Home Movies

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Rating: TV PG

Starring:
Brendon Small as Brendon Small/Dwayne/Walter/Various (voice)
H. Jon Benjamin as Coach John McGuirk/Jason Panopolis/Perry/Various (voice)
Melissa Bardin Galsky as Melissa Robbins (voice)
Ron Lynch as Donald Lynch (voice)
Jonathan Katz as Erik Robbins (voice)
Emo Philips as Shannon (voice)
Will Le Bow as Ned Robbins/Jimmy Monet (voice)
Paula Poundstone as Paula Small (voice)

Special Features:
Commentary Tracks with Loren Bouchard, Brendon Small & Jon Benjamin

Interview with Loren Bouchard – Home Movies Creator and Executive Producer

The Thor Von Clemson Advanced Fast Hand Finger Wizard Master Class – A Short Film by Brendon Small

Interview with Brendon Small

Animatics

Animation Gallery

Baby Pranks A Short Film by Jon Benjamin and Bill Buckendorf

Interview with H. Jon Benjamin (“Jason” and “Coach McGuirk”)

Interview with Loren, Brendon and Jon

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Synopsis:
The following is the official description of the DVD:

“Home Movies Season One features the first 13 episodes of the favorite series seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The irreverent animated comedy hit television series chronicles the life of pint-sized, aspiring filmmaker, Brendon Small. Brendon – a jaded third grader who happens to have the brain of a twenty-something – uses his video camera to cope with the trials and tribulations of his pre pre-pubescent life.”

The following episodes are included on the 3 disc set:

101 – Get Away From My Mom
102 – I Don’t Do Well In Parent-Teacher Conferences
103 – The Art of the Sucker Punch
104 – Brendon Gets Rabies
105 – Yoko
106 – Director’s Cut
107 – It Was Supposed To Be Funny
108 – Method of Acting
109 – Life Through a Fisheye
110 – School Nurse
111 – Mortgages & Marbles
112 – Law and Boarder
113 – Brendon’s Choice

This DVD is rated TV PG.

The Movie:
I never saw Home Movies when it first aired on the WB, but I caught it on Cartoon Network as part of “Adult Swim”. Despite the crude and wavy animation (dubbed “Squiggle Vision”), I loved the sly wit of the show, the improvisational feel of the dialogue, and the hilarious storylines.

The premise of the show is creative and perfect for animation. Home movie maker and 3rd grader Brendon Small makes home movies with his friends. Every film is an epic for him and he approaches it with all the seriousness and intensity of a film student despite the fact that they star him, his perpetually congested friend Jason, and his other friend Melissa. Each show features a parody of some film or a music number with hilarious lyrics. (For example, one song warned of the dangers of putting a marble up your nose.)

When Brendon’s not making movies he’s at school along with Coach John McGuirk. McGuirk is your typical jock and he’s a prime target for comedy. His thick-headedness, laziness, and chauvinism provide a lot of laughs for anyone that ever had to deal with a difficult coach in school.

As already mentioned, the animation is pretty crude. The figures look like they were drawn by 3rd graders and the lines on them wiggle enough to make you sick. There’s a good chance that the animation alone will turn many people off. However I think the stories and humor are entertaining enough to make it worth checking out. Instead of relying on being disgusting or offensive like a lot of adult animated series, this show relies on wit and improvisation to be funny.

The Extras:
I’d like to discuss all of the bonus features on this DVD, but the preview disc I was sent only had a few of them. Here’s what I was able to check out:

The Thor Von Clemson Advanced Fast Hand Finger Wizard Master Class – A Short Film by Brendon Small – This is one of Brendon Small’s own “home movies”. It’s obviously just an exercise in being silly. In this particular video, he plays Thor Von Clemson, a Norse god who also happens to give guitar lessons. I think the title alone tells you whether you’re going to like this or not.

Interview with Brendon Small – Small gives an interview about Home Movies with the same sardonic wit and dry sense of humor that he exhibits in the TV series. He fires off joke after joke with a completely straight face. It’s easy to see how the show gets its twisted sense of humor.

Animatics – Some of the episodes can be viewed in rough animatic form. These aren’t the same CG animatics that you see on big budget films. It’s more like a series of hand sketches timed with the audio. They can be viewed with commentary by the creators. Their commentary is just as twisted and funny as the show itself.

The Bottom Line:
Home Movies fans are going to love this collection. I think if you like The Simpsons or Family Guy then you’ll enjoy this series as well.

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