Some of my favorite memories from the mid-1980s are watching tons of Hanna-Barbara cartoons on various TV channels, but most of them being on the USA Network back in the day. Some of my favorites were the ones drawn by legendary artist Alex Toth who had a very unique, comic book-like artstyle in the 1960s that set the famous cartoon studio apart from the rest.
One of the earliest titles was the Space Ghost and Dino Boy shows that aired from 1966 to 1968, and now the entire collection is available at long last with the Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series Blu-ray set. This is the perfect collection for those who grew up with these shows back in the day or just love classic animated shows.
For those unfamiliar with the series, things kick off with Space Ghost, a superhero who travels through space with companions Jan, Jace, and their monkey Blip in his spaceship called the Phantom Cruiser. Whether it’s saving the universe from a monster made of lava, of other evil villains such as Zorak, Brak, and more, you can count on Space Ghost and his inviso-belt that lets him turn invisible, and his many rays he can shoot from his arm bands to save the day.
Then there’s Dino Boy, a young kid that parachuted from a crashing plane down into a mysterious jungle. He meets a caveman named Ugh and a young dinosaur named Bronty as the three end up going on all kinds of adventures from fighting off evil doers, to helping others in need. Watching both of these shows again for the first time in years brought back a nice flood of memories, as these shows are from a time when animation and stories were simple but fun.
Even though Space Ghost and his arm bands are some of the earliest forms of deus ex machina aka conveniently having a solution to any problem (he can use ice beams on fire monsters, fire beams on ice monsters, etc), it’s always a joy to watch him in action and hear the late and forever great Gary Owens and his famous baritone voice as Space Ghost. It was also a nice bonus seeing the show in its original order, and having three adventures per episode with two Space Ghost shorts before and after a Dino Boy one.
The episodes are also presented in their original full frame format, and the visuals and audio are really cleaned up on Blu-ray. The only special feature is one that goes into the life and career of Alex Toth that’s an awesome treat in itself and is a must watch for animation fans.
The Space Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series Blu-ray set is the perfect way to experience these classic shows for fans young and old. Here’s hoping Warner Bros. continues to release these classic series on Blu-ray (fingers crossed for The Herculoids), which seems to be the case as The Flintstones and more are coming soon.