I’ve been a fan of Nerd Corps Entertainment since getting into their Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5 TV series. So naturally I had to check out their latest animated project, Slugterra. The show comes off as a wild mix of western, Japanese toy/card game with a bit of Journey to the Center of the Earth thrown in. Here in this underground world, characters use special guns to shoot these cute looking slugs at each other that change into special powered monsters when they hit 100 miles per hour. These powers range from hurling fire or lightning to freezing enemies in order to take down their opponents.
While this does sound silly (ok it is pretty silly) the show itself isn’t that bad once things start really cooking. But you need to start somewhere, and that’s exactly where Slugterra: Return of the Shane Gang, now on DVD, comes in handy as it packs five of the series’ best episodes to help newbies get acquainted with the best action-packed show about slugs you’ll probably ever see.
Things kick off by following Will Shane, a lawman of sorts in the underground world of Slugterra. When Will loses a slug battle with the evil Dr. Thaddeus Blakk and begins to get sucked away into another dimension, he sends his best slug to give his kid son Eli a message he left for him back at their home which is topside. Once some years pass and Eli turns 15, he sets out on a pod his father left behind that shoots him down into the world below, and begins his quest to find his father and stop Blakk once and for all.
The DVD features five episodes from the show, kicking off with the two-part premiere “The World Beneath Our Feet Parts 1 and 2”, where Eli makes his way through Slugterra and comes across some new friends to help him in his quest. The requsite boastful and major comic relief comes from Pronto, the token female named Trixie Sting who’s an expert on the slugs, and a troll giant that’s as strong and kind as he is big named Kord Zane. Despite the silly plot, I actually found myself enjoying the show as it went on. There’s plenty of action, adventure and of course comedy to keep anyone, young or old entertained. And who can possibly resist the cuteness of heroic slugs?
As with their other shows Nerd Corps has done a pretty good job with the artwork and animation, especially considering the show’s likely smaller budget. And while it would’ve been nice to see this on Blu-ray, everything comes in pretty clear for a DVD release, with great Dolby stereo sound making sure every funny or witty line along with the slug action is heard perfectly. As far as extras go, “An Intro to Slugterra” has creator Asaph Fipke and story editor Rob Hoegee showing off some of the essential parts of the series to give viewers a look of what they’re getting in to. There’s also three “Slugisodes” which are mini-features of the characters showing off their slugs and the abilities they use.
Slugterra: Return of the Shane Gang is a pretty solid collection of Nerd Corps’ latest animated series that collects five of its best episodes, making it easy for newcomers to slime their way into the action. While most fans will probably prefer to wait for a proper high-definition Blu-ray release, this DVD set features more simple, yet nice artwork and animation, fun characters, and a nice helping of cool extras. If you’re looking for something fun to watch, you’ll want to shoot on down to your local store and check this one out as this is one DVD you won’t mind the kids slugging it out over.
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