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The All New Super Friends Hour: Season One Volume Two - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Ah, the 80's... the last decade where a kid could OD on sugary breakfast cereal and a 6 hour stretch of cartoons on a Saturday morning. Those were the days. Now giving away my age and lack of desire to grow up, it never ceases to pain me these days, when switching on the box on a Saturday morning, at the lack of toons available to the next generation...

But, thanks to DVD, one needn't fear for their progeny. Pretty much every cartoon we loved back then has been preserved for countless Saturday's of the future on those blessed shiny little discs. Warners, the proud owners of some the most popular comic/cartoon characters of all time, continue to ensure a thirty something can replicate the Saturday mornings of yore for their kids with the second volume of The All New Superfriends Hour.

SuperfriendsNow, for those who care, the Superfriends would have to be the most revamped cartoon in the history of 70's and 80's TV. This incarnation lasted from 1977-78, and then reran incessantly. This version stretched for an entire hour, had four stories (with pro-social messages to help us grow into fine young adults) little puzzles or brain-teasers in between them... and it also had (gulp) the Wonder Twins.

Yes, that's right; the pointy eared, purple spandex-wearing teens with the space monkey originated here, and held a prominent part in the series, supposedly acting as a conduit set of characters for the kids watching. Funny thing was, even as a 7 yr-old watching this in reruns in the eighties, not knowing much about story (nor caring) the lame-o-meter for this pair was spiked on max. Man they annoyed me. With characters like Batman and Robin, Superman and the Flash to use, the fricken Wonder Twins got most of the play. If it wasn't a story featuring them, you could bet your left gonad those pesky, purple, pointy-eared peckers would be in it somewhere. This, in my opinion, was the major flaw of this incarnation.

Hanna Barbera produced these, and, like most of the company's out-putting Saturday morning fare at the time, had restrictions on violence, content, and of course the requirement to try to influence us young people with positive moral examples. And they did, giving us stories about fighting racism and not stealing and all sorts of groovy moral stuff. (With Saturday mornings now consisting of a lot of gyrating pre-teens or Gangsta-Rap video clips extolling the virtues of bling, bitches and/or hoes, maybe they had a point?) These restrictions on storytelling would have undoubtedly made it hard to write such episodes, but viewing the episodes as an adult makes one wonder sometimes just how stupid they thought our generation really were it is at times infuriatingly simplistic. But despite the heavy over-regulation, they managed to make conflict and good versus evil exciting for us at the very least. While one could debate the need to be so sugary sweet ‘til the world ends, there is no denying the cool factor for a kid of seeing superheroes use their powers. (Long before the age of CGI, this was the only was to see some of them).

Not gonna wow the younger generation with the limited animation, but a great nostalgic trip for the thirty-forty somethings to share with their youngens regardless. Also... kids look away... if you're looking for a drinking game, the amount of faults in these episodes - like Batman's symbol inadvertently shifting colours or the shadows under characters chins disappearing without explanation, the amount of times the Wonder Twins turn into an eagle and bucket of water - will get a bunch of folk well merry before the second episode. See? Pro-social messages did work!


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
3 Stars
2 stars
DVD Experience
2.5 stars

DVD Details:

Gotta say Warners, these cheap-ass, flimsy cardboard covers have to be the worst choice of packaging for a kid's show you could come up with.

Screen Formats: 1.33:1

Subtitles: English SDH, French

Language and Sound:
English: Dolby Digital Mono

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; featurette: The Wonder Twins Phenomenon: Zan and Jayna's Impact on Pop Culture..

Featurettes:

Episodes

Disc I:
1. The Invisible Menace
2. Initiation
3. Coming of the Anthropods
4. River of Doom
5. Attack of the Giant Squid
6. Game of Chicken
7. The Water Beast
8. Volcano
9. The Collector
10. Handicap
11. The Mind Maidens
12. Alaska Peril
13. The Fifty Foot Woman
14. Cheating
15. Exploration: Earth
16. Attack of the Killer Bees

Disc II.
17. Forbidden Power
18. Pressure Point
19. The Lionmen
20. Day of Rats
21. Man Beasts of Xra
22. Prejudice
23. Tiny World of Terror
24. Tibetan Raiders
25. Frozen Peril
26. Dangerous Prank
27. The Mummy of Nazca
28. Cable Car Rescue
29. The Protector
30. Stowaways
31. The Ghost
32. Rampage

Number of Discs: 2 with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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