Hey Arnold! is a
unique and entertaining family-friendly
television program that aired on the popular Nickelodeon network
1996. The series was in some ways unlike any of the other programs on
network: the differences begin with the title character having a
shaped head and extend to the multi-cultural and racial acceptance the
displayed along with the important backdrop of Arnold living with his
raised by his grandparents Phil and Gertrude. An early episode in this
season displays an infant Arnold looking up at loving parents after
scene plays out as a flashback of sorts, and the sentiment is moving.
is no discussion given between the grandparents and Arnold over his
information is given as to what exactly happened to his parents. Arnold
orphan in the sense that he does not have his parents but there is much
shown and given to him by his grandparents. They make up a family unit
and it's wonderful to see this display of a child's upbringing on a
television series. There are many kids these days that end up being
grandparents instead of their natural parents for one reason or
element of the series brings a positive message that needs to be shared
youth. It could encourage understanding among young peers of the
in which fellow classmates or friends are being raised, and for
are raised outside of the typical social norm it brings greater
of their own situation. Family is Family. That is one of the
elements to Hey Arnold! It is a message that helps the series
to be much
more valuable to youth than mere entertainment.
has the benefit of being simplistic without ever being a simple show.
the kind of development that takes a huge amount of talent on the part
entire creative team. The plotlines are always secondary on this
are no continuing storylines to really bring viewers back for more in
The only reoccurring elements that drive the story belong to a school
that Arnold has for a girl he hardly knows and the much more, um,
crush (some might say obsession) that fist-wielding Helga has
(she seems to want to beat him up constantly and bullies him around
then she will turn around and professes her love for him... to herself).
Most of the
show is character based and while the storylines are always quite
worthwhile they also allow viewers to jump in whenever they want
impact on the production continuity.
some essential episodes in the first season. The two biggest spotlights
actually the two 30 minute long episodes (Arnold's Christmas and
Valentine). Series fans will be pleased with how each episode
develops the characters and enhances the richness of the storytelling.
longer episode format gives more time to developing the plot and
intently on the characters. The standard
two-stories per episode format works considerably well and does bring
interesting plots but sometimes it is nice to see an episode that feels
though it was developed to be a short feature film.
brings young audiences a sense of racial acceptance that isn't always
in children's shows as one might hope for or expect to see. Arnold's
friend Gerald is as close to him as a brother would be and he is
American. There is never anything said on the show to make it seem out
ordinary at all, which is wonderful, as it isn't out of the ordinary. Tons
kids these days become close friends with people of all races. Yet
always a need to keep youth educated of how friendships and
based upon character and not on appearances: no cultural boundaries
Bartlett did a wonderful thing in creating this show. It's contains
lessons for kids to learn and it has solid craftsmanship that makes it
for viewers of all ages (including adults). The characters are
and downright wonderful. Viewers grow to like Arnold, Gerald, Helga,
rest of the characters because they speak to viewers of all ages
expertise of the genuine writing. Hey Arnold! is thematically
entertaining, and emotionally rewarding television that is worth owning
sharing with others.
Arnold! Season One
entire 20 episode run across four discs in the original broadcast
of 1.33:1 (full frame). The picture quality is considerably weaker than
were probably hoping for but Shout Factory's release should be able to
the Burn on Demand release quality. The series is riddled with
issues and the contrast is somewhat inconsistent too. The colors are
but less vivid than some fans may be expecting to see. It's a
release in the picture quality department but it is also unlikely that
release will ever come out on DVD. The animation manages to still be
audio quality for Hey Arnold! Season One manages to
match the picture quality in that
it seems disappointing and inconsistent. The Dolby 2.0 tracks are
listenable with a good enough ability to reproduce the dialogue but the
tracks aren't dynamic overall. The series will never sound that
amazing, but it
was unfortunate that it ultimately sounded so average.
are no extra bonus materials on this Season
One DVD release.
Arnold! is a
meaningful show with plenty to offer audiences.
The series has charming characters, unique animation, and great lessons
youth. It is one of the best animated programs of the 1990's. Fans will
purchase this DVD set despite the poor PQ/AQ because of the high
quality of these
twenty season one episodes. Highly Recommended.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.