The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Volume 2 Collector's Edition
With the release of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Volume 2 collector's edition from NCircle Entertainment, fans of the cartoon series now have two DVD collections to choose from. In October 2006, Shout Factory released the second volume of their Super Mario Bros. Super Show set. NCircle's two-volume, four-disc collection brings back most of the content found in the Shout Factory release.
This volume contains 25 episodes from the cartoon series and four bonus features split across two discs. Similar to the first volume, this set does not include any of the live-action segments that originally aired with the show, because NCircle only had the rights to the cartoon segments. Compared to the Shout Factory release, the list of episodes included in Volume 2 are the same, except for "The Pied Koopa" and "Bad Rap," which were included on the first volume from NCircle, and "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service," which appears to be missing from the collection. The bonus features included here are also found on the second volume of the Shout Factory release.
Despite UPS's best efforts to completely crush my review copy, the embossed slipcover and standard-size transparent plastic case protected the two discs inside quite well. I feared the worst when I noticed that the shrink wrap was already ripped open on the top and bottom from the broken plastic case, but the only damage to the discs was a few light scuff marks on disc 1, which still played with no problems. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdiness of the packaging.
On the slipcover, a shiny gold stripe with the words "Collector's Edition" in black capital letters runs across the top, making sure this DVD will stand out on store shelves. Most of the front cover art is embossed, and the textured grass and mustaches are a nice touch.
This might sound odd coming from someone who runs a Super Mario fan site, but I never really got into the Mario cartoons. And now, 23 years since The Super Mario Bros. Super Show first aired, my opinion of the series hasn't changed much. That said, I did enjoy watching for the many pop-culture parodies the series offers. For instance, episodes in this set contain references to Indiana Jones ("Raiders Of The Lost Mushroom"), The Karate Kid ("Karate Koopa"), and Frankenstein ("Koopenstein").
The video quality is what I would expect for a DVD set of a cartoon from 1989. Because of the clearer picture, you might notice more flaws than you remembered, especially if you've only seen the cartoons on VHS.
Whether it's for games, movies, or cartoons, concept art has always fascinated me, so I was glad to see this included as a bonus feature again. The galleries on each disc are about four minutes long and provide an interesting look at the settings used in the cartoons.
The "Mario Bros. Plumbing Interactive Tour" has short video descriptions for several objects seen in the live-action segments. You can choose the item you want more information on from a concept sketch of the Mario Bros.' plumbing shop.
The costume gallery on disc 2 contains 13 fan-submitted photos that you can view one at a time.
If you're a fan of the Mario cartoon series without a DVD set of your own, and if you don't mind the lack of live-action segments, consider picking up the collector's editions from NCircle. If you already have the Shout Factory DVDs, skip this set, because it won't have anything new.