The Good

A fun show that gleefully resides within it's own universe.

The Bad

I know this is an animated show but it would have been cool if they would have put some commentary tracks with the show's creators.

F.B.I. Special Agent Baldwin P. Vess and the Central Organization of Police Specialists have a tough job ahead of them. These men and women want nothing more than to maintain law and order and keep the citizens of Empire City safe. Yet, there are forces at work led by the Big Boss and his fellow cronies who will stop at nothing to create chaos and sabotage law and order. It is a cat mouse game with every single moment being captured on this Shout Factory release of C.O.P.S.: The Animated Series. In a futuristic world gone wrong, these forces are the only thing that stand in the way of society falling into total, criminal behavior.

With well done animation, a thoughtfully told story and a tongue and cheek approach to life and law enforcement, I was quite taken in by the almost simplistic look of this show. Nodding it's head to the crime stories of old (yet mixed with various, cyborg-like aspects of the future), C.O.P.S.: The Animated Series has a moral fiber about it that I don't think we find in today's typical, lighter shows.


Original Sketch and Concept Art

An interesting look at the C.O.P.S., the crooks, the vehicles and Empire City. I always like scanning through these kinds of things, simply because I think it's a great way to get to see the creative process in action. We are treated to what a character may have started out being, and then ultimately we see how they ended up. This kind of supplemental feature is a true "behind the scenes" piece.

Rare Painted Concept Art

We are shown painted concept art for some of the episodes in this series. As someone who as about to complete his own animated film (1985-1986), I learned a lot watching this featurette. There really is something to be said for begging off the computer, and returning to the art created by real paint and pencils. While I know it isn't possible (or plausible) to do a whole show this way, it was enlightening seeing aspects of this show in the painted format.

Storyboard to Screen

While I do appreciate seeing the storyboards that were employed to make these shows, I sort of wonder why they had them here for the opening title sequence? The storyboards play on screen along with the opening credits, so we can see step by step how everything came to be employed for the finished product.

C.O.P.S. for Kids

These are mock Public Service Announcements that feature various C.O.P.S. s. Done in this way, I feel that that these PSAs really underscore the overall feel and tone of this show. At the end of the day, the people creating C.O.P.S.: The Animated Series have their sense of right and wrong, all of which is on display here.


1.33:1 - Aspect Ratio. Truthfully, this show could be on Cartoon Network today and I don't think I would know that this show was from the 1980s. The only thing that is a dead giveaway is the show's ideas of the future. Somehow, no matter how well done or prescient a movie or TV show is, when we watch these shows later, the future always seems to be dated. Aside from this, I think that a lot of care has been put into making these animated shows look really good throughout this four disc set.


The kind of sound that has been used on this DVD set is not listed here. That said, this was released in some way through Sony Music Entertainment, so I am willing to bet that the sound is pretty good. From just watching through these DVDs on my 9", one speaker television set, I didn't have any problems hearing anything. I turned up the sound about halfway on my levels meter, and once I did that everything was fine. So basically, whatever sound has been employed seems to have done the job.


The front cover is a hard black, with the letters COPS (in blue) over a gold badge. This simplistic cover carries over to the back which features a sparsely worded description of the show, a "Special Features" listing and some technical specs. The four discs that make up this set pull out out into one piece in which all the discs reside. There is cover art as well as episode listings inside, so that people can easily navigate through whatever they wish to watch on these discs. Overall, the packaging is a tad bulkier than it needs to be, but that is my only complaint.

Final Word

As I wasn't watching a lot of cartoons when this show ran it's course from 1988 to 1989 (I was more into movies then), I missed C.O.P.S.: The Animated Series. I really think that history isn't very kind to any of the shows from the 1980s. As byproducts of TV and movies from the 1970s, it seems that the 1980s tried to restore most visual mediums back to the entertainment forms in which they were originally intended. As a result, I don't think people look at 1980s TV as socially relevant. While I do love much of the TV from the 1970s, especially it's ability to look at social issues through an entertainment lens, I still think that 1980's TV shows made statements even though they weren't as overt.

Somehow, C.O.P.S.: The Animated Series seems to represent the happiest of both mediums.