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The Incredible Hulk

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 79 mins . PG . PAL


Mild mannered nuclear scientist Bruce Banner is exposed to gamma radiation and it starts a chain reaction in his cells. Whenever he gets angry, he turns into a truck-sized smashing machine that can’t be stopped. The Army wants The Hulk destroyed, Bruce himself wants The Hulk destroyed but Bruce’s girlfriend, Betty, just wants to understand him. It’s a heady combination, particularly as the leader of the Army that's chasing The Hulk is Betty’s father.

There isn’t much more to this DVD than four episodes of a Saturday morning cartoon from 1996. It’s in a similar style to the old Ninja Turtles stuff, but has a deeper current of darkness running beneath it. The stories are a little trite, running at full formula, but there are lots of shots of Bruce getting mad and tearing stuff up.

There’s nothing much to this storyline and for once the live-action feature film (in cinemas at present) has a far better story and is way more attractive. I guess if you give something long enough, someone will patch up the plot holes and re-sell it as new and improved. Well, it worked on me.

All that aside, this isn’t much more than a rather shameless attempt to sell some DVDs while The Hulk is in fashion. It doesn’t really contain anything new or enlightening about Banner’s condition, but this cartoon series does manage to come a close second to the '80s live-action series starring Lou Ferrigno. I should mention that Hulk is voiced by Ferrigno again in this animated series, which also has other names of note including Mark Hamill and Luke Perry. Watchable for the teenage boy in all of us, but it can’t possibly compete against the new cinema version.


This is a straight-from-TV 4:3 transfer in the full-frame aspect of 1.33:1. Being a cartoon, we wouldn’t expect much more, particularly if not a cinema featured film. The colours all come across okay and there is very little in the way of film artefacts; again to be expected. The animation, (made somewhere in Asia no doubt), is a little clunky at times, particularly when there’s lots of stuff happening that’d be too hard to draw - tanks being thrown into tanks and exploding, for example. Lighting is fairly good within the myriad of explosions and the few shadows don’t eat up too many details.

Flesh tones are also fairly even, naturally, and the Hulk himself looks resplendent in a lovely shade of green. One thing though that I’ve never understood is that Banner is always wearing purple pants when he transforms into The Hulk. Has he given any thought to the fact it might be them causing his anger?


The sound is passable, being in the full majesty of Dolby Digital 2.0, and does its job okay. We shouldn’t really expect much more from a television cartoon at any rate. The dialogue, whilst well spoken and clear, does get a little clunky at times, but that’s the way shows like this go; they’re hardly think pieces. The sound effects also fall into the TV trap and are chock’o’block with stock sound effects. At least in a cartoon this is more acceptable than when movies do it. Beyond all that, the music is a bit cheap too and there’s just a little too much of it filling the gaps in storyline.


At first glance there looks like a swag of goodies on this disc, but alas for the closer look. Being one of Marvel’s most loved veterans, The Incredible Hulk first aired on television under the guise of The Ever-Loving Hulk in 1966. The Pilot Episode with the Origin of The Hulk must be one of the poorest examples of animation it has ever been my misfortune to witness. This is pretty much background-free, with lifted images from the comic book being poorly animated. This poor animation includes just moving mouths on characters, gliding characters where they should be walking, and tired two and three frame cycles. And it just goes on and on and on for 21 minutes. Not to mention the dialogue of winning lines like: "Stay out of this, Betty. This is man talk!" and "Honey, you just need a little fresh air. You're too imaginative." (Like imaginative would be such a crime in this show...)

After this atrocity, there are all episodes with a Stan Lee introduction. This shouldn’t be classified as an extra really, but nevertheless, it’s Stan the Man having sound bites lifted from one Hulk-based interview. It’s little more than Stan reminiscing about the good old days of comics. What remains of this interview is bagged and called Stan Lee’s Soapbox and runs as an eight minute spiel in the extras folder about comics as literature. With so much already, could we handle more? Well, there’s also a 30-second feature called Who is Peter David?, which is a gigantic nerd telling us how he writes The Hulk. Basically this is the companion piece to Mr David’s Inside the Hulk Interactive Hulk Commentary and should have been classified with that rather than as a separate entity. It has its moments of interesting fact, but there’s not much more than fluff in this feature.


Even if you’re a diehard Hulk fan, this is not really a must-have. If you think this will be anything like the current movie, you will be sorely mistaken. Whilst the story is similar, the animation isn’t even from the same planet and neither, seemingly, is Stan Lee. Early teenage boys would probably love it as a warm up to the Ang Lee epic, but it can’t possibly compare and is little more than an attempt to wring every possible cent out of the latest flavour of the month (which turns out to be lime.)

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      And I quote...
    "HULK MAD! (at the increasing amount of shoddy product with my name on it)"
    - Jules Faber
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