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DVD Review: DC Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures

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Back in 1967 The Superman/Aquaman Hour aired on CBS; following the success of The New Adventures of Superman which had launched the previous year, Filmation now had an hour-long show which had Superman in the first half hour, and Aquaman in the second half hour.  The half-hours had three, seven-minute shorts; Superman had two shorts and in between was one Superboy adventure.  In the second half, Aquaman had two shorts and there were a rotating series of shorts in between.  Eighteen were created with three each starring Hawkman, Flash, Atom, Teen Titans, and Justice League of America.

DC Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures contains those 18 shorts and is the third release from The Superman/Aquaman Hour of AdventureThe New Adventures of Superman being the first and The Adventures of Aquaman – The Complete Collection being the second.  In the late 1990s these episodes were shown on the USA Network as part of The New Batman/Superman Adventures which also contained Super Friends episodes along with the Superboy shorts.  Since there’s current legal dealings with Superman, it’s unclear if we’ll ever see the Superboy shorts released on DVD or the remaining three seasons of of The New Adventures of Superman, but we do get this new release.

DC Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures is a bit campy, but holds up.  The shorts are fun, and while not as sophisticated as today’s animated shows I know I can show these to my nine-year-old and 20-month-old without worrying about content.  The Flash segments are fun, and features Barry Allen as The Flash and Wally West as Kid Flash.  These and the Green Lantern segments, which feature Hal Jordan as the ringed crusader, are among my favorites.

This set has something for everyone, science with The Atom, space adventures with Green Lantern, Teen Titans for the kids, and everyone teaming up for The Justice League America. 

In addition to getting the 18 shorts, there is one interesting featurette "Animation Maverick: The Lou Scheimer Story."  It runs about 40 minutes and goes into the history of Filmation studios, from its humble origins, to the last days where Scheimer sold his company to a group with the thoughts they would continue on producing animation and instead they only wanted the vast library to resell over and over and Scheimer had to lay off everyone.  Some staff was hired that Monday only to be let go on Friday, a very interesting piece for anyone curious about Filmations history.

DC Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures is campy fun and will provide enjoyment for the entire family.

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