Super Friends: The Lost Episodes (2009)

Format: Animated, Color, DVD, NTSC
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs:
Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date:
August 11, 2009
Run Time:
172 minutes



It would seem that the early 'Eighties was a much kinder, gentler time than our own . . .

Or at least, that is if these Saturday morning kiddies cartoons from the era are anything to go by. ?Using my bat-devices and scaring people doesn't make me tough,? Batman tells an obese kid who has been using the Batman's utility belt to get back at some bullies who have been tormenting him.

So much for striking fear into the hearts of criminals who are a cowardly and superstitious lot! (Although that doesn't explain what exactly the Batman would be doing with a "molecular disassembler" in his arsenal of high-tech goodies . . .)

It may have been kinder, gentler times, but at least today's kiddies toons are a whole lot better. Most of the massive output of Hanna-Barbera represented a low point in the history of animation, and these ?lost? episodes of the so-called Super Friends (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al) from 1983 are no exception.

Crudely drawn and cheaply produced, Hanna-Barbera really operated from the principle that kids don't care - and they were right! They didn't - and to this day it is rather bewildering to see DVDs such as these get five-star ratings from adults who saw the shows as impressionable kids and still cling to their childhood memories with fevered conviction. But the fact remains that Hanna-Barbera has really nothing to be proud of here. Most adults would only enjoy these Super Friends episodes from a DIY Mystery Science Theater 3000 "so bad, it's good" point of view. Small children under the age of six won't mind them and even if you're worried about superhero cartoons encouraging violence amongst boys, relax. For a superhero cartoon series, the Super Friends can be spectacularly violence-free!

THE DISCS: You get 24 (very short) episodes from 1983 spread over two discs. The total running time for both discs is 172 minutes. All episodes are in the original full frame (1.33:1) aspect ratio in which they were broadcast with English audio & English subtitles. Image and sound quality make the episodes seem older than they are, but that is probably because they were cheaply produced to start with. You also get two downloadable Super Friends comic books in PDF format.

WORTH IT? They don't make like they used to ? and that is a good thing indeed. This disc set has a trailer for the upcoming DVD release of The Brave & the Bold, the Batman team-up cartoon series now airing on U.S. television. It looks like some irony-free superhero fun for which I'd hold out for instead . . .

RECOMMENDATION: This DVD is aimed at (a) six-year-olds (my daughter loves them to bits), (b) nostalgic thirtysomethingers and (c) pop cultural anthropologist hipsters who want to poke fun at an era more naive than their own - or at least as far as TV programming went.



blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).