a lot of them, the best episodes, have a decidedly strange and weird bend to them.  A good example is Gum Crazy, an early episode in the first season.  In this show Mr. Bumpy is impressing Squishington with his ability to blow really large bubbles with gum, when he runs out of the chewy candy.  He starts to panic until Squishington mentions that he heard gum stays in your stomach for seven years after you swallow it.  With that piece of data Mr. Bumpy has his solution!  He just climbs inside of his own mouth to retrieve the undigested gum.  This creates a black hole/ special instability however which will cause the world to destruct in six minutes.  Mr. Bumpy argues with his stomach, heart (who speaks with an outrageous French accent of course) and finally has a knock-down, drag-out fight with his brain before finally getting out of his own body and saving the world.
 


The show also acknowledges that parents are probably watching by throwing in a movie or pop culture reference every now and then.  They even did that with the title of my favorite episode, Night of the Living Bread.  In this adventure Mr. Bumpy leaves a slice of bread behind the microwave oven.  It's unclear, as the narrator mentions, whether it was the radiation from the oven or just improper food storage, but the slice mutates into a living, walking, hungry piece of bread.  It's a pretty funny episode with Squishington getting eaten by the bread several times.  "The horror, the horror."
 
The DVD:

 
The entire two-season run of this show comes on four DVDs that are stored in a space-saving single width quad case.
 
Audio:
 
The stereo soundtrack is fine, but nothing special.  The dialog is easy to hear and the music sounds good.  There's some use of the front soundstage, but nothing really exciting.  It fits the show well.
 
Video:
 
The full frame picture is pretty good.  The colors are bright and solid and the level of detail is fine.  The only real problem is that there's a fair amount of aliasing in the image.  It's not a grievous error, but it is noticeable.
 
Extras:
 
As mentioned earlier, the Karaoke Café songs that finished each episode are included as extras, spread across the four discs.  The final DVD also has 'Twas the Night Before Bumpy, an hour long special.  It's okay, not the best thing on the discs, but well worth watching.
 
Final Thoughts:
 
I really enjoyed revisiting this show.  It was a lot of fun, and my son was excited to see it once again too.  If you don't have fond memories of this well done claymation program it's still worth checking out.  Definitely for younger viewers, the show has a decidedly odd sense of humor that will please parents too.  It is definitely worth checking out.  Recommended.   
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