Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Star Wars Animated Adventures - Droids

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
N/A out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO (voice)
Graeme Campbell as (voice)
Rob Cowan as (voice)
Don Francks as (voice)
Peter MacNeill as (voice)
Winston Rekert as (voice)
John Stocker as (voice)

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Stereo Sound
Running Time: 172 Minutes

Synopsis:
These Droids episodes originally aired in 1985. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Join your favorite Star Wars characters, R2-D2 and C-3PO, with this double-feature collection. Star wars Animated Adventures: Droids includes two animated movies, ensuring hours of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This animated light-speed journey takes us 15 years before the sidekicks meet Luke Skywalker. Join R2-D2 and C-3PO as the droid duo stumble into one misadventure after another.

The Pirates and the Prince In The Pirates And The Prince, R2-D2 andC-3P0 are purchased by a headstrong young miner named Jann Tosh, and find themselves caught up in a far-flung quest to help an alien prince regain his crown. It doesn't take long before R2-D2 and C-3P0 find themselves caught up in interstellar intrigue as they help protect the prince from rival lords and the featured pirate Kybo Ren.

Treasure Of the Hidden Planet - In Treasure Of the Hidden Planet, R2-D2 and C-3P0 join their master Mungo Baobab in a quest for precious Roon stones. Before they can claim their treasure, however, they must elude the Empire, which will stop at nothing to capture Mungo and the Droids."

This DVD is not rated.

The Movie:
I used to watch Droids when it first aired on TV back in 1985. Being a Star Wars fan, it was must-see TV. As a kid, I always preferred Ewoks over Droids. I thought those stories were a little more entertaining. While I still think the Ewoks stories are more fun, Droids appeals to me now more as an adult. The main reason for this is that it is a little more entrenched in the Star Wars Universe than Ewoks. Anthony Daniels is the only member of the movie cast to provide a voice for the cartoons. The Empire is often the antagonist in the stories. You see cameos by IG-88, stormtroopers, TIE Fighters, B-Wings, Sy Snootles, and more things from the films. All of this helps to make the Droids series seem like it is expanding on the movies more than Ewoks.

As already mentioned, Anthony Daniels returns to provide the voice for C-3PO. He's right in character as you would expect. If you're a fan of him and R2, then you're going to love this series. Star Wars fans will also want to note that sound designer and editor Ben Burtt provided the story for the "Treasure of the Hidden Planet" episodes while Batman The Animated Series creator Paul Dini provided teleplays and produced it.

The animation on the series is pretty good considering it was a Saturday morning cartoon from the 80's. The ships are very much inspired by Star Wars and the aliens, costumes, and environments all seem like that have Uncle George's seal of approval.

Despite all the cool Star Wars stuff, this DVD has a few drawbacks. First of all, it's not the entire run of the series. A number of episodes aren't included here, so maybe they'll come on a future DVD. This is just a reissue of the Droids VHS version that was released in the late 90's (and produced by Rick McCallum). The opening theme song is dropped, too. I don't know if this was done to save on royalty checks or what, but I miss the song. As far as content, the stories can also drag on at times. As much fun as it is to revisit them, they can be slow and are a bit better to take in small doses. Some of the characters also do very un-Star Wars things too. For example, R2-D2 breakdances. Yep.

If you're a Star Wars fan, though, this is going to be a required addition to your collection. It's great to have the episodes on DVD and they are a good footnote to Star Wars lore. Plus with Anthony Daniels providing the voice of C-3PO and the cameos by a speaking IG-88 and stormtroopers, it's fun to check out. Non-Star Wars fans may want to stick to the films, though.

The Extras:
There are no extras included on this DVD. This is baffling to me since I think there are worthy things to discuss. For example, they could have easily interviewed Ben Burtt, Anthony Daniels, and Paul Dini for this DVD. Better luck next time.

The Bottom Line:
This is required viewing for Star Wars fans and animation fans. Everyone else may want to stick to the films.

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