Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prince Planet Is Back!!

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It's exciting news for Prince Planet fans! Starting Monday November 9th 2009, 46 episodes of Prince Planet will be released on Hulu and YouTube. It's been thirty years since Prince Planet last aired on American television. Now, after years in MGM's archives, this fondly remembered series is zooming out of the vaults and onto your monitors in a new, digitally restored version! All your favorite characters are back - Dan Dynamo, Diana, Pops Worthy, Adji Baba the Arabian wizard, Warlock the Martian Magician, Krag the Master Of Misery, and that guy on Radion who was always asleep at the switch whenever Prince Planet needed more juice -they're all just as you remember them, and now you don't have to fiddle with the UHF antenna. Aliens, robots, monsters, gangsters, alien robot monster gangsters - all the excitement of Prince Planet is returning just when we need him the most.

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Prince Planet Pastels!

We here at Let's Anime are really excited about this. Probably too excited. Anyway, thanks to MGM we have some promotional goodies to give away - T-shirts! So we're going to have a contest. Here are the rules.

1. Employees and staff of Let's Anime and their relatives are not eligible for this contest. Since we do not have any staff or employees I do not see this being a problem.
2. The first five (5) people to send Let's Anime their original Prince Planet fan art drawing will recieve a Prince Planet T-shirt.
3. Drawings must be of Prince Planet and one or more of the following: Diana, Dan Dynamo, Adji Baba, Warlock, or Krag. Your choice. Color, black and white, whichever you prefer. If you want to draw Bobby instead of Prince Planet it's OK.
4. Drawings must be ORIGINAL - this must be your own work. I know how to use Google Image Search too, smarty.

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Prince Planet art by Meg Evans

5. Digital media is fine.
6. Drawings need to be scanned and saved as a .jpg file, 72 or 100 dpi, at least 400 pixels wide. Please don't send any files larger than a meg or so.
7. If you don't have a scanner, take a digital picture of the drawing and email that.
8. Email image files to: terebifunhouse@gmail.com
9. Include your NAME and your MAILING ADDRESS. This information will NOT be given to anybody and will remain a top secret of Let's Anime.

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Prince Planet art by John Gaydos

10. Contest is open to United States and Canada residents only. Sorry guys, my budget for this stunt does not cover shipping stuff around the world.
11. I will post the winning drawings in an upcoming Let's Anime blog post.
12. Contest ends at 11:59pm MONDAY NOVEMBER 16th 2009.

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The t-shirt looks like this!

Remember, email those drawings to terebifunhouse@gmail.com and watch Prince Planet on Hulu and YouTube starting November 9th! Special thanks to MGM for making this all possible!

IMPORTANT NOTE - I have now recieved 5 entries and the contest is now closed. There's some great artwork and I will be posting it at Let's Anime in a few days. Thanks to everybody who contributed! If you want to send fan art anyway, please feel free to do so.

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More Meg Evans Prince Planet fan art

Prince Planet, of course, was first broadcast on American television in 1966. Dubbed by Copri International, this 52-episode television series was released by American International Pictures, the same outfit that provided us with gems like THE WILD ANGELS, DIE MONSTER DIE, RIOT ON THE SUNSET STRIP, BEACH PARTY, GHOST OF DRAGSTRIP HOLLOW, WILD IN THE STREETS, and much of Roger Corman's ouvre. AIP's Japan connection includes anime titles like ALAKAZAM THE GREAT, live-action hero shows like JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING (or GIANT) ROBOT - which is also now available on Hulu! - and films involving big Japanese stars like Gamera and Godzilla. AIP was bought by Orion, which was in turn absorbed by MGM. So the question is, what influence did Prince Planet have on North American anime fandom?

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possibly unauthorized Usei Shonen Popi metal click toy from the 60s

In the years between 1966 and 1979, Prince Planet became a fixture in the minds of many of America's television generation kids. Of course the 1960s was a wild time for Japanese cartoons - the term "anime" had yet to be coined and instead the favored catchphrase was "terebi manga" - and instead of a constant barrage of magical schoolgirls and giant military robots, the nascent anime field was experimenting and finding its way with a wide variety of shows featuring a wide variety of characters. This is the era that gave us Astro Boy, Marine Boy, Gigantor, Eighth Man, Speed Racer, the Amazing Three, and other series less known in the United States like Cyborg 009, Cyborg Big X, Ken The Wolf Boy, Attack No. 1, Princess Knight, Skyers 5, Kamui the Ninja, Ninja Sasuke, Sally The Witch, Pirate Prince, Rainbow Soldier Robin - a bewildering variety of programs produced by an industry just finding its way. Usei Shonen Popi enbraced this "anything goes" aesthetic as a freewheeling adventure show willing to do anything. Robots, tiny aliens, gangsters, monsters, spaceships, death and destruction, frankly bizarre characters like Warlock and Krag, and a series-long story arc that might have been the first of its kind for any animated series anywhere all percolated in the minds of impressionable youngsters, and as these youngsters grew up and found out there was a thing called "Fandom", naturally the concept was applied to Prince Planet.

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flyer for Prince Planet Foundation

In the late 1980s, armed with a C/FO membership directory that listed fans by their interests, I set out to get in touch with everybody I could find who expressed any interest in Prince Planet. The result was a loose network of pen pals and tape traders. We swapped copies of Prince Planet episodes, wrote fan fiction and drew fan artwork and cartoons, and even published a few fanzines.

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Meg Evans cartoon from the Prince Planet Foundation fanzine

When I started the print Let's Anime, one of the earliest articles was a feature on Prince Planet. Throughout the 1990s I continued to get emails from people desperately looking for Prince Planet episodes. Although several unauthorized releases were being sold through grey-market channels, we continued to hope that MGM would one day legitimately make Prince Planet available to the general public. And now they have, so I suppose we can get back to where we were as children and simply enjoy the thing.

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Which is what I intend to do, and I highly recommend you all spend a little time watching Prince Planet on Hulu and YouTube!

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This post is approved by the Great Seal Of Prince Planet!

Artwork in this post is (c) its original creators.

By the way, Prince Planet now has a Facebook page. Naturally.

15 comments:

p said...

GODDAMN goddamn! First all of Giant Robo (the awesome '60s live-action show, not the now-slightly overrated OVA) on Hulu...now Prince Planet! All I need now is a bowl of Yummy Mummy or Quisp!

-P.

Xenorama said...

this is really some great news... except, where are the remaining 6 episodes?

thanks for posting it!

Tohoscope said...

The quality of these Hulu episodes is great! If you're a Popi fan you've gotta see 'em.

Maybe they won't have DVD box set, but this isn't too bad.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Xenorama said...
this is really some great news... except, where are the remaining 6 episodes?


You just have to wonder....

Really, am I to assume this was the best MGM could salvage out of the entire show, or did they have to reconstruct based on the private collector sources like Right Stuf did on the Astro Boy set? At least we get to see the opening and end to the show if possible.

Tohoscope said...
The quality of these Hulu episodes is great! If you're a Popi fan you've gotta see 'em.


Nothing like what Dave sent me some 9-10 years ago I can give you that.

Maybe they won't have DVD box set, but this isn't too bad.

At least we have something, and it's no excuse for anyone not to see Prince Planet that hard.

Xenorama said...

well, they have episodes 3 and 5, which I wasn't able to obtain from the best source out there so far. MGM had him take his episodes down. I'd love a boxset of this show.

David

Tohoscope said...

This is the first time I've ever seen The Formidable Rival or The Flying Jelly Fish. This is a win if only for finally finding those episodes.

thatoneman said...

All i have are those videos that I got from Demonoid back in the day but these rival thoose in terms of quality. The resolution alone is much higher.

On a related note, GO (an Australian television station that opened recently) is airing Marine Boy. The colors and quality of this broadcast is nothing short of astounding. It puts the bootleg I currently have to shame. A few episodes of this broadcast are up on YouTube.

Chris Sobieniak said...

On a related note, GO (an Australian television station that opened recently) is airing Marine Boy. The colors and quality of this broadcast is nothing short of astounding. It puts the bootleg I currently have to shame. A few episodes of this broadcast are up on YouTube.

I just noticed that, DAMN! This is what the Warner Archives need to be doing (sad it would only be available to the US)!

Ninjatron said...

Artwork finished and sent!

But more importantly, first hand knowledge of the greatness of Prince Planet has been achieved. Oh yes.

Sayonara.

Lookin4Radion said...

Hulu has messed up, or was misinformed about the episode sequence.

What they have posted as "The Arabian Magician" is not correct. The video is # 39 "The Robot Prince"

I suppose Hulu was trying to release the episodes in order but they jumped way ahead to a point where Krag, not Warlock was the Prince's main rival.

Nanto said...

Some more good news: apparently the six episodes that are not going to be posted online by MGM (4,36,40,41,42,46) don't seem to overlap at all with the six episodes that are missing from all known fan collections (3,5,21,32,45,47). Murphy's Law (or Sod's Law as they call it in the UK) appears to not be in effect in this situation!

thatoneman said...

@nanto: You mention that you have Episode 42 of Prince Planet? I've been looking all over and can't find it. Could you please send me a link for it?
Thanks

doctorj said...

Apparently the MGM/Hulu issue with "The Arabian Magician" has been corrected, so there are only five episodes that are not posted online by MGM (36,40,41,42,46)

Episode 42 is the only one that I have not seen - and cannot find. I assume it exists in English somewhere, right? I believe 8th man had it in his 16mm collection before MGM entered the picture.

A link would be awesome!

Rodders said...

Hey i just got a full set of B & W Prince Planet, what a blast ! It's been 40 or so years since I've seen this.

all 52 episodes...now how to colorize it..surely with digital tech we can do this.

Yes I've seen the Marine Boy episodes on GO and happen to rememeber speaking to a Channel 9 programmer who said that the quality of films and media shown on TV have to be much higher than the typical dvd we rent from the video store. This is not just a question of pixels for HD but the actual total quality of the output..audio and video. thus the number of shows that get aired in full surround are not the same as their dvd counterparts. It is expensive to remaster these for Television broadcast and that is why they are not always in 5.1 surround. This being said, It is understandable why Marine Boy is a higher quality as it is likely that they have had to up the quality , ready for broadcast.

I've been looking for Gigantor , Astro Boy and found Kimba instead.

Xenorama said...

colorization is the devil! let's leave b/w cartoons the way they were produced and meant to be shown.

here's Gigantor, easily available from amazon.com-

http://www.amazon.com/Gigantor-Collection-Vol-Ray-Owens/dp/B001SGVDPQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1300813065&sr=1-1