The New Adventures Of The Lone Ranger & Zorro –
Volume One (Filmation/BCI Eclipse)
Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: C+
huge success of their Tarzan and Flash Gordon series, Filmation licensed
two more heroes to make animated series out of and the first sets of each are
now on DVD in The New Adventures Of The
Lone Ranger & Zorro – Volume One from BCI Eclipse. Though the animation was not bad (even with Zorro being co-produced with a company
in Tokyo for the first time in company history) and were in the mode of the
company’s peak of production, the scripts were lacking. What few people knew at the time was that
this would mark the end of the classical era of both heroes before revisionist
revivals that since have not been all that hot.
radio voice turned TV star (with Cannon
and Nero Wolfe) William Conrad
voiced The Lone Ranger, Henry Darrow was Zorro and Ivan Naranjo was Tonto. The colors used were choice and The Lone
Ranger was just coming off of hit reruns of the old Clayton Moore series, plus
a major hit toy revival by Gabriel and Mego had the character still selling in
stores. Zorro has dissipated more so with less exposure of the old serials,
a 1975 French film that did not fare so well and the Disney hit show becoming a
distant memory, though Mego made a great action figure of it.
followed was a film called Legend Of The
Lone Ranger which bombed, but has become a cult item, though many at the
time were furious the owners forced Clayton Moore not to wear his mask in
public appearances and Zorro – The Gay
Blade was the politically incorrect George Hamilton film that did some
business. These animated shows (11 Ranger, 6 Zorro included here) were truly the last hurrah as the 1980s
arrived and ignored them more than the tough guy/Reagan ideology would have
otherwise celebrated them. They are
entertaining for younger children, but don’t expect much. They still looked better than what the
competition was doing by this time.
X 1 image on both look good, especially on Ranger,
which seems to come from good film prints, while Zorro looks like it comes from second-generation copies of some
sort. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is
about the same and more similar, clean and clear enough to hear dialogue, but Ranger is a little less distorted. Extras include two brief, separate interviews
with Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer and writer Robbie London, while a paper
foldout in the case has an episode guide.
Hope we get more extras next volume.
- Nicholas Sheffo