The original Show was called 'The Banana Splits Adventure Hour' and consisted of 18 hour long episodes, give and take commercials. For Syndication Cable TV in the US each 1st Season episode was re-edited into two episodes lasting around 22 minutes each. It is this version that is released on the DVD package. The contents of each episode seems to be intact. All the cartoons are complete and in chronological order as well as the live action 'Danger Island'. All the music videos are here.
There are 6 episodes per disc, with a total of 36 (Hence 18 original Episodes split into 2 including all the start/end credits)
The picture (Original 4:3)/sound quality (Original mono) are in great condition considering the age of the material. The menus allow you to choose an episode or chapter into a particular cartoon or 'Danger Island'. Little can be said about the packaging as this is a real let down. Surely an original photograph or graphic design should have been used and a booklet or inlay print to display the episode guide for each disc would have been helpful. However, I guess it's the contents that matters! The DVD case is standard size, but stores the staggering 6 Discs, that are easy to remove by gentle push button.
Interestingly I think this is the first time The Banana Splits has been released on DVD. I don't think it's been release in the US yet. But for a generation of young people of that era who watch the Banana splits first time round this is a real 'blast' from past treat. Young and old will enjoy this bit of television history.
During the first season, the Banana Splits segments often concerned the group's confrontations with a rival club: The Sour Grapes Bunch. The Sour Grapes were not seen on camera, but would send notes (usually a challenge or some other kind of threat) delivered by one of the "Sour Grapes messenger girls," who would dance into the Splits' clubhouse wearing purple minidresses, matched with pink leotards, tights and black go-go boots. They would normally intimidate or frighten the Splits until they gave the note to Fleegle. They would then dance out and take a bow before leaving. Five young actresses appeared as the messenger girls: Debra Thibodeaux, Colette Chenault, Julie Graham, Kathy O'Dare, and Shirley Hillstrom; only one would appear at a time, always called "Charlie" in the context of the show, except for the performance of the song "Doin' The Banana Split" (the segment first appeared in show #5, originally telecast October 5, 1968) which featured all five girls dancing with The Banana Splits. Their dance instructor was Byron Gilliam. Both Julie Graham and Kathy O'Dare would later appear in the 1970s TV series Happy Days.
The Splits also occasionally were visited by the Mariachi-tuned Dilly Sisters (an actual musical act from Mexico), who would appear at their door playing guitars and singing "The Mexican Hat Dance" or "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay". In other recurring features during the first season, Drooper and Bingo offered advice to viewers in the "Dear Drooper" segment, while Fleegle served as the reporter for Banana Splits News. Other running gags included Fleegle repeatedly hitting himself by accident with his oversized gavel. The show introduced some catch phrases: the line, "That's An Ooch," would be said every time a member was hit or injured (sometimes, it would be a double or triple-ooch depending on the extent of the injury). Other memorable sayings included "Hold the bus!" and "Uh-oh, Chongo!" (the latter from the serialized Danger Island segment).