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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Western > Animated > The New Adventures Of The Lone Ranger & Zorro – Volume One (Filmation/BCI Eclipse)

The New Adventures Of The Lone Ranger & Zorro – Volume One (Filmation/BCI Eclipse)


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



After the 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.


Long time 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.


What soon 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.


The 1.33 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


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