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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 3 November 2009
Like many people, I remember these stories from my childhood - a comic chaos of cartoon characters flying wacky planes around to "stop that pigeon". Which they never achieve.

On a residential course at a management school, I learnt more from this series (then on in the mornings) about management technique than from the formal lectures - rewarding staff ("medalmedalmedal"), retribution for failure (general's fist bops Dastardly on the head), and not thinking outside the box, trusting instead only in building ever sillier things to achieve team objectives!

What happens is usually genuinely unpredictable and normally hilarious. It's a long time since I laughed so much at a cartoon.

Like the other Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the sixties and seventies, this is very colourful, but quite low on detail, and the lighter areas like character's faces often show blobs. The action happening in the sky avoids "Scooby-Doo just went past that vase for the fifth time" syndrome.

The episodes are at their very best in English - it came as a surprise to learn that only two people did all the voices. Paul Winchell (who was also Fleegle in the Banana Splits and Gargamel in the Smurfs) was Dastardly and the General, and Don "Boo Boo" Messick was *absolutely* everyone else including the Stanley Unwin-type talking Klunk. Nevertheless, you can watch in French or Italian if you like karaoke "Stop that Pigeon" and can live with Klunk talking more normally. Subtitles include Dutch.

As for extras, there is a short piece on how this show was originally conceived without the double-dealing do-badders Dastardly and Muttley, and two complete shows with commentary by the original team.

It's a hoot! Get that DVD! Rootly-toot-de-toot!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 July 2012
... that can catch that pigeon or I lose my job!"

Yes, 'Stop The Pigeon' is barely the craft of cartooning at its finest, but it offers a deep relief through bundles of laughs and, quite genuinely, silly predicaments that only Dastardly and Mutley could ever get away with. This was a show that spun-off the successful 'Wacky Races', and is probably well known for being one of the lightest and briefest projects to leave the Hannah-Barbera studio.

The synopsis of each episode is exactly the same - Dick Dastardly and his fiends must try their best to stop a messenger pigeon from... well, wherever it's going... and each time they contrive newer, bigger and more obscene aircraft in their futile attempts to outsmart this cheeky bird. They are of course never truly successful, but in typical Hannah-Barbera fashion, you are regularly tricked into believing the opposite. This makes the truth all the more funny when they discover that their feathered friend has managed to escape!

My memories of this show remain at 8:20am every morning before school, so as an adult I was a bit hesitant of ruining those happy times with more (sometimes...) mature brain of an adult man. Alas, these cartoons are just as funny, if not funnier now then I remember! It's warming to know that even my mum recalls watching these shows when she was a child, so it just goes to show how long lasting they are. Pity the BBC doesn't air them anymore, though.

The product is excellent value for money, and the video quality is also good for the price.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 22 February 2012
Classic 1960's Hanna Barbera cartoon Dastardly and Muttley in their flying machines comes to DVD, with all seventeen episodes in one box set, spread across three discs.

After their popularity in Wacky Races, the two were put in this other series. Members of the Vulture Squadron, based in a vaguely World War one style world, they spend their time trying to stop carrier pigeon Yankee Doodle Pigeon from getting his messages through. Along with fellow squadron members Zilly [cowardly and always looking to run from the scene] and Clunk [technical genius who talks mostly in sounds and who designs the remarkable planes they use] the vulture squadron must attempt to stop the pigeon from getting through. And to keep their commanding general from getting annoyed.

A typical episode will see them in a newly designed plane with a new plan that will come to grief, and Muttley only agree to help save the day if he gets given a medal.

Each episode has two stories, both running for roughly eight minutes each. Plus 'wing dings' which are short one off jokes involving the main characters. Those run for a couple of minutes. As does 'Magnificent Muttley' which sees Muttley daydreaming of various possible lives. And getting revenge on his master in each of them. In the first few episodes these two features come in between the two main cartoons, but from the second disc on they come after them. Each episode as a whole runs for twenty minutes each.

With enough ideas and plot variation over the course of it's run to just about avoid becoming repetitive, this is classic cartooning from a golden era. Two superb voice actors and some excellent music help add to the quality. It's worth watching one every so often rather than all in a row to prevent any chance of it becoming repetitive. But this is timeless quality cartooning that should entertain old fans who haven't seen it in a long time, and make new fans of younger generations as well.

The discs have the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English French Italian.

Subtitles: English French Italian Dutch.

There are a handful of extras:

Commentaries from veterans of the animation industry on two episodes.

'The Vulture Squadron's greatest misses' some short compliations of the moments when things go wrong, divided by theme. These only run for a few minutes each and can be watched individually or all in a row.

'Dastardly and Muttley's spinoffs' a four minute long look at the creation of the show. This is well worth watching because it reveals the original plans for the series. Which were slightly different to the finished result.

And some trailers for other releases in the Hanna Barbera classic cartoons collection range.
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on 22 January 2010
This collection is how cartoons should be!

This DVD brings back childhood memories, with the brilliant theme tune (also used at our wedding, ahem). A definite buy for those who like Dastardly And Muttley - along with Klunk and Zilly.
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on 26 June 2010
remembered from my childhood,this was one of my favourites on the BBC.A spin off from `wacky races`these are the adventures of Vulture sqn`s attempts to`catch the pigeon`.
Purchased to show the children i work with what i had at their age to watch on TV,they also enjoy the absurd flying machines and characters,Muttley being the most loved,thou i have not witnessed any impressions as yet!
The cartoons are short by todays standard,and to the children they seemed not as well made.However that did not stop their enjoyment and the short duration ment they could come and go as they pleased,without spoiling theirs or anyone elses fun.
Recomended for all children of a certain age.
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2013
...which was what Dick Dastardly would bellow as he hurtled earthwards from the wreckage of some wacky aeroplane designed by Klunk to catch the carrier pigeon - hence the title song "Stop the Pigeon, Stop the Pigeon..." etc - the first verse of which goes:-

"Muttley, you snickering flop-eared hound,
When courage is needed you're never around,
And those medals you wear on your moth-eaten chest,
Should be there for bungling at which you are best,
So, Stop the pigeon... etc."

I find it strange that one reviewer said that this series didn't stand the test of time, yet for me it has most definitely aged well. Just shows that just like beauty, humour is also in the eye/ear of the beholder.

I found myself (aged nearly 60!) hooting with laughter until my stomach was in agony at the antics and mishaps depicted in these cartoons that I remember so well from my childhood. No, they can't make them like this anymore sadly (well, perhaps we could make exceptions for The Simpsons & Futurama but that's another story ;))

If like me you've never grown up, then you will enjoy this box set... cartoons at about their best from the days before nannyism & political correctness went mad & stifled the fun out of cartoon humour!
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on 9 April 2011
"Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines" is one of the most memorable series for me, because of its innocence, its slapstick style, and the fact that, unlike most modern cartoons, this is actually funny.

This spin-off of "Wacky Races" began life as "Stop that Pigeon", but strangely didn't feature Dick Dastardly or Muttley (as is revealed in the documentary featured on Disc 2 of this set). The original idea, inspired by the British film "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines", featured a German baron who looked like a caricature of Gert Frobe, accompanied by a wisecracking mutt who looked suspiciously like Augie Doggie. With Dastardly and Muttley so popular, they were brought over to this series - and I think that was what helped to make this show so popular.

Dick Dastardly is the iconic film villain - his motives are despicable, but you can't help but cheer for him, especially when every trap he plants always seems to backfire on him. Muttley, his eager sidekick, sees his character fleshed out to a greater extent, now having the ability to fly by wagging his tail, as well as possessing a desire to have as many medals as possible. Also present are Zilly, the cowardly pilot with a fear of practically everything, and Klunk, the eccentric inventor whose random noises made him so lovable to audiences.

This DVD is perfect for any fans of this brilliant series, because, aside from the cartoons, it also includes the "Wing Dings" shorts that were part of the original series, but were dropped from re-runs and VHS releases due to time constraints. Also present are the "Magnificent Muttley" segments, which were a show-within-a-show featuring the enchanting daydreams of Muttley, in a similar vein to shows like "Henry's Cat" and "Huxley Pig".

For all fans of this series, I strongly encourage you to buy this DVD. No other release or rerun really does this show any justice.
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on 27 June 2011
My six year old just loves this DVD. I remembered it from my childhood and thought it would be his thing and it most certainly is. I'm sure it used to be called "Catch the Pigeon" or "Stop the pigeon". But this is it. It's just as silly and funny and crazy as I'd remembered. Only trouble now is trying to get my boy to switch the telly off for dinner...
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on 8 July 2011
Brilliant retro slapstick cartoon comedy. Kids cannot stop watching. Great value for money. Only 4 stars because it's not quite as good as Wacky Races.
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on 6 May 2011
It is a few years ago that we first enjoyed these two characters, and nothing has changed !
Hoots of laughter can be heard coming from the living room, where my elderly husband and six year old grandson
are watching the antics of detective Dastardly and his side-kick, Muttley the dog. They are as funny now as they were thirty years ago. A real tonic for everyone.
This set of three DVD`s contains all seventeen of the original episodes.
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