The Addams Family: The Complete Series (DVD)

There will always be a place for America’s ghoulish family The Addams and I assume in lieu of the proposed Tim Burton re-launch, the Hanna Barbera animated series from the early seventies is something of a necessary property to re-live the nostalgia for fans of the franchise and help them hunger for Burton’s new vision. Featuring the entire series in a four DVD set, “The Addams Family” is quite a departure from the normality of the creepy Addams Family this time venturing out beyond the series to offer up some Scooby Doo mystery solving.

One of the highlights of the series is the discovery that a young Jodie Foster (Yes, that Jodie Foster) voices Wednesday Addams. Beyond that this is a typical cash in from the Hanna Barbera legacy. Instead of leaving them in one place to cope with everyday life, instead the Addams take their show on the road driving around in a humongous Victorian Mansion/RV that brings aboard all of the Addams for the fun.

They venture in to trailer parks, big cities, alleyways, and back roads all driving the normal folks of society crazy while also inadvertently falling in the middle of pure danger solving crimes and catching thieves who end up in the throes of the spooky family and by the end of the episode are pleading to be taken away. The animation is absolutely simplistic with most of the character models restricted to simple motions and the background in typical fashion from the decade, all the while the show is your basic Addams fixtures but retconning the storyline to where Fester is now Gomez’ brother and Grandma Morticia’s mother. This would later be re-visited in the nineties hit live action movies where the primary storyline for both films were Gomez’ attempts to reconnect with Fester, his beloved brother.

There are your usual assortment of Addams characters like It and Thing, and Lurch, all of whom join along for the zany ride crashing in to the establishment who are unprepared for their morbid parlor games, and grotesque approaches toward monotony. For what it is, it’s a fairly entertaining iteration of the original idea, and for anyone looking to touch base with the creepy and spooky Addams clan, this is a good purchase all around. It’s just a shame not a single episode uses the classic theme song from the Addams Family and relies on a pretty tame and terrible opening sequence. For historians looking for special features that could give them an insight in to the series and Foster’s voice work, you’re out of luck as this is an archive release, strictly put on shelves for the fans to collect and nothing more.