DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2008

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures
  • IMDB: link

This two-disc set collects 18 cartoons made by Filmation during the late 1960’s and features some of the heroes of DC Comics.  Those familiar with the heroes, and with some affection to them already, should have a good time here as the cartoons give them the respect they deserve.  Though they could have used some better (and more varied) stories – and villains.  Not one of the classic DC baddies, from any of the characters’ rogues galleries, makes an appearance!

These short episodes were mainly used as filler between the big episodes on The Superman Aquaman Hour of Adventure.  There’s only so much you can accomplish in eight minutes, so don’t expect much character development.

Each of the heroes’ episodes have their own intros which, like the show, are narrated by Ted Knight.  More than the actual stories themselves these intros are what really stick out on the collection.

The first-disc featuring the Flash, Green Lantern, and the Atom, is superior to the second.  The Justice League of America and Teen Titan adventures aren’t all that interesting, and the Hawkman episodes are basically the same story on three different planets and it seems the character is only included here to try to justify a second disc.  It’s also worth noticing that Hawkman does not appear in any of the menu art – it’s Birdman (not a Filmation character!) who mistakenly appears instead (oops!).

The biggest limitation of these cartoons is the absence of classic DC villains.  The cartoons instead rely mostly on alien and monster threats.  Although this works okay for Green Lantern, and to a lesser extent Hawkman (though this version of Hawkman isn’t the Thanagar policeman, so what’s he doing in space all the time?), it does grow a bit tiresome as none of the villains (alien beetles?) are much of a threat to the heroes.

You can overdose on alien threats in this set, and I’m not a big fan of the Teen Titan or Justice League episodes, but there’s still enough here (barely) worth checking out for true DC Comics fans.  Honestly my favorite parts of each episode are the openings which introduce the characters, more so than the generic hero vs. alien show which most of the episodes fall into.  There’s is also the issue of packaging as these short adventures, even with the inclusion of the featurette, could easily have been packaged on a single disc instead a more expensive two-disc collection.  It’s an okay rental, but if you have to have it in your collection you should wait until you can find it for under $10.  I don’t think you will have to wait long.

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