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Plastic Man The Complete Collection DVD Review
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Did you pick up the Plastic Man DVD set yet?
"He can bounce. He can stretch. He can fly. He can bounce. He can change his shape. And he can even dance. Each week Plastic Man will face the world's greatest collection of villains." Greatest collection of villains? The villains that Plastic Man fought weren't any that I recalled from comics or even the Super Friends show. There's The Weed (a giant walking plant), The Clam (a giant talking clam with an eye patch), Half-Ape (a scientist merged with a gorilla when trying to increase his strength and later blamed the world for his screw up), Disco Mummy (a female wrapped in bandages that likes making people dance the disco) and a bunch of other zany vilains.
The Complete Plastic Man Collection was released on October 20, 2009. Of course this is a set that I would want in my personal collection. After finally having watched all four discs, let's talk about what we have.
This set compiles the Plastic Man episodes from The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show. The show originally had other cartoons mixed in but we're only getting the Plastic Man ones. The odd thing here is this set is billed as "the complete collection" but there are still more episodes out there. Throughout the series, Penny clearly has feelings for Plas but he is oblivious as he, himself, has a crush on his boss. Eventually Plas and Penny do get married and we have episodes with Plastic Baby. Those are not here. To put more salt in the wound, the last few episodes even feature the intro describing the wedding and birth of Baby Plas.
Despite that, it's not much of a complaint. We still get 35 crazy episodes. The running time on the discs a whopping 564 minutes. The cartoon doesn't appear to have been completely remastered either. That's not a bad thing. While they're far clearer than any video taped episodes you might have or anything clips you might find online, it's not that crystal clear presentation we often get when old shows are released on video. Personally I like it this way. It makes it feel like I'm reliving my childhood in a small way. Too often the remastered versions cause the shows to lose some of their original vibe.
There's a couple special features included. The tricky part is they are not on the fourth disc as labeled on the packaging.
Disc 1 has A Brief History Of Plastic Man (14:06)
Plastic Man's history is given. He started out bad. He turned into things versus other stretch characters just reached for things. Images from Police Comics #1 from Quality Comics are shown. DC acquired rights then didn't really use him for a while. He was seen as a kind of like a James Bond super hero. Hula Hula was used to include other ethnicities in cartoons. They wanted to do Jack Cole stories but network wanted new direction. James Tucker (porducer for Batman: The Brave And The Bold) thinks Penny was there just to show us that a man in a leotard likes women. Other creators that chime in include Alan Kistler (comic book historian), Tom Kenny (Plastic Man, Batman: The Brave And The Bold ), Andy Suriano (producer/director Batman: The Brave And The Bold ), Dan Riba (animation director Justice League), Mark Evanier, Andrea Romano, Jeff Hall (animator Plastic Man).
Disc 2 has the other feature, Plastic Man In "Puddle Trouble" (10:06) Written by Tom Kenny & Andy Suriano. This was the unaired pilot for a 2006 series.
It has a very cartoony style. Plastic Man has to report to a Community Service Center and has a parole officer. There's mention of his past as Eel O'Brian. Plastic Man is now atoning for his crimes.
Plastic Man is simply a fun series. This isn't like the cartoons that air today. It's interesting seeing Plastic Man portrayed as more of a leader versus the screwball he often is in comics. He still cracks jokes but isn't really seen as a giant joke. Watching these episodes again make me wonder why he chose that outfit and how come he doesn't have any toes. I would give this series a solid 4 out of 5. It's not a perfect series but it is entertaining. There is also some nostalgia factor for me. I would say to pick this up if you like the character and are curious to see the many adventures he had years ago. You can find more information at KidsWB.com and you can click here if you're interested in buying it.