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The Real Ghostbusters Volumes 6 to 10 Sony 2016 DVD Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jan. 30, 2017 at 11:50 PM , Categories: Real Ghostbusters, Home Video
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Last year, Sony released 10 volumes of The Real Ghostbusters on DVD, which were completely different from The Real Ghostbusters: Complete Collection 25-disc DVD box set TimeLife released back in 2008. I already reviewed Sony's Volumes 1 through 5, and today I will review Volumes 6 through 10. Before I begin, it is important to note that, unlike the first five volumes, these volumes are currently NOT available in a box set. You can ONLY buy them individually, though I will be reviewing them as a whole.



PACKAGING

Each release is a standard-size DVD case containing one disc. The text on the back is the same generic description on each (and the same from the first five volumes), and unlike the first five volumes, the main voice cast is no longer noted. I suspect that that is because of the change in cast between volumes.
The Ghostbusters are back on the streets of New York City, fighting ghouls, goblins and ghosts of all shapes and sizes! Alongside friendly spectral accomplice Slimer, join your favorite team in their classic animated adventures, battling the supernatural and forces of evil!

Showcasing [insert episode elements or ghosts], Volume [number] includes [ten/eleven] animated episodes from this hilarious and fun-filled series!
On the front of each volume, it says "The Real Ghostbusters: The Animated Series". As opposed to the live-action Real Ghostbusters series?!? This ain't Filmation, where one needs to differentiate between live and animated, and I think the drawings on the box (instead of photographs) will indicate that it's an animated series.

Speaking of the drawings... The artwork used on each cover was originally created for the TimeLife DVDs by Emiliano Santalucia & Nathan Baertsch of MVCreations, both of whom go uncredited here (and presumably for the rest of time when Sony reuses this artwork ad infinitum), but placed against different backgrounds. As the design consultant on the TimeLife set, I had creative input on the design of that artwork, and it gives me mixed emotions to see it used here - especially because of Sony's lazy use of the artwork.

Sony lazily reused the exact same artwork as the first five volumes, only swapping the imagery on the front back covers. Volume 1's front image is now Volume 6's back image, and Volume 1's back image is now Volume 6's front image, and so forth and so on with Vol. 2 & Vol. 7, Vol. 3 & Vol. 8, Vol. 4 & Vol. 9, and Vol. 5 & Vol. 10.

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You may have noticed that Sony added episode screenshots to the front cover, too. What you may not have noticed - I certainly didn't when I reviewed the first five volumes - is that all of those screenshots are the ones James Eatock did for the episode guide book included in the TimeLife set. James gave me copies of the original screenshot images, which I uploaded to the Spook Central Facebook page for all of you to check out. As a result of their laziness, some images are used on some volumes, even though the episodes they came from are not on those volumes. For example, the back of Vol. 7 features an image from "The Two Faces of Slimer" (Big Green roar), and the front of Vol. 8 features an image from "Big Trouble With Little Slimer" (Walter Peck), even though neither of those episodes are on those volumes.

Disc artwork is non-existent. If you didn't already know that this was a budget-release intended for the casual fans, the "Plain Jane" discs would have clued you in real quick. (See the Volume 1-5 review for an image.)

The artwork serves its purpose, so let's just move onto the good stuff...

DISC CONTENT

The first thing you'll see is the still image main menu. To be fair, Sony had some generic still menus in their 2006 DVDs, so I wasn't expecting much here. I knew they wouldn't have put forth the same effort as TimeLife, by creating some awesome motion menus, and that's okay. The menu gets the job done, with options for Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, and Subtitles.

While Sony's 2006 DVDs used no audio at all in the menus, these DVDs use a small piece of music...but it's not the one you're expecting. Instead of Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters", or the show's rendition of it, we're treated to some generic non-Ghostbusters-sounding piece of music that was pulled from some stock music library. I was going to include a video, but I realized that an MP3 and still image would have the same effect.


Yes, that's the exact same menu as Volume 1, and the exact same music. Every menu is exactly the same as those of the first five volumes. So, yeah, it's more laziness, but thankfully, we can just ignore this as it's the episodes that we're after here. Let's a take a look at rundown:

EPISODES

VOLUME 6
01. Ghostbuster of the Year (21:54)
02. Deadcon 1 (21:55)
03. The Cabinet of Calamari (21:56)
04. A Ghost Grows In Brooklyn (21:55)
05. The Revenge of Murray the Mantis (21:54)
06. Rollerghoster (21:55)
07. I Am the City (21:56)
08. Moaning Stones (21:56)
09. The Long, Long, Long, Etc. Goodbye (21:56)
10. Buster The Ghost (21:56)
11. The Devil To Pay (21:56)

VOLUME 7
01. Slimer, Is That You? (21:52) (REDUBBED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
02. Egon's Ghost (21:56)
03. Captain Steel Saves The Day (21:56)
04. Egon's Dragon (21:54)
05. Dairy Farm (21:56)
06. The Hole In The Wall Gang (21:55)
07. Baby Spookums (22:58)
08. It's A Jungle Out There (22:56)
09. The Bogeyman Is Back (22:55)
10. Once Upon A Slime (22:58)
11. Sticky Business (23:00)

VOLUME 8
01. Halloween II 1/2 (22:59)
02. Loathe Thy Neighbor (22:59)
03. The Copycat (22:59)
04. Camping It Up (22:59)
05. The Grundel (22:59)
06. Transylvanian Homesick Blues (21:52)
07. Flip Side (22:55)
08. Poultrygeist (23:01)
09. The Joke's On Ray (22:54)
10. Standing Room Only (22:59)

VOLUME 9
01. Robo-Buster (22:58)
02. Short Stuff (22:57)
03. Follow That Hearse (22:58)
04. The Brooklyn Triangle (22:58)
05. Something's Going Around (23:23) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
06. Three Men and An Egon (22:22) (NEAR-CORRECT SPEED, TINY BIT FAST) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
07. Elementary My Dear Winston (23:23) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
08. If I Were A Witch Man (23:22)
09. Partners In Slime (23:23) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
10. Future Tense (23:22) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
11. Jailbusters (23:18) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)

VOLUME 10
01. The Ghostbusters Live! from Al Capone's Tomb! (23:22) (CORRECT SPEED) (NOT IN TIMELIFE SET)
02. The Halloween Door (23:18)
03. You Can't Teach An Old Demon New Tricks (23:21)
04. Janine, You've Changed (23:22)
05. Mean Green Teen Machine (23:22)
06. Afterlife In the Fast Lane (23:23)
07. The Slob (23:24)
08. Busters In Toyland (23:23)
09. Stay Tooned (23:22)
10. The Magnificent Five (23:22)

As you can clearly see, there are a lot of episodes that are not in the TimeLife set. You're probably thinking, "Wait, what? I thought the TimeLife set contained all of the episodes?". Yes, and No. For the most part, all of the alternate versions are not in the TimeLife set. Some of them are on Sony's first five volumes, and the redubbed version of "Slimer, Is That You?" can be found on Volume 7. This is actually the first and only redubbed episode to be released on home video to the public.

Anyone who owns the TimeLife set knows that there were several episodes in Volume 4 (not to be confused with Sony's Volume 4) that played at an incorrect speed. Some played too slowly, other played too fast (the 15-minute pairings), all were brought to an incorrect runtime of roughly 26 minutes. Anyone with a decent sense of hearing could easily hear that the music and dialog was too fast or too slow. It is believed by many that the "NTSC" masters used for these episodes were converted from PAL masters a long time ago.

In any case, TimeLife never bothered to correct the problem, partly due to cost, but maybe also because they didn't have access to the correct masters. We all feared that they didn't exist anymore, but as these new Sony DVDs prove, that's not the case. Every single one of the slowed-down episodes appear here in their correct playing speed! If you own the TimeLife set and have been waiting for this issue to be corrected, these are your replacement discs. It should be noted that "Three Men and An Egon" is a tiny bit sped-up, resulting in a one-minute reduction in the runtime, but I'll take it over the slowed-down mess in the TimeLife set.

All episodes close with the original DiC logo, but the original Columbia Pictures Television logo has been replaced with the new Sony Pictures Television logo, as on the TimeLife set. This includes "Ghostbuster of the Year" (Vol. 6), which was the only episode to retain the original Columbia Pictures Television logo in the TimeLife set. That was because, from what I was told, TimeLife and Sony could not find the master at the time, and had to resort to pulling the episode from the "Spooky Spirits" DVD that Sony released in 2006 (which retained the original CPT logo).

Also, Sony must have heard the complaints about the first five volumes, because starting with Volume 6, all title cards are back!!! I'm just as thrilled as you are. I was really expecting them to be gone up until the point when the series moved away from using them, but there it was on "Ghostbuster of the Year" (the first episode on vol. 6) and all episodes after it.

PICTURE QUALITY

As you can see, each volume contains 10 or 11 episodes crammed onto a single disc. This goes against the unwritten major studio "norm" of 8 half-hour episodes (or 4 hour-long episodes) per dual-layer disc. Usually a budget company like Mill Creek or Echo Bridge would cram so much into so little space, not a major studio like Sony. Heck, Mill Creek's "norm" is usually 10 episodes. (Fun Fact: Mill Creek has a distribution deal with Sony, so I'm kinda surprised they were not given this set since it's done in a budget manner. For years, I've been pushing for Mill Creek to release Extreme Ghostbusters: The Complete Series, but Sony doesn't seem to want to give it to them.)

As expected from putting 3 to 4 more episodes in the same amount of space, each episode is compressed a little more than on the TimeLife discs. That said, I did not see any noticeable differences in quality with the naked eye. I don't have the time to do image comparisons for 50+ episodes, so if you spot something, feel free to post a comment below. Otherwise, I'd say that they look nearly identical to the TimeLife episodes.

MISSING EPISODES

Looking at all 10 volumes, there are 29 stories missing, including all 15-minute stories. Combined, these would make 23 half-hour episodes. All 33 Slimer! shorts are also missing, if those are being considered. The list of missing stories is below, with the volume number (in parenthesis) of where they would have been in this DVD series, had they not been skipped over. Sony could release more volumes, which would include these episodes, but that seems unlikely at this point.

• Slimer, Come Home (vol 1)
• Adventures in Slime and Space (vol 2)
• Victor the Happy Ghost (vol 7)
• The Two Faces of Slimer (vol 7)
• Big Trouble With Little Slimer (vol 8)
• Trading Faces (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Transcendental Tourists (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Surely You Joust (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Kitty-Cornered (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Slimer's Curse (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Til Death Do Us Part (15-minute) (vol 10)
• It's About Time (15-minute) (vol 10)
• The Ransom of Greenspud (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Revenge of the Ghostmaster (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Loose Screws (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Venk-Man! (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Slimer Streak (15-minute) (vol 10)
• Russian About (vol 10)
• The Haunting of Heck House (vol 10)
• Spacebusters (vol 10)
• Guess What's Coming to Dinner (vol 10)
• Very Beast Friends (vol 10)
• Ghostworld (vol 10)
• My Left Fang (vol 10)
• Deja Boo (vol 10)
• The Treasure of Sierra Tamale (vol 10)
• Not Now, Slimer! (vol 10)
• Attack of the B-Movie Monsters (vol 10)
• 20,000 Leagues Under the Street (vol 10)

TIMELIFE SET COMPARISON

In addition to what I mentioned above regarding alternate versions, correct-speed episodes, and missing episodes...

• This set includes subtitles in English, English SDH, and French (audio is English only). The TimeLife set does not have any subtitles or closed captions at all.

• This set does NOT have any bonus features at all! While Sony may have been precluded from using the featurettes, visual commentaries, and introductions from the TimeLife set - because they're owned by TimeLife - I see no reason why they couldn't have included the Promo Pilot, scripts, artwork and other items that Sony owns. Hell, they would have increased their sales if they included the Promo Pilot alone, as that was exclusive to the TimeLife box set Bonus Disc, so not everyone owns a copy. (Some people opted to buy the individual TimeLife volumes, but they stopped releasing them after Volume 3.)

• All of the syndicated episodes (Volumes 6 & 7) are under 22 minutes each, making them roughly 35 seconds shorter than on the TimeLife set. Even with commercial bumpers removed, this seems excessively shorter. Anyone want to compare an episode to see if there's any reason for the drastic difference in runtimes?

• Sony messed up on a few of the chapter markings. Usually they are placed after the show opening, mid-episode commercial break, and before the end credits; just like in the TimeLife set. However, for these episodes, the mid-chapter mark has been incorrectly placed in the middle of a scene.
     - "Deadcon 1" (vol 6) - 9:40, should be at 11:53 (before guys walk out of kitchen into alley).

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you have the TimeLife set and want the "different" episodes presented here (alternate version or corrected speed), you only need to buy these volumes:

• Volume 2 (for "Fright At The Opera" alt music, but missing title card)
• Volume 7 (for "Slimer, Is That You?" redubbed)
• Volume 9 (for corrected speed - "Something's Going Around" to "Jailbusters")
• Volume 10 (for corrected speed - "Live From Al Capone's Tomb")

Everything else is the same as the TimeLife set (as far as I can tell), and in the case of the episodes on Sony's Vol 1-5, they're worse because they're missing their title cards. These four volumes, bought individually at $10 each, will set you back $40. Is it worth it for 9 different episodes? Well, that's up to you :-)

Here are the links to buy any of these DVDs: Volume 1-10 Box Set, Volume 1-5 Box Set, Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6, Volume 7, Volume 8, Volume 9, and Volume 10.

If you don't have the TimeLife set, and if you have SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS to give to aftermarket sellers on Amazon or eBay, then go ahead a buy a copy of the out-of-print TimeLife Complete Collection set, PLUS the four volumes listed above.

If you're a completist, consult the Alternate Episodes page to see what other commercially-released DVDs and VHS tapes you need to buy to have the most complete collection of episodes possible. Links to buy them are on the Store page.
8 comments »

8 comments

Comment from: Vahan Nisanian [Visitor]
You said "Three Men and an Egon" is a tiny bit fast. It could be that 22:22 is the correct speed.

Also, three episodes from ABC season two and two from ABC season three were 22:30 on the Time-Life DVD. It appears Time-Life used late 80's/early 90's time-sped Syndication copies.
Jan. 31, 2017 @ 00:08
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Vahan, it isn't just the runtime on Three Men that tells me it's a bit sped-up. I can hear it in the audio, too. I have very sensitive hearing and pick up on things like this. But like I said in the review, it's close to the proper speed and MUCH better than what was on the TimeLife set, so I'm good with it :-)
Jan. 31, 2017 @ 00:12
Comment from: Jason A. Matthews (TheJAMMan1988) [Visitor]
Hey, can you compare the closing credits and logos from "Ghostbuster of the Year"? the 2006 Sony and the 2008 TimeLife DVDs retain the original Columbia Pictures Television logo, I'm not sure about the 2016 Sony DVD re-release...
Jan. 31, 2017 @ 20:52
Comment from: Timo [Visitor]
One can buy the two new german box sets, including the complete series (english audio!), all title cards, corrected speed and the whole Slimer run. But you have to buy a region 2 player, too
Jan. 31, 2017 @ 21:47
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Jason - "Ghostbuster of the Year" (Vol. 6) also closes with the new Sony Pictures Television logo.

Timo - The German sets are PAL, right? Even with a region-free player, wouldn't that still be a problem for U.S. viewers? Unless that whole NTSC/PAL thing is no longer an issue with digital HDTVs. I don't know much about it.
Feb. 1, 2017 @ 20:10
Comment from: BigGBFan [Visitor] Email
Hey Timo & everybody else: I happen to have that German/English set. I can confirm that the ep titles and credits at the start of each ep are in Eng, that Eng audio is an option, that all discs include artwork, that sticker art is included along with 2 postcards, and that the booklets include more artwork.

Also, Region Free players typically include a PAL-to-NTSC converter for foreign DVDs. Otherwise, they would be pretty useless, as almost all non-region 1 DVDs are in PAL.

If anyone wants one of these sets (in the US), let me know!
Jun. 10, 2017 @ 18:17
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor] Email
Did anyone ever buy the Vol 1-10 DVD set that came out October 3? The only potential benefit I can see of buying that is if they modified the presentation or corrected any of the outright problems present on these sets (aside from the lack of a wraparound slip cover).
Oct. 20, 2017 @ 10:34
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Jonathan, I've been trying to get a review copy, but no such luck. I physically saw it at Best Buy for $45, and judging by the outer package, it's all 10 discs in a 1-inch thick plastic case. I highly doubt that they're new discs. If I can get a copy, I'll post a review.
Oct. 20, 2017 @ 22:41

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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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