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DVD TV Show Reviews
This disk set contains the first or pilot episodes of all
of the Sid & Marty Krofft shows that were on Saturday Mornings (mostly in
the 70's). It's a fun little set to have, especially if you are not
sure if you just want a sample of what the shows were like.
The first and perhaps best of the shows by the Kroffts was
"H.R. Pufnstuff". This was my favorite, too, and the only one of the
group that I watched as a child (mostly that is because I was too old to
watch the others by the time they came on). It is a sort of "Wizard
of Oz"-type show about how cute little Jimmy gets taken to Living Island
(where Pufnstuff lives) by the wicked witch, who tries to steal his magic
silver flute. All of the creatures, trees, houses, and everything on
Living Island talks and movie. They are either puppets or people in
costume. Jimmy and the witch are played by real actors. Actor
Jack Wild (star of "Oliver") played Jimmy and actress Billie Hayes played
Witchie-Poo, the evil witch. Each week, Pufnstuff and his group
saved Jimmy or the flute from being taken by the witch, or Jimmy saved
them. It was a fun, cute, little show with the occasional song or
joke, and it had THE best theme song (which I almost know by heart).
Sadly, it only lasted for one year.
They kept copying the same formula for some of their later
shows. The Bugaloos and Lidsville were variations on the same theme
and both lasted longer than H.R. Punfstuff. They each starred some
young boy (or two) in a land full of puppet creatures, and rock music was
played. There were many colors and special effects in all of the
shows, as well. "Sigmund & The Sea Monsters" was similar, as it had
two young boys (including Johnny Whittaker, most known for "Family
Affair") and puppet creatures, but this took place in the real world and
sometimes went back and forth between there and the sea monsters' world.
It also lasted a few years.
In 1974, the show "Land of the Lost" debuted, and it was
very different from the others. For one thing, it was about a whole
family: a widow and his two children, who somehow slipped through time
into a prehistoric world. Gone were the puppets, replaced by
stop-motion animation dinosaurs that looked very real. Also
populating the Land of the Lost were cave people and a lizard race called
Sleestaks. While the earlier shows were all fun and obviously aimed
at children of all ages, Land of the Lost was much better written and had
good plots that teens and older people might enjoy. Many good
science fiction novelists, such as David Gerrold, Larry Niven, and Ben
Bova, wrote scripts for the show. The show ran for three years.
The other two shows in the set are "The Lost Saucer" and
"Far Out Space Nuts". There were no puppets or dinosaurs
in these. Bob Denver starred in "Far Out Space Nuts", which was
pretty awful by any standards. There were no children in that one,
either. Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors starred as androids who
accidentally kidnap a teen and his baby-sitter in "The Lost Saucer". I
really enjoyed watching that one, but it did not last long, either.
There are a few extras-a "Lidsville" commentary by
comedian George Lopez, an interview with veteran Krofft producer Si Rose,
and the Krofft Saturday Morning Aptitude Test. The interview was the
most interesting one, I thought.
Watching this set made me want to buy more Sid & Marty
Krofft shows on DVD, especially H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost.
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