Syncro-Vox is defined as being an animated still or still picture that is given motion through the lips by an actor whose lips are voicing the character and providing the motion of the lips. If you’ve ever seen “Conan O’Brien” or the opening of “Spongebob” then you know what Syncro-Vox is, and it’s an obsolete method used in the rather creaky science fiction animated series called “Space Angel.”
Much like the animated series “Speed Racer’s” propensity for barely moving the characters at all while talking, Syncro-Vox was used as a form of saving money for the animated team, which is made very obvious when you see what “Space Angel” has to offer.
I don’t think you can really describe it as animation technically since about 85 percent of the show is reliant on stills that are occasionally animated, while the actor’s lips do the work for the animators. While it’s incredibly goofy and utterly surreal to watch now, I gather it was an interesting experiment in the past by Cambria Studios. “Space Angel” has all the ingredients to be one of the cooler science fiction animated series I’ve ever seen, and while it can be entertaining, it’s just not the product of the past I enjoyed sitting through too much. In spite of the low budget, “Space Angel” is pretty boring with storylines that are based around an often bland series of characters who are never a driving force in an otherwise interesting premise.
Space Angel himself is a pretty forgettable superhero, too. As a fanatic for pretty much all animated mediums, “Space Angel” is interesting, but painfully aged to the point where only a small special section of collectors will enjoy what VCI Entertainment has to give them. One of the upsides is that “Space Angel” is given a great treatment with a picture quality that’s awfully marvelous. And what “Space Angel” lacks in entertainment it more than makes up for in fantastic art from Alex Toth who paints every single scene with a detailed brilliance. Toth’s art work here is rather stunning to watch, and more than made up for the series short comings.
As for the DVD, it’s a pretty average treatment with the menus often lacking in any punch, while the bells and whistles are really only comprised of a twenty minute phone interview with Margaret Kerry, voice of Crystal and the legendary voice behind “Tinkerbell.” It’s a nice little interview with Kerry who is very energetic in spite of her age. Having never been exposed to Syncro-vox beyond late night talk shows, “Space Angel” was a surreal experience to sit through and with its limited animation, the free flow of live action lips was a trip. I’m not sure I particularly enjoyed it, but it may appeal to collectors, which is what these DVD’s are mostly for.