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  #91  
Old 05-25-2016, 07:35 AM
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Default The Brady Kids

The Brady Kids



Now, I've never liked the Brady Bunch and it probably helped that I think it was pretty rare to catch them on TV in my neck of the woods when I was a boy. But when I could see it, I was old enough that so many factors couldn't get me to like it. But I do get it. It's sitcom comfort food, where the conflicts are low stakes and most of the time the world looks like a loving, funny place. And though it was made for the whole family it was really kid friendly so of the contemporary sitcoms, it made sense for this one to become a cartoon.

This is one where I've been looking forward to reviewing because things go... well, let's just say there are weirder sitcom adaptations but the way this one presents itself took me by surprise. So lets dive in.

We start with the iconic theme song and the title on a blue background with some poorly cut out paper stars. First we get the similar Rubik's cube style grid. But now the middle is gone, because it is all about the kids this time. The girls appear first, then the boys, in live action.

"Meet three sisters, now meet their brothers."

That was fast, we barely met the sisters and already you are bringing the brothers in. But I understand, we don't have a lot of time.

Suddenly, only the eldest brother is alone on the screen.

"Greg's the leader and a good man for the job."

Then the middle kid.

"There's another boy by the name of Peter."

Then the youngest.

"The youngest one is Bob."

At this point, it becomes apparent that these kids of no discernable identities beyond age range. Peter is simply "another boy". There's nothing beyond that to tell us about him. The theme song isn't even trying to present these characters are enemies. They are human voids, non-boys of the un-world.

Now the boys disappear and we see the girls.

"See our sisters. They're all quite pretty. First there's Marsha with her eyes a sparkling blue."

Here we see Marsha. I guess sparkling blue eyes is SOMETHING at least.

"Then there's Jen the middle one who's really groovy."

Here we see Jen. The singers are better at least with coming up with a non-comment for Jen. Groovy is a complement usually and though we don't know in what way she is groovy (is she holding?), it's better than simply being another.

"And sister Cindy, too."

Oof. Too ranks up there with "another" in terms of telling us nothing save that they are a noun and some form of sibling.

All the same, it's a pretty normal and forgettable opening. We then see the title as old timey nebulous Doctor Who style stuff appears in the background.

"Let's get set now, for action and adventure, as we see things we never saw before."

Then this happens within a VERY short period of time.

"We'll meet Moptop and Ping and Pong the pandas."

OK, suddenly we have THREE PETS and two of them are pandas. The other is a dog with fur covering his eyes. That's three times the average of annoying animal sidekicks in these things.

"And Marlin who has roses (?) by the score."

AND THAT'S WHEN WE SEE THE FOURTH PET AND IT IS A BIRD IN A WIZARD HAT! It's becoming clear that the creators have such little faith in how interesting the Bradys are and are attempting to slowly replace them with animal sidekicks, one of whom is instantly more interesting than anything we've seen so far.

Then we see the bird scroll up and down the Rubik's screen, turning the kids into cartoons.

"The Brady Kids, the Brady Kids, the world of your friends the Brady Kids."

That's pretty presumptive. I will say, Greg looks like a lamewad as a cartoon, but Jen looks like a kid I'd want to hang out with. Because she has glasses. I think I'm just projecting some stuff, though.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

No. But I am impressed that the opening saved all its crazy stuff for a 7 second period in the opening.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show
Let's see, first of all, Larry Storch, a character actor I only know through non-sequitor references to him in MST3k, voices like every other character. Including the dog. All the animals talk on this show.

Anyway, it seems otherwise that the premise is the same, except our heroes has access to magical talking animals.

Also...

Quote:
There were also twin panda cubs, Ping and Pong (voiced by Jane Webb), named after the game ping-pong. The pandas only spoke in a Chinese-like gibberish.
FUCK.

YOU.
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  #92  
Old 05-25-2016, 08:16 AM
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Bonus: The pandas were aliens.
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  #93  
Old 05-25-2016, 09:04 AM
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SHUT! UP! NO! WAY! EXCLAMATIONS! ABOUND!
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  #94  
Old 05-25-2016, 09:33 AM
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Bonus: The pandas were aliens.
Oh man, if everyone was in a band, we'd be at peak 70s Cartoon, here.
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  #95  
Old 05-28-2016, 07:05 AM
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Default Buford and the Galloping Ghost

Buford and the Galloping Ghost


OK, this one is going to get broken up into two parts. And I'm not actually going to review the opening above because it is really just a slight remix of one of the two cartoons here. See, this is a cash (common in the seventies) where two different cartoons smashed together. There does seem to be a theme between the two, though: the south. One is in a swampier setting in the backwoods and the other is at some kind of ranch. As I mentioned before, America had a certain self-mania in the 70's (unique to the self-manias in other decades) but there was also a love of the rural south and a sort of mythologizing about stuff like trucking (CONVOY!) and being away from the city. I'm not entirely sure what inspired it but it definitely left an impression on culture well into the 80's.

Anyway, let's begin with...

The Buford Files



We start with a big, pink bloodhound in what I think is the cap of a yankee soldier. He's sleeping and when the full moon rises he suddenly jerks upright and he eyes go all cartoon hypnosis (if only eyes really did this). He then howls at the moon, as compelled by the moon, and his howl echoes well into the next scene. In the next seen we see a reptile-filled swamp with a fan boat motoring past. It suddenly heads RIGHT FOR US, barely giving us any time to make out the passengers save that they are very Hanna Barbera looking and the guy has a medallion of some kind. And a vest. Vests were pretty big in the 70's too.

We then cut to two goofy looking cops, stalking the backwoods in the middle of night. An owl hoots and scared the taller, skinnier one so that he falls on the fatter one. The fat guy, annoyed, drums his fingers on the grown to demonstrate his annoyance. Now, I've never actually seen an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, but I feel confident that following Hanna Barbera's policy that 70's percent of their characters are just other characters that have been cut and pasted almost wholesale, I think it is safe to say that this is Boss Hogg and whatever annoying pain Hogg is given as a sidekick in the series.

The pink bloodhound (I assume this is the titular Buford) is laying on his porch and smells a raccoon walking by. As dogs do, he wakes up and chases it. It leads him into a stump and in classic cartoon fashion, Buford gets stuck in it. However, he also immediately falls asleep so we can't feel to bad for him. It looks genuinely comfortable there.

Now Buford is sleeping again (I'm assuming this is his thing) and two impossibly seventies' looking teens are shown. The girls pink bellbottoms actually make it look like she has anime robot legs, like from a robot master or something. Therefore, she is definitely the show's coolest character. Anyway, she's detecting metal with a metal detector and it's going off. In response, Buford quickly digs a hole in classic cartoon animal fashion and he digs up a giant (likely dinosaur bone). Wait, is the bone metal? This can only mean one thing!


Well played, the Buford Files. Well played. It would seem that the teens have realized this is the only possible answer too because the next time we see them, they are positively ecstatic, pointing at what I am forced to assume is Grimlock or Sludge. I can only assume this because otherwise I'm forced to accept the truth: that these teens are inexplicably excited about Burford, the sleepy pink bloodhound who may have fought in the Civil War. I feel in other circumstances, I could be convinced that's cool, but not when Dinobots are on the tables.

Anyway, we get the cops, with the taller one also excited and the fat one angry beyond measure. He's probably one of those cartoon characters who goes beyond conventional curmudeonhood and lives a life were every waking moment is oscillating between simmering annoyance, disgust and soul-curdling rage.

"Here comes help! Here comes action! Here comes Buford!"

I have some pretty strong doubts about action. As Buford's name is said, both the title character and the song really slow down as Buford falls asleep mid-run. It's kind of a nice touch in an otherwise middling TV opening. Again, we have an opening where the premise isn't very well established. I mean, clearly you don't always have to tell us everything, but you need to give us a better idea of what this is. I feel like the sleepy thing is established enough but I feel like there's supposed to be something about the moon and his friends and his whole deal that could have been conveyed a bit better.

Also, apart from the last little jingle at the end, not a great theme tune.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

Almost, but I am feeling a little punchy right now (which explains why this one isn't well written). But you know, maybe not being clear with your premise has it's advantages, I kind of want to watch it and see what the deal is.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show


This description has a pretty sharp turn in the last sentence.

Quote:
Buford's abilities are expanded with ears that revolve like radar dishes, and his nose responds to clues like a Geiger counter. But Buford has two weaknesses: when the moon comes out, he howls his heart out, often at the most perilous moment, and he also has a running feud with a karate-wacking raccoon.
Did not see the raccoon who knows karate coming but it makes it a little more interesting. Also, I thought that moon thing was going to be a bigger deal, like he fights evil while sleepwalking or something.

Quote:
Buford (voiced by Frank Welker) is a lazy, super sleuthing bloodhound with a mournful bark and a sharp nose for solving mysteries who lives deep in Fenokee swampland.
This might be a weakness on my part, but I can't imagine a mournful bark. A mournful whine or howl, yes, but just a bark? I'll be happy to be shown a counter-example.

I'll do the Galloping Ghost soon too. I thought this would be a lot quicker.
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  #96  
Old 05-28-2016, 09:56 AM
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two impossibly seventies' looking teens are shown. The girls pink bellbottoms
This seems like a very bad wardrobe choice for running around a swamp.
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  #97  
Old 05-28-2016, 06:42 PM
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As I mentioned before, America had a certain self-mania in the 70's (unique to the self-manias in other decades) but there was also a love of the rural south and a sort of mythologizing about stuff like trucking (CONVOY!) and being away from the city. I'm not entirely sure what inspired it but it definitely left an impression on culture well into the 80's.
Because the counterculture of the '60s worried People In Charge.
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  #98  
Old 05-28-2016, 08:56 PM
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Default The Galloping Ghost

The Galloping Ghost



We open with a guitar twang and a had with some disembodied eyes underneath. Then we see an old prospector dude materialize under the hat, flying through the air, bouncing around as if he is on a horse or something. If you know my pro-prospector bias, then you know we are off you a great start. He even grabs it and begins waving it over his head.

But just as this starts, we smash-cut to a different kind of galloping, as two goofy looking ladies are in a rickety station wagon loaded for bear (bare? I've never actually had to spell that term before).

Now, here, we have a theme song AND visuals that are firmly establishing the premise.

"Come on along on our adventure
To a dude ranch way out west"

Then we see our ladies (one looking like a Far Side character, only more shapely) peering into an old mine. Suddenly a quick zoom into a cowboy doing that hand-to-ear "I can't hear you" gesture, which is odd, since the theme isn't exactly quiet (and the lyrics come across much more clearly than a lot of the other themes I've seen).

"We meet the galloping GHOOOOOOOOST!"

The girls step on some bad boards and fall into a deep hole, only to land on a bed and bounce very high into the air, because in cartoon physics, beds are basically just trampolines you can sleep on (and so are trampolines. Trust me.) A hat laying on the bed is also tossed into the air and our prospector friend suddenly appears.

Now it's the end of the theme song and the prospector takes over. Much like Buford and the Galloping Ghost itself, this opening is like a split 7 inch, with the theme song stopping half-way through to become a spoken word opening. It's a bit odd (I prefer full themes to these little bit of theme song in a desert of forgettableness openings) but it kind of works.

"That's me, Nugget Nose."

OK, this is going to get a little third grade here, but that's clearly an insult implying someone had a lot of little hardened boogers in his nose. Yes, it is probably implying either that his nose looks like a gold nugget or he has a knack for smelling out gold (being a cartoon, this could be literal), but it's not a nickname I would recommend. Great name for a goblin in your D&D campaign, though. So try to remember that.

Anyway...

"That's me, Nugget Nose, the wild and wacky ectoplasm companion of Rita and Wendy."

First, calling yourself an ectoplasm companion does not help with the nickname. As Nugget Nose introduces himself, the girls faint from shock, probably because having the ghost of an old prospector as your new best friend is so awesome, it is overwhelming to the senses. Nugget Nose shrugs, as if to say "Would YOU be any different?"

"Two ranch employees of Mr. Fuddy."

At which point we see Fuddy doing a rope trick. He then puts down the rope and the rope is sticking straight up. I think this is supposed to show his skills are all smoke and mirrors but alternatively, it could also show he's that fucking amazing that he can place a rope so it's standing straight up.

"...who refuses to believe in THE GALLOPING GHOST!"

We then see a Speedy Gonzales-type dust cloud streak across the desert which turns out to be Nugget Nose. He swipes his hat down and on the upswing, the disembodied heads of Rita and Wendy emerge (DEAR GOD, NUGGET NOSE!? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!), as well as a rope that forms the title.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?
Even though it has a not-terrible opening and a prospector ghost, no, this isn't crazy or interesting enough. I feel like between this and Buford there would be elements that would make me want to watch, but no thank you to each individual venture.

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?

The title does a good job letting you know what's happening. Also...
Quote:
When the girls are in trouble, Wendy summons Nugget by rubbing on her special gold nugget necklace.
I WANT THAT NECKLACE!

Oh, and apparently this and Buford were part of the cartoon Yogi's Great Space Race. Really, no space cartoons? Whatevs.
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  #99  
Old 05-28-2016, 09:23 PM
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Somehow, it took me until just now to realize the word "ectoplasm," as relating to ghosts, did not originate from the pen of Dan Aykroyd.
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  #100  
Old 05-28-2016, 09:28 PM
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Found this wiki-page on ectoplasm and I will be reading it. A lot of stuff from Ghostbusters come from real world stuff Ackroyd is obsessed with. Though, sadly, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is not real.
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  #101  
Old 05-28-2016, 10:06 PM
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Sadly.

What I looked up was the entry on Etymonline, which says
Quote:
1883, of amoebas, "exterior protoplasm of a cell;" 1901 of spirits from ecto- + -plasm.
EDIT: You heard it here, folks: amoebas are ghosts.
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  #102  
Old 05-29-2016, 01:29 AM
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I've learned so much here, today.
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  #103  
Old 05-29-2016, 02:42 AM
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I think if there's only one take away here today, it's that Wendy summons Nugget Nose with by rubbing her gold nugget necklace. When you have no more to say in a conversation, say this.
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  #104  
Old 05-29-2016, 03:44 AM
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I think if there's only one take away here today, it's that Wendy summons Nugget Nose with by rubbing her gold nugget.
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  #105  
Old 05-30-2016, 11:14 PM
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Default Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids

Don't be fooled by the title, this isn't a western adventure, but rather yet another of Hanna Barbera's rock & roll adventure shows. I'm assuming that this is supposed to be their off brand David Cassidy, but I don't really know much about that guy, so it's just a hunch.

This begins with MAXIMUM Hanna Barbera! We see the title of the show... sort of; I've seen this called Butch Cassidy and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids and now The Sundance Kids with Butch Cassidy. Anyway, we see the title on a drum set and then pan out to a guy with an afro hitting those skin and tubs in the most awkward manner possible. I don't know much about drumming but I don't think your shoulders should be that high nor your head so low. Maybe if you were playing children's drums while in a cramped box, but otherwise, there's no excuse.

We then see the Sundance Kids featuring Butch Cassidy playing their hit song "Sundance Kids featuring Butch Cassidy Theme Song" while crazy squiggly stuff appears in the background, replaced by shots from Thailand, France and Russia. Then, the background turns into a massive, intimidating figure.

"Travelin' around all over the world,
Solvin' every mystery."

OK, I'm sure they mean every mystery that they come across but I like to think that they are dedicated to solving every mystery there ever was. These are detectives on a cosmic scale!

Anyway, the villain above is broken apart into puzzle pieces that begin to spin about and present a new image: a super-computer so grand it fills a cavernous room that apparently belongs to the Sundance Kids. We go back to them playing and it has even gotten MORE MAXIMUM Hanna Barbera with them playing against the rainbow rays of the Super Friends opening, putting these musical teens sleuths in damn fine company.

We then see a tight group shot, which includes this series' notable animal sidekick, a mangy looking dog. I mean, I know we often will call cartoon dogs mangy mutts, but I think this one may have actual mange and needs medical help that the Sundance kids aren't giving him. His fur looks like a shag carpet rug in a basement bathroom that absorbed too much bathwater and now has a permanent musty smell. You know, like the rest of the seventies. I am convinced the whole era smelled like that. I mean, it's not the worst smell, and there's a nostalgia too it, but it is the smell of stagnation, so that ain't good either.

"Puttin' it together with the Sundance Kids,
You're somethin' else, Butch Cassidy."

Now we get to my favourite part of the opening. While playing, Butch's awkward looking super-ring puts him into contact with the super-computer. By the by, is this happening mid-concert? Like, he's getting an emergency call and is like "hold up everyone." If so, and everyone knows he's a crime fighter, then that sounds like a mixed blessing: you know you are getting to see the crime fighting side to his work, but it also means he's going to cut the concert short.

"You know when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids stopped Captain Fear from stealing the Sidney Opera House? We were there when he got the call for that."

"Cool. And how was the concert."

"He played two songs and then they got the call. Then opening act the Neptunes played another set."

"Cool. Wait, the regular Neptunes or the Neptunes with Jabberjaw."

"Jabberjaw."

"Fuck, sorry dude."

Wait, are the Neptunes a band of a production group? Eh, I'm sticking with my poorly researched scenario.

Anyway, we then see a series of dastardly villains (including yet another of Hanna Barbera's vaguely ethnic turban wearing villains with off-colour skin and a monocle) representing the villains their taking down. The last one, turban fellow, ends up behind bars. Bars of music that is, because the bars turn into the strings of Butch's guitar that he is playing. You're lost in the rock-style pop now, evil-doer.

"I pick that axe and then I get a call,
some bad guy is gonna take a fall!
One by one we're gonna beat them all,
And solve that mystery!"

Holy shit, you guys. I've watched this like 10 times and I love it more each time. Not even in a "isn't this wonderfully silly" kind of way (though I don't doubt it is). The pop drops into (admittedly unoriginal) rock as the situation gets real and the Sundance Kids featuring Butch have to take some motherfuckers down. He might have an ugly pet but he has convinced me that he can take these dudes down (I also like the bad guys flying at us) and then he fucking traps one of them in his guitar. Yes, it's a metaphorical action but the whole sequence is great. How did Wendy and Marvin get on the Super Friends and somehow Butch got lost behind. My one guess is Butch turned them down because he saw how incompetent they were. Lookin' at you Green Lantern.

But then things a turn for the lame. Butch is playing but then is chased by his lady fans. I don't doubt this is the right response but the previous mood is shed in favour of some lame Hanna Barbera non-sense and cliched music. Butch runs away and then we see the band moving the other way. The fugly dog is rolling a drum which turns out to be Butch's hiding place. But once he emerges, the girls chase after him again, trampling Smelly to death.

We then see Butch's plane, which would be cool if it wasn't for the colour scheme. Nothing against pink and white, great colours that work well together but I think the addition of yellow works against it. Otherwise, cool plane. Then the plane lands and from the back Butch's car emerges. This time, there's very little yellow, making me wonder if it is that the two kind of pinks aren't working for me. I'd rather go with the lighter pink and the white rather than using the light pink and the almost red colours.

Anyway, the otherwise cool car is haunted by the shadow of the guy from the beginning who is either the man villain or, more likely, the embodiment of crime and mystery who they sadly never actually face (this needs to be a Batman or Superman villain.)

"Yeah, we're gonna beat them all and watch that mystery!"

We get another shot of them playing, then each one seperately, with afro-dude looking slightly less awkward this time out. But only slightly.

"Come along with me,
Butch Cassidy"
Ad infinitum.

Then the damn dog pops out of the drum.

This is a pretty good opening with one completely awesome section. The premise is pretty firmly established and the song is one you can remember (but doesn't have Tiny Toons/Flintstones levels of memorability).

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?
Kind of. Look, the Butch of the show probably doesn't compare to the Butch in my mind but I do want to see the bad guys fall one by one.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show

The wacky dog is named Elvis and each time they went to talk to their super-computer, Mr. Socrates, Elvis would have to stay outside because the computer is allergic and once the dog would inevitably sneak in, the computer would sneeze them out of the layer. Assuming that is some sort of bug and not a weird design feature, how do you even get to that point in making your super-computer where such an error is possilbe. That's really impressive. Oh, and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees is the drummer.
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  #106  
Old 05-31-2016, 07:44 AM
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The wacky dog is named Elvis and each time they went to talk to their super-computer, Mr. Socrates, Elvis would have to stay outside because the computer is allergic and once the dog would inevitably sneak in, the computer would sneeze them out of the layer.
That intro didn't make me want to watch it, but this Wikipedia quote kind of does.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:03 PM
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I think I remember this but it was before I was even born so I'm not sure how that's possible.

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The last one, turban fellow, ends up behind bars. Bars of music that is, because the bars turn into the strings of Butch's guitar that he is playing. You're lost in the rock-style pop now, evil-doer.
That sounds like cruel and unusual punishment.
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  #108  
Old 05-31-2016, 07:19 PM
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I think I remember this but it was before I was even born so I'm not sure how that's possible.
It's almost as if TV series can be... run again... after their initial airing.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:11 PM
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Why that's crazy talk....

edit: Also, I just checked wikipedia and apparently they reused those designs/characters in Sealab 2021. Maybe that's where I saw them.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:46 PM
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That's quite possible. I specifically remember Elvis briefly appearing and dancing in the episode where they are all trapped in the broom closet.

"We could be out there. Like Stormy."
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  #111  
Old 06-01-2016, 03:22 AM
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids
Oh, that just sounds dreadful. How many of these damned groovy pop cartoons do we NEED, anyway?

By the way, you're going to send some "love" the Jackson 5ive's way, right? It was a Rankin-Bass series following that same formula, except it had the actual Jacksons in it. And the guy who played Boris Badenov was Motown founder Barry Gordy, for some reason.

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Oh, and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees is the drummer.
Heh, he was the original Arthur on The Tick too, you know! I liked his voice a bit better than Rob Paulsen's.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Oh, that just sounds dreadful. How many of these damned groovy pop cartoons do we NEED, anyway?

By the way, you're going to send some "love" the Jackson 5ive's way, right? It was a Rankin-Bass series following that same formula, except it had the actual Jacksons in it. And the guy who played Boris Badenov was Motown founder Barry Gordy, for some reason.



Heh, he was the original Arthur on The Tick too, you know! I liked his voice a bit better than Rob Paulsen's.
Yep, I'l get to the Jackson's. But I'm still on the B's. Almost to the C's. According to wikipedia, the first one I'll be doing for the C's is (if I can find it) something called Camp Daisy. But looking at it's wikipedia page, not only might it not exist it might break the laws of time and space and wikipedia. Clearly, someone's fanon has infected the mainframe. Also, the reference links lead to dead-ends so, yeah, some weirdo is making up insane bullshit and no one got around to cleaning it up.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:58 AM
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids
That opening is actually pretty impressive for Hanna Barbera. Like the animation and composition about as good as they get.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:56 AM
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I agree, it's not as memorable as some, but it does feel like the product of effort and trying to make what really is a half-baked premise (David Cassidy: crime fighter) look like a solid show. That initial shot of the afroguy drumming looks pretty weak though. That's a small nitpick though, and I really like the part where they try to sell the crime fighting aspect, as ridiculous as it may seem.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:30 AM
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I agree, it's not as memorable as some, but it does feel like the product of effort and trying to make what really is a half-baked premise (David Cassidy: crime fighter) look like a solid show. That initial shot of the afroguy drumming looks pretty weak though. That's a small nitpick though, and I really like the part where they try to sell the crime fighting aspect, as ridiculous as it may seem.
Yeah, why they opened with the poorly animated drummer instead of shoving that off until later is an editing mistake, but otherwise, it does a pretty damn good job. Especially considering it comes from earlier in the decade (1973), not later.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:09 PM
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I do want to say I have seen drummers hunch like that, albeit usually in a lounge style setting and over a smaller set. I'm guessing they rotoscoped the sequence but had the wrong reference for the the drummer.


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Oh man, if everyone was in a band, we'd be at peak 70s Cartoon, here.
A lil' late on this answer, but they were.
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:38 AM
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Default Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels

Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels



Here's another brief one and I don't have too much to say about it.

I think it starts pretty strong: we just see our main character shout his own name and hopping around a bit before running off screen. It's a good way to have something iconic that tries to tell you that "this is an event". Now obviously, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels isn't an event, but it feels in line with kids shows that literally told you to sit in front of the TV and get ready for whatever the next show is. There's a sense of showmanship that I'm finding either lacking or of poor quality in a lot of these. It's simple, but Cap yelling his now famous catchphrase works.

My one question is, between this and Birdman, why did Hanna Barbera seem to think that simply yelling your own name is a battle cry. It's a weird thing to do. And don't say "Hulk does it" because he says "Hulk smash!" not simply "HULK!" At least there's no question about who is attacking you.

We then fade to a frozen cave, where three teens enter a cave and encounter our hero frozen in ice.

Our Gary Owens or Gary Owens-esque narrator tells us:

"Set free by the Teen Angels from his prehistoric block of glacier ice, comes the world's first superhero, Captain Caveman."

Cap then shatters the ice (it is unclear if he did it after being roused or if this edited from some in episode stuff we are missing context from) and is elated. It's basically the Captain America in the Silver Age origin, but with a caveman. We cut to him in some weird rocky setting, also elated, pulling out his club. I say weird because the sense of space seems weird to me. It looks like desert rock and it is but then he moves left into a star field being propelled by his club, which sputters and lets him drop onto the Teen Angels' van. Now, I get this is meant to convey it was the night sky of the desert, but the geography of that scene does a poor job of it in my opinion, making it look like a cave or side of the stone wall is turning into the night sky in a non-artistic way. Please tell me if anyone disagrees on this.

As for the Teen Angel's van, they modified it for Cap by putting a small cave on top. This is all well and good, but that ladder permanently stuck on the side makes the whole thing awkward as hell. Unfortunately, you are going to have to pause it to take a good look, because it's barely on screen and when it is, it's shaking because Cap landed on it. So, though I think this is a perfectly competent opening (a lot bar indeed), there's also some problems.

"Now, the constant companion to the Teen Angels
Bender, Deedee and Taffy."

OK, I must have misheard "Bender". Like, it's probably Heather, or Brenda. If not, cool name and ahead of it's time. Sorry, tough kid from the Breakfast club, someone beat you to it.

Anyway, he get a look at the girls. Then Captain Caveman is using his club as a torch, with an "It's a living"-style Flinstones bird holding a candle peeking out of the club. And yes, this means this is the same universe as the Flintstones, as proven in the Laff-a-Lympics. Also, he was likely frozen before or around the events of the Flintstones, since he is a popular TV character in the Flintstones Kids.

Now, some of you might be like "wait, does this mean he's a fictional character in the Flintstones?" I don't think so. I think it is more likely the Hanna Barbera Universe (and if the Laff-a-Lympics are to be believed AND THEY ALWAYS ARE there is a shared universe) equivalent of this.



Man, it won't be for at least a couple years, but I can wait to review that intro.

Anyhoo, then we see Captain Caveman following some footprints, then the monster whose footprints Cap is following is following him. Not particularly funny, but at least we are back to a competent, if cliched, opening.

"In their hilarious and sometimes scary mystery missions"

*groan* Don't... please don't tell us you are hilarious. Scary is something you can't and don't really need to deliver on, trust me. Kids shows totally can be scary at times, but not a Hanna Barbera show about a superhero caveman. But hilarious? Look, I appreciate the confidence but Hanna Barbera is the epitome of lame 1930's quality humour. No, not even humour. It's like they are representative of what a joke could be, if you had chosen to make one. All of the jokes are jokes you put in to hold space until you can find a REAL joke to take it's place. Don't try to sell me on this.

Let me help you.

"In their pleasant and there's also a monster mystery missions. Also, we have Mel Blanc doing a funny voice. I mean, nothing funny is said, but it WILL be said in a funny way. Plus, if you hang around long enough, we'll show you a commercial for a cool board game. Here's one to tide you over."



"Get ready for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels."

Captain Caveman then pulls a safe out of his body hair and eats it. OK, confession: I find watching a human or animal eating a decidedly unfoodly thing. Why doesn't Matter Eater Lad have his own series? So I like this aspect to the character already.

Then we see the title and our leads.

So, again, not as fun as the last one, but it is perfectly fine and though it oversells itself, I do like the showmanship aspect.

Grade: C!

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?
No. But Captain Caveman is kind of fun, and I like that he hangs out with teenage Charlie's Angels.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show

Guys, it was Brenda. Also, all the girls got last name. Didn't expect that. Other than that, no real surprises.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:57 AM
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"Set free by the Teen Angels from his prehistoric block of glacier ice, comes the world's first superhero, Captain Caveman."
That says a lot about the cavalier attitude towards the environment in the '70s.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:37 AM
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The attitude is it makes for a great superhero storage device.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:52 AM
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Default [B]Casper and the Angels[/B]

Casper and the Angels

Casper the Friendly Ghost is one of those perfectly and rightly simple creations: he's a ghost and he's friendly and therein lies the problem. He tries to make friends but mostly scares people away. Usually he wins a friend by the end of the episode through determination, kindness and scaring just the right bad guy. Come to think of it, he was probably one of the friendlier of the cartoon characters of the era, considering the genre of cartoon short were slowly starting to creep out of the era were everyone in cartoons was obnoxious jerks.

Casper was the nice guy and while he and his adventures are a bit milquetoast, there is a sweetness to the character that makes him endearing. He is not particularly dynamic but he evokes hilariously dynamic reactions in others who are freaked out by him. You could say those people have a prejudice, but to be fair, these are people and animals whose entire perception of reality is rocked to its core upon seeing a pudgy white boy ghost.

Anyway, when one says there's a cartoon called Casper and the Angels, one assumes this is more afterlife adventures with friends from Heaven. But instead...



We start normal enough, with the classic theme and Casper materializing a black space background by pulling himself out of the nothingness. How does that work. He waves and then a big, hairy ghost also pulls himself out of space. He tries to scare Casper and while Casper is an fountain of kindness, even he's had it with this wacky sidekick, as first he looks at him with an expression that says "Really? You're the second banana of this show? We couldn't get Hot Stuff or Spooky, the Tough Little Ghost?" Then he shakes his head.

He starts following Casper and Casper, knowing he can do better, flies down to the city below, possibly in search of a better co-star who doesn't fill him with disgust. But as you can see, the city itself already clues us into the fact that something is wrong as it looks like a Jetsons/Megaman vibe. Yep, it's Casper... IN THE FUTURE! That's right, this is the first cartoon we've come across on this thread that's put it's decidedly terrestrial (and in this case ethereal) characters in space.



That was a whole thing back then, just as the 80's and early 90's tried to turn everyone into kids and babies. If you realize that your cast is kind of dull or has very little appeal, shoot 'em to space and let the setting to the heavy lifting as they tell the same old stupid jokes. And yes, I know future and space isn't the same thing, but in cartoons in the 60's and 70's, it basically was.

We then cut to space cops on flying jet skis and this thing has gone off the rails so fucking fast. Casper hitches a ride, bumping on the hood of one of the space dealies. No one seems to care which is a sign that the funny tragedy of the character is already defeated. Now all you have is his mild friendliness. The space cops don't friggin' care.

Then two far more homely space cops decide to fight over their steering fork while aggressively "wacky" music plays. It's also worth noting that the fork isn't even attached and while this is probably a shitty animation error, I'll let it go and assume that it's a wireless streering fork.

We then see what can be very loosely interpreted as intrigue. We see a guy who looks like Louie from Casablanca as played by Ranger Smith looking around a place with some boxes. Then a space pirate laughing in a laboratory closet. Then some poorly framed silhouettes looking confused, probably wondering why we weren't spending more than half-a-second with a jolly space pirate, who is probably far more interesting than anything we've seen so far. All the shots do a shitty job establishing intrigue and feel more like almost only almost random clips. Things aren't front and center and why it might (probably not) work better in progress, the scenes are framed poorly and keeps you at a distance.

A space ship then starts robbing a space bank. The bickering ugly cops continue to fight, this time about who should handle it. The space crooks get away. Anyway, Casper is riding with the Angels (I'm assuming) and they stop and Casper is propelled forward (nice to know that physics still works on souls, to an extent). He gets help from the big furry ghost and they run in front of the baddies and scare them. I will say, they stay true to Casper in that he's not trying to scare them, but stop them. Because the animation is so shitty, the scare animation is simply having the baddies eject from their ship and getting captured by the Angels while Casper and the hairy ghost shakes hands.

Then we get our titles. This one seems particularly weak in the "in space" sub-genre of cartoons. Seems like they had a show about space cops and needed some intellectual property to get it made. I get that some of the others can have fish out of water stories but Casper is already so fantastical and it seems so far removed from what Casper should be. And it's weird that I'm arguing for the sanctity of Casper, the Friendly Ghost, even though I can't of don't give a damn about him (except I clearly do).

Did It Make Me Want to Watch It?


If there was any desire to see it, the two wacky cops killed that idea in its crib. I can just imagine what awful cartoon voices they have.

Now I look on Wikipedia to learn more about the show


Quote:
Casper the Friendly Ghost is a guardian angel to two female motorcycle space officers named Mini (who is rather ditzy and has a Southern accent) and Maxi (who is a much more intelligent African-American woman with a very short temper) in the year 2179. They are joined by a rambunctious ghost named Hairy Scary, who would scare villains and troublemakers, but unlike most other ghosts, was accepting of the fact that Casper was a gentle ghost who did not like to scare people.
So wait, Casper IS the angel? Like literally appointed by God? Or self-chosen?

Also, I was right about the space stuff. Also, also as you might imagine, the name was inspired by Charlie's Angels but also CHiPS was an influence. Which is weird, because you could say "it's Casper the Friendly Ghost meets CHiPs" or "Casper the Friendly Ghost meets Charlie's Angels", I would be WAY into it in the abstract. But this looks abysmal.

Also, one of the villains is Fatula. He's exactly what you think he is.
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