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on 23 September 2009
If anyone reading this is wary of buying it cos its got the 2008 Banana splits costumes on the cover, let me reassure you its the original OLD 1st series with all the 3 musketeers + Arabian Knights cartoons, Danger Island + all the Live action Banana Splits bits + music videos etc, 18 hours of it, worth every penny !!
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on 13 September 2011
As soon as the theme music came on I was transported back to such happy times. It was wonderful to watch the cartoons (no cold, computorised animation here); The Arabian Knights ("size of an elephant" and Zazzoo the donkey)and the Three Musketeers along with the weird, non-animated Danger Island. The colours are brilliant, the characters are fabulous and wacky and the music is awsome and every child should get to watch it. They don't make shows like this anymore which is a shame. Banana Splits are up there with HR Pufnstuf and a must-see. I'm nearly 50 and I'm happy to have this series on my DVD shelf!! The Banana Splits - Complete Season 1 [DVD]
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on 27 September 2009
This is a long-overdue release for a cult favorite that is clearly a product of its time. "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" was the first live-action series produced by the Hanna-Barbera studio, well-known for its successful cartoon series including "Huckleberry Hound," "Yogi Bear," "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons" and scores of others. The show presents the slapstick antics of the Banana Splits -- four animal characters played by actors in costumes: Fleegle (dog), Bingo (gorilla), Drooper (lion) and Snorky (elephant). Each show represents a meeting of the "Banana Splits Club," with Fleegle (voice of Paul Winchell) presiding. The Splits engage in various recurring skits and routines, and perform a song or two in each show, thanks to the efforts of professional songwriters, singers and session musicians who created an eclectic set of songs -- most have a rhythm & blues/soul influence, with touches of rock (from psychedelia to bubblegum) and country here and there. The songs themselves actually may be the best part of this show.

This series followed the wave of superhero and action-themed cartoons of the mid-1960s, partially in response to complaints from special-interest groups who objected to perceived violence of many Saturday morning cartoon shows. A couple of action-themed cartoons then in the H-B pipeline ("Arabian Knights" and "The Three Musketeers") became recurring features on "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour," which also features the live-action serial adventure "Danger Island," featuring a young Jan-Michael Vincent. In this first season, both the live-action Banana Splits segments and "Danger Island" were helmed by famed director Richard Donner, who later directed the "Superman" and "Lethal Weapon" series. An additional cartoon series, "Micro-Venture," features the adventures of a father and his two teenage children riding in their dune buggy, scaled down via a contraption called a "Micro-Reducer" (years before "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids") exploring the environments of rodents and insects, which become more menacing when encountered at equal size. (This segment was added late in the season to serve as sort of an "educational" feature in the show.)

The show is a time-capsule of the late 1960s -- if you grew up watching it, you will never forget it and you probably still have the theme song stuck in your head. I'm glad Warner Bros. has seen fit to make it available on DVD -- however, be forewarned that despite the label of "Complete Season 1," these are not the complete shows as originally aired, but instead remasters of the edited syndicated half-hour versions as shown on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Picture and sound quality are very good, apparently sourced from 35mm film footage most of the time. All of the cartoons and "Danger Island" segments shown that first year are included, but a couple minutes were edited from each show (all the missing parts are live-action segments featuring the Banana Splits characters). This is quite disappointing, especially since Warner Bros. does have copies of the 18 complete original one-hour Season 1 shows (here reformatted into 36 half-hours). The DVD set has no extras at all, but does have a feature allowing you to watch just the Banana Splits segments without the cartoons and "Danger Island" chapters in between. (The disc space could have been put to better use if the makers had included the missing Banana Splits routines cut from the original one-hour shows, or even some or all of the Season 2 Banana Splits segments, since the cartoons and "Danger Island" chapters shown in the second season were all repeats. The Season 2 Banana Splits shows were never even syndicated, at least in the United States.) Fans popping these discs in expecting to hear the "Tra La La Song" theme will be disappointed, since the theme song is severely chopped up in these syndicated shows. (Also worth noting: the opening and closing derive from the second season, so the characters' costumes have a different design, especially Snorky -- and since another director worked on the Banana Splits segments in Season 2, Richard Donner only gets credited for directing "Danger Island" on these versions of the shows.) This version of the show is retitled "The Banana Splits And Friends Show," since the syndicated series originally featured episodes of other Hanna-Barbera cartoon series ("Atom Ant," "Secret Squirrel," "The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn," "The Adventures Of Gulliver") rotating five days a week. Even though these "Friends" are no longer part of the package (and they are not included in this DVD set), the half-hour shows retain the title.

Fans thinking about getting this set should not be put off by the artwork, which features contemporary versions of the characters from a recent series of Cartoon Network/Boomerang shorts (none of which are included in this set). As mentioned above, these are the original 1960s shows, albeit in edited form.

I am glad to have this set -- it's better than the versions I recorded from cable TV some years ago -- but I still hope the complete original shows can eventually be released, maybe even through the Warner Archive program.
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on 1 June 2010
This is one of my favourite classic TV shows of my era.

Although some episodes were released on video years ago, I have been waiting to see if the rest of the series would make it to DVD. It my dismay, a few years ago I read on the internet that the original masters of the 1 hour shows had been water damaged in storage, and therefore unlikely to ever be released.

Thankfully, I found a story that said the series had been released in the UK in a series of half hour shows - the way it was broadcast in England.

The Banana Splits were created because of the success of The Monkees (which was made because of the succes of The Beatles). Because of the success of The Banana Splits, HR Puf N Stuff was created...

But does The Banana Splits stand up today? - you bet it does!!
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on 28 November 2010
This dvd is brilliant. I used to watch this programme in the late 60s / early 70s. I have had my 2nd childhood watching this. It just shows that humour does not change. If you laughed at this the first time then you will laugh at this again. I am young 47yr old and has really laughed out loud at the wacky characters.You will not be disappointed.
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on 22 August 2009
A suprise UK only release for a zany once seen never quite forgotten corner of Hanna Barbera's output. There were rumours that problems with the quality of existing masters were what was standing in the way of a 'Golden Collection' style treatment. The Splits have been released at least twice before on VHS (in the UK) so i guess any kind of official DVD release is welcome .Whether its the complete Adventure Hour including the live action "Danger Island or a truncated best of remains to be seen (it does say Complete Season 1) So here's hoping.
Go Go Dancing girl gangs ,corny jokes,slapstick humour and musical romps through Six Flags Over Texas theme park are some of the treats. And on the cartoon side of things Three Musketeers, Arabian nights & Micro Adventures.
The music is suprisingly good and not just the Theme song .Barry White was just one of the talented writers drafted in to write the Splits brand of Bubblegum Pop/Soul. So if your formative years were spent watching The Pink Panther Show,HR Puff N Stuff, The Monkees & The Double Deckers this is probably for you.
Fleagle the dog on lead guitar, Drooper the lion on rhythm vox guitar , Bingo the gorilla on drums and Snorky the elephant on organ - Ladies & Gentleman The Banana Splits !
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on 30 December 2012
At this point in time, the appeal of The Banana Splits and Friends Show (1968), a Saturday morning kids program, hosted by four guys wearing oversized, padded, goofy looking, animal suits, would seem to be limited mostly to those familiar with the forty year old program. This could be why the series has yet to be released on Region 1 DVD. The Banana Splits, told corny jokes, engaged in some silly comedy skits, and performed in some musical video type numbers similar to The Monkees. The rest of their program consisted of a series of cartoons "The Arabian Nights", "The Three Musketeers", and "Micro Ventures", and the serial adventure "Danger Island".

For those with some memory of it, watching The Banana Splits could be like taking a trip back to childhood times, when silliness and innocent fun, mixed freely with adventure, excitement, and hints of psychedelia. The show was a semi-structured romp, where you were never quite sure what might happen, but you knew it would be goofy and fun. The musical numbers, which ranged from funk and soul, to pop, and psychedelic rock, reflect an openness to many genres.

The Banana Splits, were led by Fleegle, a beagle voiced by Paul Winchell. Drooper was a lion, and Bingo a gorilla. Snorky, an elephant, was the only member who did not speak, but communicated by making honking noises. While all the members wore a red helmet, Fleegle was the only one who did not wear sunglasses.

The program originally ran for an hour, but was later repackaged into half hour segments for replay in syndication, which is the format that the program is presented in this release, with 36 episodes from Season One of the program, on 6 discs. An interesting feature available on the menu, is playing only the segments featuring the Banana Splits, and skipping the cartoons.

Among the silly skits are those featuring the dancing messenger girls from The Sour Grapes bunch, the goofy Q&A of Dear Drooper, Fleegle conducting his extravagant music making machine, and the Banana Splits riding or racing, in their cool customized dune buggies.

The animated features are actually quite good, with The Arabian Knights being kind of an action adventure series with a little magic thrown in. The Three Musketeers is historically based, but more of a straightforward action oriented cartoon, featuring Alexandre Dumas' three musketeers, and D'Artagnan, along with a young boy name Tooly. Only four episodes of Micro Ventures were produced, but it was a pretty cool series which featured a miniaturized family exploring nature.

The serial Danger Island is particularly memorable for its strong characters, lively action scenes, and great incidental music. Shot in Mexico, and directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon,The Goonies,Superman, the storyline consists mostly of an almost continuous series of chase scenes, fights, and escapes, as a group looking for the lost city of Tobanya, encounter opposition from pirates, and some very unfriendly natives. The action/comedy features a cast that includes Frank Aletter, Jan-Michael Vincent (Airwolf,The Mechanic), Rockne Tarkington (Black Samson), Kim Kahana, Ronne Troup (My Three Sons), and Victor Eberg. The DVD features the adventure complete adventure broken up into 36 parts.

As one who resides in the USA, it was truly a delight to find this "long lost" program at Amazon UK, and revisit it after some 40 years, as the image quality is better than you might expect for a show from 1968. The cost was quite reasonable, and it was a blast viewing the animated features, and the conclusion of Danger Island. I have nothing but good memories about the show, which remains whimsical fun, and a warm nugget from my childhood to be remembered with much fondness, as the Banana Splits theme song occasionally plays in my head.
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on 7 May 2010
Fantastic. I watched this over thirty years ago and it was old then.
Made from 1968 this manic childrens comedy show can only have been written in a time when LSD was viewed as being an aid to creativity.
The banana splits themselves are ageless , the costumes will never be out of fashion because they were never in fashion. The humour ranges from slapstick to self mocking and my son found the same silly jokes as hilarious as I did years ago.
A must see is "Danger Island" , a series within the show,with acting so bad and a plot so dire that I found myself rewinding the DVD to remind myself that production values could be so wonderfully woeful. It is so bad it is good.
Aload of DVD'S in the one box , this is a great buy and within three to four episodes you will be singing along to the theme tune.
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on 19 March 2011
Fleegle, Bingo, Snorky, Drooper......its The Banana Splits! Wow, what a find, and what memories. Slapstick good fun. As a kid, this was it. The real McCoy. Me and my mates sat in front of a black and white set in the late 60's singing and laughing along with the splickers. Hey Drooper.....take out the trash! Oh no.....its The Sour Grapes Bunch! Oh oh Chongo.......Danger Island next! Now I am an old duffer, and you wanna know what......IT'S STILL AS MUCH GOOD FUN AS EVER! Tra la la, la la la lah. Banana splickers forever! I love it. The best buy in a decade.
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on 30 December 2009
What a great collection this is. If you saw it as a child you'll love it and if you're seeing it for the first time its still funny and entertaining. A crazy wacky ride straight out of the 60's. My family and I have really enjoyed this box set. Well worth it.
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