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SlugTerra: Vol 1. Return Of The Shane Gang

Score: 88%
Rating: TV-Y7
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 110 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Family/TV Series
Audio: English
Subtitles: English

Features:

  • An Intro to Slugterra with Creator Asaph Fipke and Story Editor Rob Hoegee
  • Animated Slugisodes
  • Episodes:
    • The World Beneath Our Feet, Part 1 & Part 2
    • The Trade
    • The Slug Out
    • Deadweed

I have to say, I had my misgivings about SlugTerra before even popping this DVD into my player. I hadn’t heard of the series before and had absolutely no knowledge of it beforehand. I know, I shouldn’t have judged it without having any kind of knowledge, but at first glance, it looked like another show based on a toy line or card game and I’ve found myself reviewing too many of those lately. Well, I am pleased to say I was wrong and actually enjoyed these five episodes. Not to mention the fact that, as far as I can tell, there is no other form of merchandising attached to this TV series, which is a welcome change.

SlugTerra: Vol 1. Return Of The Shane Gang kicks off the show with a bang. Deep beneath the surface of the Earth is another world filled with people, trolls, technology, and most importantly, slugs. For generations, the Shane family has gone into this subterranean world to fight bad guys and protect SlugTerra. The crazy part is, none of the inhabitants of the cavernous world know about the surface world and vice versa. The Shanes are the only ones that know the secret.

When the current Shane is defeated in a slug duel (more on that later), a note is sent to his son, Eli, saying that the older Shane is gone and when he comes of age, he will go down and take up the Shane legacy. Unlike most shows of this fashion, young Eli knows all about his legacy and has an idea of what to expect when his 15th birthday comes around and he descends into the depths. Unfortunately, Eli quickly learns that all of his book knowledge is nothing compared to the real thing.

In SlugTerra, there is a wide variety of slugs and each one transforms when they are launched through the air and reach 100 MPH. The inhabitants of SlugTerra use these little guys as ammunition in duels and fights. Eli goes into SlugTerra with only one slug in his arsenal, a fire creature named Burppy. Eli quickly finds his first friend in the tracker, rogue-like character Pronto who is thrilled to learn that a new Shane has arrived and decides to help the boy get his feet wet by entering him in a competition. Not only does Eli make his presence known and learn the finer details of dueling, but he gains quite a few slugs and two more friends, the cave troll named Kord and a girl named Trixie.

It isn’t long before the show’s main villain, Dr. Blakk, introduces himself to Eli and he uses his evil slugs to show Eli just what he is up against. While Eli doesn’t come away from this encounter the victor, it only solidifies his resolve to take down Blakk and restore peace to SlugTerra.

SlugTerra: Vol 1. Return Of The Shane Gang has a few special features. There is a collection of shorts about SlugTerra, as well as a featurette that is an overview about the show and characters. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by SlugTerra and I really like the visual style. The show is obviously CG, but the textures and visual style used give it a unique look. I highly recommend this show for the young and young-at-heart alike.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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