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  • Battle of the Planets, Vol. 1
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Battle of the Planets, Vol. 1


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Young, Keye Luke, Ronnie Schell, Janet Waldo, Casey Kasem
  • Directors: David E. Hanson
  • Writers: Dick Shaw, Harry Winkler, Helen Sosin, Howard Post, Jack Paritz
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2001
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OOPW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,229 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battle of the Planets, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus Episodes: "Gatchaman" episodes (In Japanese with English Subtitles): "Gatchaman vs. Turtle King" and "The Evil Ghostly Aircraft Carrier Appears"
  • "G-Force" episode (In English and dubbed in Portuguese and Spanish): "The Robot Stegosaur"

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

One of the early shows that helped to build an audience for anime in America, Battle of the Planets began in Japan as Science Ninja Team Gatchaman in 1972-74. For its 1978 U.S. release, the 105 episodes were cut to 85. Much of the violence was excised and new animation, featuring the R2-D2-esque robot 7-Zark-7 and his robo-pooch 1-Rover-1, was created to bridge the gaps. Turner Broadcasting acquired the property in 1986 and recut it into 85 different episodes. The resulting G-Force included more violence, yet it wasn't shown in its entirety in the U.S. until it aired on the Cartoon Network in 1995. This release includes all three versions, enabling viewers to compare and contrast.

In episode 1, five highly trained teenagers--incongruously clad in bird suits--tackle a giant biomorphic enemy vessel. The group executes the commands of their brilliant scientist-leader in the virtually identical Gatchaman and G-Force. When they take on the bad guys, the punches, kicks, and yo-yo weapons connect forcefully; to escape, they convert their ship, the God-Phoenix, to "Firebird Mode," an avian cloud of glowing plasma. In Battle, the quintet takes orders from the dithering, Hanna-Barbera-style Zark. The hand-to-hand combat is heavily censored and the heroes somehow turn themselves into a "Fiery Phoenix." It's campy and silly, rather than exciting. Unrated; suitable for ages 10 up. --Charles Solomon

From the Back Cover

From Tatsunoko Productions, the award-winning Japanese animation team that created Speed Racer.
Attack of the Space Terrapin - Center Neptune, a world defense base, lies off the West Coast, 900 fathoms beneath the surface of the ocean. There, the precious Vitaluman is mined, an amazing one that renews the depleted soil of Earth and the other planets, and without which, all life would cease to exist. Guarding the base against attack is the invincible, transmutable G-Force: Keyop, Jason, Princess, Tiny, Mark and 7-Zark-7, their robotic protector. When Zark's scanners pick up a radio-controlled attack monster from Spectra heading for one of the Vitaluman vaults, he's baffled. Why would anyone want to steel something that's been given away free? The answer, of course, is Zoltar, who wants to control it, and thereby, the universe. And so begins the cataclysmic Battle of the Planets, with the entire galaxy hanging in the balance.

Rescue of the Astronauts - Two astronauts find startling evidence of giant alien bases, underwater on Mars. Returning from their top-secret mission, they mysteriously disappear on re-entry. 7-Zard-7 calls in the G-Force. Their assignment: rescue the astronauts and get the taped evidence. Only problem, the astronauts have been hijacked by the aliens who don't want anyone to know about their bases, and Zoltar is their leader! G-Force locates their huge underwater headquarters and Mark transmutes into a diver to gain access. Zoltar's aliens attack with drill-like precision, finally ordering Mark to surrender or never see the astronauts again. Now the G-Force Fiery Phoenix is the only thing that stands between Mark and oblivion.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
24
4 star
6
3 star
4
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0
1 star
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See all 34 customer reviews
I have very fond memories of watching this show when I was young.
Patrick Kay
You can always watch BOTP for a good laugh now and then, but take my word for it, stick to Gatchaman and if you want to hear it in English (i.e.
Amazon Customer
Definitely one of the few classic series done right the first time.
Daddy Shawn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Knouse on March 16, 2004
Format: DVD
When I first saw this for sale I was absolutely giddy with excitement. One of the greatest shows of my childhood was now available on DVD! I got it home and popped it in and..."I don't remember it being this lame?" For what it's worth, there were some nostalgic moments. One, was finally seeing my heroes in their colorful costumes saving the day and another was hearing Key-op talk in his very funny way, "Brrrrrr-toot-toot!" But after that I thought everything else was fairly second-rate. It's amazing what glorious images I can conjure in my memory of this show, and how the reality of my adult perspective shatters all the charm it once held. However, there are the "Gatchaman" episodes, which is the only feature of this DVD that saves it from being a complete failure. While "Battle of the Planets" is broken up with freeze-framing and the intensely annoying 7-Zark-7 filling in plot holes with voice-over narration, not to mention his equally annoying companion 1-Rover-1 doing his side-show antics, the "Gatchaman" episodes flow more fluidly with more action and acceptable violence. If I had known better I would have bought only the "Gatchaman" episodes. It just fits the ideas better that they speak in Japanese. I've seen enough Japanese animation to know that more things are possible in the hyper-reality of their highly creative shows than in the saccharin-based shows of America where the violence is tempered, if shown at all. Something that I recently noticed about world-wide animation is that virtualy all the characters are caucasian. Being white, I guess I just never noticed. Most Japanese animation, in particular, has a tendency toward white Americanized heroes.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2002
Format: DVD
It's about time someone put out this great cartoon series on DVD! It sure beats shelling out the several thousand dollars that the Japanese Laserdiscs are demanding. THANK YOU, Rhino!!!
I think it was a stroke of brilliance on the part of Rhino to team up episodes of Battle of the Planets with the corresponding G-Force (Turnerized version of the show) and Gatchaman (orignal Japanese version) episodes. This gives the viewer the ability to see how the show was ORIGINALLY envisioned as Gatchaman (THANK YOU for the subtitles, Rhino!), how it was pathetically watered down as Battle of the Planets (I hope 7-Zark-7 rusts!!) and how G-Force tried to strike a balance by leaving in more of the violence and action (yet still missing the consistency and flow evidenced in the Japanese version).
The only problem I encountered on the DVDs dealt with the audio tracks for both Gatchaman episodes -- the one on Volume 1 and the one on Volume 2. The English audio track was VERY low and sounded like people were speaking underwater. It was unintelligible. Does anyone else out there have this problem with these disks? ...For the record, the Spanish and Portuguese audio tracks work just fine on the G-Force episodes (in case you speak Spanish or Portuguese!)
All in all, a great product, well worth the money. Like several who posted before me, I hope for a full run to be released!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Breech on November 29, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered Vol. 1 of the "Battle of the Planets" DVD wanting to re-live some childhood memories of watching this show after school. It was nice to see the "G-Force" team in action after some 20 years. The episodes are great, that is until you watch the original "Gatchaman" episodes on which they were based. Then you realize just how much your childhood viewing experience was shortchanged.
Put simply, the American version pales in comparison. As a viewer, you will get to see just how how much drama, action and pathos were excised from these cartoons because of violence concerns by U.S. broadcasters. Many of those edited scenes were replaced with narration by "7-Zark-7", an "R2D2" rip-off created to capitalize on "Star Wars" which had been released a year or so earlier. Watching some two decades later, you realize just how jarring this proved to the show's pacing. "Gatchaman," however, moves at a more rapid clip.
I almost forgot to mention, that "Gatchaman" was set on Earth and there were no 'battles' with other planets. That said, you also realize just how awkward the premise of "Battle of the Planets," was. I gave the DVD 5 stars, but only for the "Gatchaman" episodes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amy Button VINE VOICE on June 7, 2004
Format: DVD
Lots of other reviews here do an excellent job covering the content of this DVD. I just wanted to mention that there is a slight technical problem with this DVD (and the rest of vols. 1-4). The English language track on the G-Force episode is virtually inaudible, which is a real disappointment and knocked the DVD down a star. I tried on two different players (Pioneer DV-626D and Playstation 2), and they both have the same trouble. I even wrote in to Rhino's technical support and they kindly exchanged the discs for me, but sadly, the replacement discs are the same way. I just wanted to put out the warning here. The rest of the disc is fine and has great content - it's just that one problematic audio track.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michelle S. on March 4, 2002
Format: DVD
After years of waiting, "Battle of the Planets" has finally reached DVD! Now, you can re-live those weekday afternoons from the late 70's, when you raced home from school to catch the daring exploits of Ken, Joe, Jun....er....Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, and Tiny! (Yay!)
As you surely know, "Battle of the Planets" was the title given to Sandy Frank's re-working of the Japanese "Gatchaman" series. The violence of the original series was toned (way) down and new animation was made to compensate for the edits. In order to capitalize on the then-current Star Wars boom, "7-Zark-7 (an R2-D2 clone) was created and appears in most of the new footage. "Zark" served as the team's coordinator, the show's narrator, and he would explain away plot holes that occurred due to the large amount of film that was trimmed away by the producers.
The picture quality of the Battle of the Planets episodes is very good! For a show that must have been mastered from 16mm prints, the images are fairly sharp and the colors are good. (In the 70's, syndicated TV shows were all 16mm - only networks used 35mm). Episodes that originally had teasers before the opening credits are complete with the teasers!
The production values of BOTP are quite high. Obviously, the producers spent a lot of money getting this show made.
The voice actors used in the making of BOTP were the best in their field at the time. Casey Kasem, Janet Waldo, Keye Luke, and Alan Young are all professionals and must not have come cheap. They handle the (sometimes silly) scripts very well and really enhance the series. Compare the voice work on this series to other shows of the same era (like Force Five) to see how good it is!
Another thing BOTP has going for it is the music.
Read more ›
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