Simpsons, Phooey, Magilla on Disc

Make room on your DVD shelf for more fun with Homer and two Hanna-Barbera favorites from the 1970s. Ripe for the picking this week are The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season, Hong Kong Phooey: The Complete Series and Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series.

All 25 episodes from the eighth season of The Simpsons come on four discs that include the instalments ‘Burns, Baby Burns,’ ‘The Homer They Fall,’ ‘Hurricane Neddy,’ ‘Lisa’s Date with Density,’ ‘Bart After Dark,’ ‘You Only Move Twice’ and ‘The Springfield Files,’ which features guest-starring turns by X-Files stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. The Fox Home Entertainment collector’s set lists for $49.98 and includes such bonus features as The Simpsons House featurette, audio commentary, animation showcases, deleted scenes, a sketch gallery and promotional spots.

Scatman Crothers voices the title role of Hong Kong Phooey, a Kung Fu-fighting canine hero who gets his crime tips while posing as a mild-mannered janitor in a police station. With help from his cat, Spot, the bumbling amateur superhero always manages to save the day and foil the evil plots of such villains as Claw, the Giggler, Goldfisher and the Gum Drop Kid. All 31 episodes of the 1974 series are contained on two discs, which also offer a retrospective documentary, a storyboard-to-animation comparison and commentary on three episodes by original team members including creative producer Iwao Takamoto and layout unit manager Willie Ito, as well as Warner Bros. animation producer-historian Scott Jeralds. The Warner Home Video releaes carries a suggested retail price of $26.99.

Magilla Gorilla: The Complete Series is a four-disc set offering all 23 episodes of the show (1964-1965) about a big ape who lives at Mr. Peebles’ Pet Shop and is continually bought and returned when he wreaks havoc on customer’s lives. Also featured are secondary cartoons with the animated duos Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, and Rocochet Rabbit and Droop-a-long Coyote. Bonus materials include the feturette Magilla Theme Song, Live And Unplugged, which is introduced by series animator Jerry Eisenberg and offers rare footage of Hoyt Curtin and William Hanna at the piano. Mr. Peebles Pet Shop is an interactive interview gallery with Magilla voicer Allan Melvin, Eisenberg and animation historian Jerry Beck, and Here Comes a Star is an archival TV special that takes viewers inside Hanna-Barbera Studios. The Warner Home Video release lists for $44.98.