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For those wondering... the spanish dub is the original!
Roberto Leibman | Sacramento, CA | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the 70's and 80's Mexican television (Televisa) was too cheap to buy any new programs, so they kept on showing the same shows OVER and OVER, Pink Panther, the first Spiderman series, Here Comes the Grump, Señorita cometa and others became cult classics to my generation. Among these shows stands out Top Cat (Don Gato), particularly because of the genius of the dubbing artists who gave regional Mexican accents to the different cats, and would often insert off-color humor into the show (some of which only now, upon seeing these again) I'm finally getting. I was a bit worried when I bought the set because I didn't know if the spanish dub was included and original, but I was not dissapointed. Now, if I can only get a DVD of Señorita Cometa or Here Comes the Grump I'll be really happy reliving my childhood."
BRILLIANT! Maybe the BEST of HB
J. T. Holtz | Maine, United States | 12/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not taking anything away from "The Flintstones" or "The Jetsons" or any of the other great Hanna Barbera cartoons, but "Top Cat" may just be the funniest, hippest, smartest show HB ever put out. From the writing, the backgrounds, setting the show in a real (as opposed to fictional) city--New York--and Gershwin-esq music ques, every episode of "Top Cat" is quality comedy from the first frame to the last. I absolutely loved this show as a kid, and now that I'm an adult I can watch it with a new appreciation for the talent that went into making it.
Seven characters voiced by six great actors (The wonderful Leo de Lyon pulled double duty as the voice of both Brain and Spook), each with a distinct and endearing personality. Arnold Stang is brilliantly cast as Top Cat, bringing a sensitivity and vulnerability to the role of this "hukster." Maurice Gosfield is hilarious as the delightful Benny the Ball, as is Marvin Kapland as Choo-Choo. And Allen Jenkins is perfect as officer Dribble, er, I mean Dibble. Really, the only character who doesn't do much for me is Fancy-Fancy, but the episodes tend to leave him and Spook (whom I do like) a bit more in the background than the other characters.
Combine great characters with great actors and great writing and you get some great comedy. In the first episode, "Hawaii Here We Come," the opening shot of little Benny hula dancing and singing "Aloha Hoyiiiiie!" is just one of the funniest things I've ever seen. And in that same episode they seem to take a swipe at Disney with a line about Davy Crockett and "that song," which Dibble tries to remember but comes up with "Daaaavy Crockett, with the googlie eyes . . . no, that's not it."
This is most definitely a show for all ages. Kids will like the funny cats, and adults will appreciate the more subtle aspects of the humor. On that basis alone I'd recommend this DVD, but wait! There's more!
This DVD package has some great extras. The documentary Back to Hoagy's Alley, hosted by Leo de Lyon (Spook and Brain) is very nice, and I really love the interview with Mr. T.C. himself, Arnold Stang. I have watched one of the commentaries so far, and that's very good as well, and I look forward to watching the other two. Video quality is excellent and holds up even on my 42" plasma. My only complaint (just a nit-pick, really) is that disc 4 is two sided so you have to flip it over. Couldn't they have made it single sided, dual-layered instead? Oh, well, not really important.
In short, if you are a fan of TV animation from the 50s and 60s then you must get this set. It's a shame that T.C. only got 30 episodes (though they were shown for years on Sat. mornings). This show should have gone on much longer. But maybe with this DVD release T.C. will get some new fans and the show will get the broad recognition it deserves.
TOP CAT? YOU BET!
VOICE OF VICTORIA | VICTORIA AUSTRALIA | 07/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cartoon was a highly entertaining one both for kids and adults. I remember watching some of its many re-runs after school and enjoying the sharp wit and great voice work. I have since found out it was heavily based on the Sgt. Bilko series with a schemer and his cronies striving to stay one step ahead of the authorities. The extras are good considering many of the people who worked on the show are dead. It was good to see and hear some of the voice actors. The Hanna Barbera animation is admittedly greatly inferior to classic golden age movie animation (Warner, MGM, Disney etc..) because of the restrictions of the tv medium but the shows as a whole still stand up well today as pieces of family entertainment without an ounce of mawkishness. The animation is superior however to plenty that is issued these days. The cartoons are presented in impeccably clear copies and it's great to watch them without the ads I was subjected to all those years ago. A recommendable set which has got me interested in some of the other HB releases (Magilla? Jetsons? Huckleberry?). Congratulations to Warners for their thorough work in releasing these and the Looney Tunes Golden Collections in a quality condition as befits these entertaining works of popular culture."
As a Close Friend, I Get to Call Him T.C.
Choo Choo 62 | Brooklyn NY USA | 03/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the exception of The Honeymooners, this is probably the best comedy that was only on for one season. Top Cat is consistently funnier than The Jetsons and even, dare I say it, The Flintstones. The cityscape of Top Cat is brilliantly done. Strong storylines provide a good foundation for Hanna-Barbara's tribute to "You'll Never Get Rich" (aka Sgt. Bilko). The rich color of the animation was not to be experienced in 1962 as ABC broadcast the show in black and white. Few of us had color TV back then anyway. Top Cat became a Saturday afternoon staple, so more of a newer generation were able to enjoy the show in color.
The strength of Top Cat lies in its characters. Arnold Stang, actually playing against type, provides T.C. with an indomitable spirit. Maurice Gosfield IS Benny the Ball and Marvin Kaplan turns Choo Choo into Chooch. Veteran actor Allen Jenkins as Officer Dibble is about as prototype as it gets.
Every episode is a lot of fun, but I particularly loved the extras. You'll enjoy the enthusiastic recollections of the aptly named Leo DeLyon (voice of The Brain and Spook) who makes it very clear how much he loved this gig. You'll almost feel like you can picture what the set was like with this great cast of voice actors. The process of doing the show in many ways seemed to resemble a live radio play from an earlier era.
Thank you, Warner Home Video, for bringing back this joyful show and treating it and us with "dig-na-T"."
Mr Vess | Cracow | 02/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Top Cat", Hanna-Barbera's best series, finally makes it to the DVD in a lovely box set containing all the original episodes... and more. "Like, groovy, baby!", to quote Spook the beatnik cat, my favorite of the whole bunch of meowing miscreants.
All the episodes sound and look lovely, better than when broadcast on TV. There are some minor compression artefacts in very few scenes, but they last literally milliseconds, and the set's better saturation and crispness make up for it.
There are numerous extra features, too - certainly more than in, say, the disappointingly stingy box set of "Dilbert". Featurettes, promotional material, interviews and storyboards allow for a deeper look into the furry world of Hoagy's Alley. There are commentaries, too - but, sadly, only for three episodes, i.e. the meager 10% of the whole series. Still, they're interesting and informative, even with the occasional gaps of silence.
The belated, uncalled-for movie "Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats" is not present in this set. Considering how awful it was and how rudely it violated the spirit and continuity of the series, its absence is actually for the better.
I have, in fact, only two actual complaints about this set:
- Primo, the Warners were apparently too cheap to invest in a fifth disc. Instead, they stuffed the final 11 (!) episodes onto one annoying dual-sided "flipper" (supposedly, a thing of the past...)
- Secundo, the printable spine of the disc case that slips into a protective plastic jacket should have been placed on the case's right, so that the title printed on it would be visible when the case is in the jacket. Instead, the spine with the title is on the left, so it's obscured by the jacket, while all that's visible on the outside is the blank, black right side with a cut in the middle.
Other than those two minor shortcomings, this set is, fittingly, tip-top.
(Now just give "Duckman" a similar treatment... but with commentaries for all episodes!)"