BraveStarr – The Movie (BCI DVD)
Sound: C+ Extras: C Film: C
After the slight success of the BraveStarr series, which ran for less than a year between 1987 and
1988, Filmation Studios released a
full-length feature film entitled (fittingly) BraveStarr: The Movie. BraveStarr: The Movie was a less than
successful film, but made a name for itself by being one of the first animated
films to use computer graphics intermixed with its animation. The film runs about an hour and half long and
chronicles the origin of the heroic gunslinger, BraveStarr.
The story starts way back with BraveStarr’s future mentor
Shaman using his mystical powers to save a young child from brink of
destruction. But while the Shaman is
able to save a future hero, his own home world is brutally destroyed by the
villainous Stampede. Meanwhile on the
distant planet of New Texas there is an unusual discovery of a rare and
powerful crystal known as the Kerium; that in turn brings criminals and
treasure seekers from all around the galaxy to New Texas. Many years later Tex Hex with his villainous
gang of criminals terrorizes New Texas, prompting the mayor to send out a
desperate distress call for 1000 lawmen to defeat the hoard. Despite the distress call, only one lone
gunmen arrives on New Texas, BraveStarr.
BraveStarr along with his at times bipedal, fighting horse
Thirty/Thirty, the female judge (love interest?) JB, The Shaman, and Deputy
Fuzz all are introduced in this film and show their involvement in bringing New
Texas back to a state of order and peace.
The film is essentially a prequel to the series that was
not a big hit in the first place. The
film was only released in very limited matinee distribution and many people do
not even realize it ever existed. This
reviewer actually remembered the film as part of the series and was surprised
to find that it had a separate film release.
The animation is slightly more detailed and solid than the series ever
felt, but the storyline is just as ‘blah’ as ever. It is not that BraveStarr was ever a ‘bad’
series, it was just not very impressive, interesting, or fun as other series
like Filmation’s Ghostbusters. Fans will enjoy seeing their hero again, but
newcomers won’t see the point.
The technical features on this single disc release are not
as legendary as the hero they are about, but there is no reason to get the
authorities. The picture is presented in
a drab 1.33 X 1 full screen that has mild color issues, some debris, and a
degree of contrast issues throughout. On
the bright side the animation is nice and crisp, but at times still has that
generic feel that some Filmation cartoons did.
The sound is equally unimpressive in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that
mostly all comes from the front and has a certain distant quality to
itself. The extras are few, only
offering fans a full-length audio commentary by stars, directors, and
producers; but it is a solid and insightful track that fans will definitely
The film is not all that good, but fans of the series will
enjoy one last look at the gunslinger hero, by going back to his beginnings.
- Michael P.