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Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series

posted Jan 17, 2013, 10:41 AM by Vu Nguyen

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The Jackson Five
The Jackson Five's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is quite cute. I believe they only released one Christmas album (in 1970), but the album's.…
So I just binge-watched the entire Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series on Tuesday, when the Blu-Ray/DVD was released via DreamWorks Classics. Yes, all 23 episodes. Please note that this is not the Jackson Five live variety show that aired in 1976, this is the 1971 animation series.

My favorite episode from the series is either the one where they go to England to sing for the Queen or the episode where each Jackson tells a story from his point of view.

Every episode features two full Jackson Five songs, including hits like "ABC", "I'll Be There", "The Love You Save" and my favorite, "Goin' Back to Indiana." Usually the Jackson Five problems can be solved by singing a song, which ends many of their episodes. The songs work like pre-MTV music videos (think Beatles Yellow Submarine-era) so every song had unique animations. Sometime, very rarely, do they add motion video, but these are done as background effects.

As for the actual animation, these were pre-digital, pre-computer, so they were hand painted animation cells. Sometime you can see dirt/clouds on the clear sheet, but for the most part, the video looks very good.

The series is a product of its time. I don't know if it will go well in today/modern viewing, particularly the bad laugh tracks or the various 70s slangs, such as 'cats', 'jive', 'groovy', etc. I don't think kids today will "get" the Jackson 5ive show; it seems to me that this DVD release is aimed for older TV fans from the 70s or Michael Jackson fans.

Special features? There are none. No commentaries, no featurettes, no subtitles (or closed captions). The only saving grace is that the 46 songs have been cleaned up (remastered) for this release, which I suspect were just taken from the remastered Jackson Five album catalogue. Still, the DVD and Blu-Ray is the only place that you're going to find all the shows collected for the first time, so it's worth it if you've been waiting all this time for it.

Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series is available now at your local movie stores. Suggested retail price for the Blu-Ray/DVD combo is $39.99, but amazon has it for $34. DVD is priced marginally cheaper. If you are looking to only buy selected episodes, they are available digitally for $1.99 (SD) or $2.99 (HD). However, think about it, you'll be spending more money buying per episode.

The Jackson 5ive (1971)