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THE DUKES: The Animated Series (dvd review)

Warner Archive // Released December 14, 2010 // Not Rated

The Pitch
In this fondly remembered animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios, Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke take their high-wheelin’ country cruisin’ around the world in a race against Boss Hogg for the family farm. No joshin’ – the Dukes speed through France, Italy, Austria, Greece, England – you name it, the General Lee made tracks there! En route, Boss Hogg pulls the nastiest tricks ever, like blinding the boys with a fog machine, having them kidnapped and tricking them into a jewel heist. Why, that Hogg’s as crooked as a dog’s hind leg! But that won’t stop the Dukes from fighting a fair fight and teaching that cheat a few tricks along the way. Y’all need to catch this 4-Disc, 20-Episode Complete Animated Series Collection from the time the pedal hits the metal all the way to the finish line!

The Review
People might remember way back in 1981, when Dukes of Hazzard stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat went on strike, demanding more money and better scripts.  They were quickly replaced by actors Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer as cousins Coy and Vance Duke.  The dull duo lasted for nineteen episodes of the series.

And thirteen episodes of The Dukes.

And therein lies the biggest problem with The Dukes.  Set aside the poor animation and insipid plots, the replacement Duke cousins lent their voices and likenesses to the animated series for almost two thirds of the run before Schenider and Wopat’s Bo and Luke take over, appearing in a much improved seven final episodes, finally infusing the series with a little personality. 

The Dukes series features all of the familiar characters (Where art thou, Cooter?) where they are racing Boss Hogg and Roscoe Coltrane across the planet for no apparent reason.  Roscoe’s dog, Flash, now wears a hat and talks a bit and Uncle Jesse now hangs out with a raccoon, and racial stereotyping is pretty predominant throughout.

While I continue to be happy by the sheer variety of releases coming from the Warner Archive, this one is really for hardcore Dukes fans only, and even with that, only the last third of the release with Schneider and Wopat is worth your time.

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