First of all, Filmation Studios' TARZAN, LORD OF THE JUNGLE is one of the best Saturday morning adventure shows of its era (1976-1979). Well-written and extremely respectful to the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs' character and stories, this Tarzan adaptation stands among the best to date.
Yes, 1970s animation was
limited compared to today, and Filmation relied heavily on re-using
animation in order to stay within budget and keep the work in the U.S.
rather than farming it out to inferior overseas contractors like rival
studio Hanna-Barbara. But the show is extremely well-designed, with lush
backgrounds, fine character design, and a generous use of rotoscoping,
which helps keep our hero's movements realistic and dynamic. Voice actor
Robert Ridgley (who also voiced FLASH GORDON and THUNDARR) is perfectly cast as the Lord of the Jungle. The stories are
very much in the mold of Burroughs' later Tarzan novels, with the ape
man encountering a plethora of lost cities and civilizations in his
remote jungle home.
Brothers has completely messed up this blatant cash-grab release. Presented in their original 4x3 aspect ratio, the
prints used for this collection of the series first "season" of 16
episodes are in terrible shape, with an almost unrelenting barrage of
scratches, specks, dirt and faded colors. No effort whatsoever appears
to have been put into this release. There certainly was no restoration
work done, and I can't prove it, because I have nothing to compare
against, but it appears that these are syndication prints with a few
seconds missing, as evidenced by awkward cuts halfway through each
And I don't want to even discuss that horrid,
eye-bleedingly amateurish cover art, which is completely off-model and
poorly drawn. Heck, even the logo is wrong.
I'm pleased to
finally have these great cartoons on DVD, and hope they'll eventually
release the remaining episodes. But this two-disc DVD set is just an
embarrassment to Warner Brothers and an insult to the creators of the
series... and its fans.