Starring: Mike Road, Virginia Gregg, Ted Eccles, Don Messick
Created By: Alex Toth
Studio: Warner Archive
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One of my favorite Hanna-Barbera produced animated shows growing up was The Herculoids. The Alex Toth ‘60s cartoon was previously released on DVD, and now it’s available on Blu-Ray for the first time.
The show is about a space primitive/barbarian family and each episode they are protecting their planet from intruders. There’s the leader of the Herculoids, Zander (Mike Road), his wife Tara (Virginia Gregg) and their son Dorno (Ted Eccles). He’s one of those pretentious kids that calls his parents by their first name for some reason. There’s also all their pets, if you can call them that. Zok, the laser beam shooting dragon. Igoo, a rock ape who grunts a lot and is the muscle of the family. Tundro, who’s like a combination of rhinoceros/triceratops that shoots out fiery rocks. Then there’s Gloop and Gleep (Don Messick), the heroes in my mind. They are two protoplasmic creatures that can split into multiple versions of themselves, change into things and a variety of cool tricks to save the family. Each episode they battle various intruders that try to harm them or their world.
It’s been years and years since I watched The Herculoids. I can’t remember but maybe the early days of Cartoon Network or Boomerang when they used to play these cartoons more frequently? I used to watch this one all the time growing up, Saturday Morning Cartoons is where it’s at! I believe there was a reboot or a sequel of sorts later in the 80s called Space Stars. I’d like to watch that if that ever got released on Blu-Ray too! I liked this series just because of all the different creatures or pets in the Herculoids. It made it slightly different from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It’s kind of got a Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Thundarr and other sci-fi/fantasy shows feel to it. Except this is a prehistory alien family battling a wide range of aliens and people trying to do them harm. It’s kind of hilarious how many aliens wanted to get this family, and it always ended in the same result.
It’s a lot louder than I remember, the 60s score blaring and Igoo, Zok, and Tundro doing so much roaring, grunting and other noises. Maybe it was just the first few episodes but the loudness of the characters seemed to be toned down after that. I always liked Gloop and Gleep the best, because they usually saved the day in every episode. The kid would fall, they would be there, bad guys would shoot them, they’d sneak behind them and get them. I’m trying to think of what characters I liked as a kid, might have still been Gloop and Gleep. Perhaps Igoo too? Just a loud rock ape that would smash stuff…sounds like my son now.
Warner Archive cleaned up the animated series well, and looks really nice on Blu-Ray. The rough pencil drawings and stuff can still be seen here and there but for the most part, this looks great on Blu-Ray. There’s one small featurette on one of the discs, The Herculoids: First Family of Quasar. I believe it’s from the DVD edition that came out awhile ago but hey, at least there’s something on here in the form of extras.
It was fun to revisit the show and to have my 5 year old son watch the Herculoids with me. It’s dated, and very ‘60s with the style of animation, score and acting but it’s still enjoyable to watch after all these years. If you want to revisit your childhood with The Herculoids, Warner Archive did a great job with bringing the show to Blu-Ray!
The Herculoids: First Family of Quasar
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.33:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
Bottom Line: Such a fun animated series from the 60s!
Running Time: 374 mins