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The Cartoon Intro Examination Thread (60s Edition) - Hanna the Barberian

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Post-war politics is a complicated business, but outside of the Japanese ultranationalists, that first couple of generations from and post-WW2 spent a lot of time trying to parse how to react to how the war ended. Which, also granted, resulted in the country deciding to memory hole all the atrocious shit they got up to during the war but that wasn't exclusive to the Japanese either and turning weapons of war into tools to protect humanity is an extremely common trope for a lot of Japanese pop media through the late 70s.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Gigantor was one of two Japanese cartoons I knew my dad watched as a kid (the other was Astro Boy, natch). I guess I always thought it had some connection to Osamu Tezuka, but it seems that's not the case! I watched a bit of the American version on DVD with my buddy in high school, and it was as you say. Repetitious. It was also ridiculous, though.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Go Go Gophers

I have no idea what is going on with this one. I’m going to assume this is what I like to call a “Ghost Mutt” show, where the title came first and an entire show was built around it. I’m just hoping we have gophers in gogo boots, dancing in a club interstitials of Austin Powers-style.


Oooooooooh noooooooooooo.

Yeah, so we start in the bad lands and pan down to a teepee and two gopher indigenous peoples who, um, don’t look like a paragon of representation, even for the 60s. And they looked bummed as they sit around a fire.

“Two little Indians all others gone
Two little Indians left all alone”

Wow, two lyrics in and things have already gotten VERY dark. Like, these guys look to be the last of their tribe and theirs no not-sad story about how that shit went down.

“No buffalo to hunt
No tribe to lead
What can they do for fun?”

The two bored gophers are scratching themselves and enter their teepee but one sees something and says… um, something definitely not in any actual language. This show keeps finding astounding new lows.

Anyway, they see a bunch of yankee soldiers in blue and rush into their tent and come out with weapons and bombard them. They create an impossible barrage of arrows and explosions that leave the soldiers on the run.

“Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Here comes the colonel
With his sergeant
They come a roarin’
And a chargin’”

Sure enough, the two men lead the way but then we see one gopher putting his fingers in his ears while the other pushes down a TNT plunger and then we see that the direction that the soldiers went exploded and they land in a cactus while the gophers laugh.

“Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!”

Anyway, I thought I could get through this quickly but here’s another version of the intro.


We see a title card with the title characters in the corner.

“Two little Indians
No others near.”

We see them roasting and seasoning a chicken over a fire.

“Colonel he vows these two
soon disappear.”

We see a colonel looking on, giving orders to his sergeant who sends his men to attack. It should be noted that the colonel and sergeant are dogs and everyone else is a human, which raises questions for me. I mean, it could take place in a Dragonball-type world where the president is a dog man (how come no one remembers that? That there’s a dog president?) but maybe some wolves at some soldiers and then took on their identities in a Red Riding Hood scam.

“Fighting the army
Soldiers galore
What can two Indians do?”

Once again, one of the gophers spouts racist gibberish because go to Hell the 60s.

Anyway, the gophers turn their teepee into a helicopter and fly away.

“Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Here comes the colonel
With his sergeant
They come a roarin’
And a chargin’
Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!
Go Go Gophers
Watch ‘Em Go Go Go!”

The Gophers then chase the soldiers, throwing dynamite from their flying teepee. The end.

Did It Make You Want To Watch It?

NOOOOOOOOOO!

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Not much to say. I’m actually familiar with the theme song via its appearance in an early MST3k (Time of the Apes). The description has the Gophers speaking in wacky broken English. Also, not a Jay Ward cartoon, but it does kind of look like one. Mostly because it has unfortunately portrayal of indigenous peoples.


Fan Art
Yeah, people like making fan art of this thing. Just a reminder that some people either don't get it and/or suck?



Yeah, pretty much what I might expect.


OK, not bad. Now I don’t have to think about unfortunate representation, just the characters who are trying to kill those characters. Maybe this is a lateral move.


Um… hmm… well…
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I know cartoons have pulled some racist shit but GODDAMN...I was not expecting a show with a campy musical-sounding name to star a pair of horrible Native American stereotypes.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
I mean, in the 1950s and 1960s it was a very common motif. "Cowboys and Indians" was a genre staple back then. Heck, even into my own childhood you could walk into a toy shop and buy a set of plastic indigenous peoples. Having these insensitive portrayals front-and-center isn't surprising at all for the era - it's expected.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Oh I'm well aware of that, I'm just saying that Go Go Gophers sounds more like it'd be the name for some kinda dance or music show than the typical racist Cowboys & "Indians" output of the era.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
Executive: Do something with the name "Go go gophers"

Developer: We have a picture some guy drew of two gophers that are also Indians. Good enough? Cool, let's get some lunch.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Hardy Boys

Oh, another mystery show. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, a few years prior Scooby Doo was a hit and in the next decade, everyone will be knocking it off. I’m not actually all that familiar with the source material beyond the Simpsons references.


“It’s about pirates”

BTW, that one is actually a reference to an actual book with a slightly different name.



So I’m expecting something relatively low stakes but with crime fighting. Not as wacky as Scooby Doo but not as out there as Johnny Quest. Let’s see what we got.


Hmm.. Somehow I didn’t see this coming. I mean, I should have, because all the cartoons starting in 68 to 75 were basically all like this.

What I really assumed is that the intro to the cartoon about teen detectives would have… any of that. Like, even one of those.

We start with a gang of 28 year olds (at least) pretending to sing and play music while two stage hands through balloons and confetti from off screen.

“Oh, boy!
Here come the Hardys.
Oh, boy!
We’re havin’ a party”

I feel like they may have come up with the lyrics in ADR.

“A life full of mysteries
But that makes it better
So come join the Hardys
We’ll solve them together!”

I would love for the reveal to be these are murder mysteries and the Hardys think they make life better because the victims had it coming.

“OH BOY!
HERE COME THE HARDYS!
OH BOY!
WE’RE HAVIN’ A PARTY.”

The title keeps flashing and everyone tries to convince us that this is very fun.

At this point, playing music is increasingly difficult due to the piles of confetti and balloon on the instruments, which seems more like a hindrance than anything. Weirdly, it feels like there’s too much of this stuff but in a few shows they try to make it seem like there’s more, like when a Hardy is playing with it.



Also, it feels like this should have been over but the theme keeps going beyond its money shot of party paraphernalia.

“Hello, Hey, Hi, How Are You Now?”

I complain about lyrical filler a lot but that’s bold to just take the most basic ass word and then follow it up with three basic ass synonyms. I already am annoyed by these people. If someone came up to me and just addressed me different introductory words, I would be both worries and annoyed. BTW, someone got paid to write that. That lyric was purchased. Whoever it was never stopped to say “can I use this as an opportunity to give people an idea of what the show is or what the story is about or the general tone.” And either they didn’t or they realized “oh, the tone is tedium!”

“You know we got so much to do now.”

I mean, this is also lacking in content but at least I know that the show has at least has chores for the main characters and they won’t just be staring at the audience. Or they do but there’s tension because there are things they HAVE to do.

“A world of adventure is waiting for you here
When we start the action, we’re sure that you’ll stay here.”

Someone also got paid to rhyme here with here. Its not even a different definition or usage of the world here. Someone couldn’t think up a rhyme and added here to the end of both sentences. It could have been “We are the Hardys, teen detectives here, We are based on a popular series aimed for the young adult demographic here!” OK, maybe mine has a syllable problem that messes with the meter, but still.

“OH BOY!
HERE COME THE HARDYS!
OH BOY!
WE’RE HAVIN’ A PARTY.”

The Hardys play with balloons again but it doesn’t have the same energy despite the music’s efforts.

Did It Make You Want To Watch It?

Not particularly but I am somewhat curious if there’s an actual cartoon here or if its more like a Lawrence Welk thing but for toothless faux pop music.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

This is interesting: this show aired ONE WEEK before Scooby Doo. So maybe this is Hydrox to Scooby Doo’s Oreos? Also, Wikipedia doesn’t have a lot to say except “It was one of the first Saturday morning cartoons with a black character. And I mean, that’s kind of good but what is the actual first, because that seems like a better show for footnote status.

Fan Art

None for this specific cartoon. But here’s Nancy Drew and one of the boys hanging out.


So now I know how one of them makes extra money when not combating smugglers.



 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Herculoids

OK, I’ve never seen this one but I do know it by cultural osmosis. I think I do mix it up in my head with the 1980s show Blackstar and maybe one other show? Which one has Ookla the Mott? Anyway, as I understand it, its about a couple humans and a team of alien animals fighting evil in an alien wilderness. Which sounds pretty cool.


Aw man, I tell you, I didn’t grow up with this show but it almost feels like going home again. I love the show’s whole vibe and aesthetic, from the familiar Hanna Barbera library of sound effects to the cool monster designs (I think by legend Alex Toth but I’ll have to check later to be sure) to the spooky theremin music to set the mood that this isn’t your typical adventure show.

Lets start there as the music comes up and an explosion happens. We see weird splotches morph into the show’s title with the yellow background giving way to spooky green screen giving off twin waves of hypno-circles. Already, the tone is appropriately off-kilter while fitting perfectly into the Hanna Barbera aesthetic.

We then see the monsters: two blobs with eyes, a dragon, a rhino thing and a monolithic ape beast. These are the “protagonists” and I love it. Clearly, someone realizes “monsters are cool. Why not just make them the good guys?” which is the right answer.

Then they sort of “voip” out of existence and from then on we see clips from the show. Usually this is a complaint from me but 1) its well edited together (not in an OMG sense but I’ve seen it done poorly so many times, even competent usage is impressive) and 2) the chosen clips are top notch.

We have: a dragon shooting energy beams out of its eyes AND tail! The ape trying to bonk a robot only to be thwarted by a force field (my one complaint is I’m assuming we are starting with clips of the monsters being awesome but they let the rock ape fail). The rhino shooting bullets out of its horn! A team of conjoined blobs splitting into two!

They jump away (I like that when they move, their bodies are kind of flat) and we get a sort of arrow wipe transition and we see on of the human characters jump kicking and hitting a vine. He bounces off of it like he’s an arrow and the vine is a bow and springs the other way. We then see him traveling by springing back and forth between the vines. I kind of love this because it feels like an intentional, alien version of Tarzan swinging from trees. Its dynamic and fun and ridiculous but also sort of cool and if I could, I would do it in an instant, even after a big meal.

We then see a woman and a boy riding the dragon and chased by a bit red dragon. She draws back he slingshot, fires and it explodes into nothing. Not even a body, it just straight up disappears.

Sure, they can stand up to dragons… but what about a gun wielding sharkman king in a rocket?





We then have the male hero firing his own slingshot and exploding the roof. Then, to make up for his initial failure, the rock ape gets to smash TWO robots!



The animation looks fierce. Like, it’s a lot smoother than most of the staccato style of Hanna Barbera animation and I love it. The animators clearly poured a lot into this ape punching robots.

After another hypno field, we then see a robot shooting beams out of its hose arms. And he straight up explodes who I assumed was the main character. Well, he’s dead now.




Oh, no wait, he’s alive, falling from the sky. One of the blobby monsters catches him and turns into a slimy parachute.

The dragon and then explodes one of the robots and we explode into the title with a complete group shot of our heroes.

Did It Make You Want To Watch It?

Yeah. I wouldn’t quite put it in the top tier but its in the penultimate tier. Cool monsters, completely dynamic, and while it doesn’t tell you the premise, it give you enough information so you know it has what you want: monsters fighting robots.


What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

They are described as family of “Space Barbarians.” The dragon, Zok, is described as a “bat-winged lazer dragon”. This cartoon rules.

Also, the blob from “A Boy and His Blob” is directly inspired by this series and DJ Cool Herc called his backing band The Herculoids.


Fan Art

Lots of it and its good.






 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Here Comes the Grump

Huh. No idea. Lets take a look.


This one… this one kind of floored me. Not because its “so great” but it does come barrelling through the door with a surplus of energy. I wasn’t really expecting a wacky fantasy epic. I was thinking “OK, this is about a grumpy animal or something.” But instead we have some sort of wizard inventor king or something and a boy from another world and weird, magic animals. So this show, regardless of actual content, is going for it, at least.

We start with some drumming as a purple-mustachioed villains face comes toward the screen.

DePatie-Freling Presents literally flashes across the screen (with some images in the background). DePatie Freling was one of the few non-Hanna Barbera companies around at the time and they… well, they sure existed. They always felt like they were trying to make you think they were Hanna Barbera, such is their knock off tone.

“Here comes the grump here comes the grump,” whisper some voices as the white titles flash on a blue screen.

A lot of little images flash across the screen, including the title character on a dragon, kids running with a weird animal, then everyone’s faces popping up on holes in the screen. We then see the title on purple, instead of blue, which it feels like it should have been to begin with because it’s the dude’s colour.

“In a magic place,
lives a princess caught in a chase.”

We get some extremely Alice in Wonderland imagery off the bat. First there are bouncing, legless guards. Then two hideous neckless citizens laughing around houses that look like laughing faces. Its horrifying. We then see two kids playing ping pong in a giant pink lemonade glass while a dog chases a cat and they are both in straight jackets.

Its funny, but aside from the unsettling laughing dudes, I feel like the animators are trying to sell me on the idea “isn’t this world wild” and I guess it is but… somehow its also leaving me feeling hallow. Objectively, its weird stuff but my reaction is nothing more than indifference. I assume its going for not only an “Alice” element but also Yellow Submarine but the weirdness of that movie was calculated. Sure, it could be argued that its nothing more than affectation and style but it left and impact. Somehow this did not.

It reminds me of a minor character from Doom Patrol named Agent “!”.



His whole deal as he literally comes as no surprise. Like, he is incapable of surprising people. He wants to, he tries to. He has a birdcage body and has a little airplane with bird feet living in it. And no one cares. For all his affected weirdness, he cannot make people look twice. That’s what this show feels like to me. Its “weirdness” without style or personality. Even some things striving for weirdness that suck at least hit it in the wrong way, whether it be style with no meaning or even something like a bad movie, where its weirdness isn’t in the intended content but in its missteps. This has none of that. This has no charm and is somehow easy to ignore despite its desperate cries for attention. Like, I’m not even annoyed, just completely detached from this.

We see some flowers laughing and a man fishing in the lemonade, being dragged down into the pulpy deep, presumably to his death.

“And no matter how fast she goes,
Here on her heels and toes.
Here comes the Grump
Here comes the Grump.
HERE COMES THE GRUMP!”

We see a princess in a box (not a literal one, but like a framing box) and we also see from outside the image the Grump swooping with her dragon, before seeing the title on a purple screen.

“There’s Herbip, he pet.”

I’m pretty sure that’s not what he’s called by I can’t make out the name and I’m not in a position at the moment to put the volume much louder. Anyway, it’s like some sort of beetle dog, who skedaddles way.

“And there’s Terry
The boy she just met.”

We see Terry running with her as they are first in separate boxes which disappear to reveal them in the same scene.

We then see a purple zeppelin and then the Grump stopping his dragon and bouncing off its ridges as one might do in an assuredly better Yosemite Sam cartoon.

“And although he’s from far away,
He’s got to save the day.”

As I assume Comic Book Resources would suggest: unreverse isekai at its finest.

“Here comes the Grump
Here comes the Grump
HERE COMES THE GRUMP!”

We see the titles but behind them is the Grump in a submarine.

“Grump’s always naggin’
His jolly green dragon
But the dragon
Keep flaggin’
Behind.”

We see the grump fall to Earth on his butt while the dragon lands and waits for orders. Cut to a similarly composed shot in the desert where the dragon sneezes fire on the Grump.

“Our friends agree,
When you search for the magical key.”

Somewhere, this kid’s ears perk up.




We see the heroes on various modes of overly and overtly whimsical transportation.

“You must always be at your best,
You can’t afford to rest.
Here comes the Grump
Here comes the Grump
HERE COMES THE GRUMP!”


We see the kids running to and fro and the Grump swooping on his dragon and the title.


Did It Make You Want To Watch It?


I don’t think it will be good but I see potential in the formula, I suppose.


What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Turns out my Yosemite Sam comparison was apt: he was made to look as such and Fritz Freling created Sam AND there are a lot of parallels between the Grump and his dragon and Sam and his dragon from "Knighty Knight Bugs". One key difference: this time, the character is voiced by Rip Taylor, which I feel creates a world of difference.

Oh, also Mexico made a film version.


No thank you.

Fan Art

Hey, I was able to find some


Like, objectively decent but I can only imagine this as a toothless Canadian thing. Yuck.



Someone took out a bit of the whimsy and made it look more like traditional high fantasy and… its not bad.


I like the patchiness in his hat.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Hillbilly Bears

I feel like I’ve done this but… I really don’t know. Maybe its just that I’ve seen a lot of hillbilly bears because they are the most hillbilly of animals.


We start with the tune “Baby Bumblebee” and we see four bears on a long tandem bike. We have a young bear, a teen bear, a mom bear and a dad bear. They ride for a while in silhouette. We then get another close up of the dad bear, who turns to the camera and laughs and turns around and starts having a bike nap, presumably amused that he can get away without having to work. However, his section of the bike comes loose and ends up smashing through a mailbox and getting stuck in it. So.. he’s a pretty thin bear.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Not really. I mean, there's the fact that there's a problematic aspect to the classicism of the hillbilly archetype but considering I just watched incomprehensible war-mongering Native American gophers, this doesn't seem so bad by comparison. But I'm not really interested.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Mostly what you might expect: the bears are always feudin’ and the joke is the one family they feud with have to share the same bullet which they shoot back in forth. The daddy is nearly incomprehensible even to his own family.

Apparently, the bears will appear in the new cartoon Jellystone!

Fan Art

So do you like them human?



adowable



Or buff and hunky?

 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
I honestly have no idea what you guys in the US grew up with in the 80s and 90s because I'm now realizing that MY childhood cartoons in Mexico were already 20 to 30 years old by the time they ran in the local cartoon channel.

The Grump! Come ON! I saw that when I was FIVE!

Oh, also Mexico made a film version.

The Grump WAS insanely popular well into the 90s.

Seriously what is UP with this and Top Cat.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
We mainly grew up with toy-selling cartoons (I was really into He-Man when I was a child), but as far as stuff before I was born goes I did see some Tom and Jerry, The (60s) Woody Woodpecker Show, various iterations of Scooby-Doo!, and various other old cartoons.

No The Grump, though.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I mean, same, but I note with interest that the Grump is played by Ian McShane, which seems like great casting.
Agreed but what little you hear of the Grump... He's not doing Rip Taylor. In fact, I just want a live action movie where Ian McShane plays this guy.


Like, as if he's not even trying to pretend to be the Grump, just being Rip Taylor and everyone on set has to ad lib and pretend that this is part of the plot.

We mainly grew up with toy-selling cartoons (I was really into He-Man when I was a child), but as far as stuff before I was born goes I did see some Tom and Jerry, The (60s) Woody Woodpecker Show, various iterations of Scooby-Doo!, and various other old cartoons.
We had something like this but in Canada there are Cancon (Canadian Content) rules that a certain percentage of programming be Canadian. So a lot of reruns of cartoons animated by Canada from the 60s (including Spider-Man and Rocket Robin Hood, which even shared a nearly identical episode).

Seriously what is UP with this and Top Cat.
I knew Top Cat was big in Mexico but the Grump was a big question mark before I found this one.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hokey Wolf

Oh, Hanna Barbera, I think this covers your early aesthetic nicely.



I have very little idea with this character, so let’s take a look.


No big opening here, just a brief one in the style of a theatrical short film. We hear generic cartoon music and see a wolf… wait, that’s just Yogi Bear. Like, exactly Yogi Bear. But a wolf. Then we get credits as I ponder Hanna Barbera’s new depths of creative bankruptcy.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I don’t even want to watch regular Yogi Bear.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

The premise is Hokey is a con artist wolf who tries to smooth talk himself into a good life and is good at it but invariably gets in trouble. He has a sidekick named Ding-a-Ling. His voice is a copy of a popular celebrity. So he’s a smooth guy with a penchant for mischief and a goofily named diminutive sidekick. Its Yogi Bear. Now to be fair, instead of Art Carney, the voice is Phil Silvers and… I know the name but I couldn’t tell you what Phil Silvers sounds like. Ding-a-Ling sounds like Buddy Hackett who I think I know but I suspect I’d rather not.

Fan Art

But he was popular enough to get fan art



The poutine background raises this to horror-tier fan art.



This is a pokemon, thing, right? If I don’t know its usually a pokemon thing.




Usually I don’t like “but they are anime” fan art but I really like that the style is late 70s/early 80s kids anime. But why is he thinking “sad”. Is HE sad or is he thinking the other guy is sad.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Were these two in Harvey Birdman? I feel like they must have been, because they seem familiar, and I don't know why I'd know them otherwise.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hoppity Hooper

Oh, this is another one I’m completely in the dark about. About a rabbit I assume?


We start with a white screen and long thin red lines coming in from the side revealing words (or word portions) “Hop” “Pity” “Hoop” and “Per”. While I’m not going wild over this, I do appreciate the Saul Bass quality of this so far. The screen is filled up with word pairings like “hip” “hop” “flip” “flop” and “hoot” “poot” which… seems ill-considered unless they are planning to be a little more scatological than the average cartoon of the era. I’m sure it didn’t mean fart then, in which case this devolved into nonsense 3 pairings in.


The words disappear and the lines extend across the screen (which changes colour) and a frog’s silhouette jumps up and bounces off the roof of lines. The frog, now seen clearly, stands up and has a tiny little froggy bowtie, which seems like a hard thing to have when you don’t have a neck. The frog smiles as the word “Hoopity” appears next to him. He leaps through the ceiling and appears standing upside down on the top of the screen where it says “toppity”. He leaps off the screen and an abstracted version of the frog bounce up and down off the floor and roof of the screen.

The words “hoppity hip” appear and stretch off the screen. The words “hippity hopper” appear, then some letters leave and others replace them making “Hoppity Hooper” and a frog jumps a bit, then jumps into the title with the concurrent “o”s acting as glasses.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I don’t think so. Nothing wrong with it and I like its stylishness but I feel like there’s nothing more to draw me in.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Oh, it’s a Jay Ward cartoon. This makes me want to watch it more. It was produced by Gamma productions, the Mexican animation studio that did George of the Jungle so it probably looks better than Rocky and Bullwinkle. Its basically standard stuff in description: a plunky frog hero, a conman wolf and… a bear dressed as a Civil War soldier (the less-racist side, thankfully) who was almost voiced by Fred Flintstone.

Fan Art

I did find some.





Pretty straight-forward




This says its fan art of Hoppity Hooper but I only recognize one of the characters as the characters from the show.




And I guess the show has a lady dog too.

Also, the only fan art seems to be from the same person. Good on ya, "Blue-Eyed Wolf".
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hot Wheels

This is an interesting one. I know that a lot of cartoons in this era were sponsored by toy companies (like the Funny Company) but I though TV series based on toys wasn’t a thing until the 80s, when certain laws changed. Lets see what this one is like.


We start with colourful abstracted tire tracks on a white background as the music build up and we get a 60s style pop song.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!”

We see the Hot Wheels logo on a black and yellow checkered background. We see a bunch of cars drive past a guy waving a flag on a race track. I’m sure that guy has a job title but I don’t know enough about racing so I’ll call him a Finishman.

“Always chasin'
All of us racin’”

I’m often bad at hearing lyrics so its impressive I made this out over the sound of car engines trying to drown out the lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, you want an engine roar in your intro but either wait till there’s a lull in the song or create one with editing. Some singers worked REALLY HARD to find a rhyme with “chasin” before having their “eureka” moment.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!
Keep ‘em turnin’ now!
Keep ‘em burnin’ now!
Keep ‘em turnin’,
Hot Wheeeeels!”

We see the logo on the checkered background spinnin’ around (as well on a different black/yellow background) while cutting between a racer who looks a LOT like Speed Racer.



The fact that he’s a 4 seems like either “see, he’s one higher in the rankings than Speed Racer” (in which case why not make him one) or just shows that he’s one tier lesser than Speed.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!
Always chasin’
All of us racin’”

The title literally flashes on screen several times and we see a guy racing while talking which kind of looks like he’s singing the song up to a point, then he drives off to reveal he’s lip syncing. It’s a moment that reveals that, once again, this show could have done more with a little bit of editing.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!
Keep it turnin’ now!
Keep it burnin’ now!
Keep it turnin’
Hot Wheeeeels!”

We see more titles and a blond guy riding around in a dune buggy. I feel like the 60s were the era of the dune buggy before people realized they were only kind of fun but having a real grown-up car is probably better.

We then see tire tracks on colourful backgrounds while city names pop up.

“Daytona!
Indianapolis!
And Bonneville!”

This is how not into racing I am… I didn’t know Bonneville was a racing city, let alone… a place.

“Dune buggies
Keep drivin’
Up a sandy hill.”

It feels like they are slowly trying to pivot this show into a primarily dune buggy based entertainment as we see the title some more (in case we though this was some Tonka show or something) and a dune buggy riding around. By the way, I’m sure uphill driving is a challenge but isn’t more velocity-based racing even more exciting? It doesn’t even look like it is defying my expectations on that front and is just going at a modest speed.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!
Always chasin’
All of us racin’.”

We see the title some more (and more tiretracks on a white background) while the dune buggy goes off a WICKED JUMP… and proceeds to disappoint with a kind of modest looking gentle landing.



Man, I thought you were heading something. You almost shut my mouth on all the dune buggy backtalk and then it’s the most impotent and non-cathartic-looking landing a car could have. It less looks lke he’s landing a jump and more like he took Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for an average landing that ended up on b-roll footage.

“Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels!
Keep it turnin’
Hot Wheeeeels!”

We see the title a lot and then some cars racing by. Seriously, we’ve seen more branding than cars in this one.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I’m definitely curious. The intro has its failings but it is kind of stylish, has a fun, dynamic song and I’m curious how this toyline would translate into a show proper.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Surprisingly little but what there is interesting. Its about the members of the “Hot Wheels Racing Club”, some high school kids who like racing. The show has a heavy “pro-safety” message, with the heroes actions contrasted with the villains, whom I will just assume die in fiery wrecks at the end of each episode. As for my toy concerns, this is where it gets interesting.

Some time during the show's broadcast, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received complaints from toy companies who argued that it was actually a thirty-minute commercial for the toys; one of them was Topper Toys, a rival to Mattel.[3] The FCC obliged by ordering stations to log part of the airings as advertising time.[3][4]

ABC contested the charge, saying that there was no prior commitment to Mattel, and that Hot Wheels cars were never advertised during the program. The network was backed up by the National Association of Broadcasters, and the show remained on the ABC schedule for two seasons.


This is interesting. First of all, it 100 per cent is a commercial for the toys by virtue of the branding. But its interesting that the complaints were coming from another toy company who presumably were like “Hey, why can you do that and we can’t”? I don’t think we’d see such naked toy/cartoon synergy again until He-Man.

Fan Art

I actually can’t find any on this one.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
I feel like I remember reading that Hot Wheels was either the first or one of the first American TV shows sponsored by a toy company? Or maybe it was the first that had FCC issues cropped up, and I feel like that had something to do with the lack of toy tie-in cartoons until the 80s. I could be thinking of another show.

Anyway judging by how Kid Drac thought Speed Racer was dry as dust, I have a feeling I would have felt similarly about this one.
 

Ghost from Spelunker

BAG
(They/Him)


This is a pokemon, thing, right? If I don’t know its usually a pokemon thing.

Wow, Hokey wolf looks more cat than wolf. Possibly the grandfather of furry animal hybrids?
And he cons people and talks like Phil Silvers? That was done by the same studio with Top Cat (sigh).

To answer your question, that Pokemon is Lycanrock. It's a dog?wolf that can turn into a werewolf when it evolves at night or somethin'.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Flintstones

OK, I missed this big one. I’ve been going through titles alphabetically and missed what is arguably the BIGGEST cartoon of the 60s. It seems it was an oversight of the categories section of Wikipedia which missed this but also managed to include Hot Wheels. I did edit that Wikipedia section and now we can dive into the Flintstones. Flintstones is kind of a big deal. I don’t know if it’s the first prime time cartoon but its definitely the most famous. Its also not very good. Seriously, I just don’t care for the Flintstones. The main premise is cute, the modern age as lived by cavemen, but weirdly its almost entirely recycled sitcom plots that don’t really take advantage of the setting. Say what you will about Dinosaurs, but that was a show that definitely took full advantage of the concept. Still, I liked their vitamins, their cereal and their phone so let’s dive into the Flintstones with the first intro and do more in the coming days.


So, the first thing you’ll notice is that this isn’t the FAMOUS opening. Pebbles hasn’t even been conceived yet (for further visual reference on that, scour the internet) but more than that, there isn’t even the famous song. No song at all, in fact. Instead, its about Fred on his way home from work.

Instead, we have Fred rolling down a busy freeway (free rock?) in his… automobile (rockmobile?) while a song plays that sounds VERY similar to “This Is It” (the Looney Tunes song, not the Kenny Loggins one).


Fred enters the city limits of Bedrock. Within town, a traffic cop stops him to let by a firetruck that’s really a stegosaurus because that’s what the show is. Fred is then let by and he goes to the tailor. Oh, are we going to see a bird sewing machine or a porcupine as a pin cushion? Oh, its… a dinosaur as steps. I can decide if Hanna Barbera ran out of ideas this early or if they are building up to better animals as things “jokes”. At this point, it reminds me of this scene from Wet Hot American Summer.


Only on a visual level.

Anyway, Fred gets a new loincloth and… is that just a thing that happens or am I supposed to consider this a joke reveal. I THINK the former but I could easily see it being “isn’t it funny that a loincloth was tailored?” but he already has a loincloth tie so it feels like its not showing the next step in cave-clothing.

Fred stops to pick up his newsrock, the Daily Slate, which is a weak joke but feels like an upgrade from anything we’ve seen so far. Fred drives home, crashes his car in his garage and runs into his house. He takes a sandwich pile dinner from his wife and walks off with it, only to take a step back to give his wife a kiss. We then see Dino sleeping on Fred’s lazyboy, who moves when he notices Fred coming. Fred sits down, turns on the TV and we zoom in, as if he is going to watch the same show he is.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I mean, I know I don’t care for the Flintstones but as an opening, while not nearly as good as the more iconic theme, this is still a decent enough into. I would also not be surprised if the “coming home” element was either a direct or indirect influence on the Simpsons intro. So that’s not bad.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

I mean, the show is a big deal and I feel I know a lot about it and I’ll do a few of these, so instead, I’ll just cherry pick one or two “new to me” facts.

This one is interesting

In a 1986 Playboy interview, Gleason said Alan Reed had done voice-overs for Gleason in his early movies and that he had considered suing Hanna-Barbera for copying The Honeymooners, but decided to let it pass. According to Henry Corden, a voice actor and a friend of Gleason's, "Jackie's lawyers told him he could probably have The Flintstones pulled right off the air. But they also told him, 'Do you want to be known as the guy who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air? The guy who took away a show so many kids love and so many parents love, too?'"

Fan Art


As you can imagine, there is a lot.



Why… why is this the first thing that comes up?



This is good but the blood is my favourite touch.



Good art, but why do they look like they hate us.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I know The Flintstones doesn't really do anything with the stone age setting (Like you said, Dinosaurs does it better), but I still like how ridiculous the whole "generic sitcom plots but with cavemen and dinosaurs" thing is.
 
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