Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

March 22, 2011

TV on DVD Review: H.R. Pufnstuf Collector's Edition Set (2011, Vivendi Entertainment)

I've always had a fascination with older children's programming. 70',s, 60's, 50's kiddie television can be incredibly entertaining to me, even as an adult. Jim Henson was a pioneer back in the early 60s and 70s when he unveiled Sesame Street and his famous puppet personalities of "Miss Piggy" and "Kermit the Frog" on The Muppet Show. A couple of other gentleman that shared a big chunk of the kiddie TV pie, were the sibling team of Sid and Marty Kroft ( The Buggaloos, Land Of the Lost, Lidsvile, Sigmund and the Sea Monster). Most of these shows were before my time but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy them now. The show that arguably put the Kroft Brothers on the map was outrageously creepy but infinitely watchable H.R. Pufnstuf.

Buy H.R. Pufnstuf: Complete Series on DVD

Vivendi Entertainment has taken the time to remaster all three seasons of this landmark children's show into one beautiful three disc box-set ( that includes a high-quality Bobblehead of Mayor H.R Pufnstuff himself). Here's a look at how the seasons are set up on each disc. All episodes are in their correct order:
Disc 1

1. The Magic Path

2. The Wheely Bird

3. Showbiz Witch

4. The Mechanical Boy

5. The Stand-In

6. The Golden Key

Disc 2

1. The Birthday Party

2. The Box Kite Kaper

3. You Can’t Have Your Cake

4. Horse With The Golden Throat

5. Dinner For Two

6. Book, Flute and Candle

Disc 3

1. Tooth For A Tooth

2. The Visiting Witch

3. The Almost Election of Witchiepoo

4. Whaddya Mean the Horse Gets the Girl?

5. Jimmy Who?

The only time I had really experienced "Lemon Island" (where our hero, Jimmy(Jack Wild) gets stranded after Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes) messes up his dingy), was during some brief showings on the Cartoon Network. Now that I've gotten a chance to truly dive into the Kroft's massive costumed character rich show, I must say I'm impressed with some things you may not expect. First off, I'm not going to lie, H.R Pufnstuff is not the most educational show but there's still a load of creativity and depth that many of the more "educational" kid's shows lack.

In a few of the episodes from the first season , I noticed quite a bit of political commentary. Some characters are even shown picketing with signs saying, "Make Candy, Not War". It's obvious the Kroft's hearts were set against the Vietnam conflict at the time. After spotting that I was thinking to myself "that's really quite ballsy for a kid's show. It's this unique attitude that makes watching some of the shows fascinating.

The show has a fairly simple set-up with Jimmy evading Witchiepoo and in a contsant battle of keeping her from his magic flute. Some memorable dance numbers ensue of course - including one in the episode titled The Mechanical Boy. How Jack Wild can move in those pants, I'll never know. Speaking of awkward costumes, be sure to keep an eye on the little people that inhabit the costumes for the "Lemon Island" police. The Kroft designs were colorful and looked damn good, but somehow I doubt they were comfortable.

I had a blast with this set. Vivendi added some nice extras ( Including "Horror Hotel) and have done a fantastic job of preserving these shows on the DVD format. The doll is an excellent touch for the "Collectors Edition" set. Right now I have H.R Pufnstuff positioned next to my Mystery Science Theater 3000 dolls. You can't beat the price either . For under 30 dollars at most retailers you can buy the "Collectors Edition". Grab it now, before it's gone forever. Highly Recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment