Saturday, July 9, 2016

On DVD: Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, season 1 (1976)

5 1/2 years ago, I first reviewed Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, which marks its 40th anniversary this year. The DVD release of the 1st season is timed to coincide with the release last week of the current live action film, "The Legend of Tarzan", beating the movie by a few days.

Robert Ridgely (ex-Uncle Croc's Block) voices Tarzan, and Filmation adapted a fair number of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels for television. As a result, the series is faithful to the books. By that, I mean Tarzan speaks perfect English, not the fractured speech of some of the early movies. Johnny Weismuller's famous battle cry is dubbed in, used throughout the series. For those that inquire about Jane, Tarzan's wife, she only appears in a season 4 episode with her father. Much like Disney's later Legend of Tarzan, Tarzan & Jane are not married. Seasons 2-4 are not yet available on DVD, but if sales warrant, WB may just bring them out in due course.

The series opens with "Tarzan & The Lost City of Gold", which would lead to a pair of sequels. Ted Cassidy, in his only job for Filmation, guest starred, but due to commitments to other projects, was replaced with Alan Oppenheimer (ex-The Six Million Dollar Man) in subsequent sequels. Oppenheimer began a long association with Filmation by voicing a number of guest roles in this series.

For now, we'll give you the open, narrated in character by Ridgely.

Where WB failed with the DVD release is the quality of the prints of each episode. Various degrees of age are clearly visible, and WB could've spent more money remastering the prints for better quality.

Rating for the DVD: B+.


Steven Dolce said...

R.I.P. Filmation

hobbyfan said...

Verily. They've been gone nearly 30 years.