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ROGER RAMJET
Hero of Our Nation & Man of Adventure

    

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Gary Owens
Director: Fred Crippen
Audio: English Dolby Mono
Video: Standard 1.33:1
Studio: Image Entertainment
Features: Commentary
Length: 83 Minutes (Both Titles)
Release Date: February 26, 2002

Programs ***1/2 (For Children and Adults Alike)

Watching Roger Ramjet for the first time since my kiddie years reminded me how much I missed simple-minded, yet smart animated cartoons such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Tom Slick, Super Chicken, and George of the Jungle. I always got a kick out of super-silly practical humor, and I still do. Every time an old Looney Tunes cartoon comes on, I laugh as hard as I did when I was little. Since many adults living today were kids at the time Roger Ramjet first came about, this marks a good opportunity for them to introduce their kids to what tickled their funny bone when growing up. Image has thoughtfully packaged thirty Ramjet adventures into two discs; Hero of Our Nation and Man of Adventure.

Each Roger Ramjet episode runs for about five minutes. They always consisted of a similar plotline, which involved a national crisis of some sort with only one team to turn to; Roger Ramjet and his American Eagle squadron, which consists of Yank, Doodle, Dan, and Dee. Roger, himself, is an all around good guy, but was never a hundred percent on the brains. Voiced by the wonderfully talented Gary Owens, who recently is best known for providing the voice of Space Ghost, Ramjet is in the tradition of the underdog heroes of the Jay Ward cartoons, who were downright clumsy, but always saved the day.

The episodes included on
Hero of Our Nation
are:

DR. EVILKISSER
THE SHAFT
BASEBALL
THE PIRATES
DRAFTED
TV CRISIS
REVOLUTION
MISS AMERICA
THE RACE
JACK THE NIPPER
MA RAMJET
HI NOON
BANK ROBBERS
DUMB WAITER
SKYDIVING

Episodes included on
Man of Adventure
are:

MONKEY
ORBIT
WEREWOLF
FLYING SAUCERS
SKATEBOARDS
LONG JOHN SILVER
COMICS
JET BOOTS
HOLLYWOOD
TREASURE IN SIERRAíS MATTRESS
COFFEE
TIME MACHINE
POOL
ANCESTORS
SURF NUTS 

Video **1/2

It looks like the best that couldíve been done with these long existing cartoons. The animation simply consists of frequent close-ups of characters and limited backgrounds, and the stock that was used even for cartoons back then is of simply super-old quality, so as far as I can tell, this is purely the best that can be done in terms of transferring them to the DVD format.

Audio **

Itís a Mono track, and we at the DMC rarely ever give a higher rating for that caliber than that of two stars. I wasnít even expecting a high quality sound definition disc. Itís needless to say that everything, from the theme music, to the frequent sounds of jet engines, and numerous instances of physical humor, doesnít sound much different than watching it on network TV.

Features **

All that is included on the discs is a commentary track by Roger Ramjet himself, Gary Owens. Nothing is really reflected of how the show was put together or what went on behind it, as Owens offers a simple analysis of Ramjet and the characters on each disc.

Summary:

Having Roger Ramjet come to DVD is a pleasant sign in hopes that there will be future arrivals of such other classic cartoons as Rocky and Bullwinkle, etc. These two releases mark a grand opportunity for longtime fans to re-experience this classic form of animated comedy, as well as for a new generation to discover.