'Super Friends: The Lost Episodes '
(2-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / Warner Home Video)
Overview: 'Super Friends: The Lost Episodes' chronicles the adventures of Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Wonder Twins: Zan and Jayna, and their rascally blue space monkey Gleek, as they join forces to battle evil and save the world from unthinkable dangers. The collection also features fan-favorite villains such as Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Hanna-Barbera-originated hero El Dorado.
DVD Verdict: First, to clarify the number of episodes. This DVD set consists of 8 half-hour shows of "Super Friends" from what would have been their 1983-1984 season on ABC Saturday mornings. Each half-hour show is composed of 3 episodic shorts running about 7 minutes each. A total of 24 shorts (8 X 3) are on this DVD set. These 8 half-hour shows are complete with both their original opening and closing credits.
Unfortunately, ABC never aired any of these half-hour shows during their network 1983-1984 Saturday morning season. They did, however, air the first half-hour's worth of shorts the following year during the 1984-1985 season of "Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show". Since then, these 8 half-hour shows (or more specifically these 24 shorts) eventually all aired years later in syndication and have become known as "the Lost Episodes" of Super Friends.
The animation and storylines on these shorts are pretty much standard fare for this time period of the late 1970's to early 1980's. So those of you who grew up on the 1990-2000's DC animated series will most likely groan while watching these.
However, there are some unexpected high-points for comic fans: (1.1) another appearance by Mr. Mxyzptlk, (2.1) Jor-El and Lara when Superman returns to Krypton before it explodes, (3.1) the return of the Legion of Doom with all 13 members, (5.2) Gorilla Grodd and Giganta, and possibly the only appearance of 13 members of the Super Friends together (sort of, and no, I'm not counting the Wonder Twins and Gleek), (7.1) the return of the Phantom Zone villains who travel back in time to Smallville and Superboy, (7.3) Brainiac, and (8.3) the return of Bizarro and Bizarro World.
The only special features are two Super Friends digital comic book reprints from the late 1970's that you can page through screen by screen, and the usual trailers for other DC animated DVD sets.
All in all, this DVD set is recommended for anyone who is a fan of the Super Friends and/or the Legion of Doom, and for anyone who is a fan of this era of Saturday morning television. [MEP] This is a Full Screen presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
A vintage Super Friends! comic book cover
Two Super Friends! comic book adventures from the DC Vault “The Mindless Immortal” and “Wendy and Marvin Meet the JLA” rarely available since their original publication - 23 pages in all!