DVD Review: GI Joe Season 1.1
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G.I. Joe
A Real American Hero: Season 1.1
Starring Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Frank Welker, Arthur Burghardt
Shout! Factory
Released July 14, 2009

GI Joe is the codename for American’s daring highly trained special mission force.

Its purpose, to defend human freedom against Cobra — a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

If I had to list my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, one of the shows that would show up on that list would be GI Joe. I can fondly remember waking up before school, getting a bowl of healthy cereal (because my Mom would never let us have the sugary stuff), going downstairs, and watching GI Joe and Transformers. It was a great ritual for me, and thanks to the magic of DVD, I can relive those days. GI Joe has been released on DVD before, but the old sets have been long out of print. Fortunately, there’s a new movie to cash in on, so the show is coming back into DVD.

The plot for the show is right there in the theme song. The Joe team spends all their time trying to stop Cobra and their dastardly plans to take over the world. Every week they go up against Cobra Commander and his flunkies, and every week they stop them, and no one gets killed. Was it goofy? Of course it was. Did I love it, of course I did. Does it still live up after all these years? Well, the 7-year-old in me still loves it, but the old man in me knows that the animation is kind of not as good as we see these days, and the plots are really goofy. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, I just have to not think about it, and remember a time not so long ago when I could be entertained by heroes acting valiantly to stop evil in the world, and not have to think too much about it.

This 4-disc set comes with the first 22 episodes of the series. Included in those 22 episodes are the three five-part mini-series: The M.A.S.S. Device, The Revenge of Cobra, and the Pyramid of Darkness. The set also comes with a bunch of the old GI Joe “Knowing is half the Battle” PSA’s and some of the old toy commercials, as well as an interview with one of the show’s writers. Also, for all you wanna-be ninjas out there, the set comes with a Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow temporary tattoo. All in all, it’s a decent set, and the episodes are good enough by themselves.

If you loved this show as a kid, and weren’t able to pick up the old DVD sets, this is a great deal. Of course if you’re a real fan, you’ll want to invest in the complete series set, also on sale now. This one has a 17-disc set which includes all the episodes of the series, comes in a sweet looking foot locker, and has a 60-page booklet about the show, more tattoos, and a 1 gig USB Flash Drive in the shape of a dog tag, which I would buy on its own. The season 1.1 set will set you back about $29.99 and the full season set is available for the low price of $145.00. Hardcore fans of the show should definitely be on the lookout for this one. If you were hoping for more out of the movie, just put in one of these discs and take yourself back to a more innocent time, and remember the good old days.

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