I bought the complete DVD boxset for my fiancee's birthday recently, because I knew it would be something she would simply love and treasure for years to come. Some may think that the Kroft brothers did drugs in order to create the many zany and trippy programs they created over the years, but trust me, they didn't.
Are there druglike innuendoes and double-entendres placed visually and in the dialogue? well, that's really up to personal opinions and interpretations. But I digress.
This show is definitely worth owning, the dialogue can be a bit cringe-inducing at times but not overtly so, the puns and jokes can go from hilarious to Fozzie-like unBearability within the same episode, but everything is simply top=notch.
Jack Wild is awesome as Jimmy, he brings youthful energy and enthusiasm and seems to be enjoying himself wholeheartedly throughout the series. He is very convincing in his determination to get home or to rescue Freddy Flute from the witch, showcasing a great deal of courage and loyalty to his friends, Freddy, Puf, Dr. Blinky, etc.
Billie Hayes is simply excellent as Witchiepoo, she combines a playful lunacy with a menacing ruthlessness, wrapped up with perfect comedic timing, you can't help but laugh and love the ol' hag.
The costumes are simply marvelous, not just for Pufnstuff, but for everyone: Dr. Blinky, the Evil Trees (specially imported from Transylvania), Orson the Vulture, Seymour Spider, Cling & Clang (perfect examples of Keystone Cops), Judy Frog, etc.
There are even some very interesting moments within each episode. The show itself can be described as a 'Wizard of Oz' meets 'Puf the Magic Dragon', nowhere is this more evident than in the opening episode. Especially with a Magic Path looking very much like a Yellow Brick Road. Even Judy Frog is dressed and talks like Judy Garland (somewhat).
There is even an episode where a bunch of ants are holding up signs of protest with chants of 'Make Candy, Not War', this scene being somewhat reflective of the protests to the Vietnam war perhaps.
Jimmy does 'The Robot' long before it became a dance craze in 'Mechanical Boy', and in one episode a new dance is introduced called 'The Moonwalk' long before Michael Jackson would use the name for his own trademarked dance.
This is the perfect sort of show that can help lift your spirits when you're feeling down. Despite all of the bright and psychedelic colors utilized for this show, it certainly isn't candy-coated or in any ways babyish.
Let's hope more of the Krofft creations make it to DVD!
Commentary on the pilot episode
Sid and Marty get together to reminisce about their favorite series, H.R. Pufnstuf. They jam this track full of information and have wonderful stories to tell about the series. It sounds like everyone on the Paramount lot loved the show. Fans of the series will love listening to this.
Interview with creators Sid & Marty Krofft (22:02)
A really interesting interview with the brothers. They talk about how they got into puppetry and how the show was started, and even address the drug question. Sid did most of the talking, something that seemed to bother Marty. Hey, they're obviously brothers!
Interview with Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo) (10:32)
Billie has a nice chat about her career and the show.
Interview with Jack Wild (Jimmy) (11:42)
Jack Wild looks quite different from when he was on the show, but there are glimpses of Jimmy still in him. He spends a lot of time talking about the show and how it affected him as a person. He also talks about some of the pranks they used to play on the set.
Interview with TV historian, Hal Erickson (10:09)
Hal does a great job putting H.R. Pufnstuf into a historical perspective, but the gold in this interview is when he explains the battle between McDonald's and the Kroffts over the McDonald's characters. Very interesting stuff!
"Irving" (Sid & Marty Krofft pilot from 1975) (8:23)
This footage is really rough, but it's cool to see some of their early puppetry work. The opening minutes are chaotic with tons of different puppets performing, but then it kicks into a story.
If your a fan this will be great. I'm looking forward to the LAND OF THE LOST DVD due out later this year!!!
Anyone who didn't grow up in the 70's who sees this show just sits there in stunned amazement. Read more