Dilbert: The Complete Series (DVD)
Mill Creek Entertainment / 1999 - 2000 / 10 hrs 41 mins / NR
Mill Creek Entertainment recently acquired a massive amount of television series from Sony which they have started releasing in stripped down, bare bones editions aimed at the sell-through market. While fans of those series will no doubt complain that these are inferior to the versions Sony originally released, one has to keep in mind that these releases are not necessarily aimed at the die-hard fans of those series.
Case in point: DILBERT. Based on Scott Adams' wildly popular comic strip, the cartoonist teamed up with Larry Charles (one of the key writers of SEINFELD and the director of most of Sacha Baron Cohen's absurd character driven vehicles) and adapted the strip to a prime time animated series for UPN. With Daniel Stern providing the voice of Dilbert and Chris Elliott as his dastardly pet Dogbert, the series won a Prime Time Emmy before being cancelled after only two seasons.
The first season focused on a single story arc of the creation of the "Gruntmaster 6000." Dilbert is tasked with creating a new product, starting with the name and working from there. For the second season, the series went to a stand-alone episode format which better aligned with the comic strip but failed to attract the audience required to keep it on-air. The result: a short-lived animated series with a biting/absurdist sense of humor and a small but loyal following of fans. Instant cult show.
When Sony originally released DILBERT on DVD, it had a few supplements (Sony has never been one to lavish the goodies on their television properties) and the hefty retail price tag of $45 (which should be noted has substantially dropped over the years.) While Mill Creek has dropped the supplements (there were only two), they are offering the series at a whopping $10. And that's before any online discounts! So while this may be a stripped down, bare bones version of the series, it is also a version that even non-fans can be tempted to pick up thanks to its extremely low price. DILBERT is funny, often gut-bustingly so, acerbic and sarcastic and completely worth a blind buy.
Mill Creek's transfer of the 1.33 image is a little better than mediocre. While colors are bright and pop nicely, line definition is frequently plagued by stair-stepping. Digital blocking is rare but also rears its ugly head from time to time.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is solid though with all dialogue coming through crystal clear.
None of the supplements from the previous Sony release have been ported over. There are no supplements of any kind on this release.
This re-issue may lack the supplements of the original release but getting the entire run of DILBERT for a ten-spot is too good a deal to pass up. Recommended!