I thought I'd mentioned a few months ago that I'd bought The Mysterious Cities of Gold at last, but I can't find any trace. Anyway, I finished the classic series the other day.
Even though it was a childhood favourite, I found I had no memory of specific plots or storylines, only of the overarching search for the Cities of Gold, and of the main characters. So it was almost like watching it for the first time, or more accurately, like watching a new season of something with familiar characters. It still stands up so well! The music and animation are very strong. I found it a bit slow at times but still compelling; and some episodes are basically filler but still very enjoyable. It's curious the way that it starts off as an historical fantasy but becomes increasingly science fiction orientated - that was probably one of the things I enjoyed as a child. I had absolutely no recollection of the documentaries in each episode; I'd love to see a documentary return to these locations now, forty years later, to see the changes or otherwise. The DVD has good extras, with interesting interviews.
I'm intrigued by it. They've kept the look of the original and have used an arrangement of the theme tune, so it seems it's been done with a love or respect for the original. It'll be interesting to see how they condense 39 episodes or however long it is into 90 minutes or so. Not that it's the first feature length Musketeers, of course. Funnily enough, as I've been enjoying watching an old serial cartoon, in the form of Cities of Gold, I was planning on watching Dogtanian soon, before I saw the trailer. I bought it a few years ago but only got so far in. After that, I might have to buy Willy Fog.
Can't believe how bad this looks. It's not even the characters. It's the lighting and the camera moves. Feels like a CBeebies show from ten years ago I can't quite remember the name of now. There's one erroneous shot of the mouse behind a rock that shows just how much they've scrimped on the scenery.
I just watched the first episode of series two of Mysterious Cities of Gold. It did not create a good first impression. The new arrangement of the theme song, which is an over-produced pop number, playing over the DVD menu made me very guarded before even starting the episode. If this series was a remake, it would be easier to accept, but as a direct continuation, it's just too far from the original: the character design is jarringly different, with the art and animation of a different style; the incidental music is a different genre; the children are now voiced by adult actors; Tao is now a squeaky-voiced child rather that the intelligent teen (or near-teen) that he was before, and has oddly acquired trousers under his tunic; and Mendoza, who admittedly could occasionally be melodramatic before, now seems to be so with every sentence. At least they retained a documentary element, but the first seemed rather lacking in substance. I shall proceed with an open mind and try to enjoy it on its own merits.