Space Ghost and Dino Boy: The Complete Series (1966)

Actors: Johnny Carson, Ted Cassidy, Keye Luke, Tim Matheson, Don Messick
Joseph Barbera, William Hanna
Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
Region: 1
Number of discs:
Run Time:
420 minutes



I know one shouldn't speak ill of the dead unless they're Hitler or Stalin of course, but the phrase Hanna-Barbera Presents splashed across a television screen still makes us groan aloud and reach for the remote control to quickly find another channel.

No matter how lyrical nostalgic twenty-somethingers may wax about Scooby-Doo, the fact remains that the ?creative? team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with their poor quality TV animated kids shows represents a nadir in the art of animation. Shoddy and cheap, their shows such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Top Cat may be ingrained into popular culture today, but their endurance rests on the fact that small children have no critical facilities and will practically watch anything. Adults who still recall these shows with fondness are in denial that they have been short-changed as children with the whole ?entertainment? thing.

Simplistic storylines coupled with cheap, often static animation (you'd often just see characters? mouths move and nothing else) are a hallmark of these shows and Space Ghost & Dino Boy is no exception.

The title might lead you to believe that Dino Boy is Space Ghost's sidekick or something, but they are in fact two separate and unrelated storylines. Space Ghost is an intergalactic super powered policeman of sorts whose two teenaged sidekicks and their pet monkey always get in trouble and then Space Ghost has to go rescue them. One often wonders why he bothers keeping them on, but let's not go into that . . .

The same goes for Dino Boy. Dino Boy is a small boy who is stranded in a ?lost valley? populated by dinosaurs and other fantastical creatures. He is befriend by a caveman named Ugh and the plots always involve Dino Boy being captured by some tribe who wants to sacrifice him to their gods and then Ugh has to rescue his scrawny little ass.

Each episode consists of three segments of about 5-7 minutes each, two Space Ghost segments sandwiched in-between a Dino Boy piece. As you can guess, the brief running time of each segment makes for the most basic of plots.

THE DISCS: All 20 episodes of the series are fit onto two double-sided discs. Sound and image quality are okay enough for a show that's 41 years old and thus old enough for its own mid-life crisis.

WORTH IT? If anything can be said in Space Ghost & Dino Boy's defence it is that they don't face the same villains episode after episode like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would with Shredder and He-Man would with Skeletor later on. Also, the animation is decent ? for a Hanna/Barbera production that is. Much better than their mid-1970s output, which isn't saying much I know.

RECOMMENDATION: Years later Space Ghost would be revived for the post-modernist Space Ghost Coast to Coast cartoon series which poked post-modernist fun at the character and chances are that if you're older than ten that you would rather check that series out. Very small children would however love this series. Any adults claiming the shows to be still any good would be in serious denial.



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