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M.A.S.K. Complete Series DVD Mini Review & discussion [merged] MASK

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M.A.S.K. Complete Series DVD Mini Review & discussion [merged] MASK

Old 09-12-07, 11:02 AM
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M.A.S.K. Complete Series DVD Mini Review



I finally folded and couldn't wait any longer for the UK/USA DVD releases of the classic 1980s cartoon series - M.A.S.K. - so I finally bought the M.A.S.K. COLLECTION 1 & COLLECTION 2 DVDs from Australia's EzyDVD.com for about a total of 80 bucks. I usually don't buy DVDs without reading DVD video/audio reviews beforehand, and i've unsuccessfully searched for DVD reviews of these Australian PAL DVDs (even at the biggest M.A.S.K. fansite www.matt-trakker.com, but they didn't really review the DVDs as well), so I finally took a chance and bought them.



As a kid, I religiously watched M.A.S.K., G.I. JOE, and TRANSFORMERS - and M.A.S.K. was always my favorite. I thought it was an awesome show and had the best toys ever. I held onto all of the toys, and ironically, the only toys that my mother gave away while I was at college were my M.A.S.K. toys, of course without my permission. Even in junior high when I stopped playing with toys and put them in the basement, I had told her not to touch them, not give them away, or throw them away, but somehow my M.A.S.K. toys didn't apply and she ended up giving those away. So, now that I'm 30 years old, I wondered if M.A.S.K. is as great as I remembered. Now, I did buy the G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS DVDs when they came out, and I was surprised that they aren't that dated and both of those shows are still as entertaining as I remembered. Although many may disagree, the voice acting, storylines, dialogues, and character development are still pretty damn good in the old TRANSFORMERS cartoon (Generation 1) and G.I. JOE - Not bad for a 20-minute toy commercial episode. I was hoping to feel the same with M.A.S.K., but this show is the most dated out of my three favorites, and ranks below TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE for me now as an adult. I'm seeing things in this cartoon that I was not aware of as a child:

1. The voice acting is overall pretty terrible. They seem more like youtube cartoon fan dubs than professional actors. For example, the main female baddie, Vanessa Warfield, is voiced by some generic-sounding actress whom is just lowering her voice, as if she is trying to imitate a man's voice. This is what she considers "evil"? No, that's not a character or voice acting, that's just a woman talking with her voice lowered. She ain't no Baronness. Then there's some annoying dude who talks like a redneck. There's an Asian guy who is painfully stereotypical with his annoying Asian proverbs. The leader of the good guys, Matt Trakker, is voiced like a zombified Optimus Prime/Duke with no character or soul. There is some good voice acting of course, but not that much.

2. I have no problem with a cartoon taking place in some Arizona desert (cheaper for animators? or easier to avoid collateral dammage?), but this desert is treated like a typical American suburbs. The main kid in the show, Scott Trakker, is connected to all the people that live in this vast desert, as if it's one happy suburbs. It's just creepy and wierd that he knows every neighbor that is about 50 miles away.

3. The lack of continuity in the M.A.S.K. cartoon (created for syndication benefits) is also a negative. I know it's a toy commercial cartoon, but continuity does create emotions and empathy - there are quite a few touching TRANSFORMERS storylines thanks to continuity and character development. Furthermore, eventhough the show starts with a clean slate after each episode, I felt like I was watching something with continuity and all it shows is some kid, Scott Trakker, constantly getting in danger with the bad guys. The single daddy, Matt Trakker, is like one of the most irresponsible fathers in a cartoon series. Lock the kid up in the house already or give the poor kid one of those powerful masks to defend himself already!

4. The writing of the dialogues, humor, and storyline is pretty horrible. With help from the already poor voice acting, all the characters lack chemistry or have souls. Yes, I know it's just a toy commercial cartoon, but in contrast to G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS, the positive or negative chemistry among the characters in G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS are pretty damn good and entertaining - those two cartoons have some excellent writing and a variety of creative characters, which I think is pretty underappreciated by 1980s cartoon critics. The majority of the M.A.S.K. characters just seem like they don't give a crap about each other and they are just there for the job. There are a couple bad guys, Sly Rax (Jack Nicholson voice) and Nash Gorey (strong nerd), whom get some juicy lines and interactions, but that's about it. I even think the kid and robot (Scott and T-Bob), whom are considered to be annoying by critics, are really not that annoying and actually have some soul.

5. As a kid, I always looked foward to a cameo by a new M.A.S.K. or Venom agent for kicks. Watching the show now, I still look foward to a cameo by a new M.A.S.K. or Venom agent, because I see now that the main cast of good guys and bad guys are sort of boring. And actually, the cameo characters are more interesting than the main ones. Not a good sign in cartoon writing. In TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, I looked foward to cameo characters as well, but I liked the main cast of both cartoons.

6. And finally, I've come to the conclusion that M.A.S.K. had, and still has, amazing toys. I think that the toys in TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE are as equally as enjoyable as the cartoon. But watching M.A.S.K. now, I think that the toys are better than the cartoon.

Mexican M.A.S.K. Agent Julio Lopez or Borat?


So what's left to like about this show you may be wondering? Well, besides the nostalgia factor, it's still a pretty entertaining cartoon. Now that current animation is over-saturated with CGI/computer animation, I do appreciate more hand-drawn animation now. In M.A.S.K., the designs of the characters masks, outfits, and vehicles are still pretty amazing. They even have cool transforming type sounds when the vehicles transform to battle vehicles, which I don't remember as a kid. So that was a pleasant surprise. I love that 1980s hand-drawn cartoon animation where nothing is that smooth or perfect, or dialogue isn't exactly moving with their lips. I think it's charming. The M.A.S.K. theme song played at the beginning of the show and played as different orchestral versions of it during the show is pretty good too - better than that "You've Got the Touch" crap song from TRANSFORMERS. Another new thing I've noticed is that in some scenes the animation is very simple, while other scenes the animation is pretty complex - so I do like how the animated style is slightly a bit different in scenes, and not just consistent. And I do like the fact that it's like a combination of Transformers and G.I. Joe, my two other favorite 80s cartoons.



These are the complete M.A.S.K. series on PAL Australian DVDs released by MADMAN. M.A.S.K. DVD COLLECTION 1 features episodes 1 -38, and has a running time of 950 minutes. M.A.S.K. DVD COLLECTION 2 features episodes 39 - 65, and all ten episodes of the M.A.S.K. Racing Series, and has a running time of 925 minutes. Each box set is spread out onto 4 discs.

The Video is FULL FRAME 4:3. The video quality is pretty good, certainly not pixilated and overall clean. I don't think MADMAN cleaned up the colors as was done by RHINO on the TRANSFORMERS boxsets. The colors could get a boost. It's almost like watching a faded piece of artwork. I don't remember if the cartoon was originally like that, but overall, that's okay. I watched the episodes set to SMART WIDESCREEN (no animation lost) on my 34 inch LCD Sony HDTV. I even took a look at the video while watching it at ZOOM (losing animation) and it's not pixilated. The more zoomed you watch it, the more faded the artwork looks. There's some ghosting, but it's an 80s cartoon that didn't get the works a la TRANSFORMERS DVDs, so overall, it's the best I've seen M.A.S.K. on an HDTV. It obviously looks the best watching it at FULL FRAME, but I like to fill my HDTV, so the choice is yours.

The Audio is English 2.0. Everything sounds pretty clear, certainly not as crisp as I would have liked. It's sometimes a bit muffled (and i'm not talking about when characters have their masks on), but once again, it's acceptable. Unlike blasting the TRANSFORMERS or G.I. JOE DVDs with a surround sound setup, which sounded good with either 5.1, mono or 2.0 audio options, these M.A.S.K. DVDs don't sound that great if you blast the audio. The louder you play these M.A.S.K. DVDs, you will hear more faults with the audio. Subwoofer is pretty non-active as well. If you watch these M.A.S.K. DVDs at a little higher than normal volume, they sound good enough. But it would be nice of course for M.A.S.K. to get a DD 5.1 treatment.

The Extras are only on COLLECTION 2. Small quantity, but good quality - nice toy gallery, profiles of M.A.S.K. agents and Venom agents, and some artwork worth looking at.

No subtitles anywhere on these DVDs.



M.A.S.K. SERIES: 10 as a kid, but 7.5 as an adult
VIDEO QUALITY: 7
AUDIO QUALITY: 6.5
EXTRAS: 3


These are the only English audio DVDs of M.A.S.K., so I'm pretty happy with finally owning them and giving them a look. I hope that the supposed USA/UK M.A.S.K. DVDs will give this series a video/audio treatment boost though.
Overall, It's a great 80s cartoon. The PAL DVDs are worth the cost, cuz there is hours of nostalgia entertainment here!

Last edited by toddly6666; 09-13-07 at 09:25 AM.
Old 09-12-07, 05:17 PM
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Nice review, toddly. I had a ton of those toys as a kid.
Old 09-12-07, 07:38 PM
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Thanks for the review! I'm 28, so I'm that same era, and loved the toys as a kid as well (tho only had one or two of them).
Old 09-12-07, 09:07 PM
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Looking at the toy archives on this fan site:

http://www.matt-trakker.com

Between my best friend and I, I'm pretty sure we had the entire collection up through Series 3 (after that, we lost interest and moved onto other things). I owned this bad boy myself.




He had the mountain playset.

Last edited by Josh Z; 09-12-07 at 09:12 PM.
Old 09-13-07, 09:11 AM
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Thanks all,
I just hope M.A.S.K. won't get left behind since they are making movies into Transformers, G.I. Joe, maybe Thundercats and He-Man (poor Dolph, his most famous flicks getting remade so soon), etc. As i've seen a lot of negative feedback about the G.I. JOE movie getting some political correctness changes, I wouldn't mind at all if movie producers totally changed around a M.A.S.K. live-action movie. As long as they keep the same character names, and have similar looking transforming vehicles, they can do whatever they want, because the original cartoon storylines/character development sucks ass. As was done with likable Shai Laboef's Spike from Transformers, I'm sure they can even have a non-annoying actor play Scott Trakker. And I always liked T-Bob...I was so excited when the toy company actually made a Scott & T-Bob action figure - that took guts. Even in Transformers, they never made action figures of Daniel and Spike (Although Spike sort of got an action figure becoming a Headmaster for one of those huge-ass Transformers in the final season).

Aaron Eckhart as Matt Trakker:


Brian Cox as Miles Mayhem:

Last edited by toddly6666; 09-13-07 at 09:19 AM.
Old 10-17-07, 10:47 PM
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Has anyone purchased M.A.S.K. in R4?

I just noticed these on EZYDVD. I used to love this show, and they have the entire series distributed by Madman in 2 volumes... the same company that released the awesome Transformers collector's tin.

Has anyone bought one or both of the sets that could recommend them based on A/V quality? Or has anyone heard of an impending R1 release?

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/mech/quicks...itle&q=m.a.s.k.
Old 10-18-07, 11:28 AM
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Previous thread:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=511712
Old 10-18-07, 01:22 PM
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haha, thanks Josh, you are quick...

LIVING DEAD, and if you do purchase the DVDs, I recommend starting with the second disc to not get discouraged from the repetiveness of the first disc episodes. Or just mix it up since it's not a chronilogical show. The show is a lot better when they have missions in other countries, instead of their early season missions near their desert Arizona, Grand Canyon area-type base. And for an 80s cartoon, the image/audio quality is pretty damn good. I would only consider upgrading if another release comes out with DD 5.1.

Last edited by toddly6666; 10-18-07 at 01:25 PM.
Old 10-19-07, 04:46 AM
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Well... I don't know how I missed that thread in a search, but thanks for the link.

Originally Posted by toddly6666
And for an 80s cartoon, the image/audio quality is pretty damn good. I would only consider upgrading if another release comes out with DD 5.1.

I thought the same about the Transformers set released by this company. It looks and sounds great.
Old 10-19-07, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Living Dead
Well... I don't know how I missed that thread in a search, but thanks for the link.
Searching for "M.A.S.K." doesn't pull up anything due to limitations in the search engine. I remembered the thread and searched for "Trakker".
Old 11-11-07, 07:55 PM
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The first half (38 Episodes) UK PAL DVDs are now up for pre-order at http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/34764...1/Product.html. Cheaper than the Australian DVDs at 15 Pounds!!


Anamorphic! English DD 5.1 and DTS. The DVD box cover even transforms into a flying vehicle and comes with a Matt Traker figure that sits in the DVD box cover!!!


Well, I'm sorry i'm just kidding about those above-listed specs (still pissed off that I missed the Transformers transforming DVD cover). The specs are the same as the Australian DVD releases - Full Screen, Dolby 2.0 Stereo.
Old 07-28-11, 04:33 PM
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Re: M.A.S.K. Complete Series DVD Mini Review & discussion [merged] MASK

Well, it looks like you don't have to trade in your Australian or UK DVDs for the USA Region 1 DVDs. Quality of all seem the same.

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