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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > TV > Science Fiction > Thriller > Anthology > British TV > Sports > Superhero > Amazing World Of Gumball, Volume 4 (2013 - 2014/Cartoon Network/Warner Archive DVD)/Out Of This World (1962/Associated British TV/BFI Region 2 PAL Import DVD)/Super Globetrotters (1979 Complete Animat

Amazing World Of Gumball, Volume 4 (2013 - 2014/Cartoon Network/Warner Archive DVD)/Out Of This World (1962/Associated British TV/BFI Region 2 PAL Import DVD)/Super Globetrotters (1979 Complete Animated Series/Hanna-Barbera/Warner Archive DVD Set)

Picture: C+/C/C+ Sound: C+/C+/C Extras: D/B-/D Episodes: B-/B-/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Out Of The World Import DVD is now only available from our friends at BFI, can only play on Blu-ray & DVD players that can handle PAL format DVDs, ones that are encoded for Region 2 and can be ordered from the link below, while the Gumball and Globetrotters DVD releases are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Here's some interesting new children's releases adults might be interested in too...

Amazing World Of Gumball, Volume 4 (2013 - 2014) is the latest collection of the hit Cartoon Network animated series, this time issued by Warner Archive on DVD. We previously covered a non-volume release dubbed The Party (with 12 episodes) at this link:


This is more of the same, but it is good, colorful, silly and pop culture hip adventures of the gang still in high school (this also has 12 episodes) that are amusingly consistent. It even reminds me a little of Fleischer Studios animation in its formlessness and wackiness, which is not a bad thing. This is as good a DVD single to start with as any.

There are no extras.

Meant for the whole family, Sidney Newman and Leonard White has just established the hit spy classic The Avengers when they tried a Science Fiction anthology show in Out Of This World (1962) for Associated British Television (ABC over there) and it was sadly not a hit. Worse, almost all the episodes have been lost save one completely. BFI has issued the surviving show and more on this new single-DVD release that is historical and well done. Boris Karloff was the host (as he was on Universal TV's Thriller series) and the show that survives is a digitally remastered presentation of Little Lost Robot, adapted from the Isaac Asimov story (directed by Guy Verney) as an offshoot series from ABC's Armchair Theater (several installments we have reviewed elsewhere on this site).

Playing on his three laws of robotics, the story has a female robot psychiatrist (Maxine Audley) trying to eventually identify one out of a bunch of robots that all look exactly the same, but is behaving differently. Told to get lost when a worker misdirects his anger at it, the robot (Roger Snowdon) takes the command literally causing subtle havoc in the programming of all the machines. Running about an hour, it is very well done, the opening and closing by Karloff are a plus and it is a shame the show was not a hit and the rest of the shows lost as this is some fine work ahead of its time. Clifford Evans also stars and this is highly recommended.

Extras include an illustrated booklet with essay by Oliver Wake & Simon Coward and full credits, while the DVD adds a downloadable PDF of the script for the lost episode Dumb Martian (1962) adapted from a story by John Wyndham, Alternative VidFIRE presentation of Little Lost Robot that tries to make it look more like it did in its TV broadcast, audio commentary with Leonard White and Mark Ward, moderated by actor-comedian Toby Hadoke, Cold Equations (directed by Paul Bernard, 1962, audio only): adaptation of a short story by Tom Godwin, featuring a very young Jane Asher and the impeccable Peter Wyngarde (Jason King, Department S), with a screenplay by Clive Exton and Impostor (directed by Peter Hammond, 1962, audio only): Terry Nation's adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story.

Finally we have Super Globetrotters (1979) the Complete Animated Series in which the original configuration (or at least the early peak 1970s version of the fancy stunt basketball team) who had already been in Hanna-Barbera animation (see The New Scooby Doo Movies) are in a show where they become newly-imagined superheroes. Superfriends had been such a hit for the company that you can see how this was greenlit. What could have been just a silly comedy show may not be a serious drama with violent storylines, like what we might get now, is instead just plain fun and funny without getting goofy with the humor.

13 rotating episodes were produced and voicing included Scatman Crothers (Hong Kong Phooey) and some veterans of the company (Frank Welker) in a show more consistent than I remembered. It was also a return to better quality after Hanna-Barbera let standards slip a bit in the mid-1970s. This should be more of a curio and have more of a following, so with this set looking so good, I cannot see why not.

There are no extras.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Gumball DVD is as solid and colorful as the release we previously covered, while the 1.33 X 1 presentations on the remaining DVD releases are as good as can be expected for their age. World was shot on black and white analog PAL videotape (377 lines at the time), is from a 35mm print (all tapes were wiped since tape was so expensive at the time, tapes would be reused until they were dead) and that includes some image distortion form the lenses and tape flaws, but the tape is clean enough. Globetrotters has really impressive prints for the show's age, with Hanna-Barbera trying to make a comeback animation-wise facing competition from Filmation and the like at the time. The prints never look faded and color range is better than expected.

As for sound, the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Gumball has faint Pro Logic-like surrounds and is very slightly the best presentation here as the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on World is cleaner and clearer than expected, but the same on Globetrotters is oddly weaker as if it were down a generation or so, so be careful of volume switching and high volumes. That makes for an odd match with the great transfers.

You can order the Out Of This World import DVD from BFI among other great and exclusive releases at this link:


...and to order either of the Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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