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  #61  
Old 04-21-2016, 11:02 AM
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I really like this thread. I got introduced to a lot of old late 60s and 70s cartoons thanks to Teletoon back in the late 1990s. There is one opening in particular that I find catchy:



I think Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids beat it as the first cartoon to star an African-American. This am I not sure of. Also, Josie is voiced by Janet Waldo, who voiced Judy Jetson and a lot of other H-B characters, but for some reason her name isn't listed in the end credits.

Casey Kasem is easy to recognize too.
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  #62  
Old 04-23-2016, 04:51 AM
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BTW, I may get around to doing 80's cartoons some day, but I'll never be able to top this.

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  #63  
Old 05-11-2016, 07:59 AM
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Default The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan



I’m not terribly familiar with the character of Charlie Chan except that he’s a detective from… the 30’s, I think and is therefore probably prone to having some unintentionally racist aspects to it. Of course, I don’t know that for sure, it could be ahead of its time (there probably not a lot of positive Chinese protagonists in that era outside of China) but even with good intent, it wouldn’t surprise me if the material didn’t hold well in today’s standards. But on the plus side, he’s probably better than Mickey Rooney’s Japanese character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

But watching this, I am forced to ask how much is there that is questionable is due to assumptions on my part and how much is due to things that are really there. I will say, there isn’t all that much, which is nice because it feels like almost every Hanna Barbera intro had a “booga booga” man in tribal African garb and a scary mask. But feel free to call me out on stuff I get wrong or wherein I miss the point.

OK, I actually like this a lot better than a lot of the Hanna Barbera openings. Too few of them have a real recognizable theme, and it feels like the opening music is simply a bed (if I’m using the term correctly) for the images. This one actually has kind of a whispery theme that is actually fun to whisper along with. Not that there’s much of a song. There’s a theme, and with the title being whispered over and over.

Image-wise, we are off to a good start: our hero, a dapper, heavy-set man sitting in someone’s eye. He’s being watched by this week’s culprit, who sees the one man who can undo his plot. Then we get an extreme close-up of Chan’s face before backing off. Despite his docile smile, the weariness on his face tells us this is a man who has been effected by the horrors he’s seen. Years of witnessing murder scenes will do that to you. Do you think Jessica Fletcher is really in her 60’s on Murder, She Wrote? She’s 33 years old, having been visibly aged in dealing with the over 100 murders during a 7 or so year period in the 80’s and 90’s in Cabbot Cove.

Then we can see his various kids, appearing in various colours each making me think each one has their own Flintstones vitamin-type flavour. The bright colours fade into their natural hues as the kids continuing chasin’ that crook. A similar shot happens again with the bright colours but this time we get all 10 kids from youngest to oldest. Yep, there are 10 kids in this show, so there’s at least one stereotype.



Also, some kind of ugly pet. Then we see Charlie Chan with a magnifying glass, possibly burning ants or simply magnifying an image. Perhaps he is using it to look at another magnifying glass, which is further away.
Then we get our title (which is also whispered to us) as a van carrying our hero drives through a giant web. I assume it is a web of deceit, but I could see there being giant spiders in this show. As our vaguely Asian theme continues, two teens driving the van (well, one driving and one shotgun) press a button). Suddenly, the can transforms into a fire truck, a street cleaner, a truck with a carousel, and back into their van. I can only assume that this is in line with the canon of the original book and film series.

They drive into a tunnel of perfect darkness and then we cut to Charlie himself, with his now multi-coloured brood running from behind his back as if he was a crime solving clown car. Then we see who I assume is the oldest kid on drums. Then running. Then a fingerprint, into which the cast slides into place on a Brady Bunch style grid, which also includes their inhuman looking pet. Does anyone know how to do screengrabs off of youtube? I don’t know if it is an ugly cat or an ugly dog but it has a weird facial expression that one usually doesn’t get from a Hanna Barbera sidekick-pet.

Then one of the kids is chased through a museum by a caveman. Or so I thought. See, it seems that he’s running away and eludes him by grabbing a pole in an entryway (why it’s there is another question but whatevs.) HOWEVER, look closely and the caveman is already running past him, so now I don’t know what this scenario is. But that’s the genius of the opening. Now I need to know WHY the Caveman and this member of the Chan Clan were running in the same direction (possibly as allies?) before the Chan boy grabbed that pole. I NEED BACKSTORY.

And then A FOREIGN GUY! LOOK OUT, THE CHAN CLAN! Some ominous looking guy with a turban and his hands are outstretched. Also, he has green eyes, and not in the normal way. He’s probably a bad guy. He certainly isn’t drawn with a benevolent aura.

Then the cat-thing (I’m pretty sure it’s a cat at this point but it is ugly as sin) scats a little. Finally Shoyu Weenie plays some music, because every other gang of teens in Hanna Barbera cartoons are musically talented. To be fair, this could be their version of Sherlock playing the violin.

Finally, we get our titles, one more quick short of the rainbow gang running in the background and Charlie Chan himself in an iris.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

While I liked the intro more than some of the others we've seen so far, not particularly. I admit, I am curious about the show, but not enough to go out of my way to watch it... for now.

Now I look on wikipedia to learn more about the show:


First I decided to do a quick check on the character of Chan himself. Basically, there's an argument about whether he is a positive representation of an Asian hero. That was certainly the idea, based on a real detective in Honolulu with the intent of creating an alternative to the offensive "Yellow Peril" characters, best represented by Fu Manchu. Some argue that he is a smart, kindly Asian hero while others argue certain elements such as his broken English and that all of his good qualities are decidedly Western. I might read more about it, but I just wanted to crack jokes about a cheesy cartoon. Maybe I'll read more about it later (if there are any Chan aficionados or detractors, let me know your take).

Interestingly Keye Luke (who originally played Charlie's son) plays Chan in this one, making him the first person of Chinese decent to play the role. Other than that, there's nothing particularly interesting about this one.

EDIT: OK, it's a dog.

Last edited by Johnny Unusual; 05-11-2016 at 08:14 AM.
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  #64  
Old 05-11-2016, 12:11 PM
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Then one of the kids is chased through a museum by a caveman. Or so I thought. See, it seems that he’s running away and eludes him by grabbing a pole in an entryway (why it’s there is another question but whatevs.) HOWEVER, look closely and the caveman is already running past him, so now I don’t know what this scenario is.
The scenario is that the scene was poorly animated.

Also, I think that's supposed to be a dog. OK, I have absolutely no idea what kind of creature that is.
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  #65  
Old 05-11-2016, 03:36 PM
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All I know about Charlie Chan is that when I was, like four years old, I had a VHS tape of ancient cartoons, and one was a Charlie Chan parody starring Porky Pig and I found it weird and unpleasant and more then a little racist. Which was doubly weird since, at four years old, I wasn't aware racism existed.

Also, did every group in every Hanna Barbara cartoon have to also be a band?
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  #66  
Old 05-11-2016, 04:48 PM
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No, but that was a missed opportunity for the Super Friends.
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  #67  
Old 05-11-2016, 04:50 PM
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They doubled down on Funny Animal Sidekicks to compensate.
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  #68  
Old 05-12-2016, 07:10 AM
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Default Archie's TV Funnies

Archie’s TV Funnies


Diving right in, we start with a series of colourful but empty comics panel as our rockin’ guitar theme kicks in. A witch starts flying zig-zag towards us though the panels, as if they were a series of window, but before we are given a chance to take this in we cut to the next scene. Now we see the Riverdale gang staring before various monitors with different characters in each one. Perhaps they are spying on them, like some sort of Riverdale-based Big Brother gang?

Back to the panels, some dude is going up and down a pole. It’s moving fast, but it is safe to assume that the guy is a fireman of some kind. Jughead tunes a monitor which quick shows a series of weird-looking dudes who are the bad guys of Dick Tracy (Flattop was the one who gave it away for me).
We then see Archie reading from funny papers, which turns from Dick Tracy to Smokey Stover (what?), then Emmy Lou (what?). We then get a close up of the panels and see a profile of Dick Tracy, then Nancy and Sluggo, a tall and short guy I don’t recognize, then a far away shot with some characters in the panels. Then back to the close ups for a smiling bug-eyed guy in a derby, who is soon photobombed by a smaller dude in a derby (for reasons I can’t explain, this imagery is bizarrely pleasing to me).

We then see the Riverdale Gang back at their control panels and turning to the audience. Hot Dog somehow managed to get on top of one of the consoles. Then back to the funny pages for a close up of the witch.

Then we get our title and the kind of rockin’ theme song. It then starts introducing the shows within the show:

“With Dick Tracy” (the profile turns into a silhouette with his head filling up with villains. Aside from the visual, should I be reading any deeper into that?)

“Captain and the Kids” OK, this one I kind of know. It’s the Katzenjammer Kids, from an era when the funniest gimmick in your funny comic strip was broken English (it was a different time and I feel like it came from people observing the wacky accents beloved family members had)

“Emmy Lou” This one doesn’t even deserve a close-up apparently, with a picture of Archie reading an Emmy Lou comic. Come to think of it, he probably isn’t. I think even in the 70’s, Sunday funnies might get one page at best and Archie is right in the middle of the paper, with Emmy Lou facing us. Clearly no one reads Emmy Lou. Oh, no wait, we get our close up. She even winks at us.

“Nancy and Sluggo” I’ve only heard of this strip but I’ve never read a one. I guess they use flowers and watering cans to talk instead of words. Maybe they use other pictures to speak, but I have chosen to be willfully ignorant of this, as I like my interpretation better.

“Here Come the Dropouts” A small and big guy running. That’s about all I can get from this.

“Moon Mullins” OK, this is the one with the pleasing bowling hat imagery. The name is familiar, I think from the 1000 Comic to Read Before You Die book I have back in Canada.

“Smokey Stover” We then get Archie pointedly NOT reading Smokey Stover before we see Smokey (I assume) is going up and down a fire pole.

“And Broom-Hilda” I feel like I have read the comic a few times before, but for some reason I thought she looked different. Does she look different then than now?

We are told the titles again before get another shot of the consoles and monitors with the Riverdale gang and are told that there’s a lot of fun for everyone.

I think I like elements of this in theory, but it has too much animation recycled from the same opening we are watching, like they had 30 seconds of animation to fill 54 seconds.

All in all, not one of the worst openings of this era, but pretty forgettable.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?
A little, but less from the strength of the imagery and more because I want to know more about these comic strips no one under the age of 45 have heard of.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show:

Not much from this one. It’s about the Riverdale gang running a TV studio and in between the Archie “A”-story we get some quick comic strip based cartoons. No real interesting trivia for this one. One imdb comment implies there was actually very little Archie until the later season, but reading the episode list from Wikipedia seems to imply it’s the other way around. A mystery I don’t feel like solving today.
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  #69  
Old 05-12-2016, 07:25 AM
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A little, but less from the strength of the imagery and more because I want to know more about these comic strips no one under the age of 45 have heard of.
Warren Beatty was making noises about a new Dick Tracy movie a couple of weeks ago, believe it or not.

(I actually like that movie as a trainwreck, even if it's got nothing on The Shadow)
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  #70  
Old 05-12-2016, 07:32 AM
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Warren Beatty was making noises about a new Dick Tracy movie a couple of weeks ago, believe it or not.

(I actually like that movie as a trainwreck, even if it's got nothing on The Shadow)
Nothing has anything on The Shadow
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  #71  
Old 05-12-2016, 08:04 AM
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Speaking of, here's an episode of the Dick Tracy show from Archie's TV Funnies.



OK, where did Mumbles get access to Fantastic Four level-tech?

Also, no one seems to actually notice that there's an alien on the good guys team. No one looks to another character and says "Hey, you ever notice there's some alien teenage girl on our team? Isn't this fucking crazy?"
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  #72  
Old 05-12-2016, 08:07 AM
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Nothing has anything on The Shadow
This bears repeating. Often.
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  #73  
Old 05-12-2016, 08:14 AM
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Also, no one seems to actually notice that there's an alien on the good guys team. No one looks to another character and says "Hey, you ever notice there's some alien teenage girl on our team? Isn't this fucking crazy?"
No, they probably were not surprised
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  #74  
Old 05-12-2016, 08:29 AM
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Holy shit! She married Junior and then they killed her off with a car bomb!
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  #75  
Old 05-12-2016, 08:38 AM
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Dick Tracy strips make Silver Age DC look positively sedate.
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  #76  
Old 05-17-2016, 08:54 AM
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Default Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days



I think I read the original a long time ago, but I remember more about it through other people's interpretations (fun fact, there is no balloon in the original book).

This interpretation jumps right into the action. A grumpy dude whose curtain may not match the drapes is standing behind his desk in his office, which seems to be in the hallway of a castle. I mean, it doesn't look like it's a proper actual room, certainly not for the purposes of working and doing business. I mean, NO ONE gets a chair. There's an end table for the flowers, so I guess he likes flowers but apart from that likes to keep things nice and spartan.

Anyway, this grump is yelling at our hero, his assistant and, because this is the 70's, their pet monkey.

"So Phineas Fogg, you want to marry my neice Belinda."
"Yes, Lord Mess."
OK, don't know that his name is Lord Mess, but that's what I'm hearing. Pause at 0:07 BTW, I love Fogg's assistant's smile.

Also, I kind of like Fogg's design with the big chin and Willy Wonka clothes.

"Then prove yourself worthy! Travel around the world in 80 days!"

I'm assuming that within the show, that bombshell isn't dropped quite so quickly. After all, we got a lot of info to dump in the intro and they can't just come around to this organically.

"Impossiblé!" Exclaims the assistant.
"We shall do it!" says a determined Fogg, not a moments hesitation from, in context, should be a crazy dare who premise in no way reflects one's bone fides for niece marrying. That's how determined Fogg is.

"I'll bet ya 20,000 pounds you get." This seems like a bad idea. Everyone seemed satisfied with the current terms of the bet, but you didn't get him to ante. You raised the stakes for yourself without raising the stakes for him. This is why you don't anger bet.

"It's a bet!"

I like the way this escalates right into our theme song. I'm excited already.

We then see our trio traveling in all manner of different modes with the theme song blaring (including a repeated French line I can't decipher).

Back with Lord Mess (or maybe Mais) he see him call for "Prince Cup-Ya!", a large man who was hiding under the table the whole time. Considering this is AFTER our heroes take different modes of transport, this is probably DAYS later and Cup-Ya was either hiding under there the whole time, or maybe he was hiding their for an unrelated reason before Mess realized he needed a ringer.

He tells Cup-Ya (look, I listened to it five times and it's the only name I hear) to sabotage Fogg because he "Must win that bet."

The theme song now tells us this guy is Fix and is looking to screw up our heroes with tricks (though the theme says it in a much more delightfully tongue twisty way.)

Then it sings "Around the world with *bump* *bump* Master Toque!" OK, is Toque the French guy? I'm a little lost.

Next our heroes, aboard an elephant, are approached by what appears to be Marie Antoinette on a pogo stick (who I assume Mess' niece). She warns our heroes about Fix and the extremely French assistant gives the "Have no fear" speil before pulling a mouse out of his big purse. It scares the elephant, who crushes Fix (who was in the middle of another sabotage).

But again, things are unclear. Did the dude pull out the rodent because he knew what was going on and that was his countermeasure? I don't think so. Seems like a happy accident, but what was that dude doing with a mouse in his bag anyway?

Well, Belinda fares them well as their elephant goes forth, with Fix close behind. It then says "Around the world with *bump* *bump* MASTAH TWO!" Again, the lyrics are deeply confusing to me. Not even going to try.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

Not really. Except maybe to decipher some of that theme song

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show:


OK, so the bad guy is Lord Maze. I was close. And they BOTH bet money, but that's not terribly clear in the opening. I just thought (incorrectly) Maze was just throwing some extra money in there and Fogg was like "Cool."

Interesting, the show had one season wherein the journey was completed, so that's kind of neat. The other aspect that becomes more clear is that there was a reason the French dude (Passeportout) had the mouse was they plan their trips with seemingly random objects, all of which turn out to be useful. It's an adventure game approach to vacation planning, it would seem.

Last edited by Johnny Unusual; 05-17-2016 at 09:04 AM.
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  #77  
Old 05-18-2016, 08:24 AM
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Default Baggy Pants and the Nitwits

Baggy Pants and the Nitwits



The title feels like something someone completely made up. This is one I haven't even heard of prior to this and I don't think anyone still alive remembers. It feels like it managed to be such a non-entity that it eluded being referenced.

Also, it is worth noting that the 60's and 70's seemed to be the era where cartoon characters ripping off other characters was more blatantly egregious. Here our cartoon begins with a siren and a vaguely Charlie Chaplin-looking cat being chased off a pig-man construction worker.

"Who's the hobo everyone knows."
Either this is the theme song confession they are using the popularity of the Tramp (from 50 years prior to this cartoon) to sell this thing or they had great confidence that this would be a great new classic character.

At this point, our hero is about to be attacked by the pig-man who is standing right behind him, before he pulls down the screen to the next scene of an old man sleeping on a park bench.

"And who's the superhero superly slow?"
I feel like they didn't have time for the second who's to make that work better grammatically.

We then see Baggy Pants the hobo cat writing his name on the side of a truck which drives away... only to reveal HE'S on the side of a truck also. I'm not sure what they are trying to convey here. Is that part of the canon, that he only lives on the side of trucks? It feels like it's meant to be a visual gag, but I'm not sure what kind of humour is intended to be conveyed.

"Who keeps you laughing until your sides split? It's Baggy Pants and the Nitwits."

We then see the Nitwits logo, which does a little dance before shattering into the next scene.

First we see that old man flying through the air, then to a woman beating a man with her purse.

"These are kooky ding-a-ling folk. Everything they do is a joke"

At this point the word joke is flashed before us three times, as if this will somehow convince us said joke is funny. I have my doubts.

"A pantomime prankster a perilous kiss."

As this point we see Baggy Pants walk by as he pulls the curtain to reveal a scene of the woman riding the old flying man. I'm positive I misheard "a perilous kiss", but I can only go with what I hear.

"It's Baggy Pants and the Nitwits."

Baggy's title is on a marquee but the Nitwits logo decides to run around in all directions either to try in vain to convince us this is worth our time or are desperately trying and failing to escape the show.

It is as this point, I've decided I don't know what the deal with the Nitwits half is. I mean, they lead with an old man superhero but the title doesn't relay that concept very well and the woman running around the table seems like a distraction. The everything they do is a joke does very little to get across what the deal is. I mean, Baggy Pants is pretty self-explanatory, as far as I'm concerned. It's Charlie Chaplin cat. But I am lost with fragments of a map with the Nitwits.

We then see some squares, accented by zany music with titles and characters in them. Then we cut to Baggy Pants fighting of a firehose with his cane as it spews water everywhere. Except it isn't water, as when it sprays the pig-man, it turns out to be some sort of pink ooze (the mood slime from Ghostbusters 2, perhaps?)

"Oh, there are situations that tickle and tease. Far out thrills and chills if you please."

I please, but I feel that you can't live up to your promise, TV show. At this point, we see the woman holding onto the old superheroes cane as he flies through the air.

"Outrageous characters, outrageous skits".

We see Baggy Pants climbing out of a garbage can while the old superhero is sleeping (my head says he wouldn't be drunk in a kids show, but my heart says this is the sad truth). The pig-man then comes out of the garbage can, then the woman, who tries to hit the pig-man with her purse.

"It's Baggy Pants and the Nitwits"

Our title appears and some wacky music plays.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

Absolutely not. This intro felt more like a warning than an invitation.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show:

Apparently the Nitwits features Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, a sure sign that this is deeply unfunny. But Arte Johnson also played Vermin Vunderbar in Justice League, so he gets a bit of leeway from me. I'd like to say it's nice to see a non-Filmation or Hanna Barbera cartoon, but then am disappointed to see that they are the "good studios" of the era. Oy.
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  #78  
Old 05-18-2016, 09:40 AM
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You knew what you were getting into when you started this ghastly enterprise.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:03 AM
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Arte Johnson
Oh right, he was the "veddy interestink" guy. No wonder they cast him as Vunderbar.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:05 AM
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Oh right, he was the "veddy interestink" guy. No wonder they cast him as Vunderbar.
They were the same guy?

Huh, never considered that.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:17 AM
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Default Bailey's Comets

Bailey's Comets



First we see a star field and the title while music cues up that I'm SO positive is going to be the National Geographic theme (or at least the Thames Entertainment fanfare). The former might actually be intentional, as we then see the Earth before our theme kicks into gear.

A flash of light and we see maps of various countries (and Africa) with wacky cartoon characters rushing across the screen.

"Chasing around the world, one dare two and" (OK, I think I misheard the latter half)
"Racin' to find the next clue"

Then the United States fades away into another starfield, ending possibly billions of lives and which, in turn, might prove that I don't know how populations work. Then a comet zig zags across the heavens, exploding into heroes of the series, some of whom are wearing helmets.

"Will it be Bailey's Comets Winnin'
Will it be Bailey's or Who?"

We see our heroes rollerskating across the screen with American stripes in the background. It is at this point, I realize that all the characters I've seen so far have been on rollerskates. So this is some sort of rollerskating adventure comedy. I can get behind that.

Suddenly, cowboys on horses on rollerskates blow past our heroes.

"From out of the back come the Texas Blackhats, followed by the Jeckyll-Hydes"

At which point we see some preppy-looking rollerskaters who turn into monster men.

It is at this point we are bombarded with teams at a rapid fire pace and I'm not going to even bother trying to decipher them all, except to say that this is clearly the Wacky Races on rollerskates. There's even a caveman racer in there. I will say our last teams introduced are a team of aliens on a rollerskating UFO who are crushed by a guy riding a giant rollerskate.

We then see those crazy kids coming towards us with some robots and some other dudes who aren't robots following close behind.

"Together they *mumble* Bailey's Comets,
Whether by hook or by crook"

At which point our heroes are caught by a vaudeville hook, except for the tubby one who is wedgied by vaudeville hook from the sky.

"We got the rock n rollers"
At which we see another team. Then we see more whose names I can't make out but I can describe them.

- Witches on broomstick which don't "appear" to have rollerskates, but maybe the shitty colouring is making me miss them.
- Bears on rollerskates and sweaters. YA BURIED THE LEAD, BAILEY'S COMETS.
- One of those clouds cartoon characters make when they fight. That's a team. Who, I guess, are in a constant state of internal combat.
- Some pirates.
- Some hillbillies.

Then we see the teams in racing in two opposing tiers on the top and bottom of the screen. Then we see the fight cloud follow an arrow over the horizon and the team of aliens follow another arrow in a different direction over the same horizon.

Then in a black void, Bailey's Comets come across overlapping arrows pointing in different directions. The arrows then spin and form what WOULD be a single rainbow color, or at least it would be if the colours were so washed out and nasty. We get a close up of our heroes. They are happy, possibly excited at the possibility of finding fruit stripe gum or something gay pride related (especially exciting since that's probably REALLY difficult in the mid-70's). They follow the arrow to Earth and presumably burn up on entry, transforming into a fiery ball that shoots back up into space moving back and forth

"Everyone's off to find the next big clue that's going to lead them to the million dollar prize."

OK, I like that it's about finding clues every week, making it sort of like the Amazing Race with rollerskates and witches and bears. I assume that the million dollars is the final prize, unless our heroes are winning a million dollars every week. That's a smart way to change it up except for two problems: 1. It's pretty obvious that the title characters are going to be the winner. At least with the Wacky Races it's anyone's game.

and #2... well, let's do the wikipedia thing first this time out.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show:

So as I expected, this show wasn't smart enough to have an endgame. When you dangle a final "million dollar prize" that seems like you should get ready to deliver. Don't get me wrong, there are cartoons where you keep that stuff forever over the horizon. Pinky and the Brain should never finally take over the world for good. But Around the World in 80 Days was smart enough to actually finish it off.

So what if they wanted to ensure more seasons? Then have the prize resolved at the end of the season and introduce a new prize in the next. You don't want the heroes to be millionaires? They use up their money for some noble, altruistic purpose.

This is the description from wikipedia:

Quote:
Different roller skating teams compete in a worldwide race to different locations searching for clues that will lead them to the million-dollar prize. Besides the teams interfering with each other, there were also outside forces and subplots that would step in to hinder the racing teams' progress.
So yeah, Wacky Races. Except by the people who did Baggy Pants and the Nitwits, so shittier.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?


A little. It's less the wacky cast and more I like stories of characters finding clues and stuff. I know it is probably shitty and I'll be looking at more of the wasted potential of a Mad, Mad, Mad World adventure on rollerskates, but it is intriguing enough to watch an episode.

BTW, I actually did watch an episode of Around the World in 80 Days, so I was wrong on that. It did answer some of my questions and is kind of charming, though it feels very much like a low-rent Jay Ward joint (which is funny since it might be less crudely animated).
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  #82  
Old 05-19-2016, 06:46 PM
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I actually got a roller derby vibe from the cartoon.

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Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
You don't want the heroes to be millionaires? They use up their money for some noble, altruistic purpose.
If the million was divided six ways it would be a lot less money. Especially after taxes were paid. But that was in 1973 so 1/6th of a million was worth a lot more (relatively) back then.
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  #83  
Old 05-20-2016, 08:07 PM
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Good lord, it's The Amazing Race decades earlier.
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  #84  
Old 05-20-2016, 08:49 PM
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On rollerskates, and with witches and bears.
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  #85  
Old 05-21-2016, 03:35 AM
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Default The Barkleys

The Barkleys



The Barkleys. One hopes that this series follows Charles Barkley's family, where every member is played by Charles Barkley. Failing that, at least about the dog from Sesame Street and his family.

First we see David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng Present the Barkleys. This is clearly a prestige project of the highest order, if a DePatie/Freleng co-production could be such a thing. OK, Freleng used to be a man of import in the cartooning community, having directed some truly great Looney Tunes. So to me it is sad that in the 70's, that name co-strikes fear into my cartoon watching heart (along with DePatie)

After this, we get a shot of a house that turns into a needlework re-creation of said house with "home sweet home" printed under it as that old cartoon staple "Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home" plays in the background.

We then see a needlework of a cartoon dog's head that says "Arnie Barkley" and our song begins

"Arnie Barkley"
And Arnie's head winks, possibly trying to charm his audience and failing.
"He's the head of the *beat* *beat* Barkley house."

At this point we fade to Arnie settling into an easy chair with his wife bringing him his TV guide and slippers. Despite being a cartoon dog, she's carrying the slippers regular-like, not in her mouth. Come to think of it, does anyone have a dog that brings slippers or is that just in cartoons? Seems like a good way to get gross slippers.

Anyway, at the same time, we see the lyrics awkwardly sliding across the bottom of the screen, which, despite intent, seems to be disincentivizing the act of singing along. It probably doesn't help that this seems to be a recording of a recording posted by Russia or a Russia adjacent country, but it is still clearly a shitty scroll.

"Agnes Barkley"
We see Agnes, Arnie's wife, in another needlework piece and again, she winks at us.

"Is his devoted and loving spouse."
She comes in vacuuming, waking up Arnie from what I assume was a wild turkey-fueled snooze and with one hand lifts the lazyboy with such force that Arnie is ejected from the chair. Like, she doesn't tip it all the way so he rolls out, but she lifts it and the force propels him off screen. I don't think super strength is a super power the character demonstrates regularly, but that takes some doing. Oh, and the lyrics are scrolling above and look even more awkward.

"They've got kids"

At which point we see 3 needleworks of the kids, including a bland looking teenage girl, a probably hippie-esque boy (because he's giving the peace sign) and a nerdy looking little boy.

"Terry, Roger and *beat* *beat* Chester, Too"

At which point, the names appear under them. during the beat, Chester looks concerned that his name isn't going to be said. Then it is and he's happy. For reasons beyond reason, this suddenly makes me hate Chester SO MUCH. And there's nothing he did that should make me feel this way. He simply worried he wasn't going to be acknowledged, and understandable fear. We all want to be seen and heard. This has kicked in some sort of cruel bullying instinct, wherein I want to dump his books and shove him around a bit. Clearly, the Barkleys have opened up a well of evil within my soul.

"And all of them are Bark-a-leys, through and through."

At this point we see the kids playing baseball, with the baseball turning into an iris that shows us Chester playing basketball. Chester makes a lay-up and his family goes wild. There may not have been another team or players, but it's nice to have a supportive family all the same.

"Cause they're the Barkleys"

At this point, we see the word The Barkleys as a title and as a lyric. It doesn't even include "cause they're the", making this completely redundant. The faces flash into the needlepoint again.

"And they're OK."
Wow, even this show can't get too much enthusiasm for the main characters. "They're OK, if you there isn't a Flintstones rerun on somewhere, I guess. I mean, there's no internet yet and only like three or four channels. You could do worse, in theory."

The O of OK irises into a white void, which pans back to a TV that that Arnie and Chester and near. Chester turns on the TV and it's LBJ (I think), which causes him to cheer and Arnie to get very upset. Suddenly it becomes clear that this is trying to be about the generation gap or something, at least in part. Then Arnie turns the channel and he is on it in a blue uniform. The son is suddenly fed up and walks away, emulating the audience, most likely.

"And Arnie Barkley, with a very open mind is always the first to let you know his own opinionated way."

At this point, we see a bus driven by Arnie, who suddenly stops, causing everyone in the front to smoosh up to the front, which Arnie looks upset. Then Arnie, looking beaten down by life comes home to slip on Chester's rollerskate. At this point, I'm starting to think Terry and Roger are (and this is saying something) aren't interesting enough to merit more screentime, since we are getting a lot of Chester and Chester with Arnie.

And because Arnie's degradation is not complete, we then see his wife using him to help so a dress and something and his own children laughing at him. Then we see some Brady style boxes filled with the mocking, laughing faces of his family.

"And even though, he may grumble and get uptight
Just remember Arnie Barkley's bark is worse than his bite."

At this point, the heads of his family's expressions turn to concern. Roger looks downright scared. Then we see the family posing together, with Arnie having an expression of a man who is truly angry, while everyone else knows that this is a man who has hit his children in a fit of anger and will do it again. I'm pretty sure it was Roger. Just look at him.

But then the family laughs, the laugh of suppression of fear and an attempt to forget the cancer on the family that is Arnie and his inability to control his rage. For now, he's OK but sometime, randomly, Arnie will return home and someone will get hurt.

We get the needlepoint of the home again and the "Be It Ever So Humble", now steeped in the irony that this is likely the home of chronic abuse victims.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?
It did not. This is clearly Flintstones but with dogs instead of cavemen. And on the "what is interesting scale" families of cavemen trump families of dogs, even when both options are terrible.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show
Apparently Flintstones was to the Honeymooners as the Barkleys was to All in the Family, which means this dog hates gays, jews and black people. Enjoy your cartoon dogs, America. Also this nugget

Quote:
The theme song's lyrics ended with the advice "Just remember Arnie Barkley's bark is worse than his bite." This meant that Arnie's grouchy, unsociable front concealed a softer heart which he rarely allowed to show.
You know, for people who never heard that expression before and are completely lost as to what it could possibly mean.
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  #86  
Old 05-24-2016, 06:43 AM
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Johnny Unusual Johnny Unusual is offline
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Default Battle of the Planets

Battle of the Planets



This is one I'm vaguely aware of, but never actually seen. It's a heavily altered dub of Gatchaman, an old anime, and tries to inject space stuff into it due to the popularity of Star Wars, even though all of the threats are terrestrial in the original.

Anyhoo, we start with a fairly eye catching sunrise over the horizon. Over it, we get some 70's-style cheesy fanfare. The more fanfare as a space age jet appears with afterburners in full thrust. Then a less impressive shot of it just rising. I could be wrong, but if I know my anime, the former is from the opening proper while the latter was probably just in an episode.

Then in big letters as a variation of the Super Friends theme plays we see SANDY FRANK PRESENTS. If you have seen season 3 episodes of MST3k, you know that this is a big warning light that this is going to be really painful. Then in equally big letters with a Gary Owens-type voice over (unless it is just Gary Owens): BATTLE OF THE PLANETS!

Cut to some dudes dressed like birds, one is at a console: "G-FORCE! FIVE INCREDIBLE YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SUPERPOWERS!"

"AND WATCHING OVER THEM FROM CENTER NEPTUNE (!?) 7 ZARK 7!" OK, this character I've heard about. He was animated for the American version and you can see the shitty money grab aura wafting off of him. He's like R2D2 but without looking even remotely interesting. Do you know what isn't a better color combo than white and blue. Gray and Orange. But I will say, he is great if you want to play teeny-tiny tetherball.


Also, 7 ZARK 7 has a robot dog that looks like this.

Anyway, we see more space stuff. "WATCHING, WARNING AGAINST SURPRISE ATTACK BY ALIEN GALAXIES FROM BEYOND SPACE." Whoa, if an entire galaxy is declaring war on you, just give up. Also, any galaxy that isn't your own is an alien galaxy. Also, aren't all galaxies IN space or are they other galaxies located in other dimensions. Look, I'm feeling like you wanted some epic sounding language and have just caused me great confusion.

We then see some ships launching and then a small vessel entering the Earth's atmosphere. Then there's a ship rising vertically. Super Friends music continues to blare at us aggressively.

Then something interesting actually happens. Two of the guys lock arms. Then two jump on their shoulders and lock arms. Then the last guy completes the pyramid. They start spinning and turn into a big attack tornado. I don't get the logic of it, but it's great. They seperate and the guy in white and the girl in pink do some flips (allowing us to see her panties, but sadly not his) and they land on something. Then there's another shot of their jet.

"G-FORCE! FEARLESS YOUNG ORPHANS, PROTECTING EARTH'S ENTIRE GALAXY."

Either the narrator has not concept of the scale of a galaxy or they have a really hard job. It's like if one guy has to police the Earth. EXCEPT 100,000 times worse. I don't think that's an exaggeration. In fact, I suspect I'm lowballing it.

"ALWAYS FIVE ACTING AS ONE! DEDICATED! INSEPARABLE! INVINCIBLE!" Then the plane turns into a phoenix because it's an awesome thing for a plane to do. The end.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

Sort of. I'd like to watch a few episodes of the original, and then watch the Battle of the Planets to see how they messed it up.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show

Alan Young played 7 Zark 7. So there's that, I guess.
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  #87  
Old 05-24-2016, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
Apparently Flintstones was to the Honeymooners as the Barkleys was to All in the Family, which means this dog hates gays, jews and black people.
I will say, "All in the Family for kids" was exactly the vibe I got from this intro so at least they succeeded at that?
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  #88  
Old 05-24-2016, 09:46 AM
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All I know about Battle of the Planets is that it's like Power Rangers, if all the costumes were birds instead of dinosaurs.

This is objectively worse, so I never paid it any further attention.
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  #89  
Old 05-24-2016, 08:29 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
7 ZARK 7

Also, 7 ZARK 7 has a robot dog that looks like this.

I had repressed this memory until just now.
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  #90  
Old 05-24-2016, 09:16 PM
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Here, have a proper, 7-Zark-7-free Gatchaman opening.

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