Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon Vol. 1 DVD – Review

Cartoon Lagoon DVD Vol. 1Earlier this Summer we discovered a cool project called Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon (thanks to Shawn Robare). Spearheaded by creator Manny Galán and co-produced by Pat Giles, CARTOON LAGOON is a puppet-based show that features the aforementioned Captain Cornelius and his crew (Axel Rodd McGee, Wet Willy Jones, Franky Planky) plunging the ocean depths aboard the Manta Ray in search of fun and forgotten cartoons.

While the show was officially released at this year’s New York Comic Con (NYCC), it’s receiving a FREE big screen premiere tonight at 8:45PM and Wed, Oct 24, 8:30PM courtesy of TRIBECA CINEMAS and the New York Television Festival 2012 (get ticket info here). We were able to snag an advanced look at the show thanks to Galán and even scored THREE copies to giveaway here on the site – more information on that below.

UPDATE: Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon went on sale today (10/23/2012) – order your copy on Amazon today!


At its heart, Cartoon Lagoon is a collective love letter to Saturday mornings gone by. Everything from the music to the formatting seems to recall a distinct few decades in cartoon history, specifically the 40s, 50s and 60s. However, more than just featuring vintage cartoons, Cartoon Lagoon is an undersea miasma of pop culture goodness that’s filled with toys, images and jokes that poke fun at and celebrate its nostalgic roots.

The DVD itself is split into three distinct parts: Episode One, All-Star Revue and Extras. Episode One (Unhappy Birthday) is the actual show, written by Steve Borst and Galán. Opening with a classic intro that harkens back to Thunderbirds or Jonny Quest, the crew dives right into the laughs. The show then splits off into a variety of Mystery Science Theater 3000-style segments that feature Casper, the Friendly Ghost, The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo and Popeye (not to mention plenty of pop culture references).

The All-Star Revue is actually an extended version of the show that features even more retro cartoons, an “interview” with Butch Hartman (by way of Space Ghost Coast to Coast), fake commercials and original animated shorts. Among the highlights of the Revue, Mike Carlo’s The President of the Universe is truly wacky while Gabe Swarr’s Life In The Analog Age shorts capture some real childhood memories. There’s also musical interludes by The Gregory Brothers, but I found these to be weakest inclusion of the series.

Finally, this DVD is loaded with Extras – from a Behind-the-Scenes featurette and Audio Commentary by Galán to Animatics, Table Readings, a Blooper Reel and the “real” Butch Hartman interview. Not only did I spend my Saturday morning watching the show, but the Extras actually managed to keep me entertained for the entire afternoon. Its original concept and creative stylization will make this first volume of Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon a cherished time capsule in any animation fan’s collection!


Interested in seeing Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon yourself? We’ve got three (3) advance copies to give away here on the site – all you need to do is “LIKE” the Cartoon Lagoon Studios Facebook page and share a pic of yourself holding your favorite cartoon (DVD or VHS)! That’s it – we’ll choose three random winners by Friday.

Written by Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

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