DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Greg The Bunny

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Oct 26, 2004.

Tags:
  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw
    [​IMG]

    GREG THE BUNNY
    THE COMPLETE SERIES





    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Air Date: 2002

    U.S. Rating: NR
    Canadian Rating: NR

    Total Disc Length: 299 minutes
    Genre: Comedy

    Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.33:1 full screen
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Closed Captioned: Yes
    SLP: US $39.98






    Release Date: October 19, 2004



    Show Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Dan Milano (Greg The Bunny), Eugene Levy (Gil Bender), Seth Green (Jimmy Bender), Bob Gunton (Junction Jack), Sarah Silverman (Alison Kaiser), Dina Waters (Dottie Sunshine), Drew Massey (Count Blah), Dan Milano (Warren “Professor Ape” Demontague)


    Created by: Dan Milano



    I’ve been told by Greg the Bunny to inform you that his short-lived self-titled TV show is now available on DVD. If you’ve heard of his show before, or if you were one of the few who watched it before it was cancelled by the FOX network, you’ve had time already to pick up this 2-disc DVD set. If you haven’t heard of this show before, let me inform you what Greg The Bunny is all about.

    Greg The Bunny is one of the 3.2 million puppets, or better known as fabricated Americans who are living alongside with people in society. Despite their high population, they still face a social rejection from people who think they are too different and weird to be living along side with them. Most of them are a fraction of the size of a human, they are a little more bubbly and effervescing than humans, and thus humans are usually more prone to be racist towards them. Greg has a hard time getting a job and would like work more days that just Easter.

    One day he convinces roommate Jimmy (Green) to get him a job with his father (Levy) who is a director of a children’s show titled “Sweetknuckle Junction”. While assuming he would be interviewed for an assistant’s position, Greg soon finds himself the star of the show replacing a worn-down old puppet. The show’s episodes include many hilarious puppets on Sweetknuckle Junction such as a drunken and perverted ape Warren and wise and elder vampire Count Blah, blah, who says blah after every sentence. They are accompanied by Junction Jack (who represents the anti-puppet human) and the bubbly and sexy Dottie, who intimately takes the relationships with her human and puppet co-workers to the last step first.

    This cast makes for a fantastic show that is funny as a bunny and entertaining for adults who like the odd and off the wall. Greg the Bunny first appeared on a NYC public access show called "Junktape" and his voice was influenced by the Jerky Boys. He was then the star of interstitial short films and features on The Independent Film Channel for two years, under the show title "The Greg The Bunny Show" until FOX allowed it to become a reality on network TV – only to be cancelled rather quickly after thirteen episodes. The show went through some serious turns as far as the direction it was heading. Characters’ personalities were changed as more people meddled with the workings of the show. It was unclear as how FOX would advertise it to the public. It transformed from a show based on fabricated Americans to one of father-son relationship with puppets secondary on the list. Surely, this didn’t sit well with the creators involved with the show until everything got messy behind scenes and ended on a sour note.

    Regardless, of what was produced and finalized were these thirteen episodes for your enjoyment:

    DISC 1: Episodes
    [*]Welcome to Sweet Knuckle Junction[*]Sock Like Me[*]Dottie Heat[*]SK - 2.0[*]Piddler on the Roof[*]Rabbit Redux

    DISC 2: Episodes
    [*]Father and Son Reunion[*]Jimmy Drives Gil Crazy[*]Greg Gets Puppish[*]Surprise![*]The Jewel Heist[*]The Singing Mailman[*]Blah Bawls


    VIDEO QUALITY
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Greg The Bunny was one of the several FOX shows in 2002 framed at 16x9 and taped in HD 24p using Sony’s HDW F-900 digital cameras. Most of the world has seen this show only in 4:3 480i so naturally this DVD release is presented this way. The image quality on this disc is alright and not striking in comparison to some other television shows I’ve seen shot in HD. While there is nothing distracting on the source (except Dottie), I was expecting a little more depth and detail fleshed out for this release. The show is a little dimmer in comparison to others (especially after reviewing FOX’s Arrested Development on DVD) with such ‘bright-whites’. There are a few instances of compression artefacts and rare instances of edge enhancement/ghosting during each episode. I think with a little more effort from FOX, a new 16x9 transfer from the HD tape could have made this show (and Dottie) look gorgeous.


    AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Keeping consistent with other TV shows, the Dolby Surround audio produced for Greg The Bunny is adequate for the show. It’s really the same old same old: music across the front channels, dialogue anchored in the center speaker and very little directional cues in the main channels. Surround levels provide just enough ambiences with music and bass in the main channels is almost non-existent. Dialogue is very clear and never drowned out by music or effects so you can catch all of the witty humour, blah. What more is there to expect in a world full of fabricated Americans?


    SPECIAL FEATURES [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Greg The Bunny comes with commentaries on six episodes that are very informative about the show:
    [*]"Welcome to Sweet Knuckle Junction" Commentary by creator Dan Milano, production designer Jim Dultz, music supervisor Howard Paar, and property master Brad Elliot
    [*]"Sock Like Me" Commentary by Creator Dan Milano, Seth Green, Bob Gunton, Drew Massey, Victor Yerrid and James Murray
    [*]"Piddler on the Roof" Commentary by creator Dan Milano, Seth Green, Sarah Silverman, Dina Waters, Drew Massey, Victor Yerrid and James Massey
    [*]"Rabbit Redux" Commentary by creator Dan Milano, director/editor Brent Carpenter, writer Bill Frieberger and James Murray
    [*]"Jimmy Drives Gil Crazy" Commentary by Greg the Bunny, Seth Green, Bob Gunton, Warren Demontaque, Tardie the Turtle, count Blah, Rochester Rabbit, Susan the Monster and more;
    [*]"The Singing Mailman" Commentary by Greg the Bunny, Seth Green, Bob Gunton, Warren Demontaque, Tardie the Turtle, Count Blah, Rochester Rabbit, Susan the Monster and more.

    There are also two featurettes; The Humans Behind the Fabricated Americans (30m) which explores those people behind the scenes from the Greg the Bunny’s history to puppeteer casting, with audition tapes shown on Puppet Auditions (6m14s).

    On the two discs combined, there are a total of almost twenty-one minutes of deleted and extended scenes with optional commentary by Dan Milano, some of them are funny, hopefully a future Greg The Bunny HD collection can have some of these inserted back into the show. Disc one also has 32 stills of conceptual artwork and an Easter eggs of Warren's Play – Dailies (2m).

    Disc two has these features, but I never received it for screening: Director's storyboard - "Jimmy Drives Gil Crazy" (90 stills), “Tardy Delivery" with optional commentary (8m), Puppet porn (5 stills), IFC Presents: Greg the Bunny Show, Wrap Reel (6m25s), Behind the scenes stills (20 stills), Publicity Gallery: Promos, Publicity Stills (40 stills), Greg and Seth interview (8m), and an Easter Egg (7:02) of Dina Cracks Up Greg, Tries to Exit Door, Cast and Puppeteers singing on set, Warren and Seth, Turkey Dance, Sarah Silverman does stand-up, Dog bites Rochester, Sarah walks by, Seth and Greg do Willy and Alf.

    Some of the best moments about these features are that the puppets are presented as if they were really actors. All of the humour is intact and they are as personable as ever in these interviews. This makes the special features refreshing to watch instead of the lame and boring “Hi, my name is…” interviews. Thanks to the guys behind this DVD for making the special features a real bunny treat.


    IN THE END…

    Sadly missed by many (including myself who wishes I would have seen it when first aired), Greg The Bunny fans can sit back and relax with these fuzzy guys on DVD. I really wish the show could have gone on longer but I guess the rest of society is too normal to like anything different and weird that this show really had going for it. With great talent from Eugene Levy, Seth Green (and Dina Waters as Dottie - I think she really tickles a good nerve with a lot of Greg The Bunny fans!) I’m sad to see this show is no more beyond its first and only season. This show is hilarious and entertaining, with a cute and adorable off the wall affection for fun, Greg The Bunny is special in my books of lost treasures. Recommended.

    Michael Osadciw
    04.10.26



    (As a side note, does anyone know the origin to Count Blah’s “Blah” after almost every sentence? Was there a puppet/Muppet in the past who said this a lot?)
     
  2. GeorgePaul

    GeorgePaul Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michael, I think that is just a take-off on Bela Lugosi's Dracula (or at least other people's impressions of him). I never saw this series...too bad it got screwed with so royally by Fox, but that's pretty typical of the network that cancelled Andy Richter's series.

    This is at least a rental for me now--especially with Dina Waters coming so highly recommended [​IMG]--but moreso for the marvelous character actor Bob Gunton! He has commentary on three episodes? Yes! Give Warden Norton his props and a long-running series, huh?
     
  3. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 1999
    Messages:
    1,974
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Shepherdsville, KY. USA
    Real Name:
    Pete
    I caught a few episodes of this when it first aired... I am planning on adding this set to my collection... Thanks for the review! [​IMG]
     
  4. Joel Stein

    Joel Stein Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There is a Pink Panther cartoon where the Panther's foil (that short, big-nosed guy) is Dracula. All he says throughout the cartoon is "Blah! Blah!"
     
  5. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 1999
    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For those of us with HDTVs they're going to have to at least offer titles in what we saw them originally. I'm just unwilling to purchase a 4:3 set when I could have taped them off Fox in 16:9.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
    Nice review, Michael!

    I assume that's a typo in the summary at the beginning. The sound on this set is "English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround" (not "3.0").

    M.
     
  7. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,490
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Blind buy for me on release week. A great deal for around $20 for 13 episodes plus a ton of great special features, including the excellent documentary that explores the show's origins via interviews.

    I heard the show received decent ratings, but Fox, using the "It's a transitional year, we can't keep it" defense, cancelled yet another above average show before its time (add it to Family Guy, Futurama, Undeclared and countless others) while keeping the mediocre at best King of the Hill around for far too long.

    But, like Family Guy, it appears Greg will be getting a revival. Greg's, however, is coming in the form of a special on IFC, where Greg first showed up on national TV. Hopefully all will go well and the show can be revived with all-new episodes. Warren is too funny not to be on TV!
     
  8. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw
    I'm glad you guys liked the review and the show!

    Michael, that wasn't a typo, I write DD3.0 Surround on all of the Dolby Surround titles because technically it is 3.0 surround. There is Lf, Rf, and (mono)S encoded on the disc. The center channel is dervived from the mains, and while normally the surrounds are derived from the same using Pro-Logic, DVD seems to have the mono surround channel encoded in the Dolby Digital bitstream totalling three discrete channels on the disc. [​IMG]

    As far as the Count Blah question I asked, the reason why I said that was because when I was a kid in the '80s a friend and I used to always joke around and say "I'm Dracula! Blah, blah!" I was completely surprised to hear this with Count Blah, and I can't remember (nor can my friend) if we sourced that from anywhere. We always assumed we made it up in some goofy talk one day and it always stuck through the years.

    I thought maybe someone who we contacted heard us do it, and eventually it was passed on by habit to someone else, and on, and on, and on for whatever reason until it finally got to Count Blah as an idea...

    ...strange.

    L8R!
    Mike
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110

    I'm afraid that's technically inaccurate. There are only 2 discrete channels on the disc; check it with any processor that gives a report on the DD bitstream (I used a Lexicon MC-8). It is correct to say that the surround channel is "encoded" in the bitstream (and the same applies to the center channel), but this is a function of matrix encoding. The result is two discrete channels containing four matrixed channels. That's what you find on most discs encoded for 2.0 surround.

    M.
     
  10. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw


    Quite possibly, I have been known to be wrong at times [​IMG]. My processor shows incoming channels of Lf, Rf, and RC on the display panel while my DVD player tells me 2CH...I made a judgement call some time ago to call it 3.0.

    While I know that Dolby Surround is derived from just two channel (I still have an old Sony receiver from the '80 with just Dolby Surround with no Pro-Logic), I thought it was possible that surround information had already been encoded as a discrete channel on the disc (only to have the processor separate it).

    Chances are, I am wrong...but who knows?

    Mike
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110

    I do. The soundtrack on Greg the Bunny is DD 2.0 encoded at 192kbps, which is the standard rate for a 2.0 soundtrack.

    If your player says 2.0, I'd trust it. Not all processors are technically accurate in reporting an incoming signal, and yours is apparently among them.

    Also, you may want to revisit any other discs for which you listed a 3.0 soundtrack. I'd had Dolby Digital processors since 1996 (which, for those who know their history, predates the DVD format). I can't remember ever encountering a soundtrack encoded as 3.0. I have occasionally seen 4.0, which usually means that the mixers had access to the left, right, center and surround tracks used to create a matrixed stereo mixdown. But 3.0 wouldn't make much sense. If one has the four separate elements used to create a matrixed surround signal, why would you choose to matrix one and leave the rest discrete?

    M.
     
  12. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw
    Ok! In the name of reason, I give up! lol...

    ...changed! [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  13. Lee Jamilkowski

    Lee Jamilkowski Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Late October/early November is going to be an expensive time for me with regards to DVDs.

    But I need to get this one, blah!
     
  14. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1998
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adam
    Thanks for correcting the technical details, Michael (O): some of us can be a little finicky about these things. [​IMG] And thanks for your review: GtB was always a favourite of mine.

    Adam
     

Share This Page