Directed by Hank Tucker
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 255 minutes
Audio: Dolby 2.0 Surround English, French
Subtitles: SHD, French, Spanish
Release Date: August 7, 2007
Review Date: August 7, 2007
Superheroes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Among the bluest and brightest is The Tick, an overgrown but lovable lug with tremendous strength and a heart to match. Aided by his sidekick Arthur the Moth and occasionally joined in his adventures by “minor” heroes Die Fliedermaus and American Maid, The Tick does what all good superheroes do: protect the weak, fight for justice, and keep America safe.
The adventures of The Tick operate on two different levels: it’s a fun cartoon adventure for the kids and a sly parody of superhero derring-do for adults. In much the same tone as Pixar's The Incredibles (though with much less sly wit and more slapstick), The Tick’s adventures are fun with the same sort of crazy villains that made the live action Batman such a cult classic in the mid-1960s. Also like Batman, it’s played seriously by the voice cast, never winking at the audience about its outrageousness, and the show is all the better for such solemnity. We get it without being told repeatedly that it’s all absurd.
Of course, the show was made cheaply, so you’re not going to get Disney feature animation quality for a TV show. It has the same minimalist style that characterizes most shows of this type, but it’s bright and colorful and fast paced, and that’s all that ultimately matters. Kudos to Townsend Coleman who voices the title character. He keeps the kind-hearted klutz an easy-to-root-for hero. Rob Paulsen is also just fine as the more intelligent but also shyer Arthur. Looking at the voice credits of these twelve episodes reveals some famous voices from cartoons and from stage and screen: Hamilton Camp, Dorian Harewood, Paul Williams, Tony Jay (Jafar in Aladdin), Cathy Moriarity, and Terrance Mann, among others.
Here’s a rundown of episode titles and brief plot summaries for the included episodes from season two (the slipcase and box notes both specify that episode #15 is not included in this set. Fans of The Tick will understand what has been omitted.)
1 – “The Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love” : Arthur falls for a female villain causing The Tick to make a new sidekick out of wood.
2 – “Armless but not Harmless” : The evil Venus wants to win the Enemy Award.
3 – “Leonardo da Vinci and His Fightin’ Genius Time Commandos” : A handful of famous artists and inventors are sucked through time to do an evil one’s bidding.
4 – “Coach Fussel’s Lament” : A fiendish nanny kidnaps The Tick.
5 – “Bloomsday” : The vile El Seed wants to steal a precious flower whose blooms can be deadly.
6 – “Evil Sits Down for a Moment” : The Ottoman Empress steals valuable furniture.
7 – “Heroes” : The Tick appears on the famous interview show Heroes.
8 – “Ants in Pants!” : Evil ant colonies disguised as people are stealing glass.
9 – “The Tick Loves Santa” : A thief dressed as Santa Claus confounds The Tick.
10 – “The Big Nothing” : Space aliens abduct The Tick and Arthur.
11 – “The Tick Vs. Reno, Nevada” : A champion dolphin is stolen from a water park. This was my favorite episode of the season.
12 – “Grandpa Wore Tights” : An elderly super villain kidnaps some retired superheroes.
The series’ TV 1.33:1 aspect ratio is faithfully reproduced on these DVDs. The colors are bright and solid, but there is slight to medium grain present in every episode. There are also some specks of dirt, evidence of pixelization, and some line twitter, the latter not unexpected in a nonanamorphic source. Some scenes are also softer than others. Each episode has been divided into 5 chapters.
The Dolby 2.0 surround track makes fairly good use of the front channels, but the rears are active only for music seeping in from the front channels. Other sounds of the fights, crashes, explosions, and other cartoon mayhem are rarely directed to the rear speakers.
There are no special features at all in this set.
The Tick Vs. Season Two is a barebones release of the second season of the cartoon series. The episodes are good for some laughs, and if you have younger kids in the house, they’re sure to enjoy the action and color.