It’s 9:01 pm
Last week Dollar Tree had yet another DVD/BluRay sale and I decided to go check it out along with Two Stacks,Dollar Tree sales are starting to happen on a monthly basis now. That is a good thing for us collectors out there to be sure of. While I’m pretty stoked to see some IFC titles starting to pop up,Two Stacks on the hunt for those Asylum movies he likes.
But this sale was a bit different,this go round featured pretty much all kids and pre-teen movies and shows. So for fanboys like us,a chance to get a few animated DVDs for a buck is always a bargain!! Especially when it’s a title you have never heard of…in my case,”The Secret Saturdays”. The show aired on the Cartoon Network for only two seasons,2008 and 2009. It was one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” shows that sometimes happens to children’s shows.
The show was created by Jay Stephens,who had also created the critically acclaimed “Tutenstein” which first aired in 2003.
The first thing I thought of when I saw the cover was Alex Toth and those classic 60’s Hanna-Barbera cartoons like “The Herculoids” and “Jonny Quest”. The Saturdays are a scientific family of adventure seekers/cryptozoologists consisting of father Doc Saturday (voiced by Phil Morris),his wife Drew (Nicole Sullivan) and 11 year old son Zak (Sam Lerner). The Saturday’s have an assortment of animals to assist them,the gorilla-cat Fiskerton,who is based on the legendary Fiskerton Phantom,Komodo,a 250 pound genetically enhanced komodo dragon and Zon,a rescued Pterosaur.
Their mission is to find Cryptids,monsters that have yet to be discovered and then hide them away away from the unsuspecting world. They are part of a group called The Secret Scientists who provide and sometimes ask for aid from the family.
But because all good heroes need a rogue’s gallery,the Saturday’s have one in V.V. Argost,a vampire like creature who is racing the Saturday’s in finding the Kur’s stone.
Now here is the big difference between shows like “The Herculoids” and “Space Ghost” and “The Secret Saturdays”. Pretty much all of the older show’s episodes were self contained stories,there were very few multiple part episodes other then a famous six part arc in “Space Ghost” and even that was finished after 3 episodes.
The Secret Saturday’s is a season long story and consisted of 26 first season episodes.
Pretty darn sweet IF Warner Brothers had released the series like that. Instead,they decided to release “volumes” of 5 episodes apiece and even then,have only released the first 10 episodes! This is rather frustrating because “The Secret Saturdays” is a kick ass show!
There is a lot to like about the show,while on one hand,it’s a great action cartoon that kids will love but I noticed in the five episodes I got,it isn’t all fun and games,the heroes don’t always win the day and they,just like everyone else,have their problems.
This is a show that has a biracial family (Doc is African-American,Drew is white),the father has a handicap (blind in one eye) and is a bit of the jealous type,the mother is reckless and doesn’t always think problems through,the son sometimes very disrespectful towards others and these human traits often come back to haunt the Saturday’s. As much as Argost is the big “bad”,more often then not,the Saturday’s are their own biggest enemy and that is refreshing to see because they then learn tough lessons as a family.
The voice casting is pretty strong with some familiar voice talent like Will Friedle,Phil Morris,Diedrich Bader and Corey Burton…all who have done various movies and shows in the DCAU. The nicest surprise was Nicole Sullivan who voices Drew Saturday,she is really good here. Who knew she was originally cast as Leela in “Futurama” before Fox went with Katey Sagal?
I have to say that the score to “The Secret Saturdays” by Michael Tavera is outstanding,one of the best scores for any TV show,love or animated,that I have heard in a very long time…it has a 60’s style of vibe with fast bongos yet still maintains a modern style. The music throughout the episodes is fast and frenetic and keeps even the dialogue heavy scenes pretty snappy.
Vol. 2 of “The Secret Saturdays” features 5 episodes and has a run time of 1 hour 52 minutes and has some specials features which includes drawings and profiles of the various Cryptids seen on the show.
I do think this is a series that should get a Warner Brothers Archive release and as the series only has 36 episodes,should be release as complete series.
The cheetah and I enjoyed watching “The Secret Saturdays” and we give it a thumbs/paw straight up…..