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The New Adventures of Flash Gordon - The Complete Series

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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(Jul 18, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Though it only aired for one season the 1979 cartoon series THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FLASH GORDON is fondly remembered for its innovative use of rotoscoping (a form of animation that involves tracing over live-action footage for a remarkably kinetic effect). Closely adhering to the style and storyline of Alex Raymond's classic 1930s comic strip the series followed the intergalactic adventures of Flash Gordon as he his girlfriend Dale Arden and their scientific companion Dr. Han Zarkov fought to save the universe from the evil plotting of tyrannical space lord Ming the Merciless. This collection presents the beloved series in its entirety for a total of 24 episodes.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: CHILDREN/FAMILY UPC: 787364700790

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Ridgely, Diane Pershing, Allan Melvin, Melendy Britt, Bob Holt
  • Directors: Don Towsley, Hal Sutherland, Lou Zukor
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • DVD Release Date: July 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FKO420
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,427 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The New Adventures of Flash Gordon - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This is the Flash Gordon animated series that aired on Saturday mornings from 1979-1981 and is one of the best shows that ever came out of the Filmation studios. The animation is high quality for its time and the stories were very true to the original 1930's comic strip. To top it all off this DVD set will give you a host of goodies you hardly ever see for a cartoon DVD release from the 80's.

Do any of you remember the cartoon Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle back in the 70's? The same company, Filmation, created the Flash Gordon animated adventures. What that means is the artwork is of a good quality. We're talking movie quality (like the better stuff from Heavy Metal) with vibrant colors and even some lively animation. A lot of this animation came from rotoscoping and it looks awesome (rotoscoping is a process where real actors/stuntment are filmed and then traced over on cel animation to create very fluid movement in animation). While not all the animation was rotoscoped it makes up for the fact that 70's television animation was limited to a pretty low framerate due to budget constraints. In the end you get something that blows away anything on TV at the time.

You gotta appreciate the attention to detail that you get from a cartoon from this era, but there are drawbacks. Sometimes you see the same rotoscoped action again and again. Not that big of a deal when you realize each episode came out weekly. What really bugged me was the use of stock sound effects that really didn't fit the grandness of the show. Now and then some cheesy "kid show" boing sound and such would pop up and that would kill the whole polished feel I get from the show.

The episodes were set with a serial feel to them, having cliffhangers on many of the episodes.
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I spent my Saturday mornings as a kid in the 1970's growing up on classic Filmation television and the New Adventures of Flash Gordon is, without a doubt, one of the greatest animated series of all time. This show revolutionized cartoon animation the way that Star Wars revolutionized special effects, which seems somewhat ironic because Flash Gordon was the primary influence for Star Wars and the animated Flash Gordon cartoon would debut shortly after it to ride the wave of Star Wars' phenomenal success. The animated series would also influence much of the production design of Mike Hodges' live-action 1980 film starring Sam Jones as Flash and Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless. Much of the realism of the animation is attributed to its unique "rotoscoping" technique in which live actors are filmed and then each frame is traced and replaced with animation cells. The result is realistic figure movements that make the animation come to life. I always loved the animation because of this as well as the incredible spaceships whose fluid three dimensional movements and aerodynamic designs were as visually exciting to watch as any of those in Star Wars.

The first 16 episodes of the first season were serialized the same way as the old 1930's Alex Raymond comic strips. The second season suffered when NBC decided to change the format of the show by cutting them down to 12 minute chapters (2 per episode) and the addition of the Godzooky-like flying dragon Gremlin was thrown in to "juvenilize" the show for the kiddies. The result is a precursor to several 80's cartoons that followed such as Filmation's own Blackstar in 1981 featuring the heroic John Blackstar and the dwarven Trobbits and in 1983 with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe with sidekick Orko the Magician.
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"The New Adventures of Flash Gordon" suffered the fate of many a show: in order to appeal to a younger audience, it "dumbed down" the stories and some of its more "adult" situations. The episodes from the show's first season were an obvious homage to the serials of old, complete with the cliffhanging endings, the megalomaniacal depot (Ming the Merciless), and fantastic creatures and "people" of the planet Mongo. It also had one of the most voluptuous "sex kittens" to appear on Saturday morning television: Ming's own daughter "Princess Aura". It was obvious that every man on the planet wanted to "relate" to her and that she, initially, had strong "desires" for our hero, "Flash Gordon."

Like fellow animated 'toon Jessica Rabbit, Aura "wasn't bad, she was just drawn that way."

The startling change came in season two with the addition of a new cast member: the oh-so-cute pink dragon named "Gremlin". Too many shows were themed around his antics and how he awkwardly provided assistance to Flash and his friends. There were also changes in the dialogue, with Flash, once a dominant, straightforward guy, now limited to spouting "one-liners," much, I think, to the dismay of voiceover actor Robert Ridgeley. I'm sure that he must've cringed after uttering some of the script's lines.

As another reviewer has mentioned, this compilation misses the spectacular telefilm that aired two years later, featuring footage not shown in the series and a more satisfying presentation, suited for the entire family.

The sight of the sleekly moving assault flying armada of Ming has yet to be bested and the brilliant use of sound effects was a treat for the ears.

This DVD presentation is quite good, if one can just get past that little pink guy.

My final rating: 4 for the series, 5 for the memories, and a 3 for the addition of "Gremlin".

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