review by KC Carlson
Warner Archives recently released two key additions to the Hanna-Barbera classic Collection: Atom Ant: The complete series and The secret Squirrel Show: The complete Series. I’ve previously written about both shows extensively. check out that link for more details and history of the cartoons.
These new sets are amazing additions to any Hanna Barbera or animation collection. Each set contains three MOD DVDs featuring the 26 episodes of each series. The opening and closing credits appear in each individual episode, which is both good and bad. The repetition gets to you soon, if you’re binge watching. Thankfully both are chapterized, so you can easily skip them with a press of the “Next” button.
The sets have not been remastered, but they look really great! sure there are bits and flecks throughout, and some minor color correction would be welcome in rare cases, but most of the imperfections are only on-screen for a fraction of a second. bottom line: I’d rather have the occasional tiny piece of dust, than to not have the collection at all.
Being pretty bare-bones sets, there is not much in the way of extras. For instance, there are no printed booklets or episode guides. (If you want the cartoon titles you have to insert the disc into a player and access the disc menu.) but there is one, which is kinda hidden. On the first episodes of each series, the individual interstitials that ran between each cartoon in its original run are included. These short “bumpers” were dropped when the cartoons went into syndication, and so they possibly haven’t been seen since their original airings in 1965/66.
While not the cream of the Hanna-Barbera crop, the Atom Ant and secret Squirrel shows were fun to watch way back when when I was a kid. and as an adult who knows just enough animation history to be dangerous, it’s easy to see why the shows were important transitional shows between the early HB funny animal programs like Yogi Bear and quick draw McGraw (Hey! Where’s his Warner Archive set?!) and the superheroes which dominated Saturday morning for the next few years. Plus, it’s so amazing to hear big cartoon voice actors like Mel Blanc (Secret Squirrel), Paul Frees (Morocco Mole, Squiddly Diddley), and Howard Morris (early Atom Ant episodes) working for HB doing major characters for a change.
Plus, almost 50 years later the “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah; yeah Yeah, yeah …mumble mumble mumble… Do The Bear!” chorus runs through my noggin at least once a week. (And now it’s stuck in your head. mission accomplished!) (The studio provided review copies.)
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