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Saturday, June 17

Have a Saturday Morning Cartoons Marathon!



If you're in your 30's, like I am, then you mostly likely grew up watching cartoons every Saturday morning. You know, back way before the Federal Communications Commission mandate, which required networks to air at least 3 hours of educational program per week - aka, killing Saturday Morning Cartoons forever.

Yes, you can still find plenty of new cartoons on cable channels; some even have 24 hours of animated programs, but it just doesn't feel the same as it did in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Thankfully, many of our cartoon favorites are now available on DVD, so we can watch them anytime we like. We can even have a Saturday Morning Cartoons Marathon, if like.
14 hours 20 minutes: $19.98; Mill Creek Ent.

Now available from Mill Creek Entertainment are 'the complete series' sets of Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego? and Archie's Weird Mysteries.

Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego? is based on a series of computer games. It aired on the now defunct Fox Kids block from 1994 to 1999, lasting for only 40 episodes. The series won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program in 1995.

The series centers on the ACME agents Ivy and Zack, whom happens to be brother and sister. In each episode, the duo tries to track down Carmen Sandiego, the leader the organization V.I.L.E, who is always stealing a historical artifact. With the help of the Player (a live-action kid who is playing  a computer game), Ivy and Zack follows the clues left behind by Carmen to solve the mystery and retrieve the missing artifact.

The DVD set has 4 discs (10 episodes per disc). There are no special features or extras, though there is a bonus episode from the short-lived series Liberty's Kids.




14 hours 52 minutes; $19.98; Mill Creek Ent.
Way before Archie and his pals were rebooted in the hit CW series Riverdale, there was a short-lived 1999 series, titled Archie's Weird Mysteries, that aired on PAX (now known as Ion Television).

Lasting for only 40 episodes, the series centered on Archie (now a school reporter) and his friends, as they investigate strange occurrences around Riverdale. The episodes were basically spoofs of low-budget B-movies from the 1950s, involving encounters with Frankenstein's monster, werewolves, mad scientists, UFOs, zombies, and vampires.

The DVD set has 4 discs (10 episodes per discs). There are no special features or extras, though there are bonus episodes fro Sabrina: The Animated Series, Sabrina's Secret Life, and Mona the Vampire. It comes with an instant digital access code that be redeemed at www.millcreekent.com/redeem.



Final Thoughts: These two series debuted around the time I was in my teenage years, so I didn't really become a fan of them until later on in life. However, I do recall watching an episode or two Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego? in 1994 when I was a thirteen-year-old. It's a bit of an odd series that blends James Bond, Jr.'s (Yes, that was a name of cartoon!) style action scenes with educational facts. Yep, this cartoon wanted you to learn something. It's actually a cute little series that should have lasted longer than 40 episodes.

While I was never a fan of Archie comics, I am a fan of the short-lived Archie's Weird Mysteries, which the episodes were homage to the old monster flicks of the 1950s. While it doesn't have the best animation, the plots are a lot of fun.

Yes, both the sets were released a few years ago, but I believe those are now out-of-print. This summer's releases have new artworks (aka DVD jackets). Archie's Weird Mysteries comes with a Digital download code. The picture and sound quality are both above average.

Overall, I have enjoyed watching (well, rewatching) all the episodes on the Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego? DVD set and the Archie's Weird Mysteries DVD set. I recommend adding the titles to your animation collection!



*Note- I received a complimentary copies from Mill Creek Entertainment. All opinions are my own.


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