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DVD Review: Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series – A Feel Good Cartoon Flashback

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The opening scene of each Magilla Gorilla cartoon will bring back great memories to any cartoon fan without the Boomerang Network. Mr. Peebles is sure to bring a smile to your face as he stands around, plotting, hoping, and looking for ways to get rid of a gorilla (Magilla) when no one buys them anymore. Magilla is the only gorilla in the pet store. Of course, with a gorilla like Magilla, you only need one. This late 60’s cartoon is out for the first time on DVD, to entertain both old and new fans as well as delight a whole new generation of children.

Hanna-Barbera was the animation powerhouse that created such greats as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo, and of course, Magilla Gorilla. This is one of those shows that you cannot really forget once you’ve seen it. There is something about an overbearing, clumsy gorilla that is constantly mistaken for a man that makes you chuckle. Mr. Peebles is always hopeful when Magilla leaves, but let’s face it, there would not have been much of a show had he found a home.

Like The Simpsons, though long before them, Magilla began his television career during primetime. Two years later the show was syndicated and appeared on network television.

Jam packed into four DVD’s is 23 episodes and plenty of special features. Among the special features are the Live and Unplugged version of the Magilla Gorilla theme song, an interactive look at the Peebles Pet Shop and an interview with Allan Melvin, the voice of Magilla. There are also eight bonus cartoons included in the set.

Some personal favorites that made these DVD’s worth the watch include classic episodes like "Private Magilla", where Magilla is drafted into the military and "Big Game", where Magilla is adopted and hunted by the same person! Of course, as you would expect he comes out okay and ends up with his very own Butler in the process. The great thing about Magilla Gorilla is the package deal quality of it all. The Complete Series carries the MG name, but includes two other cartoons for every episode Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, the country bumpkin version of Tom and Jerry and Ricochet Rabbit.

Parents will be sure to recognize some subtle things they never caught as kids. You will hear the voice of Scooby Doo in Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-long should remind you somewhat of Bugs Bunny and the Mel Blanc franchise. You might even pick up on the interesting way that all the characters seem to hold small resemblances to other characters played in The Flintstones and The Jetsons.

The only negative thing I can say about Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series is that a few of the cartoons did not hold up as well in the DVD conversion process than others. However, I have to say the overall quality is excellent. If you’re a cartoon lover and you’re looking for some quality cartoons for your kids, give Magilla a try. After all, it’s time someone took him home and kept him for a change.

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