The Miniseries And Season 1 Changes

.....Despite being generally well-animated and high-budgeted show for its era, G.I. Joe had its share of re-takes, with the vast majority occuring early on. Thankfully, Rhino also minimized its annoying practice of inserting recap and preview footage from the individual episodes, so issues with the DVD sets are relatively minimal.

"The Cobra Strikes"-one change (verified using Hasbro's "The M.A.S.S. Device" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of original airing)
Change #1-16:53

Description: Rather than using some ugly-looking lip movements, Sunbow cribbed the close-up of Selena from moments earlier.

"Slave of the Cobra Master"-no changes (verified using Hasbro's "The M.A.S.S. Device" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of original airing)
"The Worms of Death"
-no changes (verified using Hasbro's "The M.A.S.S. Device" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of original airing)
"Duel in the Devil's Cauldron"-one change (verified using Hasbro's "The M.A.S.S. Device" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of original airing)
Change #1-2:15



"A Stake in the Serpent's Heart"
-one change (verified using Hasbro's "The M.A.S.S. Device" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of original airing)
Change #1-22:03

Description: I tend to avoid wasting time on the title cards and the end credits in the Rhino versions (short story: other than the credits to Season 3 of The Transformers, "The Rebirth", and some episodes of G.I. Joe's second season, they all have formatting problems), but this one is a special circumstance. When Part V of MASS aired on TV, an extended version of the credits was used, with the Director's credits literally sliding on screen as the picture faded in before proceeding as in the previous four parts. The audio is, not shockingly, also extended, with an opening fanfare and a few moments not edited out later in the theme. This alternate theme was never released on video (as the MASS credits and endings on the old FHE tapes came from Part I, as evidenced by the "A Real American Hero" tag in the opening being almost entirely lost in the overscan area), and Rhino used the same standard closing as the other parts. So, when Shout! Factory went to the original audio, they found the rare Part V end credits, but not the video (as Shout! didn't touch the video at all for Joe). It looks extremely bad when the video fades to black with seconds left in the theme.

"In the Cobra's Pit"-no changes (verified using Hasbro's "The Revenge of Cobra" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of Holiday '84 re-broadcast)
"The Vines of Evil"-no changes (verified using Hasbro's "The Revenge of Cobra" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of Holiday '84 re-broadcast)
"The Palace of Doom"-four changes (verified using Hasbro's "The Revenge of Cobra" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of Holiday '84 re-broadcast)
Change #1-14:42



Change #2-14:44



Change #3-14:49

Description: The rather bad background art of the Palace Guardian was replaced for much better cel art in the shots prior to the end of the act break. The flash of light on the Hydromaster in the first shot is also greatly reduced.

Change #4-15:19

Description: This is some classic Rhino sloppiness here. The bumpers for the series were typically taken from one episode per season by Rhino, and instead of swapping out the video before the image of the whirlpool appears on screen, they let the video from the bumper's source episode, "In the Cobra's Pit", come up before switching to the right video.

"Battle on the Roof of the World"-no changes (verified using Hasbro's "The Revenge of Cobra" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of Holiday '84 re-broadcast)
"Amusement Park of Terror"-two changes (verified using Hasbro's "The Revenge of Cobra" DVD Battles disc and bootleg of Holiday '84 re-broadcast)
Change #1-1:52

Description: Like with The Transformers, Rhino fails to understand that Sunbow recaps and previews have goads of alternate animation, and that just using the broadcast masters for the things is the best strategy.

Change #2-21:34

Description: I find it hard to believe that someone at Rhino didn't notice the wildly different backgrounds.

"The Further Adventures of G.I. Joe"-three changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-14:27

Description: This is an example of why shows like G.I. Joe tended to avoid having cards and notes like this on screen before the advent of computers, as not only could the foreign animators misspell words, but a script change could lead to a re-take.

Change #2-21:27



Change #3-21:43

Description: *sigh*

"Rendezvous in the City of the Dead"-20 changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-1:50



Change #2-2:02

Description: You know it's going to be a heavy episode for re-takes when the animators can't keep the glow effect within the lines.

Change #3-2:07

Description: I've discussed this type of coloring snafu in the Transformers section a number of times already.

Change #4-3:18

Description: This one was a pain in the ass to figure out. Shipwreck's hand is still in the "OK" position at the start of the shot in the original take, which Sunbow took to be a continuity error.

Change #5-3:47

Description: Two changes here. One, there's no dissolve from Shipwreck and Snake Eyes to the Flagg in the aired version, and the pan of the Flagg turns into a weird double image in the original take.

Change #6-3:58

Description: I'm blaming this re-take, and all others made to improve Lady Jaye's appearance, on Flint Dille. ;)

Change #7-4:13



Change #8-5:34



Change #9-8:04



Chang #10-8:25



Change #11-8:41



Change #12-10:42

Description: The blotches of whatever this stuff is on Lady Jaye's face stay still relative to the screen on the DVDs, as opposed to staying still relative to Lady Jaye's face as in the aired version.

Change #13-11:39



Change #14-11:41

Description: The slight pan is eliminated, and Polly is now present. Oddly, the re-take glitches up Snake Eyes' walking motion with a splice in the center of the screen (as opposed to the less obtrusive top and bottom of the screen) partway through the shot.

Change #15-13:05

Description: This another one of those framing issues, even though the original take's framing hides the misplacement of Dusty's hand, since the toolbox is all on one cel (for realistic movement, the bar should be on a separate cel).

Change #16-15:00



Change #17-15:45

Description: Ignoring for a moment the insanity of such a huge flaw (i.e., characters blinking on and off screen) making it to air in an episode loaded to the gills with re-takes, why in the hell did Rhino find it necessary to "fix" an error in an episode, and not address a single one of the numerous re-takes? Am I missing something here?

Change #18-16:09

Description: I have no idea why, but Footloose's movements were changed for broadcast.

Change #19-16:49

Description: There's a different background, plus a different speed of pan, in the broadcast version.

Change #20-21:38



"Three Cubes to Darkness"
-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-21:41



"Chaos in the Sea of Lost Souls"
-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-12:38

Description: This alteration disgusts me. What right does some idiot at Rhino have in altering a shot because the activation of Destro's Robotopus isn't up to their standards?

Change #2-21:34



Change #3-21:38

"Knotting Cobra's Coils"-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-1:11



Change #2-1:32

Description: Again, I normally avoid harping on Rhino's botching of the titles, but this one requires that I point it out.

"Countdown For Zartan"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Blockbuster-exclusive "The Viper is Coming" tape)
"Red Rocket's Glare"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 6, "Red Rocket's Glare")
"Satellite Down"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 4, "Satellite Down")
"Cobra Stops the World"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 3, "Cobra Stops the World")
"Jungle Trap"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 11, "Jungle Trap")
"Cobra's Creatures"-one change (verified using Rhino's Blockbuster-exclusive "The Viper is Coming" tape)
Change #1-7:35

Description: These earliest-produced episodes appear to have no re-takes at all, a benefit of the year between the writing process (May 1984) and the early (July 1985) video release of some of the initial first season episodes. So, naturally, Rhino finds a way to screw something up. Now, they could argue some sort of print damage leading to the change, but the digital artifacting on the still frame implies some sort of pure idiocy.

"The Funhouse"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Blockbuster-exclusive "The Viper is Coming" tape)
"Twenty Questions"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 2, "Revenge Is Not Always Sweet")
"The Greenhouse Effect"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"Haul Down the Heavens"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"Synthoid Conspiracy" Part I-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"Synthoid Conspiracy" Part II-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
Change #1-4:15

Description: In the original episode, the pan glitches ever-so-slightly after the wipe. The thing is, in "fixing" this "error", Rhino also created an annoying bit of anti-aliasing.

"The Phantom Brigade"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"Lights! Camera! Cobra!"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 9, "Lights! Camera! Cobra!")
"Cobra's Candidate"-no changes (verified using bootleg of USA re-broadcast and extremely crusty bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Money To Burn"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"Operation Mind Menace"-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
Change #1-7:32

Description: Another absolutely disgusting alteration. The sigil on this Cobra Officer was the correct silver color in this shot, then an incorrect red in the next shot. So, naturally, some idjit at Rhino decides to fix something that was already as aired, and badly, as some of the silver sneaks through (much like the digital insert with Huffer in "Heavy Metal War")

"Battle For the Train of Gold"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"Cobra Soundwaves"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Blockbuster-exclusive "The Viper is Coming" tape)
"Where the Reptiles Roam"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"The Gamesmaster"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 8, "The Gamesmaster")
"Lasers in the Night"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"The Germ"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"The Viper is Coming"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Blockbuster-exclusive "The Viper is Coming" tape)
"Spell of the Siren"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"Cobra Quake"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 12)
"Captives of Cobra" Part I-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 7, "Captives of Cobra")
"Captives of Cobra" Part II-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 7, "Captives of Cobra")
"Bazooka Saw A Sea Serpent"-one change (verified using FHE's Volume 12 and tape of Cartoon Network re-broadcast)
Change #1-10:45

Description: Of all the shots in the Sorting Room, this is the only one that I can confirm without question has been tinted red, either in post, or by re-take. Both my copy of FHE Volume 12 (which is a horrendous tape when it comes to dealing with the act breaks, BTW) and my much better looking recording from the Cartoon Network reruns really choke on the backgrounds, and this is the only shot where the blue in Cobra Commander's outfit is reddened. As a general rule, this episode seems to have been colored with the vagaries of the telecine transfer process in mind, as greens (primarily Lady Jaye's shirt and the MOBATs at the New York Harbor) were actually painted a certain shade of brown (a similar change in color perception occurs with Flint's shirt, which was consistently painted with the same color as seen in this episode).

"Excalibur"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"Worlds Without End" Part I-7 changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 1, "Worlds Without End")
Change #1-10:21



Change #2-10:23



Change #3-10:25



Change #4-10:26



Change #5-10:27

Description: This one is downright odd. The shots in the aired version, which already have some issues with the timing and lip-synch, are totally re-edited in the DVD version, and not for the better.

Change #6-10:34




Description: This change, however, smacks of more Rhino interference, as an odd freeze frame of the cave's mouth is replaced with three shots from earlier in the scene.

Change #7-21:38

Description: This episode ends with one of the few freeze frames in the Sunbow canon, but Rhino froze the screen a bit late.

"Worlds Without End" Part II-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 1, "Worlds Without End")
"Eau De Cobra"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"Cobra CLAWs Are Coming to Town"-one change (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-15:44

Description: With no re-takes available, a coverage shot of the Joes in Cobra vehicles was used for the Cobras in Joe vehicles here, no doubt confusing many who have noticed it over the years.

"An Eye For An Eye"-one change (verified using a bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-14:54

Description: Never mind how the episode looked as aired or on the tape they themselves released, Rhino felt the need to fix this camera truck-in in an insanely obvious fashion.

"The Gods Below"-two changes (verified using a bootleg of a time-compressed broadcast)
Change #1-1:24

Description: I had harbored the belief that this episode was based on the broadcast master due to its dicey shape, but this re-take dashed that rather swiftly. Additionally, the first act seems to run a couple of seconds slower than my bootleg source, which I am listing as time-compressed (along with the following episode, "Primordial Plot").

Chamge #2-4:47

Description: The doors open in a slow and jerky fashion on the DVD, impeding Duke's movements as seen in the broadcast version.

"Primordial Plot"-no changes (verified using a bootleg of a time-compressed broadcast)
"Flint's Vacation"-three changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
Change #1-7:35



Change #2-8:52

Description: These two are simply disgusting, given that Rhino realized this episode had re-take issues, and properly inserted the majority of them. But in these two shots, they simply slowed down the previous shot instead of inserting the proper footage. Or, in the case of the second change, before inserting all of the re-take footage.

Change #3-9:26

Description: This is along the same lines as the change in "Cobra CLAWs Are Coming to Town".

"Hearts and Cannons"-no changes (verification not necessary-DVD utilizes broadcast master)
"Memories of Mara"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"The Traitor" Part 1-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 8, "The Traitor")
"The Traitor" Part 2-two changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 8, "The Traitor")
Change #1-4:02

Description: "The Traitor" Part 2 is a notoriously sloppy looking episode, and it comes as no surprise that there are no re-takes, and that some video editing was needed to cover up mistakes, such as this how-could-Rhino-miss-it averted pan with two Dustys.

Change #2-20:45

Description: A patently obvious zoom-in. Apparently the colorists had a little difficulty in dealing with an African-American Cobra agent.

"The Pit of Vipers"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 2 re-broadcast)
"The Wrong Stuff"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 12)
"The Invaders"-no changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
"Cold Slither"-one change (verified using Rhino's Volume 6, "Money Is Everything")
Change #1-9:11

Description: More Rhino going on autopilot here. There's a video-edited in zoom practically from the moment Zartan grabs at the cash, culminating (after the dissolve) in something approaching a close-up on Zartan in the make-up session.

"The Great Alaskan Land Rush"-two changes (verified using bootleg of Season 1 broadcast)
Change #1-15:15

Description: What. The. HELL?! There's no need for this. The aired episode has no dissolve. The truck-in stops before the cut. Seriously, why the hell did this happen?! What idiot thought this was the correct course of action?

Change #2-16:51

Description: And again, Rhino fixes an error that needed no fixing. Yes, it's an error. But no, you have no right to change it.

"Skeletons in the Closet"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 4, "Deadly Lies")
"There's No Place Like Springfield" Part 1-no changes (verified using bootleg of original December 1985 broadcast)
"There's No Place Like Springfield" Part 2-one change (verified using bootleg of original December 1985 broadcast)
Change #1-20:48

Description: This most disgusting change in the entire history of G.I. Joe on DVD. This brief exchange, where Althea (now outed as a Cobra agent) calls her "Daddy" a drip, before brandishing a bazooka before being knocked down as she fires (odd, by regular laser blasts, and not a single bazooka round). Not much is known about this edit, but it was supposedly instituted after the original airing. Irregardless, the scene was cropped even more fully in USA's re-runs, and this small snippet was also missing when rerun on Cartoon Network. However, when someone (namely your humble and obedient webmaster) complained about the upheld edit on Shout! Factory's message boards, word finally arrived: this is Hasbro's doing. Hasbro, who has allowed Michael Bay to have Optimus Prime kill in cold blood, Bumblebee to piss oil on a human, and as the coup de grace, create the most racist pair of characters, the so-called "Twins", Skids and Mudflap, since the days of Stepin Fetchit. And Hasbro, after all that, has the gall to censor Steve Gerber's G.I. Joe masterpiece? Fuck you, Hasbro. Fuck you and your hypocritical bullshit.

Notes: Other than "Rendezvous in the City of the Dead" and "Flint's Vacation", there simply weren't many re-takes or video edits through G.I. Joe's first 65 episodes. However, the leading cause of trouble in these episodes is Rhino screwing with the footage for no real reason. That Disc 7 is the only disc completely clear of errors is a sign of just how spread out the botch job is, as well. But the most disturbing thing is the unavailability of quality versions of some of these episodes, even in the bootleg circuit. I have no proper version of "The Gods Below", and unless you were recording the Cartoon Network and/or Boomerang reruns, you're out of luck for "Bazooka Saw A Sea Serpent" and "Worlds Without End" Part I.

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