Release Date(s)2014-2015 (July 30, 2019)
Studio(s)The Tornante Company/Netflix (Shout!/Scream Factory)
- Film/Program Grade: A+
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: A-
Five seasons in, BoJack Horseman has consistently entertained its audience by exploring a world of anthropomorphic animals and humans living side-by-side with a darkly comedic bent and enormous pathos for its various characters. The brainchild of series creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, this feel-bad comedy takes a long hard look at the ridiculous world of not just celebrities, but people, and how ironic it can be. It also reminds us that not everyone can change and have a thoroughly happy ending, yet they can continue on doing the best that they can, despite the personal flaws that hold them back, and for a place like Hollywoo, that’s a tall order.
The story concerns BoJack (Will Arnett), a washed-up actor living off of the dividends from his ancient family-oriented TV show Horsin’ Around, with a hate-on for the world in one hand and a glass of booze in the other. Attempting to get him back on his feet is his former girlfriend Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), a self-driven cat trying to make it in the cutthroat world of talent agents. When a publisher asks BoJack to write an autobiography, he’s assigned a ghost writer named Diane (Alison Brie), a lost but analogous woman who is also looking for her way in life. Tagging along is BoJack’s former TV rival and Diane’s boyfriend Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), a good dog with a knack for lighting up a room, as well as a lazy but lovable lounger named Todd (Aaron Paul), who is crashing on BoJack’s couch with dreams of his own. The five of them go through a myriad of moments together, from new acting gigs to potential relationships to rock operas and theme parks, but it’s all a day in the disorganized life of BoJack Horseman.
Shout! Factory brings BoJack Horseman to Blu-ray for the first time with all 24 episodes from its first two seasons, plus a one-off Christmas special, in a 4-Disc Collector’s Edition package. Episodes include:
- BoJack Horseman: The BoJack Horseman Story, Chapter One
- BoJack Hates the Troops
- Zoës and Zeldas
- Live Fast, Diane Nguyen
- Our A-Story is a ’D’ Story
- Say Anything
- The Telescope
- Horse Majeure
- One Trick Pony
- Downer Ending
- Bojack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish
- Brand New Couch
- Still Broken
- After the Party
- Higher Love
- Hank After Dark
- Let’s Find Out
- The Shot
- Yes And
- Escape from L.A.
- Out to Sea
The image quality of the show varies slightly due to its sometimes processed look, meaning that it’s not always sharp and in focus. It takes on a more realistic feel at times, but in general, everything appears crisp and well-defined. The spackled look of the animal characters has not been altered at all, giving them more of a grounded and less artificial look that only stands out more in a higher quality setting. Lines around the animation are solid and the color palette is boosted enormously. This is a very colorful and beautifully-rendered show that, in some instances, takes the time to really show off, such as Princess Carolyn’s gorgeous and wholly saturated trek into a still life painting. Blacks are deep with strong shadow detail and contrast and brightness levels are virtually perfect, leaving little to no room for complaint.
The audio is presented in both English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD with optional subtitles in English SDH. The 5.1 mix widens the show’s sound capabilities, giving sound effects and score much more room to breathe. It also places instances of dialogue and ambience in the surrounding speakers, allowing for further dimensionality. On both tracks, dialogue is the star attraction, coming in clear, precise, and discernable. Low end moments are infrequent, but they do occasionally occur during the show’s more boisterous moments, which are few.
Extras include audio commentaries for every single episode, as well as a few other additions. Disc One contains BoJack Horseman: The BoJack Horseman Story, Chapter One with series creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, production designer Lisa Hanawalt, and supervising director Mike Hollingsworth; BoJack Hates the Troops with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and actor Will Arnett; Prickly-Muffin with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, writer’s assistant/writer Rachel Kaplan, and script coordinator/writer Alison Flierl; Zoës and Zeldas with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Peter A. Knight; Live Fast, Diane Nguyen with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, actor Paul F. Tompkins, and casting director Linda Lamontagne; and Our A-Story is a ’D’ Story with supervising director Mike Hollingsworth, production designer Lisa Hanawalt, and art director Sarah Harkey. Also included is the animatic for BoJack Horseman: The BoJack Horseman Story, Chapter One.
Disc Two contains Say Anything with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and actor Amy Sedaris; The Telescope with writer Kate Purdy, writer Mehar Sethi, and director Amy Winfrey; Horse Majeure with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Peter A. Knight; One Trick Pony with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Paul F. Tompkins, and casting director Linda Lamontagne; Downer Ending with Kate Purdy, Amy Winfrey, and supervising director Mike Hollingsworth; and Later with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, music supervisor Andy Gowan, and composer Jesse Novak. Also included is the animatic for the show’s main title and a 3-minute side-by-side storyboard comparison with optional audio commentary by Mike Hollingsworth.
Disc Three contains Bojack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Michael Eisner; Brand New Couch with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Will Arnett; Yesterdayland with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, writer Peter A. Knight, and writer Joanna Calo; Still Broken with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Mehar Sethi; After the Party with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Joe Lawson; Chickens with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Joanna Calo; and Higher Love with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Vera Santamaria. Also included is the animatic for Brand New Couch.
Disc Four contains Hank After Dark with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Kelly Galuska; Let’s Find Out with Mike Hollingsworth, production designer Lisa Hanawalt, and art director Sarah Harkey; The Shot with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, writer Jordan Young, and writer Elijah Aron; Yes And with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Mehar Sethi; Escape from L.A. with Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Joe Lawson; and Out to Sea with Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Jordan Young, and Elijah Aaron. Also included is a character art gallery containing 40 images; a background art gallery containing 35 images; and a 1-minute video of the band Grouplove performing the end title theme live in Amsterdam.
BoJack Horseman is still one of the freshest and funniest TV shows available, and seeing the show finally make its way to Blu-ray is quite rewarding. The audio commentaries are fantastic and the A/V quality is top notch, making this an essential purchase for fans of the show who believe that simply streaming it is not enough. Let’s also hope that Blu-ray releases of Seasons Three and Four are right around the corner. In any case, this set comes highly recommended!
– Tim Salmons