Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law
Volume 1 (Region 1 Edition)

Starring: Harvey Birdman
Warner Home Video
RRP: $29.98
Certificate: Not Rated
Available 12 April 2005

In the criminal justice system there are two opposing but equally important - wait. Wrong DVD. Ok, start over. Who's the man in the suit? Who's the cat with the feet? He's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, defender of cartoons in legal trouble. Whether it's cute, bow-tie wearing Boo Boo Bear accused of being the "Unabooboo", or Shaggy and Scooby busted for possession, there's just one ex-superhero manbird to see - Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law - and this is his DVD...

Like previous Adult Swim reinventions of old characters like Space Ghost (who is now a chat show host) and the characters from Sealab 2021 (which uses the same basic premise as the original series, but puts a new spin on it) Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law takes an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon character - super hero Birdman - and reinvents it for a modern audience.

There are plenty of very familiar characters including Scooby-Doo and the gang, the Flintstones, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Inch High Private I and Speed Buggy. And I vaguely remembered the majority of the other characters in this series from my childhood.

The scenarios in each episode range from Fred Flintstone charged with being a Mob boss, to Mr High suing his detective agency after they fire him for being too short.

In his quest to defend his clients, Harvey is assisted by his two clerks, Peanut and Avenger and he has to go up in front of a few different judges - my favourite being Judge Mentok the Mind-Taker - and prosecuting solicitors.

My favourite episode in this collection was X the Eliminator. Back in the '60s X was paid a large sum of money to steal the crest of Birdman. He never succeeded and seeing the attorney in a TV appearance puts X in the frame of mind to finish his task. X has had a love/hate obsession with Birdman for years and is a little upset that when he finally confronts him the attorney hasn't the faintest idea who he is.

Extras include audio commentaries on several of the episodes; deleted scenes; a spoof Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law movie trailer; storyboard to final cut comparison; and a live action version of the opening credits (which is very funny).

One of the best Adult Swim/Cartoon Network reworkings we've seen. It has all the hallmarks of an instant classic.

Darren Rea

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$22.49 (Amazon.com)
Region 1 Edition
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Region 1 Edition

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