Shout! Factory // 1993 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 30th, 2011
All of the sword-swinging, none of the whoring!
Conan the Cimmerian likes adventure. No, strike that. He loves it. He's not big on shirts or haircuts, but what he lacks in professional fashion he makes up for in an unquenchable desire to reclaim his family name and battle evil wherever he might find it. Conan's principal antagonist is the diabolical Wrath-Amon, a devoted servant of the evil snake-lord Set, who harbors intentions to take over the world and the usual megalomaniacal desires these cartoon villains all share.
This two-disc set features the first 13 episodes of Season Two, which finds Conan and his regular rotation of sidekicks engaging in all manner of excitement. Thirteen episodes:
* "Tribal Warfare"
* "Curse of Axh'oon"
* "Master Thief of Shadizar"
* "The Vengeance of Jhebbel Sag"
* "The Red Brotherhood"
* "Thunder and Lightning"
* "The Crevasse of Winds"
* "Hanuman the Ape God"
* "Isle of the Naiads"
* "In Days of Old"
* "Birth of Wrath-Amon"
* "The treachery of Emperors"
Lot of oddball names there. I'm thinking that the episode writers, when faced with the need to generate names for the monsters-of-the-week, grabbed a handful of Scrabble tiles, threw them in the air, and whatever landed face-up was Conan's adversary for the day.
Conan the Adventurer feels like the spiritual successor to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, partly because its early '90s airdate but mainly because of the jittery animation, the roided-up male characters, the lithe, cleavage-sporting females and the rogues gallery of freaks. The swords and magic and whatnot apply, as well. Also, Conan has this irritating phoenix thing that lives in his shield, which gives Orko a run for his money in the Animated Comic Relief That I Wouldn't Mind Seeing Mola Ram Drop Into a Volcano department.
One aspect where Conan the Adventurer falls short of He-Man: the main bad guy. Wrath-Amon has his moments and his snake-torso outfit is pretty awesome, but he just isn't quite as big a prick as Skeletor. Besides, Conan battles so many different villains, it's difficult to grab onto this rivalry.
Anywho, we're here to talk about Conan the Adventurer and judged on its own merits, it's okay. There's a lot of creativity packed in these episodes, yet I have trouble distinguishing it from the clamor of its old-school brethren. If you're a Conan die-hard? Sure, this might scratch an itch somewhere. I just don't see its appeal beyond a small target demographic.
Shout Factory's set is bare bones: full frame, 2.0 stereo, no extras.
It's sub-mediocre stuff, but I'll give Conan the Adventurer this much:
it's way better than that Jason Momoa live-action turd.
Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Not Rated