Re-visit the vintage animated past of your childhood, introduce your own kids to Michael Jackson in his freshest incarnation, and broaden the very small selection of media you and your kids can enjoy together with Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series, offered for the first time ever on DVD and Blu-ray this year.
The series first aired in the early 1970s, and loosely follows the humorous misadventures of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael as they’re discovered by Diana Ross and hit the road to international superstarstardom, meeting all sorts of crazy characters along the way, and remaining humble and cheerfully optimistic even when faced with performing for the Queen of England in shabby patched rags. The voices of the real life Jackson brothers weren’t used in the show, but studio cuts from the group’s catalog were, with two complete J5 songs “performed” in each of the 23 episodes. These kaleidoscopic music video-style montages reveal the show’s age, as do the tasteful symphonic re-imaginings of J5 songs specially scored for each episode, the laugh track, fashions out-of-date even by cartoon standards, and the overall unsophisticated style of animation. But for the most part, these retro features only add to the series’ overall charm, as do the moments when the soundtrack veers away from the hits into deeper cut territory (“Goin’ Back to Indiana,” “Don’t Know Why (I Love You)”). (Classic Media)
4 out of 5 stars