Home Movies -
Date: November 16, 2004
Review posted: November 29, 2004
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.
its witty characters and humor, Home Movies is genuinely funny,
and it also tells some interesting stories. The scripts have a kind of
formula to them, but that's not a bad thing. Animation-wise, the show
looks pretty low-budget, with limited detail and backgrounds, but it
works towards the show's charm. Aside from fun stories, the dialogue
seems down to earth and realistic, but sometimes is also a bit silly.
Show co-creator Brendon Small, now a young adult, voices the character
based on him. While he does a good job, he also talks very slow and
many times the character sounds unsure about things, but that seems to
be the nature of Brendon. The other voice cast is good, too,
especially Jon Benjamin who voices Jason and Coach McGuirk.
first episode, Get Away From My Mom, sets up the tone quite
well, for it develops the aspirations of Brendon becoming a filmmaker.
The best part about it, though, are the confrontational scenes between
Brendon and Coach McGuirk, who happens to be dating Brendon's mother.
Other highlights include The Art of the Sucker Punch, Brendon
documents his challenge to take on the town bully, Director's Cut,
both Brendon and McGuirk face some competition, and School Nurse,
Brendon and McGuirk compete for the affection of the nurse. All of the
show's thirteen episodes that make up the first season are
entertaining overall, although as it is with most shows, some stories
work better than others, and therefore a few episodes don't have equal
Shout! presents Home Movies in fullscreen format. The animation
looks a bit jittery, or like there could be something wrong with
pixelation, but the video is not at fault. Colors look pretty good,
sharpness and detail are fine, and overall the presentation is pretty
Shout! presents Home Movies in English 2.0 Surround. The front
speakers emit all the sounds with clarity which makes dialogue and the
limited sound effects easy to understand.
of the three discs features several bonus features, so let me briefly
break it down.
Disc 1 provides audio commentary with Loren Bouchard, Brendon
Small, and Jon Benjamin on four episodes (Get Away From My Mom,
The Art of the Sucker Punch, Brendon Gets Rabies, and
Yoko). There's much joking and telling stories, but information
about the show is relayed as well.
The Interview with Loren Bouchard, the show's co-creator and
executive producer, is an in-depth discussion, actually, and therefore
covers good ground and information. At twenty-four minutes, it's
longer than I expected. Also available here is an animation gallery
as well as a short film by Brendon Small. Do some digging and
you can find an Easter egg that lists instructions for a
Home Movies drinking game.
Disc 2 offers commentary on two episodes (Director's Cut
and It Was Supposed To Be Funny).
The Interview with Brendon Small is a bit odd but nonetheless
intriguing. It appears he makes up some things about how the show
started, and so on. Well, see for yourself, but it's not going to be
easy to figure out which of Small's stories are true or not. Also
available is another animation gallery, animatics for
Director's Cut, a short film called Baby Pranks, and
an Easter egg.
Disc 3 offers commentary on three episodes (School Nurse,
Mortgages & Marbles, and Brenden's Choice).
Additionally, School Nurse can be viewed in animatics with
The Interview with Jon Benjamin runs twenty minutes in length
and also presents a bit of a mock detailing of events. The
Interview with Bouchard, Small, and Benjamin, who all sit
together, runs sixteen minutes in length, and pretty much serves as a
making-of with a variety of stories and information on the show. Once
again, there's an animation gallery, animatics, and
another Easter Egg.
Home Movies is a neat find, especially for people who have never
seen an episode, like myself. Fans of the show are treated to a worthy
DVD collection here that includes surprisingly nice extras.
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