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Warner Home Video presents
Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: The Complete Series (1969)

"Stop the pigeon, stop the pigeon."
- Dick Dastardly (Paul Winchell)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: May 11, 2005

Stars: Don Messick, Paul Winchell
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 07h:39m:00s
Release Date: May 10, 2005
UPC: 014764265124
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+B+B- C+

DVD Review

While the Hanna-Barbara series Wacky Races was a huge hit, it only lasted a single season. Still, a few of the characters in that show had enough fans to warrant spin-off series. One of these series was called Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines.

The main storyline has this "dastardly" duo, expertly voiced by Don Messick (Muttley) and Paul Winchell (Dastardly, as well as Scooby-Doo and Tigger), leading the Vulture Squadron. This group's sole goal in life is to stop Yankee Doodle Pigeon. Stop him from what, we never do find out, but the Vulture Squadron build every kind of flying machine known to man in order to achieve their goal.

This great show functions almost like a more involved, higher-tech version of a Road Runner cartoon. The number of gadgets are exponential, which only serves to increase the number of ways for them to fail and making Dastardly's hair-brained schemes that much more ridiculous. If Dastardly and Wile E. Coyote could only team up, the wacky possibilities would be endless.

Muttley's main function in life is to collect as many shiny gold medals that he can. In order to get these, this mangy mutt has to rescue Dastardly every time he is falling from one of his flying machines to a certain death. Of course, this amounts to just about every episode, so Muttley has a nice collection of gold medals by the end of the show's run.

Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines is a very funny show, but one that becomes repetitive real fast if you watch multiple episodes in one sitting. Spreading them out over time is the recommended way of watching this series, which brought back many childhood memories as soon as I heard the opening theme song. Believe me, once you hear it again, you'll be humming "stop that pigeon" for days.

Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: The Complete Series features all 17 episodes from the series:

1: Fur Out Furlough/Hot Soup/Barn Dance/Muttley on the Bounty/Sappy Birthday
2: Follow That Feather/Barber/Empty Hanger/What's New Old Bean?/Operation Anvil
3: Sky Hi-IQ/Prop Wash/Carpet/The Marvelous Muttdini/A Plain Shortage of Planes
4: Barnstormers/Arnold/Pineapple Sundae/The New Mascot/The Bad Actor/Shape Up or Ship Out
5: Stop That Pigeon/Grease Job/Robot/The Big Topper/Zilly's a Dilly
6: The Cuckoo Patrol/Automatic Door/Airmail/Runway Stripe/The Masked Muttley/Pest Pilots
7: The Swiss Yelps/Eagle-Beagle/Deep Reading/Shell Game/Slightly Loaded/Movie Stuntman
8: Fly By Knights/There's No Fool like a Re-Fuel/Spring Time/Dog's Life/Strange Equipment/Coonskin Caper
9: Movies are Badder Than Ever/Home Sweet Homing Pigeon/The Elevator/Obedience School/The Aquanuts
10: Lens a Hand/Vacation Trip Trap/Parachute/Real Snapper/Leonardo De Muttley
11: Stop Which Pigeon?/Celing Zero Zero/Fast Freight/Home Run/Start Your Engines
12: Who's Who?/Operation Birdbrain/Bowling Pin/Shrink Job/Ship Ahooey
13: Medal Muddle/Go South Young Pigeon/The Window Washer/Beach Blast/Admiral Bird Dog
14: Too Many Kooks/Ice See You/Echo/Rainmaker/Professor Muttley
15: Balmy Swami/Camouflage Hop-aroo/Mop Up/Left Hanging/Wild Mutt Muttley
16: Have Plane Will Travel/Windy Windmill/Tough Break/The Ice Cream Tree/The Astromutt
17: Plane Talk/Happy Bird Day/Boxing/Runaway Rug/Super Muttley

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Despite the presence of a massive amount of grain at times (not surprising given the age of the source material), these full-frame presentations are still very good. There's quite a bit of detail, and the colors are brighter than expected, another sign that this DVD's "clean-up crew" did an excellent job.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The mono tracks for each of the episodes are average, yet better than expected. These shows are over 30-years-old, so hearing the clear, undistorted dialogue was a very nice surprise. These mixes aren't dynamic at all, but they do what they set out to do, and in this case, that's more than enough.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Wacky Races: The Complete Series, Dastardly & Muttley and Penelope Pitstop, The Flintstones: Season 3, Samurai Jack: Season 2, Top Cat: The Complete Series, The Best of the New Scooby-Doo Movies
1 Featurette(s)
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Designers Iwao Takamoto and Jerry Eisenberg, and Warner Bros. Animation's Scott Awley and Scott Jeralds.
Packaging: Digipak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. The Vulture Squadron's Greatest Misses: Collection of clips from Dastardly & Muttley.
Extras Review: The extras are spread rather equally among the three discs, with the first disc featuring the seven-minute collection of clips from the show entitled The Vulture Squadron's Greatest Misses.

Disc 2 has the four-minute featurette called Dastardly & Muttley's Spin Offs. This piece chronicles how this show came about from the popularity of these characters on the Wacky Races show, and features interviews with the designers that worked on the series.

Disc 3 has a collection of trailers, and there's an audio commentary track on one episode a piece on Discs 2 and 3. Both tracks feature the series' designers, as well as a pair of guys from Warner Bros. animation department. There tracks repeat some of the same information that can be heard on the featurette on the second disc, but they also offer up some great stories about the making of these specific episodes.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

It's great to finally have the entire Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines series in one nice DVD set. With audio and video that are true to the original broadcast of the series and a few extras, this will make a very solid addition to any animation fan's DVD collection.

 


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