Beat the Heat: Cool Cartoons on DVD

Johnny Bravo, Tom & Jerry, Aang and the NFB’s favorite indie filmmakers all make bows on disc this month.

Johnny Bravo: Season One

[Cartoon Network, $24.98]

Almost 13 years after making his debut on Cartoon Network, the world’s number-one animated wannabe stud finally makes his DVD debut in this two-disc set. The series’starring a blonde bouffant-sporting Elvis emulator created by Van Partible and played by Jeff Bennett’was originally slated for an April release, leaving fans chomping at the bit.

But the wait was well worth it. In addition to the first 13 episodes, the 300 minutes of content include the Bringing Up Bravo docu; audio commentary from Partible, Bennett and Seth MacFarlane; original pencil tests and a full audio temp track from MacFarlane. Nerd note: The Family Guy creator was inspired by Adam West’s guest star role in Bravo (appearing in this set) to include a similar character in his infamous show!

[Release date: June 15]

Tom & Jerry: Deluxe Anniversary Collection

[Warner, $26.98]

Hanna-Barbera’s iconic cat and mouse duo, who this year celebrate its 70th anniversary, makes yet another bow on home video this month. This two-disc collection runs 210 minutes total, with disc one boasting 20 ‘Oscar Winners and Classics,’ while disc two’s ‘Through the Decades’ lineup includes excerpts from Anchors Aweigh (the famous Gene Kelly dance number) and Dangerous When Wet (with Esther Williams) plus nine select shorts.

Dedicated fans will already have the majority of these shorts on their Spotlight and Chuck Jones collections discs, but six modern toons do make their DVD premiere: Cosmic Cat and Meteor Mouse, Jerry’s Country Cousin, Flippin’ Fido, Mansion Cat, Karate Guard and A Game of Mouse and Cat. Dog lovers need not apply.

[Release date: June 22]

Avatar: The Last Airbender Complete Book 1 (Collector’s Edition)

[Nickelodeon, $55.98]

Nick’s breakout anime-esque epic, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, returns to shelves with a shiny new look this month.

The newly designed, limited edition set’s release coincides with that of M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action big screen take and collects Book One: Water on seven discs along with magical special features, behind-the-scenes docu and lovely illustrated book chock full of designs, boards and production art. Even if you already have Book 1 on DVD, the extras and pretty, pretty packaging make this a must for Airbenders everywhere’especially if they want to brace themselves for the live-action adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan which opens in theaters in July.

[Release date: June 27]

Animation Express

[Image Ent., $29.98]

All aboard! The illustrious National Film Board of Canada is pulling into the station with this jaw dropping assemblage of 26 animation shorts. Some recent awards hogs featured include Madame Tutli-Putli (Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski) and Sleeping Betty (Claude Cloutier), but there’s something for everyone; from the posthumous Ryan Larkin project Spare Change to artsy Retouches or sentimental Come Again in Spring.

The DVD set includes two discs’a single-disc Blu-ray is also available. And if after viewing you find yourself with a sudden feverish desire to dash off to the nearest animation festival, in the immortal words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone: Blame Canada.

[Release date: June 8]



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