Combustible Celluloid
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With: (voices) Danny Dark, Olan Soule, Michael Bell, Casey Kasem, Louise Williams, Shannon Farnon, William Callaway, Jack Angel, Michael Rye, Buster Jones, Wally Burr, Fernando Escandon, Stanley Ralph Ross, Stan Jones
Written by: Jeffrey Scott, etc.
Directed by: George Gordon, Bob Hathcock, Carl Urbano, Rudy Zamora, etc.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 172
Date: 03/18/2013

Super Friends: The Lost Episodes (1983)

2 Stars (out of 4)

That's Really Super

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

"Super Friends" (1980-1983) was the umpteenth incarnation of the successful cartoon show of the early 1970s, replacing the original comic sidekicks Marvin, Wendy and Wonderdog with the Wondertwins and their space-monkey Gleek. Each half-hour show consisted of three short cartoons, running about 7 minutes each. This new two disc DVD comes with eight full episodes (24 short cartoons), none of which were apparently aired during the show's original run. The "stars" include everyone from major players like Superman, Batman and Robin to heroes like the Atom, the Flash, Aquaman, Apache Chief, Samurai and El Dorado. The Wondertwins seem to be the focus of every third episode, complete with a "moral" for the kiddies. (Brother Zan can turn into any form of water, and sister Jayna can turn into any animal.) Unfortunately, the plots are generally way too ambitious for the 7-minute format. Any kind of depth or humor flies right out the window, and the villains evaporate into sheer caricature. And, as produced by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna, the animation is the ultimate in cheap, using the same backgrounds and cells again and again, and not even bothering to keep a consistent form to the characters; their general size and shape can change from shot to shot. Aside from all this, the new DVD can provide some nostalgia, comfort and satisfaction to anyone who grew up watching these types of cartoons and enjoying the exploits of these superheroes. The famous "American Top 40" DJ Casey Kasem provides the voice of Robin.

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