Thursday, September 24, 2015

Filmation's Flash Gordon

One of the benefit of my wife working (beyond the obvious monetary gain) is that I get to expose our daughter to geeky properties that we wouldn't necessarily watch as a family. Such was the case the other night when we watched the 1980 Flash Gordon movie. While I love that movie, mainly for the fact that it is a love letter to the old Buster Crabbe serials and the music, that's not what we're going to talk about here.

No, for this we're going to go back to the Filmation cartoon series, which I remember watching as a kid. While this does have all the hallmarks of being a Filmation production, namely stock music, repeated animations, simple lines, etc, I still think it works really well. Yes, there's a good deal of rotoscoping, mainly of the spacecraft, but that adds to the feel of the series.

It's quite a long series, going over 32 episodes, but it captures the feel of the serials, with each episode ending on a "how will they survive this?" cliff-hanger. Add to that the fact that we get to see races of Mongo that wouldn't be practical in a live action venue and we have a really enjoyable cartoon.

Luckily, my daughter agrees, as we watched the first few episodes after the movie, and have continued on every now and again. If you're interested in watching it, there are a few ways to do that. We're watching it on Hulu, but it is also available on DVD.

Do yourself a favor, though, and watch the compilation movie "The Greatest Adventure of All", as you get to see just how Flash, Dale, and Zarkov got to Mongo in the first place. Yes, there's some stuff repeated from the series, but it's well worth your time, in my opinion.

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