Celebrating the show’s 25th year, Mr. Bean returns on a 4-DVD set containing all 14 hilarious episodes remastered from Fabulous Films and Shout Factory. Rowan Atkinson made a name for himself internationally with his mostly-silent style of comedy, and has been called the most embarrassing man on earth. The series catapulted his career and birthed two films, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, and Mr. Bean’s Holiday, and an animated series much later. Previously, you could only purchase this set from A&E at exorbitant prices, which was a release plagued with its own issues anyway.
Particularly eventful, Mr. Bean cheats his way through a maths test in the first episode, which is only a taste of the trouble Mr. Bean gets himself into and it’s as hilarious as it always has been. It’s not the type of show you want in the background: it begs for your attention. Fortunately there’s not much incentive to review the show itself, because it’s been gone over many times and has already cemented itself as a classic.
The Video & Audio
Considering the limitations of the source material for a show shot on tape, Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean – Remastered 25th Anniversary Collection looks as good as ever and is a vast improvement over the previous set. It arrives in its standard 1:33:1 full frame and is aided by uneventful Dolby Digital 2.0 audio, although like I said, its source material likely didn’t give much to work with and this is the best video and audio we’ll receive to relive moments with Mr. Bean.
The most impressive part of this four-disc set are the supplements it is packed with, which include missing scenes from three episodes (Merry Christmas Mr. Bean, Do-it-yourself Mr. Bean, and Back To School Mr. Bean). It also includes The Best Bits of Mr. Bean, which was previously only available on DVD as a separate release and is roughly an hour and twelve minutes long. The rest of the special features are a 40-minute documentary titled “The Story of Mr. Bean,” which was quite insightful, Never Before Seen-On-TV Sketches (“Bus Stop” and “Library”), and a trailer for Mr. Bean: The Animated Series.
The most unfortunate part about releasing a set like this is that it will be compared to any previous releases. The packaging for this new release feels oddly cheap, although it’s not exactly unexpected when some retailers are selling it as cheap as $19. It comes in a standard amaray DVD case which houses two discs on a flap and the other two on each end. It also includes an insert that details each episode.
The Mr. Bean set doesn’t need to include more than it does to be worth its retail price. It’s essential comedy and both Fabulous Films and Shout Factory have done a great job of putting together a package that will not only appeal to those fans waiting for a cheaper set, but to new audiences who wouldn’t otherwise know Mr. Bean. I was wishing for a set on Blu-ray, even though I know the quality would have been the same, but that’s just the collector in me asking for more than he deserves. This edition of Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean is quite satisfying and comes highly recommended. Buy it.