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Adult Swim in a Box

DVD year-end box sets

Reviewed by James Renovitch, Fri., Nov. 27, 2009

Just Can't Get Enough

Adult Swim in a Box

Turner Home Entertainment, $69.98

Warning sirens should sound in your mind when you see a box set of DVDs with the words "cash grab" written as big as the title. Not that you see that kind of honesty often. Leave it to the folks at Adult Swim to do not only that but to name the DVD releasing arm of their production company Williams Street DVD Whores.

The poorly constructed box consists of six already-released seasons packaged just as they would be if you bought them separately, along with a previously unreleased bonus disc. Titles included such early shows as Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Sealab 2021 and more current hits like Metalocalypse and Robot Chicken. It's a hard sell. If you like these shows, you probably already have some of these DVDs, and if you're new to these late-night Cartoon Network nuggets of insanity, investing in a 13-disc set might seem like overkill.

Luckily – and in keeping with the spirit of Adult Swim – this is the anti-box-set. Boxed DVDs are usually for either the collector looking for those rare extras or the completist who wants every episode of every season. This box will disappoint both of those groups, but it will thrill the gift-giver looking for a deal. Just because it's a cash grab doesn't mean it's a rip-off.

There is conjecture that these seasons represent the best of the included shows. That's debatable. More likely is that these were overstocked seasons that needed to be unloaded, which would explain the bargain-basement pricing. These same sets, individually packaged, would run you $160 (suggested retail price) while the box costs less than half that. And that's not even including the disc consisting of five pilot episodes (including Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge featuring the voices of Neko Case and T-Pain). Even if you already have two of the included seasons, it's still a deal. Hell, regift the other two titles to your younger cousins to let them know that you're hip and down with the kids, cementing your status as awesomest relative and likely inciting the ire of their parents (double cool points!).

Also in Out-There Animation

The Astonishing Work of Tezuka Osamu: The Experimental Films (Kino Video, $29.95); Extreme Animation: Films by Phil Mulloy (Kino Video, $29.95); Sita Sings the Blues (IndiePix, $24.95); The Animation of Alexeieff (Facets, $39.95)

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