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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Fantasy > TV > The Legend Of Prince Valiant – The Complete Series: Volume 2

The Legend of Prince Valiant – The Complete Series: Volume 2


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



The animated series which existed throughout the 1980s were rather amazing, each holding a certain epic nature that made the series compelling for many viewers. This epic pattern bled into the early 1990’s with shows like The Legend of Prince Valiant, proving that the world always needs a hero.  With such great series as He-man and the Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, and now The Legend of Prince Valiant’s release on DVD it is the perfect time to add such great animated series to your animation collection.  Prince Valiant- The Complete Series- Volume 2 finishes up the series on DVD.  In this Volume Prince Valiant is now a Knight of the Round Table in King Arthur’s court, protecting Camelot to his fullest ability.  A plethora of epic and historical characters emerge in this series including Merlin, King Arthur, and Prince Valiant’s counterparts Arn and Rowanne.  The series has great art direction and for the most part has a very detailed animation style.  The realism of the animation at times can be off-putting and boring, but remains interesting with the mythology backing the scenery.


The main problem with the series is that it has become a bit dated since its release 15 plus years ago.  Every episode, though taking place in the time of King Arthur, seems to be a 1980s public service announcement.  The ‘public service announcement’ nature that surrounds each episode tackles such issues as gun violence (bow and arrow in this case), land rights, telling the truth, the use for the elderly, and many more.  Though this style does get clichéd to a degree, younger viewers may have actually learned from this at some point, which is interesting to explore as society and its values evolve.  Overall, for those out there who must own He-man, Thundercats, GI Joe, Transformers, Ducktales, Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers and so on; The Legend of Prince Valiant is a must for everyone’s 1980’s/90’s animation library collection.


Prince Valiant is more than an early 90’s animation staple from Filmation studios, but remained a comic strip and Film figure head for many years.  This area of the Prince Valiant universe can be read about elsewhere on this site.


Beyond the lovable nature of this epic and historically driven early 90s series is the great voice talents which were utilized.  Where it remains true the dialogue for this animated series can be dry and trite, the voice actors were quite good.  Such greats as Efrem Zimbalist Jr. who lent his voice to King Arthur, also worked on all recent Batman and Superman Series (including Justice League) as Alfred Pennyworth, Spiderman the Animated Series as Dr. Octopus, and was Don Alejandro de la Vega on the 1990 Zorro Series.  Robby Benson who voiced Prince Valiant went on to direct episodes of Friends, Ellen, Dream On, and 8 Simple Rules.  This series also uses the masterful voice talents of Tim Curry of Home Alone 2 and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, need I say more?  Many other voice actors on this series went on to do many other voice acting parts as well as live action television series.


The technicals on this animated TV on DVD release are not especially good, but have their merits.  The picture is presented in a 1.33 X 1 format that has balanced color, and is particularly clear for being from the early 1990s.  The only problem that seems to dominate certain scenes is a degree of blurriness, which is hard to say whether it is a bad transfer or in the original animated filming?  The sound is adequate but not stellar in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo presentation, being clear but having issues of sounding distant and distorted at times.  The extras are nicely presented ands include interviews with voice actors and writers from the series, which is always nice, audio commentaries on select episodes that give great insight, stills, storyboards, all the scripts in PDF format for home computers via DVD-ROM, trailers and “amazingly” a Bonus Episode from Defenders of the Earth (#26), in which Prince Valiant made an appearance.  Also included is a full color booklet explaining the episodes as well as the bonus features.  Where the series is lacking in picture and sound quality, it makes up for in extras and content.


In the end, a classic series that is immortalized in this animated format for all to enjoy.  If you are a fan of The Legend of Prince Valiant or an 80s – 90s cartoon connoisseur, this series is for you.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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