Warner cracks opens their archive for Snorks: The Complete First Season, which brings all 13-episodes of the original season from Hanna-Barbera’s classic animated series on a two-disc DVD set that’s just as fun as it was back in the 80’s on Saturday mornings. Like so many, I remember like it was yesterday when it was 1984 and Hanna-Barbera attempted to follow-up their other hit cartoon series The Smurfs with a like-minded show, but with an underwater twist. While it lacks a proper digital restoration and there’s no special features to speak of, fellow fans will probably find plenty to snork about as Warner Bros. has acquired this classic animated series for fans to special order through their Warner Archive store.
This two-disc DVD set features 13 episodes (each containing two stories) of the classic 80’s cartoon that stars multi-colored underwater creatures called Snorks (thanks to the snorkels on their heads) and the adventures they have in their underwater world appropriately called Snorkland. Some of the main characters consist of the always adventurous Allstar, the lovely Casey, good-natured Tooter, and the Brainy Smurf-like guy of the bunch named Junior. There’s plenty of excitement for parents and their kids as the gang does everything from forming a music band to finding a snorkless monster. As with the Smurfs using the word Smurf, the Snorks also love using the word Snork as an all-purpose verb, such as “What the snork is that?”.
While it is nice to revisit this show again, I really wish Warner had treated it with a bit more finesse with this release. The picture quality is pretty good, considering how old the series is and that they used the best masters available for the video transfer. But thanks to the lack of of digital remastering of any kind, as with Warner’s releases of the Smurfs, there’s plenty of dust, dirt and particles that appear frequently to cloud the picture quality. The Dolby mono audio presented here is equally average, making sure it’s just enough that everything is heard loud and clear. And since it’s a barebones release, there are no extras of any kind here. It’s a real shame considering the cult classic status of the show, as I’m sure fans would love to see see cast and crew interviews, etc.
It would’ve been nice to have seen the series cleaned up with a proper digital remastering effort and maybe some special features, but it was still fun reliving some fond childhood memories with the long-overdue Snorks: The Complete First Season. Children of the 80’s will probably forgive many of its faults, as simply having a collected season of one of the most underrated and difficult-to-find animated series from the era will be good enough as is, and will gladly share this classic with their kids. But those experiencing the Snorks for the first time may or may not see what all the snork is about with this release.
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Warner Home Video