George of the Jungle: The Complete Original Series – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 374 Minutes on 2 discs
List Price: $19.95

Creator

Jay Ward

Cast

Bill Scott………George / Super Chicken / Tom Slick / Gertie Growler (voice)
Paul Frees……… Narrator / Ape Named Ape / Commissioner / Plumtree / Weevil / Fred / Baron Otto Matic / Additional (voice)
June Foray………Ursula / Marigold (voice)
Daws Butler……… Voice

The Show

George of the Jungle has always been one of the most underappreciated animated series in cartoon history. The humor is just there and is incredibly funny if you’re willing to give it the chance and just enjoy it mindlessly. George lives in the jungle where he was raised and his best friend is a big ape. George was usually summoned by the dwellers of the jungle to come to their rescue and save them from whatever may have threatened their existence. He wasn’t the smartest of men, but knew what was right and was always around when he was needed.


The original show is a tongue-in-cheek look at Tarzan so it could be made a bit more humorous. It led to the Brendan Fraser live-action film and there was also a direct-to-video sequel. Most recently came the dawning for a new George and it is in the same frame of mind that Ren & Stimpy was in when it was on the air, only not nearly as offensive. But this original series is what made the phenomenon that is George of the Jungle. It’s what had people laughing at an Ape named Ape. It is what got everyone on the bandwagon of screaming “watch out for that tree!” in a singing voice instead of just a warning voice.

Back in the sixties the series premiered and each episode was split up into three separate segments of George of the Jungle, Super Chicken, and Tom Slick. Most of the same people provided the voices for all three shows, but they were each unique and different. George you already know about. Super Chicken on the other hand was about a super hero chicken (obviously) who was rather bungling to say the least and fought crime with his sidekick Fred the lion. Tom Slick was about a character of the same name that was a racecar driver. Tom battled the tracks against his nemesis Baron Otto Matic (automatic, get it?), with the help of his girlfriend Marigold and her mother Getie Growler. Tom would drive his Thunderbolt Greaseslapper and everything is quite reminiscent to Speed Racer, only with a lot more humor.

The series consisted of a lot of slapstick humor, repeated one-liners, and just some insane situations for all the characters to be in. It wasn’t dirty or raunchy, but let’s face it; this was the sixties after all. Still, the episodes always managed to be entertaining and quite funny to be honest with you. After watching the entire DVD set, I’m surprised it lasted for only seventeen episodes total. Never in my life would I have imagined the series ran for such a short period of time because it’s one of those cartoons you can mention to almost anyone today and they’ll know who it is. It’s just a shame that some know it because of Brendan Fraser and not the masterful Paul Frees and Bill Scott.

Episodes – Listed as George Of The Jungle / Super Chicken / Tom Slick

Disc One:

~ The Malady Lingers On / Monster Rally / One Of Our States Is Missing
~ Ungawa The Gorilla God / Snow What? / The Oyster
~ Oo-Oo Birds Of A Feather / Send In A Sub / Wild Ralph Hiccup
~ Monkey Business / I’ve Been Railroaded / The Elephant Spreader
~ The Desperate Showers / The Cupp Cup Race / Rotten Hood
~ Little Scissor / The Great Balloon Race / The Easter Bunny
~ Next Time, Take The Train / The Geezer / Dranko The Dragster
~ The Trouble I’ve Seed / The Noodle / Overstocked
~ Big Flop At The Big Top / Salvador Rag Dolly / The Sneaky Sheik

Disc Two:

~ Rescue Is My Business / Merlin Brando / The Apple-Less Indian 500
~ Dr. Schpritzer, I Presume? / The Fat Man / The Double Cross Country Race
~ The Chi Chi Dog / Briggs Bad-Wolf / The Cheap Skateboard Derby
~ The Treasure Of Sarah Madre / The Laundry Man / The Irish Cheapstakes
~ A Man Of All Hunting Seasons / The Muscle / The Badyear Blimp
~ The Forest’s Prime Evil / Dr. Gizmo / The Swamp Buggy Race
~ Kings Back To Back / The Wild Hair / The Mack Buster Trophy
~ The Sultan’s Pearl / The Zipper / The Bigg Race

The Video

The episodes are shown in Full Screen format and look exceptionally good for being so old. The colors are bright and the animation is quite crisp, but the age still shows a little at times.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Stereo Sound and it is all that is needed for these episodes because anything more would be wasted.

Special Features

Never Before Seen Pilot Episode: George Of The Jungle: E-Flat Elephants – This is a short episode about George and his pet elephant Shep that is the only elephant in the world to sing in E-Flat. A few criminals try to steal him and hilarity ensues. Let’s just say it is a very good idea that they changed the format of the show because it just felt bad and awkward while watching it. Not to mention that this series never would have succeeded if they kept the original theme song heard in this pilot. Ew!

Never Before Seen Pilot Episode: Super Chicken – Super Chicken is on the case as criminal Eggs Benedict is on a crime spree and also trying to make Super Chicken his own. It’s a pretty funny episode.

The Inside Pulse

The original series of George of the Jungle is by far the most superior rendition out there. Both live films were horrible and the new series looks promising, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to this one. Each episode is incredible to watch and enjoyable to just take in with the adventure, zaniness, and just mindless humor. I still can’t get over the fact that this series lasted all of seventeen episodes. And when you really put it into perspective, George only got about seven minutes in each episode so he was around for even less then you realize. Yet still today he is one of the most well known animated characters and his theme song will be sung for decades to come by generations that can be honored by having this DVD. It is hard to go by my final score, but I am judging on the set as a whole; not just the main feature. The special features are next to nothing, but this is truly a must have DVD set simply for the nostalgic value and the sheer enjoyment that George, Super Chicken, and Tom Slick can bring to your entire family.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
George of the Jungle: The Complete Original Series
CATEGORY RATING(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

8
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

2
REPLAY VALUE

10
OVERALL 5(NOT AN AVERAGE)