Post by teridaxxd001 on Sept 2, 2019 5:21:03 GMT
I snagged a "pre-recorded" VHS tape off of eBay last week and I was lucky enough to discover it contained footage from the Kids' WB! Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown. The listing mentioned it was from a 1999 Pokémon marathon on Kids' WB!, but it didn't say which one. One of the photos, however, showed a TV screen displaying an excerpt of a fan letter explaining why Charmander was the best Pokémon. So I narrowed it down to either the Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown or the Charmarathon (a marathon of episodes prominently featuring Charmander that aired in December 1999, as opposed to September when the Pokéthon did).
Obviously, it was the Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown. Specifically, it was recorded on Saturday, September 11, 1999, the last day of the event. The top five episodes were aired back-to-back, then Pokémon took a short break for the series premiere of Detention. After that came the premiere of a new episode of Pokémon, followed by a bonus Pokémon episode with a new music video at the end.
The contents of the tape:
Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown #5: Bulbasaur - Episode: "Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village"
Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown #4: Squirtle - Episode: "Here Comes the Squirtle Squad"
Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown #3: Charmander - Episode: "Charmander - The Stray Pokémon"
Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown #2: Charizard - Episode: "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon"
Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown #1: Pikachu - Episode: "Pikachu's Goodbye"
Detention Series Premiere - Episode: "Shareena Takes The Cake" (only has the very beginning and the end credits)
Pokémon Episode Premiere: "The Purr-fect Hero"
Bonus Pokémon Episode: "Electric Shock Showdown"
Pokémon Music Video Premiere: "Double Trouble (Team Rocket)"
Normally, "Electric Shock Showdown" would end with Day 4 of the PokéRap, but in September 1999 Kids' WB! premiered each music video of the Pikachu's Jukebox songs before the episodes they were first used in. Interestingly, this premiere differs from the normal broadcast of the video in that the Pikachu's Jukebox intro isn't used, instead using an intro of the Kids' WB! backlot with an announcer saying it's a world premiere.
The host segments star Professor Oak and Meowth, and there are two types. Right before each episode started, they would announce which Pokémon made the current rank (e.g. "And the third most popular Pokémon is... Charmander!") and would read an excerpt of a fan's letter explaining why it was their favorite Pokémon. Then Meowth would typically make some witty comment. Then, during the second commercial break (between "Who's That Pokémon?" segments), there would be another host segment where they would tell the viewer to stay tuned for the next ranking, which was coming up next, with a different promo for each ranking ("Stay tuned for the number 5/4/3 Pokémon..."). There are also various bumpers for the Countdown, plus a promo for the sweepstakes that ran alongside it. Apparently, each day would have a different prize, and Saturday's prize was an electronic Pokédex toy.
The rest of the tape features the series Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends on BKN. The tape totals about 6 hours. The beginning of the tape, thankfully starting after the host segment for Bulbasaur, is in very poor visual condition, and my capture card actually flickers black at several points because it can't detect a video feed (though the USB capture card I have has always done this, even when recording from a GameCube, so I think it's just defective), and lots of static throughout the entirety of "Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village." The audio isn't great for the entirety of the tape, but is, again, exceptionally bad during the aforementioned episode. While the host segment from this episode doesn't suffer from these problems too badly, the digital tracking comes on for the first half of it, meaning the on-screen display is visible then. You can technically turn it off, but it will annoyingly always show up while the tracking is being used regardless of whether it's enabled or disabled. I also tried recording this segment from an older VCR that apparently doesn't have on-screen display capability, but the quality is worse. Maybe I should try and splice the two.
One big negative: The same seller also had a 3 hour tape of the same marathon. I was watching this listing, but held off on buying it until I confirmed what the tape I bought contained. Somebody else bought it before I received my tape. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
The seller also had one more 6 hour tape containing only 2 episodes of Pokémon at the end. Angry with myself for missing out on the 3 hour tape, I hastily bought this one, too. I haven't watched it yet, but I'll keep you posted.
Unfortunately, while I've digitized the entire Kids' WB! portion of the tape, around 4 hours, I don't have any real video editing software. I'm not going to release the entire contents, just the promos pertaining to the marathon, and maybe the premiere version of "Double Trouble (Team Rocket)" for preservation's sake. What I have right now is a 4 hour, 7.2 GB video. So, while I work on obtaining an editor, have some screencaps as proof of all this:
Sorry about the long post. I might try re-capturing this with our old DVD recorder because it doesn't have a flickering issue. Just wish I could turn off the tracking display...
Happy 20th Anniversary, Kids' WB! Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown!
20 years ago today, the Kids' WB! Top 20 Pokéthon Countdown began. In celebration, I'm releasing everything I've edited so far:
These promos and bumpers have been edited from the tape I obtained, and are presented individually. I plan on further editing them (noise reduction, etc.), so don't think of them as final releases. I'm also not done with them all, plus I still have that other tape to look at. Sorry about not doing this sooner, but I had prior commitments.
Edit: Okay, that's all the bumpers and promos pertaining specifically to this marathon on the tape, I believe. Funny story: I had to use a trial version of Nero Video to edit these down. The trial version only allows exports to have a maximum duration of 30 seconds. What's funny about that? Everything I needed to extract was 30 seconds or less.