G-Force ROCKS!

By | April 20, 2010

NO! I am not talking about the insipid, rodent-filled name-stealer.

Why?! Why did they do it?!

Similar to Lee’s story in the blog entry that I’m blatantly ripping off, even to the point of taking his graphics, when I heard about a live action G-Force movie I could feel the 10-year old geek in me pushing and punching the 38-year old (at the time) actual geek that is me to race to the computer sooner than humanly possible to bring up the trailer. I also remember the internal scream of agony from that 10-year old geek when the trailer appeared and I realized that I wasn’t watching some dumb ad for a kids movie preceding the awesomeness of G-Force, I was watching some dumb ad for a kids movie that will now forever soil the name G-Force.

I’m only judging that movie by the trailer and its name. I haven’t seen it. I can’t bring myself to do it. I would feel like a traitor. Watching that movie would mean I accept its claim to the title “G-Force.” I can’t do that to the real G-Force:

G-Force: Mark, Tiny, Keyop, Princess, and Jason

G-Force is the team that saved the planet on a regular basis in Battle of the Planets – a 1979 American import of a 1972 Japanese animation (heavily edited), and then reworked and released as G-Force: Guardians of Space in 1986.

Check out the opening credits:

That Fiery Phoenix is too awesome for words.

So Battle of the Planets started in 1979, when Star Wars was completely changing the game in popular culture. Everybody was trying to cash in somehow. As a result, we got those receding title screens and the obviously edited-in 7Zark7 to appeal to the newly minted droid-lovers. (The music and voice-over should also cause flashbacks to the 70s Superfriends cartoon. Both the title composer (Hoyt Curtin) and narrator (William Woodson) did very recognizable work on both shows.)

G-Force was originally, as I said, a Japanese show called Gatchaman. When it was brought in for young American audiences, it was heavily edited down to remove the graphic violence, profanity, and transgenderism of the original. Apparently, though, the American version retained much of the storyline of the original, compensating for the large cuts by exposition and the inclusion of the 7Zark7 character to smooth things over and provide some comic relief.

I didn’t know any of that until I saw Lee’s blog and learned about Gatchaman. He found this very cool trailer for a new CGI movie of Gatchaman under production:

Apparently it’s unclear whether this will make it into theaters. It’s already missed a couple of release dates, and the studio is clearly having financial trouble. The creative team appears to have gone through some changes, as well, though it’s heartening to know that Paul Dini (of Batman: The Animated Series fame) wrote the original script treatments. Still, Wikipedia (arbiter of reality that it is) claims that the studio is now shooting for 2011 (and in 3-D, too).

I hope they pull it off. This looks very cool.

I may try to get my hands on the original Gatchaman as well. I just watched most of an episode on YouTube and really liked it.

2 thoughts on “G-Force ROCKS!

  1. Jeff Post author

    Yeah, it was broken into three parts and subtitled (though it was a little hard to keep track of, especially in part 2 where the sound was 4 seconds off). The one I watched was the final episode, which wasn’t used in the US versions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QDsTOnchVs&feature=related

    Even though the US versions supposedly stuck to the story pretty well, it’s obvious just from this episode that there was more going on. A couple of major character deaths probably ensured that the episode was skipped for the kids, though.

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