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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Dilbert: Complete Series
Dilbert: Complete Series
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // January 20, 2004
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted February 13, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Part of the animation boom of the late 90's, "Dilbert" is an animated sitcom version of the popular Scott Adams comic strip. Presented on the UPN network, the show's debut generated a lot of buzz, yet the network was never able to get behind the show enough to gain much of an audience. The show features the adventures of Dilbert (voiced by Daniel Stern), a low-level engineer who must attempt to actually work with his band of fellow cubicle dwellers. He lives with Dogbert (voiced by Chris Elliot); Ratbert, a little rodent who looks for affection and Dilmom, who knows more about technology than her son does. Co-workers include Wally, Alice (Kathy Griffin), the Boss (Larry Miller) and the evil Catbert, head of HR. Fans of the comic will also delight in some supporting characters, such as the genius garbage man. The characters also take a trip to the comic strip's third-world country "Elbonia" to check out a sweatshop to check out production of the new "Gruntmaster 6000" in "Elbonian Trip".

Developed and produced by creator Scott Adams and "Seinfeld" writer Larry Charles, "Dilbert" was a largely successful expansion of the comic strip, as the characters were voiced superbly by a series of talented comedic actors. Elliot is nothing short of priceless as the deeply cynical Dogbert, as he gives his driest performance ever. Miller brings his terrific timing to the role of the idiotic boss, Griffin makes irritation amusing as co-worker Alice and Stern manages to make Dilbert a convincing "everyguy".

Still, while Adams managed to take common office issues and make them into hilarious parodies in three-box strips in the paper, it was obviously a little more difficult to stretch out some of these ideas into twenty-minute sitcoms. While the show's surreal quality wrings out some hilarious moments and the jabs and more real, relatible office politics get definite chuckles, there are the occasional episodes ("The Shrine of Wally", where marketing students worship Dilbert's co-worker) that just fall flat, despite the timing and delivery of the voice cast.

Those who liked the strip will find a lot to like about the series, though. There are some great episodes and the humor and characters of the strip are fleshed out. It's too bad that the series didn't find a home on a better network, as a few cable channels might have allowed the series to have a longer run and given it more of a chance.

1. 1- 1 101 25 Jan 99 The Name
2. 1- 2 103 1 Feb 99 The Competition
3. 1- 3 102 8 Feb 99 The Prototype
4. 1- 4 106 15 Feb 99 The Takeover
5. 1- 5 104 22 Feb 99 Testing
6. 1- 6 105 1 Mar 99 Elbonian Trip
7. 1- 7 108 22 Mar 99 Tower of Babel
8. 1- 8 107 5 Apr 99 Little People
9. 1- 9 110 21 Apr 99 The Knack
10. 1-10 109 3 May 99 Y2K
11. 1-11 111 10 May 99 Charity
12. 1-12 112 17 May 99 Holiday
13. 1-13 113 24 May 99 The Infomercial

Season 2

14. 2- 1 201 2 Nov 99 The Gift
15. 2- 2 202 9 Nov 99 The Shroud of Wally
16. 2- 3 203 16 Nov 99 Art
17. 2- 4 204 23 Nov 99 The Trial
18. 2- 5 205 7 Dec 99 The Dupey
19. 2- 6 206 18 Jan 00 The Security Guard
20. 2- 7 207 25 Jan 00 The Merger
21. 2- 8 208 1 Feb 00 Hunger
22. 2- 9 209 8 Feb 00 The Off-Site Meeting
23. 2-10 210 15 Feb 00 The Assistant
24. 2-11 211 22 Feb 00 The Return
25. 2-12 212 30 May 00 The Virtual Employee
26. 2-13 213 6 Jun 00 Pregnancy (1)
27. 2-14 214 13 Jun 00 The Delivery (2)
28. 2-15 215 11 Jul 00 Company Picnic
29. 2-16 216 18 Jul 00 The Fact
30. 2-17 217 25 Jul 00 Ethics


The DVD

VIDEO: "Dilbert" is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame broadcast aspect ratio. Although the animation isn't exactly advanced, the presentations still look quite good. Sharpness and detail remained superb throughout, as the picture continually looked crisp and clear.

Still, some issues do make an otherwise fine presentation suffer somewhat. Some light compression artifacts appear once or twice, while shimmering is visible a few times in most episodes. Light grain is also occasionally apparent, but no noticable specks, marks or other wear were spotted. The show's color palette is often rather subdued, but brighter tones occasionally appear.

SOUND: "Dilbert" is presented in Dolby 2.0. The presentation is perfectly average, with cleanly recorded music, dialogue and sound effects. Some louder dialogue and effects can sound a bit shrill, but this wasn't a terrible problem.

EXTRAS: The set's best extra is "Making Dilbert Work", a 19-minute documentary included on the first DVD. In the piece, Adams discusses his inspiration for Dilbert, how he dreamed up the strip and a little bit of history about its rise to fame. Series producer Larry Charles and members of the cast and crew are also interviewed. The only other extras on the DVD are clip compilations from the series and trailers.

Final Thoughts: "Dilbert" could occasionally be a little uneven or too dry, but the cast provided terrific voice work and the surreal animated sitcom hit the right notes more often than not. The DVD provides the entire series (both seasons) and offers respectable presentation quality, but not much in the way of supplements. Recommended.

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