The Rewatch 74: The Animated Series

I decided to review this series as a whole after the third episode because the episodes are so short its hard to do a review that’s not just a summery of events.  Instead, I’m going to write one review on the entirely of the season.

The Animated series was produced in 1973-1974 for Paramount Television. It was a 22 minute show that aired in the morning.  The writers decided to aim this series at all ages rather then just adults.  Therefore some of the themes from the original series aren’t to be found in this series.

This series is not necessary to watch to enjoy later series. It does fill in some elements of backstory and characterization for the Original series.   It has been argued back and forth whether this series is part of the franchise canon, and I believe it eventually is canon.  It definitely doesn’t have the same feel as the other series.

Part of that I believe is because it must tell its story in 22 minutes rather then 50 (or 45 for later series). It also requires, due to production costs, several of the actors to do several voices. That isn’t uncommon with animated series.  Its when the characters are known characters from the show (for example, Koloth) and its someone else doing the voice is a little off putting.  

The stories are sometimes a bit odd as well.  Some of them are based on scripts and outlines that were in the plan for the non-existant season 4.  Reducing something meant for 50 minutes down to 22 probably leaves something left to be desired. 

The series, like TOS, is episodic rather then arched, so each episode is pretty much self-contained.  I think if there had been more episodes, and some of the episodes had continuing stories perhaps it would have worked out better.

Overall I am neutral on this series.  Its not a show I enjoyed binging.  I feel like perhaps its better as an occasional view, maybe when you have a feel for a particular storyline.  I do enjoy that the animated series has given more time to some of the characters not the main three, such as Uhura and Chapel.  It also think it helped the idea of making a film later down the road.

The animation is beautiful, but it doesn’t age well.  There are often mistakes and goofs. The one that stood out to me in the first episode is that Uhura’s desk is about three inches too low and looks like she’s twice her size.  Other scenes have background temporarily jumping to the top or lines not matching up.  I don’t know if this because of digitalizing it or if this was an original problem.

Positive things I enjoy about this series is the fact that it gives more adventures.  They just need to be drawn out a bit to be enjoyable.  This might be a good series to start with children as they are shorter stories.    It also fills out some backstory on the characters, including Robert April. 

Final Rating:  3/5.