Video - IIFY

Equipment used in review:
Panasonic 27SX11 (AVIA calibrated)
Skyworth 1050P
Acoustic Research Pro Component Cables
Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500 5.1 Dolby system

The content of the DVD is, for the most part, covered elsewhere, so I'm not going to talk much about it here. It contains the full version of the movie "Is It Fall Yet?" along with the two episodes "Fire!" and "Dye! Dye! My Darling!"

First a couple of minor annoyances. The various company logos shown at the start of the DVD have been flagged unskippable, so you're pretty much stuck watching them all the way through.

The sound, what there is of it, is as well done as I'd expect. No noticeable problems, at least. However, MTV has solved the licensing issue for the show by quite simply not using any background music.
Neither episode has any after the opening credits. Even the original Splendora ending theme is missing, and the credits are run over silence. On the whole this does not detract from the episodes, however. There are a couple situations where it's obvious there should have been some music (like when Jane goes to turn down the stereo after Daria walks in on her and Tom kissing), but this solution is much preferable to the horrible generic stuff used as replacement on the first video tape.
The movie does have a few brief snatches of (probably generic) background music, and I think an alternate end-credit theme is used. On the whole, as with the episodes, this works fine.

The video on this disc is mixed. The episodes were supposedly done in progressive (I do not currently have the equipment to check this, but should after a computer upgrade), but the movie was not. Over-all video quality wasn't bad. There is some edge-enhancement present, but on the whole it's not that noticeable. Unfortunately, this is mostly because you will be completely distracted by the large amount of rainbowing that occurs in many scenes.

The packaging is okay. The picture on the front cover, of Daria in her chair, works well, but the back cover is very basic. The insert just repeats the front cover picture on one side and lists the chapter stops on the other. Certainly nothing fancy here, and the back (and side) cover have this odd blue band running along the bottom that makes it look like someone didn't size their layout properly.

The menu is pretty simple, with looping video and audio. Not much to say about them, except they work. The main problem here is the small number of chapter stops that were placed. I still don't know why companies do this, since there's not much cost behind adding them, but they do.

Including the two previous episodes as extras was nice. Since they've so far refused to release the series on DVD, and those two episodes are rather important to the plot of the movie, this was really the only way they could get them included. The only other extra on the disc is the Mystik Spiral video.

On the whole, it was a decent job for shovelware, which is pretty obviously what this DVD is. MTV is trying to capitalize on the show's success, and this release doesn't really show any familiarity with transferring animation to DVD. The sound is probably the only compromise MTV would accept (i.e.. free), but not a big deal. I do hope they'll finally consent to release the show on DVD by season, but I would hope they put a little more effort into the process.

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