on July 12, 2004
First of all, they are the TRACY brothers NOT the 'ALAN' brothers....Alan is one of the brothers. In my opinion, what makes the Thunderbirds cool is the different vehicles and gadgets, and the great miniature sets, all of which contribute to creating a somewhat believable self-contained world. And another thing: when I think of the time period in which the Thunderbirds' movies and television episodes were produced (the 1960s), I don't think of the elements of the show relating to the Cold War or the U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R....I think of the quest for space, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's idealized view of the future, and the emphasis on innovative gadgetry. I have the laserdisc versions of the two Thunderbird movies in letterbox and I did have the VHS pan-and-scan videos, and I must say it's a treat to watch either film in widescreen. The photography and image composition are excellent in this format, and it helps make up for the slow pacing in both films. I prefer "Thunderbird 6" over the first film because there is a bit more humor and I think the special effects are an improvement over "Thunderbirds are Go!" To me, paying 20 to 25 bucks for both films together is a bargain considering what I paid for the these two films on laserdisc and VHS. FAB!
on August 9, 2004
The works of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson have diminished little since their salad days in the 1960s.
The release of 'Thunderbirds are Go' and 'Thunderbird 6'to DVD to coincide with the theatrical release of the live action movie in theaters soon,is a delight to see once more.
I hadn't seen these movies since their intial release in 1966 and 1968 respectively but my memory told me the second one was a little better,and I was right.'Thunderbirds are Go' gets a little long in spots and is at times a bit disjointed in plot while 'Thunderbird 6' generally moves along very well.
While working with marionettes and miniature sets was nothing
new,the Andersons took the two where no man or woman had gone before and made it almost an artform in itself.The Andersons' imaginations on the Thunderbirds series and the many others they had running and working at the same time like 'Stingray' and 'Fireball XL-5'(my fave)showed the unbelievable talent and skill they possesed.And to see how well these films still stand up today is a fine testament to that.
Sure you can still see the wires from time to time but the main thing was the tapestry they wove with their myriad of plot devices coupled with the working and integrating of the marionettes with live sequences/actors.In fact in 'Thunderbird 6' try to differentiate between the miniature Tiger Moth biplane and the real thing(...or was it?).And was that the marionettes hand or an actors?
Furthermore the Andersons took the entire thing beyond just this and made each individual marionette into a genuine character with all the foibles and emotions one sees with live actors.With just the right dialogue and nuance they pulled you into that world and you "believed".This hadn't been done before nor has it since.
The only other work that comes close and achevied similar results in another related but different medium was Jim Henson and the Muppets.
Much of the Andersons work inspired many pros in the motion picture field for years and does to this day,especially those that work with miniature sets so important in countless pictures involving SFX.
So here's a tip of the hat to you Sylvia and Gerry Anderson.
You did GOOD!!!
on April 1, 2008
I had the series already on DVD and debated about getting the individual DVD's of these 2 movies or get the set. I am so glad I got the set! It even comes with the super "birds", landing area and the space station models. (Cardboard, yes, but very nice none the less) I highly recommend the set to any one debating like I did if it was worth the little extra cost. It was and is.
on November 4, 2007
Between September 1965 and December 1966, British TV viewers had the opportunity to watch a program featuring a family (the Tracy's) represented by marionettes. The family members had devoted themselves to rescuing others (also played by marionettes) who had gotten themselves into various forms of trouble, usually due to some type of technical difficulty, weather or sabotage. Calling themselves "International Rescue", the Tracy family was more popularly known by the various high-tech vehicles that they used: the Thunderbirds, which was also the name of the TV program.
Consisting of 32 episodes (26 during its first season and 6 during its second), BBC-TV cancelled "The Thunderbirds" early into its second season. Knowing that their show had been cancelled, the show creators, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, produced a feature length film entitled "Thunderbirds Are Go" that was released in British theaters 10 days before the final television episode aired on December 25, 1966. The film's fictional story was about the first manned space flight to Mars using a spacecraft called "Zero-X". On take-off, the Zero-X crashes. Two years later, an investigative committee concludes that the crash was due to sabotage. With the impending take-off of the second Zero-X mission, mission commanders decide to ask International Rescue for assistance with security. However, International Rescue has never provided security, as its mission has been limited to helping those who are already in trouble. After thinking it over, John Tracy (voice of Ray Barrett) decides to assist. Involved in the security efforts are Jeff Tracy (voice of Peter Dyneley), Gordon Tracy (voice of David Graham), Brains (voice also done by David Graham), Scott Tracy (voice of Shane Rimmer), Alan Tracy (voice Matt Zimmerman), Virgil Tracy (voice of Jeremy Wilkin), Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward (voice of Sylvia Anderson) and her chauffeur Parker (voice also by David Graham). After the launch of Zero-X, its crew makes an interesting discovery on Mars before returning to Earth; but their return landing may require the International Rescue's assistance again. Keeping up with what was then popular 1960's culture, the Anderson's created marionette versions of the British pop band "Cliff Richards and the Shadows" and featured the band's song "Shooting Star" in the film.
Two years after "Thunderbirds Are Go" was released, one more Thunderbirds feature-length film was released: "Thunderbird Six". At the beginning of "Thunderbird 6", Brains (voice of David Graham), the man who designed all of the Thunderbird ships, presents an idea to a private aircraft corporation to build an airship. After being laughed at by the company's board of directors, they build the airship anyway because it is powered not by bags of hot air or lighter-than-air gas, but by a highly sophisticated anti-gravity device. Shortly thereafter, the Tracy family patriarch, John Tracy (voice of Keith Alexander), asks Brains to design a new Thunderbird ship to be called Thunderbird 6. Unfortunately, Brains' initial design is rejected and spends much of the rest of the film being upset as he tries to design something better. In the meantime, Alan Tracy (voice Mark Zimmerman), Tin Tin (voice of Christine Finn), Lady Penelope (voice of Sylvia Anderson) and her chauffeur named Parker (voice of David Graham again), take an extended first "cruise" aboard the airship that Brains designed for the private aircraft corporation. However, unknown to them, spies have replaced the airship's crew.
Though no new Thunderbirds episodes or feature-length films were ever made using Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's "supermarionation" technique, a steady cult following of the show that has lasted nearly 40 years brought about the production of a live-action version that was released in theaters in 2004. Aptly titled "Thunderbirds" and directed by long-time "Star Trek" actor Jonathan Frakes, the 2004 film did not live up to most Thunderbird aficionados' expectations.
Overall, I rate the 1966 supermarionation film "Thunderbirds Are Go" and its sequel "Thunderbird 6" with 4 out of 5 stars. It continues to be a very entertaining film even after nearly 40 years, though it may seem somewhat campy by today's standards. Other TV series that the Anderson's successfully produced using supermarionation include "Supercar" (1960-1962, supermarionation), "Fireball XL5" (1962), "Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons" (1967) and "Joe 90" (1968). After that, the Anderson's started producing live-action TV series that include "U.F.O." (1970-1971) and the more familiar "Space: 1999" (1975-1977).
on July 13, 2004
The gentleman from Seattle knows what he is talking about. Let me echo and affirm that "Thunderbirds" by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson has NOTHING to do with the American Air Force precision flying jet team nor the cold war with CCCP. The naming is coincendental and that is as far as one can take it. Gerry & Sylvia like Gene Roddenbury in American were and continue to be VERY optimistic about human endeavor and the future of the human race. International Rescue is about using technology to help people and make a difference. The TV show and these two movies are a testament to that ideal.
The show was so successful and the message so clear that Stanley Kubrick had serious discussions with Gerry and Derek Meddings about producing all the special photographic effects for 2001! That says something.
The Tracy boys were named for our Mercury Astronauts: John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, "Gus" Virgil Grissolm, Alan Shepard and Gordon Cooper. The only conclusion you can derive from that is that Gerry & Sylvia admired the genesis of the American Manned Space program enough to immortalize it in their show. That's pretty cool.
The show is goofy by today's standards, but was cuttting-edge by yesterday's. Never discount the formative steps that brought us to today's effects capabilities. Derek Meddings - special photographic effects superviser - went on to do Superman 1 -for which he got an Academy Award nomination - & 2 and many of the better James Bond films - "Moonraker" and "The Spy Who loved Me" - for which he got another Academy Award nomination - to name a few. That's not too awfully bad.
I love this show and can't wait to replace my VHS versions so I can finally see these two in widescreen format
The live-action movie that has been talked about for about 20 years is finally being released the end of this month. Sadly, Gerry & Sylvia are not apart of the production but the original was so impactful for a new genreation of film-makers that they are fired up to translate it into the cutting-edge show of our time.
Besides, Ben Kingsley playing the Hood, Bill Paxton playing Jeff Tracy and Anthony Edwards playing Brains is pretty inspired casting. Can't wait for this new genration of heroes.
on January 30, 2011
I am a 43 yr. old man, and had never heard of the "Thunderbirds" until one day recently flipping through the channels, Thunderbirds Are Go was on t.v. It was about 2/3 over, but still kinda caught my eye.
So I automatically came to Amazon.com to find it. All said and done, I got more than I bargained for when I found 2 pack.
What I liked most about it was how the "animation" was done. True marionettes operated by true "puppet masters". The plots in both were very catchy. And something that was highly interesting was the special features with some of the original people, interviews, and the making of type segment showing how it was all done.
I would highly recommend this to all that have interest in the old school type animation (even though I love Pixar and such) and the real puppets. My next purchase will be the t.v. series discs.
Too bad I can't go back in time 30-35 yrs and could have seen it when I was a kid.
To put it sshort, It's well worth the price of admission. (Well, actually well worth the purchase price).