Thursday, October 22, 2015

On DVD: Super Friends "Season Six" (1981)

You've seen this Super Friends intro from the early 80's already, in the last DVD review we did of the franchise.

The 1981-2 season consisted of just six new half hours, all collected on the "Season Six" disc.

Season Six? Say what?

Bear in mind that the original series (1973) was brought back in reruns in each of the next three seasons (1974-7), usually as a replacement series. 1977's All New Super Friends Hour is considered season 2. The Challenge series is season 3, and so on. Beginning with this season, some episodes, but not all, had screen credit given to the writers, usually David Villaire or Michael Reaves, who got most of the work. Some of the shorts had previously appeared here, only to be deleted when YouTube terminated a poster's account due to copyright issues. Regrettably, those shorts haven't been replaced on YouTube yet.

Those shorts ranged from the ridiculous ("Colossus") to the sublime ("Creature From the Dump", "Evil From Krypton") to the surreal ("Three Wishes"). El Dorado debuted during this season, but only appears in two shorts ("Alien Mummy" & "Palette's Perils"), and was used sparingly afterward.

Watching these shorts again for the first time in a long time, I can now see that the writers were starting to reach for new ideas, but were dropping down to the levels of the mid-60's "super adventure" era at Hanna-Barbera. That is to say, the writing was falling in quality. Funny thing is, future animation icon John Kricfalusi worked as a layout artist on the show!

Rating: B-.

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