Superman on Television
DVD Review - "Super Friends, Season One, Volume One"Reviewed by: Barry Freiman
Box Art - 1 (out of 5): What a silly decision to not use actual Alex Toth show designs on the cover of this set. The stock "Super Powers" era hero designs used on the cover don't even come into being for another decade. This says to me that Warners is embarrassed by this release and wants to try to hide what it really is. Where's that classic shot of all the heroes with the rainbow in the background? Where's the Hall of Justice? The graphics included are nice pictures but they just don't belong here. I would even guess Warner will lose business because the retro-market of people my age who grew up with the Super Friends won't know it's the Wendy and Marvin year by looking at the box.
Disc Presentation - 1: Same thing goes for the disc art which also uses "Super Powers" content. It's nice but it's misleading. And with Batman and Robin on Disc One and Superman and Wonder Woman on Disc Two, poor Aquaman gets the shaft again. At least they got the era's eagle design for Diana's breastplate right.
Content - 3: I know these are horrible. The animation is terrible. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog are ridiculous. The raw power of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman is wasted on the threats by misguided scientists and aliens. But it's still charming to watch. Danny Dark voices Superman for the first time and continues through the mid-1980s.
I don't like Warners' attempt to gouge fans by splitting the season of 16 episodes into two sets. Yes these were 48 minute episodes and it'd be a three or four disc set to do the entire season at once. Yes it would have to cost a little more. But it's ridiculous to split up one season like this.
Die hard Super Friends fans and Alex Ross will of course recall that the first season of the show featured three guest heroes - The Flash, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man. Only the Flash's guest appearance shows up on Volume One in the episode "Too Hot to Handle". Unlike the Flash's later appearances on "Challenge of the Super Friends" where the hero inexplicably flew, the Flash was simply the Fastest Man Alive sans wings here.
Special Features - 3: Chintzy with the special features on this set, there's only one - a Super Friends trivia game. It's a great game for die-hard DC fans as it tests knowledge from the entire run of Super Friends and from the comics too. For those who start with this DVD as their first DC experience, though, it'll be impossibly confusing.
Video & Sound - 2: The shows haven't been cleaned up at all. The episodes have the typical blips and cuts and lines an old un-remastered cartoon would be expected to have. This really is a set for Super Friends completists.
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