Space Stars: The Complete Series is one of those wonderful discoveries that I had no idea existed until Warner Archive brought it to my attention.
Space Stars was an anthology/team-up animated series that originally ran in an hour timeslot from 1981-1982. There are a total of 11 episodes on three discs, but each episode has all of these cartoon segments:
Two new Space Ghost adventures and a new Herculoids cartoon.
Teen Force was a group of three heroes, much like The Mod Squad (one white guy, one black guy, one girl), only with weird spiky helmets and space cycles. They each had special powers — Kid Comet, superspeed; Moleculad, shape-changing; and Elektra, mental powers — and their mascots/ pets/ cute sidekicks were two blue Astromites.
Astro and the Space Mutts featured the Jetsons’ pet helping out the hero Space Ace (with a Burt Reynolds mustache) along with dogs Cosmo and Dipper. This segment was more comedy, less adventure.
The Space Star Finale had Space Ghost, the Herculoids, and Teen Force all teaming up to fight a big bad guy. Sometimes, the characters appeared in each other’s cartoons as well. This opening clip explains the show’s concept:
The interstitials from the show are also included:
- Previews of what was coming in the first and second halves of the show.
- “Space Magic” has the characters demonstrating magic tricks
- A “Space Fact” gave information about things you might find in outer space, such as a comet
- “Space Mystery” posed a deductive puzzle that tied into the previously-shown Space Fact
- “Space Mix”, where trippy laser graphics play behind spaceship footage to the tune of futuristic music, often using a theremin
- “Space Code”, a series of clips where a cipher is presented with clues to solve it
The package, taken together, is a great menu of space-based adventure, giving the impression that all these characters really did exist as part of the same universe. You may get tired of hearing the word “space” by the time it’s all over, but for a culture gone science-fiction-mad at the time, there’s a lot of entertainment for kids here.
The episode listings on the DVD menu allow you to play everything, to play by episode, or to select particular segments directly. The show’s been remastered, so it looks great, in spite of the limited animation used at the time. (The studio provided a review copy.)
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