In the sixties and seventies Hanna Barbera Studios, home of The Flintstones and The Jetsons, ruled Saturday morning cartoons. Magilla Gorilla The Complete Series features all 23 episodes of this one year wonder on 4 DVD, eight extra Magilla cartoons and a few background style extras. Anyone who remembers Magilla Gorilla, Ricochet Rabbit and his assistant Deputy Droopalong, as well as Punkin Puss and Mushmouse, the knock-off version of Tom and Jerry, will enjoy this cartoon DVD set.
The premise of any Magilla Gorilla cartoon is Mr. Peebles wants to get rid of Magilla, somehow manages to, and then either wishes Magilla would come back or the gorilla comes back on his own. Ricochet Rabbit is your basic western cartoon where ace sheriff Ricochet and his assistant Deputy Droopalong are hired to capture a bad guy. The fact Ricochet bears more than a passing resemblance to the Trix Rabbit has crossed more than one kid's mind while eating the sugary cereal of the same name. Punkin Puss and Mushmouse are the redneck southern version of Tom and Jerry. Hanna-Barbera were the creators of Tom and Jerry but the series was owned by MGM at the time so there has to be a connection there.
Magilla Gorilla cartoons are the highlight of the 4 DVD Magilla Gorilla The Complete Series set. This is a fun little cartoon that is far less violent than Punkin Puss while Ricochet Rabbit features the standard level of so-called violence of cartoons of that era.
The reason the Magilla Gorilla cartoons are a lot more fun than the other Hanna-Barbera fare in this 4 DVD cartoon set is that this is an original, charming, and far less violent cartoon than the others (although some scenes such as Mr. Peebles trying to blow his brains out only to find he was holding Magilla's water pistol were probably cut out in reruns). There is usually the running gag line "How much is that gorilla in the window?" which echoes the 1952 Bob Merril hit How much is that doggie in the window sung by Patti Page. The basic plot is someone buys Magilla to play football, be in the army, make a movie, etc, Magilla makes a mess of the experience and returns home to Peebles' Pet Store.
Though the Magilla Gorilla cartoons are in almost pristine shape, the same cannot be said of the Ricochet Rabbit episodes. This is especially true for shows like Cradle Robber where the print is quite dusty and the colors very faded. Still, if in these pc times you overlook the cartoon gun violence, these are fun cartoons. Especially cool are the trick bullets Ricochet Rabbit and sometimes Droopalong Deputy use to capture the bad guy.
Flintstones fans will notice one of Hi-Fi's fans playing a kidnapped widow in the Ricochet Rabbit cartoon West Pest. They will also recognize quite a few of the sound and musical clues used here.
Cartoon wise, this is a family friendly set if you do not mind the constant gun play of the Punkin Puss cartoons. The gun play in Ricochet Rabbit is a lot more humorous than violent.
Extra features include features on various characters and voices with animation historian Jerry Beck and seven extra Magilla Gorilla cartoons.
Other Warner Brothers Cartoon DVD collections:
Hong Kong Phooey The Complete Series review
Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1 review
The Flintstones The Complete First Season review
The Huckleberry Hound Show Volume 1 (includes Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie cartoons) review
The Yogi Bear Show The Complete Series (includes Snagglepuss and the annoying Yakky Doodle) review
The Richie Rich Scooby Doo Show review
Tex Avery's Droopy The Complete Series review
Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection 3 review
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 1 review
Saturday Morning Cartoon Collection 70s review
The Jetsons Season 2 Volume 1 review