To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the U.S. television debut of the anime series Battle of the Planets, Cartoon Network’s Boomerang will kick off an all-day marathon on Sunday, April 25. The special edition of "Boomeraction," will showcase newly remastered versions of the landmark series’ first 16 episodes.
Set in the year 2020, Battle of the Planets depicts an epic interplanetary struggle that inspires five young orphans to band together as G-Force, a group dedicated to saving the Earth and other planets from invasion by the evil Zoltar. The series originally aired in Japan as Gatchaman and ran from October 1972 to September 1974. Produced by Tatsunko Prods., it was the first major Japanese import hit since 1967’s Speed Racer, which the company also produced.
Purchased for U.S. first-run syndication by executive producer Sandy Frank, the show was adapted into English by Hanna-Barbera veterans Jameson Brewer and Alan Dinehart III, who renamed it and commissioned new animation of an R2D2-like robot character named 7-Zark-7 to narrate and bridge continuity gaps left from scenes edited for graphic violence.
Mark Norman, Sr. VP and general manager of Boomerang, remarks, "Making its U.S. premiere 25 years ago at the height of the Star Wars craze, Battle of the Planets proved to capture a similar spirit of awe-inspiring heroism in the face of overwhelming odds set against a fantastic make-believe world. This truly is a groundbreaking series that is more than worthy of the special attention we hope to bring to its important 25-year milestone."
Following the marathon, additional Battle of the Planets episodes–also featuring remastered sound, music and color–will then assume a regularly scheduled spot on Boomerang’s Sunday lineup at 9 a.m., 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.
In addition, Rhino Home Video will release 85 Battle of the Planets episodes in multi-DVD sets in May, and 3DGroove will market a new multiplayer internet video game in April. Other 25th anniversary tie-ins include comic books, graphic novels and manga produced by TOP COW from art director Alex Ross, as well as a nonfiction book covering the history of Battle of the Planets from Tomorrow Publications.