Search - Return to the Planet of the Apes - The Complete Animated Series on DVD

Return to the Planet of the Apes - The Complete Animated Series
Return to the Planet of the Apes - The Complete Animated Series
Actors: Austin Stoker, Philippa Harris, Henry Corden, Richard Blackburn, Edwin Mills
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
NR     0hr 30min

From the Oscar(r)-winning* creators of "The Pink Panther" comes this high-concept 70s cartoon that returns you to the heart of mankind's greatest adventure! Populated by familiar characters from the Planet of the Apes film...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Austin Stoker, Philippa Harris, Henry Corden, Richard Blackburn, Edwin Mills
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Planet of the Apes, Animation, Science Fiction, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Animated,Dubbed
Original Release Date: 09/06/1975
Theatrical Release Date: 09/06/1975
Run Time: 0hr 30min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Animated Apes is a return to Boulle's Planet
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 08/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The short-lived 13 episode animated Saturday morning cartoon revisited the Planet of the Apes but was a departure from the primitive landscape of the successful film franchise and live-action television series. Without the constraints of expensive live-action production, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, which animated the classic Pink Panther cartoons, had the freedom to illustrate the lavish technologically advanced simian world as conceptualized by Pierre Boulle in his original novel La Planète des Singes. On this planet, Ape City has all of the modern luxuries and conveniences of 20th century human civilization as astronauts Jeff Allen, Bill Hudson and Judy Franklin discover when they travel to the year 3979 and encounter an upside-down world ruled by a sophisticated society of talking apes and humans have lost the power of speech and live in exile in caverns. They meet familiar characters Nova, Cornelius, Zira, Doctor Zaius and General Urko (provided by the recognizeable cartoon voice of Fred Flintstone) and references are made to astronauts Taylor and Brent from the films. Beyond the boundaries of Ape City exists the hostile desert no-man's (or ape's) land of the Forbidden Zone and a monastic order of telepathic humans known as the Underdwellers led by Kraydor who live beneath the surface. Judy is taken captive by the Underdwellers after falling through a fissure from an earthquake where she is venerated as USA (pronounced Oosa) implying her metaphorical resemblance to Lady Liberty and the prophecy that she will help them restore the green planet that has been taken over by the militant apes.

Originally included as part of the expensive Ultimate Planet of the Apes collector's Ape Head set, Return to the Planet of the Apes is finally being released separately. The transfers on those DVDs from their original 16mm film prints were very dirty with excessive gate weave throughout and with mono 2.0 sound but they have now been remastered and restored exclusively for their individual DVD release.

Here is the breakdown of all 13 24-minute episodes on 2 discs:

"Flames of Doom" - Jeff, Bill and Judy travel through space and time and arrive on a strange planet that appears to be ruled by humans. As Bill is captured for study and Judy falls into a crack in the ground opened during an earthquake, Jeff is left alone to search for help but finds that the humans he meets are no more than primitive cavemen.

"Escape from Ape City" - With Bill under study in Ape City, Jeff takes refuge with Nova and the other humans in the desert caves but are forced to leave when General Urko launches an attack against them. With the help of Cornelius and Zira, Bill escapes and goes in search of Jeff.

"The Unearthly Prophecy" - With Urko advancing into the desert in search of them, Jeff and Bill are forced underground looking for help from the Underdwellers, a race of telepathic humans, but find a surprise waiting for them - Judy is alive!

"Tunnel of Fear" - Bill and Jeff sneak back into Ape City under cover of darkness to ask Cornelius and Zira for help. Avoiding Urko's troops and a giant mutant spider, they listen as Cornelius tells them about New Valley, a place where they'll be safe from Urko. But can they get the humans there in time?

"Lagoon of Peril" - To prove the existence of the talking humans, Urko demands that Zaius accompany him out to where Bill and Jeff's spaceship landed. With Cornelius warning them of this, Bill, Jeff and Nova set out to destroy their craft but something awaits them in the waters of the lagoon!

"Terror on Ice Mountain" - Within an ancient ruin, Cornelius finds an ancient book, A Day At The Zoo but he realises that such subversive literature could prove dangerous. So he and Bill set off for the mountains where a holy sect is rumoured to live, who could protect the book until the time is right to announce its discovery.

"River of Flames" - Kraydor and Judy contact Bill and Jeff asking for their help. The volcano over which the Underdwellers live is threatening to erupt and the lava is almost upon their reactor. Should the reactor fail, the entire planet is doomed. Bill and Jeff must reroute the lava before it is too late!

"Screaming Wings" - Bill, Jeff and Judy are on their way to the human settlements when they see human shapes in the desert! Are there really humans there or are they targets for Urko's new weapon - a WWII fighter plane?

"Trail to the Unknown" - With rafts to help move the humans on once more, this time to a lush green valley where they'll be left alone, Bill, Jeff and Judy find not only a wrecked spaceship but also its pilot, Ron Brent!

"Attack from the Clouds" - One night in Ape City, there's panic as a giant flying lizard attacks. Believing that the humans are behind this, Urko and his troops set off to capture both the lizard and those responsible for it. But Jeff, Judy and Bill have no knowledge of this creature until, that is, it attacks them!

"Mission of Mercy" - When Nova falls ill, Bill, Jeff and Judy realise that her only hope is that they contact Cornelius for a serum that will cure her. But with little aviation fuel left for the plane they stole from Urko, Bill and Jeff set out by road. Will they get the serum in time?

"Invasion of the Underdwellers" - Burglars are striking all over Ape City and there's a panic when reports come of it being the fault of the human Underdwellers. Judy contacts Kraydor, who denies responsibility, so she, Jeff and Bill set out to prove that the burglars are really Urko's troops, looking for support in one last great strike against the humans.

"Battle of the Titans" - After his framing of the Underdwellers, Urko has been relieved of duty and opinion in the Simian Council is swinging back towards the scientists. Cornelius believes that it is now time to present A Day At The Zoo and sets out with Bill to retrieve it. But the giant flying lizard is not finished with them yet!"
Return To the Planet of the Apes is a Must for True Apes Fan
J. Escobar | Weslaco TX USA | 01/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm writing this in advance of the release of the DVDs, so be advised this is a review of the series and not the actual DVD release. I have seen the show recently on old VHS tapes I recorded off of the Sci-Fi Channel and was surprised at how good the writing is. The show takes bits and pieces from all of the Apes project before it. From the book, it retains the 4 characters that were in the movie series: Zira, Cornelius, Nova, and Doctor Zaius. This Planet of the Apes also resembles the planet Soror in Boulle's novel in that the apes have 20th century technology. The only area that's lacking, in the beginning, is the power to fly. From the movies, they took the Forbidden Zone, they reworked the mutants, an older Brent, and Austin Stoker (McDonald from Battle) plays the astronaut, Jeff. Urko and the fugitive format are borrowed from the CBS TV series.

The basic story in the 2 part opener is very familiar by now. Three astronauts land on the planet and are shocked to find that they are captured by apes. Zira and Cornelius aid them in their escape.

The animation is awful. The panaramic style of the illustrators almost makes up for this, however. Intricate scenes are painted onto backgrounds. As the camera pans these scenes, one may forget for a time that they are making up for shortcomings in the budget. For this reason, I could not give it 5 stars.

The stories are imaginiative and serialized. I was drawn in by the power struggle between Zaius and Urko. True, there are a few turkeys. I could have done without the giant mountain ape, but overall it was light years above the ordinary Saturday morning fare of the 70s. I certainly would not recommend this to those who have not seen all 5 movies, and the live-action TV show. To those who are hungry for more "Apes", this series fits the bill."
An Artistic Vision
William Smith | Fontana, CA United States | 10/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I thought of buying the Ape Head set to get this, but I didn't really like many of the sequels. The TV series was gold, the original movie was a masterpiece but I already owned those and didn't want to chance this short lived series at such a huge cost. Thankfully my waiting (for once) paid off! Though I am only 2 episodes into this I just had to give my 2 bits.

+ The use of color and shading I can already see is a 5/5. The look and feel of the show practically has a feature presentation quality to it. Light and shadow are almost as fun to watch in this series as the stories! At first I was a bit unsure of the Apes having newer technology, but for the most part it works. Another area that is GOLD is the sound. I think I would buy this soundtrack seperately it is THAT GOOD!! The sound totally molds the aura of the visual artistic vision and makes it whole, major props given here. The 2 episodes I have seen are quite vivid and the transfers are excellent.

- I took off a star mainly because the dialogue is a bit too stilted. I realize this is from '75 but even still the speech patterns seem to be caught in a slow motion where every word is annuciated almost painfully. The voice for Urko doesn't really fit the character, it sounds more like Fred Flinstone from the Fruity Pebble commercials. I suppose the only other drawback is the lack of any sort of "extras". No history of the show, no nothing!

In closing; just looking at the wonderful box art, disc art, and price tag is practically reason enough to own this, let alone the artistic value I feel this brought to the franchise, sadly, like the live action TV show it ended far too soon. I did not watch this show as a child and have no memories of it and I wish I could say the same for the Tim Burton disaster of 2002."
The final chapter
J. C. Stone | New Zealand | 02/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"DePatie-Freleng, the people behind the Pink Panther toons, take us on a final journey to the Planet of the Apes. This obscure 1975 animated series was the last gasp of 'Apemania', that uniquely 70s phenomena spawned by the runaway success of the Planet Of The Apes franchise. Following the failure of the underrated 1974 live action series, Return To The Planet Of The Apes wisely chooses not to repeat what has gone before, and breaks new ground. Pierre Boulle's original novel "The Monkey Planet" is the basis for this series, in which the Apes employ modern technology to make the lives of our three heroes difficult. Let's not avoid the big issues here, folks - the animation is utterly terrible, the plots lack any kind of logic, Ron Brent refuses to put on clothes, and the human characters are as wooden as Noah's Ark - but there's a strange sort of 'Ed Wood' magic to this very crudely-realised series that makes you stick with it for the entire 13 episodes. Kudos to Fox for the excellent remaster job (avoid the edition in the Legacy megaset...the quality is dross), and thanks also for the ultra-rare Next Episode trailers - pity there's no Making Of documentary. As a specimen of 70s Saturday morning television, and for the Apes fanatic, this is a 100% must see - the final iteration of a series that changed Hollywood. It's just a pity that the animation makes Star Trek: TAS look like James Cameron's Avatar, that's all. Ten bonus points to the guy who voiced Jeff. Perhaps the most wooden vocal performance in TV history!