Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Literary Toons: Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1976)

Filmation had gotten back into the business of producing adventure cartoons with the short-lived Lassie's Rescue Rangers in 1973. After that, they experimented with live-action series, and found a gold mine with Shazam!, and, a year later, The Secrets of Isis. In 1976, the studio obtained a license from the estate of author Edgar Rice Burroughs to produce an animated series featuring Burroughs' most famous hero, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.

As memory serves, Tarzan was part of a Filmation block in the midst of CBS' Saturday lineup that also included the returning Isis (2nd season) & Shazam! (3rd), and the debuting Ark II.

Fabster3333 uploaded the open, narrated by actor Robert Ridgely (who'd later top-line another Filmation adaptation, Flash Gordon):

Ridgely's characterization of Tarzan was more faithful to the books, which were adapted for television. There weren't that many episodes made, but they managed to last for 6 seasons, ending in 1982. The Burroughs estate holds the rights to the series, although Warner Bros. may have a partial license, since an episode of the series was included in one of their "Saturday Morning Cartoons" DVD compilations. Disney's looser adaptation pales by comparison.

Rating: A+.

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