Review of "Super Friends: The Lost Episodes" From The TV MegaSite
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Super Friends: The Lost Episodes DVD cover Super Friends: The Lost Episodes

by Suzanne 7/1/09

You'll want to first read the excellent reviews at Amazon by Mr. Pajak. it contains a lot of information that you wouldn't know from watching the DVD (and I didn't know it, either), but you may want to know before you watch.

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.

Each half-hour usually (but NOT always) consists of:
1. a team-up between two or more primary Super Friends
2. a team-up between the Wonder Twins and one or more Super Friends
3. a team-up between one primary Super Friend and one secondary Super Friend

Because the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeve were still fresh in the public's mind, these shows are heavy on Superman and Superman lore.

Since the titles of each short are listed by other reviewers, I've decided to list the stars of each short for those of you who are looking for particular heroes in this set:

Disk 1:

1.1 Superman and Batman
1.2 Wonder Twins and the Atom
1.3 Batman/Robin and Apache Chief

2.1 Superman, Wonder Woman, and Robin
2.2 Wonder Twins and Batman/Robin
2.3 Aquaman and Black Vulcan

3.1 Superman, Batman/Robin, and Wonder Woman
3.2 Wonder Twins and Aquaman
3.3 Wonder Woman and Samurai

4.1 Superman and Batman/Robin
4.2 Wonder Twins, Wonder Woman, and the Flash
4.3 Superman and Wonder Woman

Disk 2:

5.1 Superman and Batman
5.2 Wonder Twins, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern
5.3 Superman and Apache Chief

6.1 Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman
6.2 Wonder Twins and Hawkman/Hawkgirl
6.3 Batman/Robin and Black Vulcan

7.1 Superman and Green Lantern
7.2 Wonder Twins and Batman/Robin
7.3 Aquaman and El Dorado

8.1 Batman/Robin and El Dorado
8.2 Wonder Twins, Superman, and Batman
8.3 Superman, Wonder Woman, and Samurai

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.

Now, for my review. This set shows that the stories for "Super Friends", which started in 1977, improved greatly over the years. The 1977 episodes were dull, with uninteresting stories and bad animation. They are practically unwatchable, unless you're a small child or just nostalgic from your childhood.

These newer episodes from the 80's will be enjoyable to any fan of the Batman and Superman universe, or any kids, or teens, who like superhero cartoons. They are very family-friendly and not dark like today's comics, so you can't expect that. They are very positive and upbeat. The bad guys are not that bad and the heroes always win.

You will recognize the voices and animation from other cartoons such as "Scooby Doo". Besides Batman and Superman, the heroes include Robin, Aquaman, The Atom The Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna, and their monkey Gleek. They are either together or separate in the various stories. The villains you will mostly recognize from Superman lore, such as Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk. Fans of The Justice League will recognize most of the heroes.

There's nothing too surprising here. As he stated above, the "special features" are slim, but any fan of Super Friends will enjoy it. It would also make a nice gift to any hero-loving child.

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Updated 8/26/09  


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