Super Friends: The Lost Episodes
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Super Friends: The Lost Episodes
The most powerful heroes ever--Superman, Wonderwoman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin--join forces with teenagers Wendy and Marvin and their dog, Marvel the Wonderdog, to defend justice and guard the innocent. Two teenagers, one wonderdog and five superheroes--they're Superfriends to the rescue.]]>
The goofy run of Super Friends continued through this unusual detour: when the animated series was canceled in 1983, Hanna-Barbera continued to produce new episodes, which in most cases took years to show up after the series kept returning to TV in various forms. These Lost Episodes are gathered on this two-disc set, which, although it claims to be 24 "episodes," is more like eight half-hour programs (each consisting of three short adventures). The Super Friends are in the house, or more exactly the Hall of Justice: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, and Aquaman forming the key group of comic-book holdovers, with new superheroes Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Samurai, and El Dorado gaining opening-credits status. In fact, other D.C. Comics heroes and villains thread through the series, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Brainiac among them. Some of the episodes are self-contained little adventures, but a few play around with original mythology; for instance, in one brief story Superman returns to Krypton, and for a moment prevents the destruction of his home planet. Another notable episode, "Bulgor the Behemoth," has a distinctly postmodern kick: a writer for an animated TV show is struck by lightning and morphs into a super-villain, and can't be stopped by Superman because he's a fictional character.
The animation is simple but the designs pop in a pleasing way, with plenty of color and some classic comic-book imagery. The action and cornball messages are skewed toward young viewers of Saturday-morning cartoons, and at times the dialogue is painfully "clever" ("If you don't like this hotel, you're gonna have to deal with the Complaint Department--Superman!"). Biggest stumbling block is the emphasis given to the Wonder Twins, the brother-sister team whose "Shape of..." and "Form of..." shtick gets old fast. Unless you're ten years old. Of course their mischievous monkey Gleek is around too, and in "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One," he's replicated as an "android duplicate of Gleek," which is definitely overkill. Even if you don't like those three, there's a great deal of childhood fun in these lightweight adventures. And in the final episode there's a trip to "Bizarro World," trapping Superman and Wonder Woman in an Atari-style video game. Bizarro indeed. --Robert Horton
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Here's what you get.
The 1981-1982 Shorts: (Please note that every 3 cartoons listed below make up one half hour episode)
01) Outlaws Of Orion
02) Three Wishes
04) Mxyzptlk's Flick
05) Sink Hole
06) Alien Mummy
07) Evil From Krypton
08) The Creature From The Dump
09) Aircraft Terror
10) Lava Men
12) The Warlord's Amulet
13) The Iron Cyclops
14) Palette's Perils
16) Stowaways From Space
17) The Staraghosta Sea
18) The Witch's Arcade
(1 disc) Total running time: Approximately 2 hours & 12 minutes
At last! Now every season of Super Friends is finally available on DVD for fans to enjoy for years to come. After almost a whole decade of waiting (since "Challenge of the Super Friends" came out in 2004) many thought the whole series would never be available...but now it finally is. This is just amazing news and every fan should shed a sigh of relief and jump up and down with joy.
Order your copy of the 1981-82 season on DVD today!
COMPLETE SUPER FRIENDS DISCOGRAPHY BELOW:
[Season 1] "Super Friends!" Vol. One &Vol. Two - Sixteen 46 Minute Episodes (1973)
[Season 2] "The All-New Super Friends Hour" Vol. 1 &Vol. 2 - Fifteen 21 Minute Episodes & Forty-Five 7 Minute Shorts (1977)
[Season 3.1] "Challenge of the Super Friends" - Sixteen 21 Minute Episodes (1978)*
[Season 3.2] "Super Friends": Volume Two - Sixteen 21 Minute Episodes [Aired along side 'Challenge] (1978)
[Season 4] "The World's Greatest Super Friends!" - Eight 22 minute episodes - Available from Amazon on 11/12/13 (1979)
[Season 5] "Super Friends": A Dangerous Fate - Twenty-Four 7 minute shorts (1980-81)
[Season 6] "Super Friends": Legacy of Super Powers - Eighteen 7 minute shorts - AVAILABLE on DVD OCTOBER 8th! (1981-82)
[Season 7] "Super Friends": The Lost Episodes - Twenty-Four 7 Minute Shorts (1983)
[Season 8] "Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show" - Sixteen 11 Minute Episodes (1984)
[Season 9] "The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians" - Six 21 Minute Episodes & Four 11 Minute Episodes (1985)
* - Amazon only allows 10 links per review, which is why I'm unable to create a link for this season.
There has been a lot of talk from many fans about the possibility of a "Complete Series" box set being released by Warner Bros. Though there's been no official word yet from WB (this may depend on how well the latest individual seasons sell) and while most of us dislike the idea of double dipping, this series is so well loved that, the idea of having every season released together in one huge set is a very popular idea..."if it's done right".
1. Packaging - This is #1 on my list because, if it isn't any good, it will hurt sales tremendously. This would be a 21 disc set (22, if we get a bonus disc) so the way in which the discs are stored in the case is of extreme importance. I'm not a fan of discs being stored in cardboard sleeves (a seemingly popular format by studios these days) because of how easily the discs wind up getting scratched every time you pull them out and put them back in the case. Having the box look like the Hall of Justice would be a nice touch, though I wouldn't mind it being similar, in size and shape, to the complete Justice League DVD box set, since that series was the future offspring of Super Friends and it would be nice to store them both together, side by side.
2. Bonus Disc - WB released a great documentary about Lou Scheimer & Filmation on their "DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures" DVD. I would love to see them do something similar about the Super Friends, here, as a bonus disc. Unfortunately, many of the original creators, writers, and voice actors are no longer with us...but some are still around (Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, etc.). It would be fascinating to hear how the series came to be and more about that first season in '73 and why it took 3 years to retool things for season 2, in '77, after the first season did so poorly. Or why the series stopped in '85 after 9 seasons? etc. etc. etc. Someone must know something.
3. Replace flipper disc - The 2nd disc from "Challenge of the Super Friends" had information on both sides (instead of cover art) which is commonly known as a "flipper" disc. This was due to the bonus features that were included that took up extra room. It's the only flipper disc that was used in the entire Season sets run. It would be nice if Warner Bros. finally replaced this disc with a one-sided disc that had cover art, and possibly move the bonus features from the older edition to the new bonus disc.
4. Complete episode guide - This may be pushing things, but after so many fans were confused by the way WB released each season (out of order) individually, a complete episode guide, chronicling every season and episode in correct order, would be a great addition to the box set, in either a soft or hardcover edition.
Any other trinkets, such as toys cars or figures, might be nice, but not all that essential. Just my two cents. Whatever the case, if they do it, let's hope they do it right...
The cartoons are OK and since Warner holds the rights for now this is the best you can get from the classic Super Friends series produced by the talented Hanna-Barbera. It does show how this show influenced many other contemporary programs such as the Justice League/Unlimited and even other offerings from Marvel, Family Guy and The Simpsons.
At the time this was made Superman was perceived to be the all-powerful untouchable hero who would be overcome by kryptonite and red sun energy while Wonder Woman and Batman would occasionally exert their full abilities depending on the writer of the story. Watching the story with one of these latter characters would beg the question, "hang on, they CAN do this and this and yet are doing NOTHING, why?"