• H.R. Pufnstuf – The Complete Series (The World of Sid and Marty Krofft)

    Released by: Vivendi
    Released on: 4/15/2011
    Director: Various
    Cast: Jack Wild
    Year: 1969 - 1971
    Purchase From Amazon
    The Series:

    H.R. Pufnstuf, which ran for seventeen episodes from 1969-1971 is one of the mind trip creations of the infamous brotherly duo of Sid and Marty Krofft and one of their weirdest. Travel with Jimmy and his magic flute, Freddy, to Living Island where he meets Mayor H.R. Pufnstuf and its wild cast of inhabitants. Jimmy, a pint sized (more so) Davy Jones played by Jack Wild, sings, dances and hams it up throughout the series while continually battling Witchiepoo, played by Billie Hayes, in her never ending quest to make his magic flute her own along with other episodal shenanigans, with the help of Pufnstuf and friends. Pretty much everything on Living Island has a voice and personality of its own (trees, clocks, doors, etc.) and most are a parody of famous celebrities.

    Random observations about this series…

    *Why does the opening theme song take place in what looks to be Sound of Music Austria? And why does Jimmy kick what appears to be a large mound of poop? And why does he look so happy about it?
    *Why does Pufnstuf live in Winnie-the-Pooh’s house?
    *Why do so many kids’ shows from this era have rock bands? I mean, I know why, but it’s still odd to see and really dates them.
    *What IS Pufnstuf? A dragon? A dinosaur? What’s going on here?
    *Why were talking mushrooms allowed to smoke in 1969 but not today?

    H.R. Pufnstuf is amazingly creative and a definite predecessor for the wacky kids’ shows of the 70s; a real learning experience for the Kroffts who would follow it up with such campy gems as Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and Land of the Lost, two personal favorites of mine. The true charm of this show is its originality and magically childlike sets, simply yet effectively done in a time, thankfully, before the oversaturation of CGI. The retro aspect of this series will definitely play a role for those of you who were there the first time around and even those who enjoyed the show throughout the 70s in the form of reruns. I, unfortunately, was a bit too young for H.R. Pufnstuf when it originally aired, but can definitely see its appeal. For someone who’s never seen this, it will either be too dated for them or, hopefully, they’ll be able to appreciate it for its colorful ingenuity especially when it crosses the line of weird every now and again.


    The sound and video quality are both very good for this series, with its original Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio track and full frame presentation. The colors are amazingly bright and crisp and there is no distortion or sound loss on the show’s audio. H.R. Pufnstuf looks and sounds fantastic for a program that originally aired over forty years ago.

    Extras include a never before released episode of Horror Hotel from the Krofft Superstar Hour as well as downloadable song sheets from the series and a H.R. Pufnstuff coloring book. Coloring pages included on programs like this have always seemed pointless to me, but the Horror Hotel episode is a treasure for sure. The Collector’s Edition also includes an H.R. Pufnstuf bobble head.

    The Final Word:

    Vivendi’s release of H.R. Pufnstuf – The Complete Series is a nostalgist’s dream come true. For those that were there, this is an awesome blast from the past and for those into the weird and wonderful world of offbeat children’s programming, this is a must see. It’s held up well considering it was so far out to begin with and is a fun escape from the every day. Hop aboard… next stop… Living Island!

    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Gory's Avatar
      Gory -
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      I hated that flute. HATED it. But I can do a decent impression of it. I used to watch the reruns when I was a kid, but we only had an old black-and-white hand me down tv. I never saw it in color until a few years ago. Blew my mind. Mind explosion.
    1. Charlie G's Avatar
      Charlie G -
      HR (Hand Rolled) Pufnstuf (Wacky Weed) was really trippy and far out!
    1. Alison Jane's Avatar
      Alison Jane -
      Hey, where've you been, man?!
    1. Charlie G's Avatar
      Charlie G -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alison Jane View Post
      Hey, where've you been, man?!
      Real life keeps getting in the way.