So what if it’s been done

Home Movies

Every filmmaker remembers a childhood spent in his basement with a small camera, a group of friends and a handful of dreams. Or, if he doesn’t, he’ll make one up to feed to the press when it comes time sell out. Brendon Small never became famous, but he did get a chance to tell his story. And, with its fourth and final season now on DVD, the Home Movies saga is now complete.

Co-created and directed by Loren Bouchard, the cartoon series is written by Small, who also lends his name and voice to the main character—an 8-year-old filmmaker with an impressionable cinematic taste. Along with two friends, Brendon’s constantly making movies that, to everyone but their creators, bear a strong if low-budget resemblance to the current Hollywood blockbusters.

By contrast, Home Movies is always original and funny, with crisp animation and sound, and, on the DVDs, some effective special features. The highlights of the series include a “jazz fight,” a performing-arts camp led by a Hollywood craft-service provider, and a disastrous encounter between some Trekkies and a Renaissance Faire. One enjoyable constant is the children’s drunken, apathetic soccer drillmaster, Coach McGuirk, a welcome comedic character who safely balances bad taste with unchecked humor.

Also nestled in the fourth season of this overlooked series is one of the most appropriate and sweet finales of any television show in recent years. It’s a nearly perfect sendoff, representing both creator’s and characters’ sentiments about their creative endeavors.

While Cartoon Network keeps Home Movies in a rotating lineup, it’s still worth checking out on DVD; maybe it’ll inspire you to grab a camcorder yourself. Start making up your childhood now.