27 November 2002 | Blueghost
A mixed bag.
I enjoyed the original 1960's Star Trek TV show. The animated series was, as with all animated adaptations of live action shows, a cut or two below its predecessor, but with an interesting twist that sparked some interest for both Trek and sci-fi fan alike.
One of my real beefs with the show was the animation. Filmation studios utilized a method of pregenerated animations as fill to allow their animators to do what little "unique" animation needed to be done for each new episode. One could rightfully call it "pre-fabricated" animation. It was a kind of assembly line art that Filmation studios used with all their animated titles, and as a kid I could see this, critique it as such, and get angry with the cheapness of show's feel.
Even so, it must be said that many of the backgrounds and layouts for the series had exceptional art quality to them. Even if the main characters were stilted as they moved through a set of pre-programmed moves, typically the backgrounds in which they moved (whether it was the Enterprise moving across a starfield or planet, or the crew wander a planet) were very rich. Despite that, even as a child, I felt cheated by people who couldn't do "good" cartoons; smooth animation with the characters in unique poses.
The stories themselves were typical sci-fi fair, but were a little more far-out in terms of their extraordinary quality because the animated venue allow for more elaborate settings and circumstances. Regrettably, as one or two others have pointed out, the stories were aimed at kids. Understandibly this was because the Animated Star Trek series was slated for Saturday Mornings when it first aired. Thus all the adult interplay, innuendo and themes of the original 1960's show were truncated.
If you're a science fiction fan, then the series is worth a viewing (maybe more). If you're a die hard Star Trek fan, then you've probably already made up your own mind about this installment of the Star Trek universe. If you're a fan of sci-fi animation, or just animation, skip this one. It'd be interesting to see this set of 22 half hour episodes reanimated (and I'm sure in time someone will do just that), because some of the stories are rather interesting.
All in all I'm glad to have the series; the music's rather good, the voices of the original cast are welcome, and the art isn't half bad. But Filmation's cheap, chinsy, factory-assembled, ill-inspired, ugly, horrible, and otherwise just plain bad and wrong animation techniques leave a bad aftertaste in this viewer's mind. Sort of like waking up with a woman who looks good only after a couple of hard shots of Jack Daniels.
ADDENDUM November 2nd, 2015 In retrospect this show was created to keep the live action series alive and possibly in the minds of newer and younger viewers who would be entering their teenage years, and would have their interests piqued with an animated version of the show that seemed to garner a lot of praise by critics and fans alike.
It was purely done to keep the show alive and usher in a newer audience, but that's really not such a bad thing. I'm just sorry the production values for an animated version of the series weren't a bit higher.