Growing up, I enjoyed Tennessee Tuxedo quite a bit. I loved when Tennessee and Chumley would visit Mr. Whoopee as I knew I'd learn something interesting as well.
So, when this DVD set was announced, I immediately pre-ordered it.
This set gives you all 70 episodes of Tennessee Tuxedo, as well as some episodes of The King and Odie, Tooter Turtle, Klondike Kat, and The Hunter.
For most fans, this is all you need to know. But for those interested in the minute details that Amazon's blurbs tend to overlook, please read on.
While I would say this is likely the most thorough collection of Tennessee Tuxedo that we'll likely get, there are a number of issues that keep it from being the truly definitive collection fans had long hoped for.
The most obvious change that fans will notice immediately is the theme song that the first episode kicks off to is *not* the original recording - even though the visuals are correct.
The original theme features the voices of Tennessee and Chumley, as well as a chorus of male singers. The theme that starts more than half of the episodes here sounds like one taken from a children's record, with a female singer, *no* Tennessee & Chumley vocals, and no sound effects to go with the visuals (sound effects the original opening had).
Thankfully, the original audio *can* be heard as part of a collection of bumpers, promos, etc. that is on disc three. (This collection of various odd and ends is sourced from bootleg video tapes, so the quality ranges from mediocre to quite poor.) (Personally, I think it would have been nice if the producers of this set had added the original soundtrack audio to the clean visuals and used that to open each episode instead of the non-original theme, which gets old really fast...)
The alternate opening sequence (used on about half of the episodes) seems to have its original audio intact, but the visuals include an on-screen "bug" in the upper left corner. (A "bug-less" version of this alternate opening is on the aforementioned collection of bumpers/promos, but from a video source.)
The closing credits sequence uses the kiddie-record audio (with the female singer), but the original-audio version (an instrumental) is part of the promo/bumpers collection.
As for the episodes themselves, most seem to be taken from the original film masters, but one short ("Helecopter Hi-Jinx") was definitely sourced from video.
Twelve of the seventy Tennessee Tuxedo episodes are missing their original title cards.
Visually, the cartoons are quite colorful. However, each and every cartoon on this set (and the Underdog set too) suffers from very heavy-handed use of DVNR (digital video noise reduction).
(For those who don't know what DVNR is, it's a process companies use to remove film grain when they "restore" old footage. (For some reason, producers must think that film grain is inherently "bad".))
The problem when DVNR is overused - like it was here - details and lines (especially black lines on a white background) are often obliterated. When shots are over-processed, small things (like Chumley's whiskers, or the lines that make up Tennessee's eyes) are nearly processed away, and occasionally entire shots are ruined. (Towards the end of "Tell-Tale Telegraph" all that's left of the black telegraph wires is a series of jagged broken lines.)
In addition to the 70 Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons, this set also includes 11 Tooter Turtle episodes, 38 shorts featuring The King and Odie, 35 episodes of The Hunter, and 5 Klondike Kat cartoons. (The supporting cartoons seem to have all been mastered from film, but their openings are all mastered from bootleg videos (except Tooter Turtle's, although his closing segment was sourced from video.)
As with the Underdog set, there are a number of oversights and lapses in quality control that might be minor on the surface, but ones that make you wonder if the producers of this collection really did all they could to make it the best presentation possible.
The biggest oversight is the fact that a whopping *five* cartoons listed on the cases and in the booklet are not included.
In each case, a disclaimer pops up on the DVD telling us that the affected cartoon's audio could not be found after the packaging had already been printed. (For some reason, a sixth disclaimer also tells up about an *unlisted* cartoon being AWOL as well...)
In some instances, the affected cartoon was replaced with an alternate title, but mostly this was not the case. (Here's the list: (disc 1) "Big Birthday Blast" [The Hunter] (replaced with "Raquet Racket"); (disc 2) "Bye Bye Bees" [The King & Odie] (replaced with "Nose For The Noose"); (disc 3) "Record Rocket [The Hunter] (no substitution); (disc 5) "The Unteachables" [Tooter Turtle] (no substitution); (disc 6) "Lincoln Tunnel Caper" [The Hunter] (no substitution); (disc 6) a disclaimer for "Grand Canyon Caper" [The Hunter] not being included pops up, but this wasn't listed in the first place (no substitution).)
Lapses in quality control can also be seen with *many* titles being misspelled on the cases and in the booklet, and a few being totally misidentified. (For example, "Teddy Bear Trouble" was identified as "Koala Caper" in the booklet and on the DVD case.)
The bottom line is that if you want every episode of Tennessee Tuxedo, this is the set that you would have to get.
But, the non-original theme song, overuse of DVNR, AWOL episodes, and lapses in quality control keep it from being the absolute superlative collection fans had long hoped for.
(For those people who also buy the Underdog DVD set, here's a tally of the TTV cartoons you'll get when combined with this one:
Tennessee Tuxedo - all 70 episodes (TT set); Underdog - all 124 episodes (UD set); Go Go Gophers - all 48 episodes (UD set); Commander McBragg - all 48 episodes (UD set); Tooter Turtle - 23 of 39 episodes (12 episodes on UD set, 11 episodes on TT set); The King and Odie - 38 of 104 episodes (TT set); The Hunter - 35 of 65 episodes (35 episodes on TT set (the UD set has two episodes, but both are also on the TT set); Klondike Kat - 19 of 26 episodes (14 on UD set, 5 on TT set)