Sunday, July 22, 2012
ANI-MOVIES, *Flash Gordon The Greatest Adventure Of All
After the success of their late 70s Saturday morning cartoon series of The Adventures Of Flash Gordon, and the killer Dino De Laurentis live-action movie was made, Filmation went back and redid the classic space hero with this full-length animated TV movie. It took the story back to the Golden Age in an attempt to recapture the pulp feel of Warlords Of Mars. It was actually written and directed by former Star Trek show writer, Samuel Peeples, and premiered in 1982. The crappy part is that even though the original series is on DVD, this movie isn’t.
The story starts out in WWII, and Flash Gordon is an athlete/government agent flying on route to the brilliant Dr. Zarkov, but his plane is attacked by meteors! So, he and female reporter Dale Arden parachute away to safety, and remarkably end up in Zarkov’s personal underground rocket base. They blast off for the planet Mongo which Zarkov claims is attacking Earth, but they get attacked by space raiders. Once on Mongo, they’re captured by cavemen in a lengthy sequence that becomes slightly unnecessary in the long run. They escape, but are captured the luscious Princess Aura who is the daughter of the evil Ming The Merciless, the ruler of Mongo. With the Lion Man, Thunn, they are brought before Ming who enslaves Dale, and sends Flash and Thunn to the prision mine to get eated by lizard women. Aura comes down to convince Flash into being her boytoy(what guy wouldn’t!), instead he and Thunn make off with her through the mines into the forest of Aboria, where they are confronted by Prince Barin and his band of merry Robin Hood ripoffs. They are all abucted by the warrior Hawkmen(DC Comics, beware!), and the boisterous King Vultan. All four heroes form an alliance against Ming, and then launch an assault on Ming’s pad. Ming is revealed to be in league with Hitler, and after a duel with Flash, a freakin’ robot! But the “real” Ming flees, leaving Flash to turn the approaching Mongo away from Earth, thus stranding our heroes on a planet with exotic bikini-clad slavegirls! “Boo-freakin’-hoo!”
In traditional Filmation fashion, they reused a number of their original footage, mostly from the Flash Gordon TV series, although here it was given some fine tuning, like adding shadows and more rotoscope-style shots. The movie was created at the same time at the TV series, but didn’t air until two years after the series ended. If you wanna see probably the most faithful adaptations of Flash Gordon without the awesome Queen music, then track down this hard to find gem for some great serial sci-fi thrills!