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Captain N: The Game Master - The Beans Are Spilled: Captain N Is Coming To DVD!

Posted by David Lambert
Hmmm, I was told to keep this quiet when I heard about it a couple of weeks ago, but I guess the cat is out of the bag! I've been getting tons of e-mails (thanks to everyone who wrote!) about how a person describing themselves as "the producer of the DVD line of DiC titles at Shout! Factory" (and certainly talking like we imagine someone in that position would talk) has posted here and here at The Captain N Forum message board. Here is the text of one of those posts (they seem identical to each other):
    I am the producer of the DVD line of DiC titles at Shout! Factory, beginning with the recent COPS: The Animated Series. For the past couple of days, I've been going around the net researching Captain N: The Game Master, because I will, in fact, be producing it for OFFICIAL release (so, PLEASE stop any and all bootlegging you may be working on) later in the year.

    I'd like to clear up a few things that I've noticed posted here and a couple of other sites. For starters, Shout! isn't owned by Sony. Sony is our distributor, so for a small percentage, Sony stocks retailers with our product. Shout! Factory is owned by Richard Foos (the founder of Rhino), his brother Garson, and Bob Emmer.

    Secondly, regarding Captain N's masters...

    I'm dealing with DiC even as I write this and the masters are in excellent condition. There's virtually NO difference between a production master and a broadcast master when you're dealing with animation. The major difference is that a broadcast master has several minutes of black where the commercials should be. Therefore, the masters I'm working with look as good as any that were "destroyed" when Disney took over.

    I'm actually in the process of putting together a list of possible special features. While the lists I receive from people are in no way guaranteed extras-- because as people have mentioned, Captain N isn't a show on which most companies can spend a LARGE amount of money and expect a return--, I would very much like to hear what the fans are looking for.

    If you're interested in throwing out suggestions, please do so here. Do not email me, as I'm working on far too many projects to look and answer a ton of emails from fans. But I assure you, as you can witness in other forums around the web, that I will check back and respond here OFTEN.

    Thanks in advance and tell all your friends that the Captain's finally coming to DVD!

Good news, indeed! If you are a huge Captain N fan and have suggestions on what the DVDs should look like, then be sure to register at that website's message board and get your opinion heard over there.

Here's the possible problem, though, with certain kinds of extras. This reporter used to be a retail store manager for more than a decade, and if you're familiar with the Software Etc. chain of stores (which later merged with Babbage's, bought FuncoLand, changed the combined chain's name to GameStop and most recently acquired Electronics Boutique/EBX as well)...that's my main retail background. As you can tell, I sold a lot of Nintendo (and Sega, Atari, 3D0, Playstation, etc.). Here at TVShowsOnDVD, I usually talk about my DVD/Home Video industry sources, but I rarely have any reason to mention my video game industry sources...and frankly, I'm less into the videogames than I used to be. But the talk around the virtual water cooler in the videogame world after the Super Mario Brothers Super Show! announcement was that Nintendo these days had no real desire to acknowledge these DiC cartoons as an extension of the videogame characters' licenses. They have the (mistaken, in my opinion) belief that these licenses - legit though they are - somehow dilute the value of their videogames and characters for Mario, Zelda, Metroid and the rest. They don't feel like talking about the videogames' history on DVD extras will help sales of future games, either...they are sure the games will sell in any case. So, just like they (Nintendo) would like to try to forget that they ever agreed to let someone make a Mario/Zelda breakfast cereal, they are trying to pretend that these don't really exist, either.

I haven't been able to get Shout! to talk to me about this, but the info I've been getting from my old videogame industry friends is that Nintendo is too embarrassed by the existence of the cartoons to want to let the DVD have any extras relating to the videogames which led up to those cartoons. I also hear that game designers who work for Nintendo, like Mario/Zelda/Metroid creator Shigeru Miyamoto, won't interview for these DVDs. Take all of this with a grain of salt, mind you, because it's not talk I can get confirmed (because who would admit it, if it were true?)...but if you are looking for videogame-related extras on the Shout! DVDs, and have been disappointed that the Zelda and Mario entries have none, then Captain N may not be any different. Am I, and my sources, way off base here? I hope so! Stay tuned, and we'll find out in due course what the actual situation is...probably when these DVDs come out later this year. If you don't understand why Nintendo is embarrassed by these cartoons...well, we don't either. So let them know there's nothing to be embarrassed about, and that you love the 'toons and the games they come from!

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