- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 29, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Vci Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Note: Interview with Margaret "Tinker Bell" Kerry
- Episode Selection & Trailers
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
SPACE ANGEL was unique among early animated television series, as a science fiction title that utilized ultra-realistic designs, settings and characters created by artist Alex Toth; and despite severely limited (indeed, almost non-existent) animation, it managed to be exciting and visually engrossing. A lot of attention has been devoted across the decades to the series' use of "Synchro-Vox," a patented animation technique (used earlier by the same producers, Cambria Productions, on the series CLUTCH CARGO) in which human lips were superimposed on the cartoon figures' faces -- but that technique works a lot better here than it did on CLUTCH CARGO, and is also the least of the visual wonders of this series. Toth's figures and designs all anticipate such celebrated Japanese anime series as STAR BLAZERS, made decades later. And all of that is brought home in this DVD release of nine episodes of the series, which presents the series in far richer color than has been seen since the series originally aired in 1962-64 (and how many viewers had color sets then').
The transfers are so sharp, that a multitude of minute flaws in the original shooting are seen in detail, but none of that is sufficient to detract from the enjoyment of the series. And, yes, there is some graininess in the image, but the detail surrounding that grain -- the spaceship designs, control panels, the quasi-realistic motion, and the dialogue and music all combine to make the program as engrossing to sci-fi viewers (and anime enthusiasts) in 2008 as it was to kids in 1962. What's more, the stories aren't bad, either -- oh, a lot of it is typical space-opera of the period, similar to the stories on CAPTAIN VIDEO, SPACE PATROL, and other live action series -- but Toth's designs and the mix of voices and music (very much on the eerie side) combine to make the material a lot more interesting to watch than the crude effects and mostly bad acting of those earlier series ever provided. The full-screen image (1.33-to-1) is a lot brighter than the one prior incarnation of this series on home video (a VHS release from the early 1980's) ever looked, and the sound is clean and well-balanced, if not over-bright. Each individual story is accessible from an easy-to-use menu, with a separate chapter for each five-episode tale.
The clean transfers would be enough to interest most fans in this series, but what makes this a genuine treat for animation fans is the bonus feature, an interview with actress Margaret Kerry, who did the voice of Crystal (and several other characters) on the series -- her anecdotes about the production, and the makers of the series, as well as her reminiscences of her career, are worth the price of admission by itself. She spends just the right amount of time on each area, and her sense of humor is as appealing as her memory is detailed, making for an engaging and entertaining mix.