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This is a great product, except for disk four the story of island of the body snatchers some distortion of the picture. However the product is great overall. I recommend this product to any one who is a fan of Hanna-Barbara.
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151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Smurfs? Care Bears? Screw that. This is the BEST Saturday morning cartoon ever made!April 7 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
So, there are only two reasons for you to be reading this review. Either (A) you are a big fan of the classic Thundarr cartoon and you want to know if this DVD release will live up to your expectations, or (B) you just stumbled across this item and you have no idea why there are so many 5 star reviews for a cartoon that you've never heard of. So, I'm going to break this up into two sections. Feel free to just read the review that you can relate to... Cuz who has time to read a review that talks about stuff that you already know?
Never heard of Thundarr? Okay, picture this: You're 8 years old, it's Saturday morning and you're sitting in front of your TV eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes. After a few hours of Casper, Scrappy Doo and something called "Fred & Barney Meet the Schmoo" (not kidding), suddenly you're bombarded with images of the Earth being torn apart by earthquakes, tidal waves and general destruction. Then a voice basically tells you that 14 years from now, you, your friends and everyone and everything that you know will be dead.
How's THAT for a cure for attention deficit disorder??
That was basically the premise of Thundarr. The world has been destroyed and thousands of years later, life evolves, only now the world is some bizarre mix of dragons, mutants, wizards, robots, aliens, werewolves and descendants of the human race. I won't get into the specifics (there's alot of cool info on wikipedia and other sites) but lets just say that this cartoon was DECADES ahead of it's time. Just about everything that you can compare it to actually came AFTER Thundarr. Not only was this show original (forgiving the few things they borrowed from Star Wars), but as a Saturday morning cartoon? A cartoon with no talking dog or grinning monkey or wacky sidekick? This was a show where characters were actually threatened with death-- most of the time the word "doom" was used instead, but the intent was still there. This was a show were every episode featured recognizable landmarks that were now in burnt out, rusted, bent up, post apocalyptic ruins. In between all the other sugar coated, generic crap of the early eighties, how the heck did this show get on the air?? Well, somebody correctly assumed that kids (and teenagers) were smart enough to understand these stories... solid well written stories full of action, cool villains, excellent voice work and AMAZING cinematic music. No need for goofball characters or a half hour "lesson" to be learned. And no last shot of all the characters all standing around laughing like idiots. Okay, I think that happened on ONE episode of Thundarr... but hey, you gotta lighten the mood some time.
This was a very different type of Saturday morning cartoon. And for the most part it still holds up. Character designs still look good, the animation doesn't make you cringe, and the stories are still interesting. In comparison, another early 80s cartoon, Spiderman and his Amazing Friends (which I used to love back in the day) is pretty much crap now. Old episodes of that show still air a few nights a week and they're just goofy now ("Video-man??? WTF?) But Thundarr is still, to this day, one of the boldest, most mature shows to ever hit Saturday morning. And yes, if you love animation, you need to get this DVD.
As for you Thundarr fans, you're probably wondering the same thing that I did when I heard that this kick @$$ show had finally been released on DVD. I was thinking "what's this recordable DVD crap? Where's the REAL official release?" Well, rest assured, this is actually really well done, and if I didn't know any better, I would think this was any other professionally made DVD. I'm not a big fan of the cover art, but otherwise, it looks pretty good. The first menu you see is really generic but when you get to the episode list, you see the original title screen from each episode. That's pretty cool. So far, these appear to be the complete episodes-- no missing scenes or new replacement music. As someone else said, this is as good as it gets until Hanna Barbera figures out that we really need a remastered deluxe version of this series. There are some specks and dust that show up on several frames here and there (especially noticeable when I'm watching this on my PS3) but it's not enough to ruin the experience. This show will always be one of my favorite old school animated cartoons. Thundarr and Dungeons & Dragons were two of the few cartoons that were consistently well done, from one episode to the next. Several guys from Marvel Comics (including the King of comic illustration, Jack Kirby) originally worked on this show behind the scenes and you can see their dedication in every episode. Well, besides "Trial by Terror"-- I don't know if everybody was smoking weed or what, but that one episode looks goofy and cheap. And the evil wizard looks like a tool. But every other episode is 4 or 5 star.
A friend once told me that any rich jerk can drive a BMW, but it takes someone who loves cars to drive a fully restored 67 mustang. I'll add to that, anyone can say that they love Transformers and GI Joe, but someone that REALLY has an appreciation for old school 80s animation knows, appreciates, and owns the complete series of Thundarr.
So don't be a jerk. Get some Thundarr!
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
The Search for the Sunsword Is...Temporarily Satisfied.Dec 8 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Thundarr the Barbarian has finally been released to DVD after so many fans have waited for so many years! I truly do applaud the Warners for these "exclusive" set by set releases for those classics from the Warner library that have the cult following to warrant their release but, apparently, not quite enough for release to the commercial (retail) market.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story, the opening credits do a good job of delving us into the action via the following SPOILER ALERT. In 1994, a meteor passing between the Earth and moon causes an apocolyptic end to "Old" Earth (obviously, this has not happened but, during the initial airings, it was fourteen years too early to tell). Anyway, Earth civilization is cast into ruin and, two thousand years later, Earth is reborn as a bastion of a combination of the realms of savagery, super science, and sorcery. If you're not sold on this concept yet, it is simply because I cannot explain it as eloquently as the show's producers at Ruby Spears, a subset of Warner Brothers/Hanna-Barbera lore.
PROS: It's Thundarr the Barbarian! He was a blonde, over-muscled swordsman who wielded a mystic weapon and, with the help of his allies, Ookla, the Mok [wookie creature], and vuluptuous sorceress, Princess Ariel, saved an Earth reborn (if you think I'm describing a different iconic '80's hero who also utilized a mystic sword, don't be confused). Anyway, at the demands of many loyal fans, YouTubists, and avid Boomerang/Original Cartoon Network viewers, the Warners have given us a sort-of commercial release of this show directly through its website. Not only that but the source material that they used is in great shape.
Notably missing are the classic "Ruby Spears" logos ending each episorde, replaced by the Hanna Barbera "Action/Adventure" montage generated by Turner Broadcasting around 1990-1991 and replacing the sound with what remains of the end theme. It's a deceptive end of show bumper as, at this time, there was a distinction between "Hanna Barbera" and "Ruby Spears." My best guess, as the "Ruby Spears" bumpers were missing from the 1980s release of "Saturday Morning Cartoons" as well, is that there is some legal problem or another with the release of the "RS" bumper.
Anyway, there you have it, folks. Do not be deceived by my long list of cons; or by my ridiculous sounding review of the show. This is surely a Saturday Morning Cartoon to be enjoyed through the use of rose-colored retro glasses and right now, this nonretailer commercial release from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection is the way to go.
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Somewhat better than the usual Saturday morning fare!May 17 2003
Reginald D. Garrard
- Published on Amazon.com
While the animation from this early 80's 'toon is of the "Hanna-Barbara School of Animation" (although the show was produced by Ruby-Spears), the writing and plot situations made up for that discrepancy. Set two thousand years in the future, "Thundarr" tells the tale of a planet gone topsy-turvy. After a comet passes between the Earth and the moon (in 1994, nonetheless), a major disruption occurs, causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves...yeah, all the Irwin Allen stuff. Thus, two millennia later, Earth is now in utter chaos with areas of mass destruction and a few exotic oases. For some reason, the catastrophe produces mutant creatures, human and animal, plus there is a rise in the use of magic (unexplained throughout the show's two year run). Enter Thundarr, a barbarian that wields a mean "sun sword", his pal Ookla, one of those mutants mentioned earlier, and Ariel, a sorceress that looks mean in a pair of hot tights. This trio comes to the rescue of the downtrodden and the beset upon throughout the world. There are no terrors that they cannot overcome. Hey, the world needs some heroes. The first episode of the series was obviously influenced by the artwork of legendary comic artist Jack Kirby. That installment had a villain named "Gemini" that, like his name, had a dual personality (and a face that "turned" to reveal his other side). The show also sported a unique nemesis for Thundarr in the form of a "revived" Statue of Liberty using her torch as a "weapon of mass destruction". Way cool!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Just happy to have itFeb. 18 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
When you are an adult, sometimes you check out cartoons from your childhood, and they, well, stink.
Not Thundarr! I loved this show as a 9 year old, and it is still wonderful as a 39 year old.
Thundarr, as my wife put it, is the perfect character for a little boy. He smashes the bad guys and seems to think that girls are a bit icky.
Poor Ariel. Clearly in love with Thundarr, yet she will never see it reciprocated. Other than when Thundarr saves her. Again.
Compare the animation to typical Hanna Barbara work, and you will see the quality that Ruby-Spears brought to the table. Highly recommend.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
High price for a cheap product, but still pretty coolMarch 7 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I was a huge fan of this show as a child, so I was excited that it had finally been released on DVD. Unfortunately, WB apparently doesn't consider it worthy of a lot of effort as this set is, essentially, digital copies (made from the "cleanest master files we could find," according their website) burned onto DVD-R as opposed to actual remastered files on pressed discs. The packaging is okay, but not much better than I could make here at home and, apparently, there's a mistake on one the episode listings of one of the discs. The episodes themselves look as good as I could hope for, given what they are, but there's nothing fancy about them at all. They each have a generic (and I mean generic) menu with "Play All" and "Episodes" functions and that's it. Honestly, the whole thing comes off like a really well-made pirate set, which is weird, since it comes directly from the people who own the rights. It's like Warner-Bros is pirating their own material, which is just weird. All this wouldn't be so bad on its own if the DVD set hadn't been priced like a full DVD set and not a set of digital files on DVD-Rs. For the price I paid, I expected more effort made in their construction and presentation, not to mention an extra feature or two.
All in all, if you're a fan of the series, this set is worth buying only because it's bound to be be the cleanest, most high-resolution copies you're likely to find anywhere and, unless there proves to be a massive amount of unexpected interest in it, I don't imagine WB will ever put out anything better. I'm glad to have decent copies of the episodes all in one place and have enjoyed seeing them again after so many years, but a little more effort into the construction of the set itself would have made it worth the price I paid for it.
WARNING: as DVD-Rs, this product may not play on some DVD players. I can personally vouch for good performance on the PlayStation3 and a Mac Pro computer.