Filmation’s Flash in BCI’s Pan

Navarre Corp.’s BCI has picked up home video distribution rights to Filmmation’s animated Flash Gordon series and plans to give the show its maiden DVD launch on July 18. The four-disc Flash Gordon’The Complete Series will feature all 24 episodes that aired from 1979 to 1981. BCI acquired the rights from Hearst Ent. and will release the series under its new ‘Ink & Paint’ banner for animated titles.

Created by Alex Raymond, the Flash Gordon character first debuted in comic strips in 1934 and went on to appear in serials and feature films, inspiring George Lucas to invent the Star Wars universe. The space-traveling hero returned to the big screen in 1980 while the animated show was reaching a new generation of fans. Another toon series was launched in 1996.

Flash Gordon’The Complete Series follows the adventures of the heroic Earthman who travels with the lovely Dale Arden and scientist Hans Zarkov to the distant planet of Mongo, where they battle ruthless Emperor Ming the Merciless with the help of Thun, savage leader of the Lion Men, dashing Prince Barin, leader of Arboria, and Vultan, King of the Hawkmen.

BCI has previously handled the home vid releases of the Filmation series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra. As with those best-selling titles, the Flash Gordon disc will boast a number of special features, including a 20-minute documentary titled Blasting off with Flash Gordon, featuring interviews with creators and historians. There will also be and interactive storyboard-to-animation comparison and commentary by exec producer Lou Scheimer, writer Tom Ruegger, writer Michael Reaves, animator Darrell McNeil and host Andy Mangels on the episodes ‘A Planet in Peril,’ ‘Sir Gremlin’ and ‘Gremlin’s Finest Hour.’ Other extras include an extensive gallery of original model sheets for all main heroes and villains, detailed profiles of various characters, trivia, two collectible 4×6 exclusive Flash Gordon art cards by acclaimed comic artists Frank Cho and Gene Ha, and DVD-ROM scripts, storyboards and the complete series Bible in PDF format. The DVD set will launch in July at the San Diego Comic-Con and will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.98.