Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

You can find some exotic pets in mom & pop pet shops at times, but rarely would you ever run across one that had a gorilla for sale. In fact, the only one that offers such a pet is Mr. Peebles’ pet shop, which is home to the lovable Magilla Gorilla. Magilla is always waiting for someone to purchase him so he can leave the store, as he knows adventures await him once he is through the door. Mr. Peebles isn’t attached to Magilla either, as he tries to pawn the primate off on whoever will listen. But even when a customer does take a chance on Magilla, he is always returned in quick fashion. Will Magilla ever be out of Mr. Peebles’ hair, or is he fated to stay inside the pet shop for all his days? In the backwoods, you’ll find some strange folks, from hillbillies to mountain men. But few are as strange as Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, two feuding fellows who never pass up a chance to get under each other’s skin. But that’s not all, as closing out this menagerie of wackiness is a duo of law enforcers unlike any other, Sheriff Ricochet Rabbit and his trusted deputy, Droop-a-long. Ricochet is faster than blazes, but sometimes that means not being able to stop in time, when headed right for a cactus or two. If you love to laugh, then you’ll love all these animal antics.

I love these classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon releases from Warner, as they’re so much better than cartoons these days and are still quite fun to watch. While I am partial to The Flintstones and Yogi Bear, I’ve enjoyed all the releases, including this one, Magilla Gorilla. If you’re a cartoon fan, then you know shows like Magilla Gorilla run in three sections, each with unique characters. As Magilla is the headline cartoon, those run first, followed by Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, with Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-long closing out the episodes. While I of course remember Magilla Gorilla and Ricochet Rabbit from reruns, I forgot about Mushmouse and Punkin’ Puss, so it was nice to see these characters again. The main complaint I would register is that like most Hanna-Barbera cartoons of this kind, repetition is a concern. The episodes seem to follow the same path, with subtle differences each time, which can grate if you watch several episodes in a row. Even so, the repetition isn’t as bad as in say, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, so that is good news. The humor is simple and never laugh out loud, but the show is still fun and simplicity is sometimes a breath of fresh air these days. So in the end, I give Magilla Gorilla a solid thumbs up and cartoon nuts have another release to add to their collections.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. These episodes look good, as good if not better than I’ve ever seen them presented. The prints show some debris at times and also some minor grain, but these are over forty years old, so that is acceptable. The grain is never too thick, or at least never causes intense softness, so these imperfections don’t impact the visuals too much. The colors have faded a touch over those four decades, so they’re not as bright, but still come across well. All in all, for a cartoon over forty years, I’d say Magilla Gorilla looks quite good and should please fans.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio is more than acceptable, but not as impressive as the video elements. Then again, this material is mostly over forty years old, so to expect dynamic sound in this case is being a tad unrealistic. You can tell that time has taken a toll at times, but the audio is always passable and is sometimes better than expected. The music sounds good and the over the top sound effects retain their full impact, which is what counts here. This release also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, so a lot of bases have been covered.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes a television special that introduces Magilla to the masses, some interviews, and a look at how the show’s theme was created.

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