Well, I shouldn’t have joked so much about only being given the arty highbrow stuff to review because just guess what was waiting in my inbox the next time I looked?
Yep. Plastic Man
had his own animated series back in the late seventies and early eighties. And, no, there’s no reason you should know this. The only reason I knew it was because I was 8 years old when the damn show came out and would have watched anything even vaguely resembling a superhero on TV (which is pretty much a fair description of what the Plastic Man
In fact, let’s be totally honest, the only reason this thing is out at all is that the major companies are cranking out nearly every available thing in their catalogs before everyone makes the switch to blu-ray or direct download. Because, trust me, even nostalgia obsessed guys like me, who can barely get out of bed in the morning without remembering how much easier it was to get out of bed in the seventies, were clamoring for this. Hell, not even the Plastic Man
fan was clamoring for it. You know? That ONE guy?
"Plastic Man: The Complete Collection"
is actually a bit misleading as titles go as this collection only represents the original few seasons of "The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show"
and mercifully spares the world the abominations of Baby Plas
(I swear to FSM
the animators of the mid 1980s would make a baby out of ANYTHING. I’m surprised they never made baby versions of the naked chicks from "Heavy Metal"
) and the Plastic Family
that haunted the last few seasons.
The show, produced by Ruby-Spears
(the same folks that produced "Thundarr the Barbarian"
), basically follows the same Hanna-Barbera/Filmation
mold as the "Super-Friends"
and his team, bombshell Penny
and sidekick Hula-Hula
(because he’s Hawaiian!) are dispatched by The Chief
to fight a monster of the week. Penny
provides the love interest and damsel in distress duties. Hula
(who inexplicably sounds like Lou Costello
of Abbott & Costello
) provides comic relief and bad luck foibles. Plas
saves the day. The Villain (often voiced by Daws Butler
or Don Messick
) complains about pesky kids, uhh... I mean, complains about a meddlesome third-string DC comics character. Public rejoices. What can I say? We just weren’t all that sophisticated in the seventies. No doubt because we had not discovered the Internets.
The only real bright and creative spots on this are the brief retrospective featurette featuring a wealth of talented folk such as Andrea Romano
, Mark Evanier
, Tom Kenny
and Andy Suriano
discussing the history of Plas
and his comic book and TV incarnations. All parties involved pay plenty of well-deserved homage to Plas
’ creator and still to this day best artist, Jack Cole
. The brightest spot in this whole package though (and that’s damning it with faint praise) is the never before aired Plastic Man
conceived and created by Tom “Spongebob” Kenny
and Andy Suriano
. Based heavily on Kyle Baker
’s surreal cartoony take on Plas
, the pilot is clever, hilarious and delightful to behold. So of course it never had a chance. This package is probably your only chance to own that goodness.
Which doesn’t quite make up for six plus hours of mediocre animation and repetitive story lines. No matter how many things Plas
turns into, the humor and storytelling of the show is never allowed to rise above a seven-year old level. I can’t really see that anybody but a Plastic Man
completist (there’s gotta be one out there somewhere) is really gonna appreciate this disk very much.
Click Here to Buy Plastic Man: The Complete Collection