Saturday, 28 April 2018

Saturday Morning Nostalgia: Street Sharks: The Complete Series DVD

14 hours 26 minutes; $19.98;  Buy Link

It's Saturday morning, but it's nowhere near the Saturday mornings that I experienced during my childhood. I remember getting up bright & early, fixing a bowl of a cereal, and turning on the old television set, so I could watch my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Now thanks to the Children's Television Act, networks have long since abandoned animated programming in exchange for local news. Yes, many cable channels still air cartoons, but it's just not the same as it was in 1980s and the early 1990s.

One my favorite animated series is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which ran for 10 seasons. The series popularity (as well as the Playmates toyline) started to decline in the early 1990s; just around the time a ripoff of sorts arrived - Street Sharks!

Mattel released a line of mutant sharks action figures in 1994, which was mostly likely inspired by the success of TMNT. Of course to help sell the toys, a cartoon series was created! Produced by DIC Entertainment, the series aired from 1994 to 1997, lasting three seasons with a total of 40 episodes.

The premise of the series centered around two scientist, Dr. Robert Bolton and Dr. Luther Paradigm, who created a "gene-slammer" machine which can successfully mix aquatic creatures DNA with human DNA, creating anthropomorphic hybrids. Dr. Paradigm is mad and plans on using the machine to create his own species. He transforms Dr. Bolton into a creature, who escapes. Later, Dr Luther Paradigm lures Dr. Bolton's sons (John, Bobby, Coop, and Clint) into his lair and splices their DNA with sharks.

To make a long story short, John, Bobby, Coop, and Clint become mutant sharks. Most people would be freaked out by this, but they take it pretty well. Actually, they enjoy being mutants. John becomes Ripster, Bobby becomes Streex, Coop becomes Big Slammu, and Clint becomes Jab. Along with their pals Lena Mack and Bends, the brothers set out to stop Dr. Paradigm's (who becomes a
piranha mutant) evil plans.

A short-lived comic series from Archie Comics debuted in 1996. An animated spinoff,  Extreme Dinosaurs, debuted in 1997 for one season of 52 episodes.

Mill Creek Entertainment released the entire Street Shark series on DVD in 2013, but is now out-of-print. Not to worry, as they re-released "The Complete Series" early this year and for the very first time, the series is also available on Digital through the Mill Creek Entertainment website. A free digital code is included with the three-disc DVD set.

Final Thoughts

The 2018 release of Street Sharks: The Complete Series is exactly the same as the 2013 release, except for the fact that the cover art is different and it comes with a digital code. The picture and sound quality is decent, considering the fact that 13 to 14 episodes are shoved onto each disc. There are no special features or bonus extras.

Now, I've already reviewed the 2013 set on this blog, you can read my review here. My thoughts are pretty much the same as they were then. I didn't watch the series during it's original run. I was a thirteen-year-old in 1994, so I was no longer into cartoons back then; though I do recall seeing the advertisements for the toys.

Overall, Street Sharks: The Complete Series DVD is a must-have for any cartoon fan of the 1990s. Yes, the main plot is silly. Yes, the series is a complete ripoff of TMNT. But there's plenty of action and zany characters to keep any viewer entertained.

*I received a complimentary review copy from Mill Creek Entertainment. All opinions are my own.


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