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Cartoon Network: Holiday Collection
Score: 50%
Rating: TV-PG
Publisher: Warner Brothers
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 77 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Holiday/TV Series
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH

Features:
  • Christmas Episodes:
    • Adventure Time: Holly Jolly Secrets Part I
    • Adventure Time: Holly Jolly Secrets Part II
    • Regular Show: The Christmas Special
    • The Amazing World of Gumball: Christmas
  • Bonus Episodes:
    • Clarence: Money Broom Wizard
    • Steven Universe: Together Breakfast

The original shows on the Cartoon Network can be a little bit... out there. As such, the Cartoon Network Holiday Collection doesn't really fit the mold of the Christmas "classics"...

The first two episodes included on the disc are from Adventure Time: a two-part story entitled "Holly Jolly Secrets." In this episode, Jake the Dog and Flynn (the Human) discover a buried collection of "secret" video tapes that belonged to the Ice King. They decide to have a video-watching marathon and they close themselves up at home to watch their way through them, with the assistance of BMO, their trusty friend / sentient game console. Most of the tapes turn out to be Ice King's video diary tapes. However, when Ice King finds out that they have his tapes, he begins a siege to take them back, leaving Jake, Flynn and BMO frantically attempting to finish their marathon. What will the last tape reveal? I'll leave it to the viewer to see. I will say that it does, indeed, reveal something about the Ice King's past.

The third episode is a Regular Show episode: "The Christmas Special." We all know better than to expect a traditional Christmas tale out of Regular Show and this episode doesn't let us down. No, instead of a heartwarming tale of human kindness or self-sacrifice, "The Christmas Special" feature a rogue elf escaping Santa's Workshop with a toy that could destroy Christmas forever and, as you might have guessed, our heroes, Mordecai and Rigby, have to save the day by destroying the gift (which is, of course, powered by dark magic), by dropping it into a lava pit, setting our friends on their own "Lord of the Rings"-style epic adventure into a Middlish-earth realm we'll just call "Underpark".

The last of the Christmas episodes is taken from The Amazing World of Gumball, and is simply entitled "Christmas." If you're not familiar with The Amazing World of Gumball (I wasn't), it has a very strange art style which combines 3D computer generated graphics and occasional live imagery and video with more traditional-style animation. It works well, once you get used to it, but it can be unsettling at first. This episode finds Dad accidentally running over a transient that his children are convinced is actually Santa Claus. While Dad tries to work his way back onto the nice list by taking care of the transient and Mom just tries to keep the house from getting dirtied by their unexpected guest, Gumball, Darwin and Anais try to help "Santa Claus" remember who he is in time to save Christmas.

While the Christmas episodes aren't your typical Christmas cartoons, they were enjoyable and fit the shows they came from. However, the four episodes only comprised three different stories, which is a bit light for a DVD. That might be why there are also two "Bonus" episodes included. These bonus episodes aren't Christmas themed, but were enjoyable, all the same.

The first bonus episode is from the cartoon called Clarence. This episode, "Money Broom Wizard," shows the adventures of three friends as they travel on their own epic journey to the local pizza place / arcade, Pizza Swamp. If the Regular Show episode hinted at Lord of the Rings (which it did), "Money Broom Wizard" directly references things from LOTR. Clarence, the main character, walks with a stick (his wizard staff) for the entire episode, appending "Wizard" to everything he does. It's amusing to see how Clarence is so laid back and pleased with himself and how he ends up "winning" no matter how much the odds are stacked against him. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it was really awesome to see how it came together.

The last of the episodes is an episode of Steven Universe, specifically, "Together Breakfast." Steven Universe has an anime feel to it and in this episode, Steven makes a special breakfast for the team to eat together, then spends most of the episode trying to actually get everyone in the same place to eat said breakfast. When Steven interrupts a dangerous ceremony to destroy an evil artifact, not only breakfast, but their very lives are at stake. It's up to Steven to save the day and, when that's done, perhaps they can work up some other team-building meal.

I'm guessing that Cartoon Network was running a bit low on holiday episodes to put in the collection, but although it's just sort of thrown in there, I enjoyed "Money Broom Wizard" a lot. As for the Cartoon Network Holiday Collection, in general it's short, weighing in at just over one and a quarter hours. And it's weird. But, if you're familiar with Cartoon Network, you're expecting that.

My biggest issue with the Cartoon Network Holiday Collection is that it's just not enough bang for the buck. I would be much more enthusiastic if it had twice the episodes or cost half the price. I know they say it's better to give than to receive, but when you give ten dollars, you probably hope to receive more in return. If you find this on sale for five dollars, you might snatch it up for someone you think would appreciate a sampling of Cartoon Network shows, but otherwise, I can't really recommend it.



-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins
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