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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Animation > TV > Comedy > Fantasy > CGI > Animals > British > The Herculoids: The Complete Original Series (1967 - 1968/Hanna Barbera/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)/Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway 4K (2021/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

The Herculoids: The Complete Original Series (1967 - 1968/Hanna Barbera/Warner Archive Blu-ray Set)/Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway 4K (2021/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: B+ & B/B Extras: C/A Main Programs: C+/A+

PLEASE NOTE: The Herculoids Blu-ray set is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

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In the late 1960s the Marvel Age of comic books was hitting full steam, and kids across the USA were mad for superheroes in all forms. Television company Hanna-Barbera Productions seized on this momentum in 1967 and produced their first run of Saturday morning action cartoons. This included The Herculoids. Who are these Herculoids? The 'team' consists of a future savage family: Zandor (the father), Tara (his wife), and Dorno (their son). This human trio is always accompanied by a group of wondrous and semi-intelligent beasts: Zok (a laser-blasting dragon), Tundro (an eight-legged 'space' rhino), Igoo (a giant rock-ape), Gloop (an amorphous, shape shifting blob with eyes), and Gleep ( a smaller version of Gloop). Designed by amazing artist and storyteller Alex Toth, the Herculoids are a visual feast for the senses.

This is a good thing, because from the very first story of this 18 episode initial run, we get little to no origin details on our heroes. They're simply on a wild, jungle planet somewhere in space, and adversaries show up there to cause trouble or settle old scores. That's it. These aforementioned foes are every bit as visually dynamic, cool, and fun to watch as the show's protagonists, so the lack of exposition mostly shifts to the background as you find yourself enjoying each installment's ballet of 1960s comic book violence. Veteran voice talents Mike Road (Zandor) and Virgina Gregg (Tara) helm the cast and lend a certain gravity to the sometimes campy dialogue. Mr. Road also provides his voice talents on most of the monstrous Herculoids as well.

One of the more unique aspects of The Herculoids: The Complete Original Series (1967 - 1968) was how Hanna-Barbera chose to present it. Each episode was actually broken into two separate, mini-episodes with different stories and antagonists. So while the show featured eighteen episodes with eighteen original air dates between September 9, 1967 and January 6, 1968, it's actually thirty-six mini-episodes. One can speculate that this would have allowed Hanna-Barbera to cut the episodes up and show them in pieces as part of variety shows or 'power-hours.' While ostensibly a children's show, these episodes are violent by today's somewhat tamer kids' animation standards. The Herculoids regularly maim, kill, or otherwise ruin their foes. While most of these jokers have it coming, parents may want to exercise some caution before screening these shows for really your children.

The Herculoids did enjoy a brief revival in the 1980s 'Space Stars' ensemble show, but since then they have only made sporadic appearances in certain comedic adult animated shows.

The 1080p, 1.33:1 aspect ratio scans of these episodes do a nice job showing off Alex Toth's brilliant figure work and colorful backgrounds. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless sound also does the job conveying the noise and chaos of the many collisions, explosions, and slugfests the Herculoids find themselves caught up in.

While remaining a product of their time, The Herculoids is a fun, action-packed animated romp best viewed on Saturday mornings while still dressed in your pajamas. Add a bowl of sugary cereal and you will surely be transported back to that simpler era of starkly contrasted heroes and villains. If you do, be sure to enjoy the ride!

Because the first film did well enough, Will Gluck's Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway 4K (2021) has the title character trying live down his reputation, has a hit book and is not certain where is he going with his future despite having family matters settled. If you missed the first film, here is our coverage of that release in 4K here:


Not badly done with voice work by Rose Byrne, David Oyelowo, Dominall Gleason, Elizabeth Debicki, James Corden and Margot Robbie is more of the same and that's great for fans and those who liked the last film, but it does not add much otherwise, despite a few admittedly amusing moments. It is enough like a old-fashioned storybook brought to life to its advantage, but anyone who has not seen this one should start with the first for this to make a little more sense.

The 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced, 2.35 X 1, Ultra High Definition image looks good, but is a little less impressive than the last release, but the differences are narrow, though I still thought this looked good and this should have looked as good or better. It still looks better than the still fine, 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image in the regular blu-ray.

The lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix on the 4K disc is nice but not fancy, though I like its space and openness helps this be even more watchable. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix is not a bad mixdown for the Blu-ray, with dialogue nicely recorded in both cases and sounding fine.

Extras include Digital Copy, while the discs add a Making Of featurette and some activities for children based on the characters.

To order The Herculoids Warner Archive Blu-ray set, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (4K) and Scott Pyle


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