If you were born some time between the years 1985 and 1992, there’s a good chance that you remember “Rocko’s Modern Life,” the Nickelodeon cartoon about a soft-spoken wallaby and his wacky friends – Heffer, a fat cow, and Filburt, a nerdy turtle (nurdle?). And of course, Rocko’s non-verbal dog Spunky.
As with a lot of classic Nicktoons, fans have been clamoring for a complete season box set of “Rocko’s Modern Life” for a while now, with many turning to illegal bootlegs and downloads for their “Rocko” fix. Well, not anymore, since the people at Shout! Factory have put together a nifty season 1 box set for you to display on your shelf next to your Complete Works of Shakespeare and Moby-Dick.
And the show is pretty much as you remember it, except for maybe the copious amounts of adult innuendo that you won’t believe slipped by you as a kid (the “Chokey Chicken”? Seriously?).
On a technical level, the picture quality is amazing, looking even better and more vibrant than I remember it looking on TV as a kid – maybe because there was no such thing as HDTV then.
Now, for the bad news: There are no extra features. Like, at all. Not even a trailer for season 2. No audio commentaries, no making-of docs, no retrospective featurettes, no Leonard Maltin apologizing to parents for the set’s adult content. Nothing. Still, if you’re a fan of Rocko and would rather have a physical DVD than have to rely on Netflix, this is a cheap no-brainer. One more thing: I’m not enough of a “Rocko” expert to notice this myself, but according to Shout! Factory, some of these episodes contain editing out of adult content, since the materials came from sources edited for broadcast on Nickelodeon. I’m not sure what the exact nature of these edits are, especially since the show is plenty racy as it is. Still, it’s something to think about.
Over all, I think “Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One” would make a good purchase or gift for the Rocko fan in your life.