Saturday, July 28, 2007
Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series
Written by Hombre Divertido
Presented in its original form of three segments per episode, this classic set contains 20 episodes of which most contain two Space Ghost adventures and one installment of Dino Boy.
At first glance one can see why this series has been so popular with children for such a long time. The artwork was ahead of its time, the sound effects and music enhance each story perfectly, the vocal talents involved are nothing short of legendary, and the heroes are all one would want and expect. The characters are clearly defined, the stories easy to follow, and the good guys always win.
Just seeing the packaging and cuing up the first episode to the classic sound of Gary Owens' narration will entice the young viewer, and thrust the older viewers back to 1966 and a desire for a bowl of cereal.
At second glance after viewing one or two episodes, one can’t help but immediately notice the similarities in the stories between our heroes. Perhaps it was not as noticeable forty years ago when we would view one episode a week, but having all of them together makes it painfully obvious. There was only one basic story for all the episodes including the Dino Boy segments. That may be disappointing for some, but given the time limitations of each segment, there was little time to tell too detailed of a story. One might also notice the crossover in vocal talent, or that the music used in the epilogues of both Space Ghost and Dino Boy is the same.
So there are both pros and cons here: If you can appreciate how ahead of its time Space Ghost was from a production standpoint, you will certainly enjoy the look back. If you are looking for more than just the cartoons from the sixties, there is not much here. The packaging is colorful but a little skimpy and the two disks in the set are not even marked. As for extras: Only a lengthy, vague, and overly dramatic feature length profile of artist Alex Toth is included. Mr. Toth obviously was a talented artist who played a significant role in the development of Space Ghost, but how significant is not remotely covered in this long-winded documentary.
Noticeably missing from this set is a Space Ghost Origin segment. As in most cartoons of that era, Dino Boy episodes open with the brief explanation of how he came to be where he is. No such information is provided for Space Ghost, Jan and Jace (The Twins that don’t look alike) or Blip.
The highlight of the set has to be the six-part Space Ghost episode in which our heroes not only face the Council of Doom (An obvious inspiration for the Legion of Doom who would later battle The Super Friends) but also meet up with several other members of the Hanna Barbera stable of cartoon heroes including Mightor, The Herculoids, Moby Dick, and Shazzan. Only second to that would be the vocal talents of the legendary Gary Owens, Don Messick, Ted Cassidy, and others who are amazing to hear in these classics.
Recommendation: Young children will enjoy the quality and simplicity. Older fans looking for a trip down memory lane should watch it in doses. Looking for more than just the cartoons? Look elsewhere.