Review of "Saturday Morning With Sid & Marty Krofft" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

Saturday Morning With Sid & Marty Krofft

 Saturday Morning With Sid & Marty Krofft (DVD)

  Review by Suzanne  8/23/05

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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Updated 8/23/05  


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