For all too long, one title was conspicuously absent from the list of available DVD releases - Zorro. While several episodes of the series had been released on VHS, legal battles seemed to be preventing a release of the full series. Happily this changed in June 2004 with the release of a box set of all 39 episodes from the first season.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the set was released in France, and was encoded for Region 2 players, making it difficult for most U.S. audiences to see the series. Well, happily there is other good news, for many DVD players and computers can play Region 2 disks here in the U.S. If you're not sure about your player try checking at www.vcdhelp.com or through Google - you might be pleasantly surprised.
Let's take a look at the set. To start, here are some views of the slipcase:
The series is presented in three volumes of two disks each. Here's a look at the covers and disks of each volume:
Let's take a look now at the DVD contents. Here's the first thing you see on screen:
Interesting that while the set was sold in France, the first menu choice is for English! As seen, you can select from English, French, Italian or Spanish. There's also quite a selection of sub-titles available: English, English for the hearing impaired, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Portuguese and Dutch. Following your selection of languages is an animated menu that starts with a "Z" of flame and then this screen:
Selecting "Play" brings you, logically enough, to the first episode. As can be seen, the DVD set uses the colorized version of the episodes and not the original black and white versions.
The quality of the episodes is quite good, although a bit overly color saturated for my tastes, and the images are just a bit on the softer side than I would have preferred. At the end of each episode you can select the next episode from a simple menu screen:.
And that's about it. No extras on this set - no publicity photos, trailers, etc. Despite that, though, this set is a welcome addition to the library of any Zorro fan who is worried about wearing out their precious tapes!
In addition to the boxed set shown above, they have also released each of the six volumes individually.
Please note that these DVDs are encoded for use in Region 2 and are in the PAL standard. They will NOT play on a standard US DVD player. You must have a multi-standard player capable of playing Region 2 DVDs.
Season 2 has also been released on DVD in France, and there is also a boxed set of the complete series.
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