Yes, I’m late tonight, but you don’t want to hear about my messed up sleep cycle (again). You want to see what I’m reviewing this week, and here it is. If you haven’t heard of Return to the Planet of the Apes, it’s not one of the movies, but an animated series produced by DePatie-Freleing Enterprises. Admittedly, there’s less “animating” going on than your average Filmation series. However, if you can sit through South Park or any of the Williams Street shows created for Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” line-up, you’ll see more animation here.

Return to the Planet of the Apes takes cues from the movies of the time, mainly in the form of character models for the more famous Apes characters. They also went to the “true” source material, the original novel, Pierre Boulle‘s La Planète des singes (which also can translate as “Monkey Planet”). Unlike the old movies, the primates use vehicles, television, and other mechanical devices missing from the movie. I’ve actually read this book for a high-school book report (and I really had to fight my sci-fi hating English teacher to do it), and if you haven’t read it I don’t think you’re missing anything. A lot of parts were drawn out. I recall one disturbing scene showing the mating rituals of the mindless human characters that I really didn’t need to read. It wasn’t a horrible book, and I’m not saying don’t read it. I just didn’t find it that special, and I preferred the Jurassic Park book to the first movie. (When it comes to the sequel, though, go with the movie. The book version of The Lost World is kind of gross.) Maybe it’s just a bit too intellectual for me.

 

The main reason I put this here is because it’s rather strange, and it’s something everyone in my circles should at least know about. It certainly has it’s share of problems. The animation is limited, using a lot of still shots, and the acting ranges from over the top to dry reading, with little in between. So why post this? Well, the character models are pretty good, the story is decent, if poorly acted, and it does make good use of it’s static effects. Look at the scene in the Council chamber or the scene with the fire, or even some of the desert shots. They would make amazing comic panels. Just bad for cartoons.

Hulu has the entire series up, although from the comments it appears they are in the wrong order. Check the official order at the TV.Com listing up there, or someone in the Hulu comments has it up as well. You can also order it on Amazon, but I think you’d have to be a completest to really own this show.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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