DVD Review “The Roman Holidays: The Complete Series”

Created by Hanna-Barbera
Voices of Dave Willock, Shirley Mitchell, Stanley Livingston, Pamelyn Ferdin, Daws Butler, Dom DeLuise, Hal Smith
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 292 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Hanna-Barbera, I am always curious to see anything that they have created, especially obscure shows like “The Roman Holidays”. This animated series was aired back in 1972 on NBC, but only ran for 13 episodes. The show is set in 63 AD but has a very modern day feel to it. Daws Butler is a blast voicing Brutus the Lion, who is known best for voicing Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and many more. Dom DeLuise also voices Mr. Evictus and gets some good laughs. It is probably not the best product that Hanna-Barbera ever released, especially since it was canceled after a few episodes but it is worth checking out if you are a fan of classics animated series.

Official Premise: Somewhere between the pre-hysterical Hanna Barbera’s Stone Age of The Flintstones and the fantastic future of The Jetsons lie The Roman Holidays, tackling family life circa AD 63. Augustus “Gus” Holiday (Dave Willock) is the man of the clan, lovely and level-headed spouse Laurie (Shirley Mitchell) keeps things on an even keel while teen-age trouble maker Happius (Stanley Livingston) and child prodigy Precocia (Pamelyn Ferdin) threaten to break the Pax Familia. Housed at the humble Venus de Milo Arms, the Holidays face constant threats from their aptly named landlord Mr. Evictus (Dom DeLuise, in his toon debut) while Gus gets equally harried by his boss, Mr. Tycoonius (Hal Smith) at the Forum Construction Company. It’s a good thing he gets to come home to a Roman’s best friend – his pet lion, Brutus (Daws Butler)! So hop aboard your chariot – it’s time to pay a visit to The Roman Holidays!

Episodes included are: “Double Date”, “The Lion’s Share”, “Star For A Day”, “Hero Sandwich”, “The Big Split Up, “Hectic Holiday”, “Switch Is Which”, “That’s Show Biz”, “Double Dilemma”, “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Chariot”, “A Buried Treasure”, “Cyrano De Happius” and “Father Of The Year”. Warner Archive is releasing this series as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classic Collections. They have been behind releasing many rare Hanna-Barbera show’s as part of their manufacture-on-demand (MOD) service. The episodes are released with their original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. They have not been remastered or restored but have been at least manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available. They look decent but could have used a little sprucing up. They also have a typical Dolby Digital Mono track included, which is the usual for Warner Archive MOD releases.

Book Review “Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge”

Author: Roman Dirge
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 20, 2011

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Roman Dirge is known best for his creation of “Lenore”, the cute little dead girl. I have never been a big fan of his work overall. This book features some really weird shit, but that is expected for sure. Some might say that this book is visually stunning, I beg to differ. There are some interesting shots but overall, I was not interested in turning to the next page. I would say that this book is only really for hardcore fans of Roman Dirge, anyone else should steer clear.

The first section of the book focuses on sketches of Dirge’s work that has never been seen before. They are the least gross thing in the book. The second section is called artwork and it includes and nothing is safe in this section. It features bizarre depictions of animals and of course mostly little girls or woman in various states…mostly dead. The next section was the saving grace for me with this book, it is called “Scarytales”. I think this section is great and includes creepy deceptions of classics like Snow White to Alice in Wonderland. I wish this section was longer or if the whole book was based on it. The next section is called “Monster” and just features various gross creations but nothing amazing. So not to end on a downer, there is a section called “Funny Bone” which takes a lighter side of his art. Still gross but includes dialogue and add some humor.

The introduction to the book from Roman himself sets the pace for the whole book. Basically it is him expressing his love for taxidermy and thanks Titans Books for allowing him to be be weird. I have nothing wrong with weird, just to add. I love Tim Burton’s work and similar artists like Neil Gaiman. All in all, I really couldn’t wait to finish looking at this book, though like I said I would have loved to see a larger scale version of the “Scarytales” section though.