Starring: Paul Reubens, Lynne Marie Stewart, William Marshall, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman
Number of discs: 8
Studio: Shout! Factory
Running Time: 1103 minutes
Series: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
If you grew up in the 80’s then you properly watched “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” as a kid. This show is the simple definition of ADD. Watching this show today literally gives me a headache but this show has never lost it’s charm. This Complete Series Blu-ray release includes all 45 wacky episodes, plus Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, that have been completely remastered the original film elements. This is the first time that this series has even been released in high definition and it is one hell of a release, thanks to Shout! Factory.
If you are looking to meet back up with Pee-wee Herman and his pals: Jambi the Genie, Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the Mail Lady, Captain Carl, Magic Screen, Conky, Globey, Chairry, Pterri, Randy and many more, I would highly recommend picking up this amazing series. This show isn’t just a cult classic though, it was the winner of an amazing 22 Emmy® Awards during it’s run. I am excited to be able to share this show with my two year old daughter, who has really been enjoying it so far. She calls it the “weird man show”, which she is totally correct in saying. We also already have her yelling “Mecka-lecka hi… Mecka-hiney ho!”
Shout! Factory delivered an amazing release here. Even the case is hard stock and had some amazing new cover art. The reverse side of the art also includes a complete episode list including each episodes “Word of the Day”. The high definition transfers are presented in 1.35:1 and looks amazing. Shout! has said that it was taken from original film elements and that the restoration process was supervised by Paul Reubens himself. The colors are amazing and look extremely vibrant. Same goes for the series’ uncompressed LPCM 2.0 audio track, which works well with the zany madness and Mark Mothersbaugh.
In terms of special features, this release still impresses. There are over four hours of brand-new interviews with the cast and crew, plus never-seen, behind-the-scenes footage with ten featurettes, including: “Building the Playhouse”, which goes into the show production design. “Opening the Playhouse” looks into the title sequence. “Writing for the Playhouse” looks into the scripts and also the music with composer Mark Mothersbaugh. “The Look of the Playhouse” shows the construction of the Playhouse.
“Music of the Playhouse” is a full focus on Mothersbaugh’s tunes. “The Cast of the Playhouse” is a near 50 minutes feature jam-packed with great interviews. “The Puppets of the Playhouse” is a 30 minute look into the shows puppet work. “Animating the Playhouse” looks into the various aspect of animation. “Fans and Memorabilia of the Playhouse” shows the fans obsession with the show of the year. Lastly there is a behind-the-scenes look at the “A Very Merry Christmas Special”. I would have also loved some commentary tracks but there are so many interviews thrown in here, it makes up for the loss. A must own for any Pee-wee fan!