Friday, October 31, 2014

Toon Sports: The Ramblin' Wreck (Where's Huddles?, 1970)

Sugartown, USA has posted virtually all 10 episodes of Hanna-Barbera's short-lived primetime series, Where's Huddles?, which was run during the summer 2 consecutive years (1970-1) before fading into obscurity.

The episode, "The Ramblin' Wreck", may just refer to towering Freight Train (Herb Jeffries). This would be the last series Paul Lynde would work on for the studio. His last job was the movie, "Charlotte's Web", released in 1973. Interestingly, Lynde accepted screen credit for his role as neighbor Claude Pertwee, unlike the previous fall, when he went uncredited for The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and It's The Wolf. I wonder what might have changed his mind........

Now, this is a show that deserves to be revived, don't you think?

Rating: B.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

On the Air: Teenage Fairytale Dropouts (2012)

Teenage Fairytale Dropouts was developed in Mexico in 2012, and has migrated around the world, debuting on The Hub (now Discovery Family) in May of this year.

If the basic concept sounds remotely familiar, that's because MTV had a similarly themed series, Clone High, just a few short years ago, airing in primetime. This time, though, the kids are the offspring of famous characters such as Merlin and Pinocchio. And, yeah, it's almost as bad.

Scope out the series opener:

With Election Day next week, the episode about a race for class president seems mighty appropriate, don't you think? I just wish they tried this with CGI instead of flash animation.

Rating: C.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooktober: Bone Chillers (1996)

Thanks to the popularity of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps on Fox, ABC wanted their piece of the horror-lit action for their Saturday morning lineup. Unfortunately, Betsy Haynes' Bone Chillers was a bust, cancelled after 1 season.

Bone Chillers, like Goosebumps, used mostly unknowns, but one, Linda Cardellini, later went on to greater things, such as the first 2 "Scooby-Doo" live-action movies (she'd later work on the Mystery Incorporated series), and primetime roles on Freaks & Geeks & ER. Veteran Charles Fleischer ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", ex-Welcome Back, Kotter) co-starred as Arnie, the janitor who helped the kids at Edgar Allan Poe High.

Following is the series finale, "Full Moon Goon":

Three VHS compilations were released in 1997, but the series is not yet on DVD. Can't see why.

Rating: C.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On The Air: Mike Tyson Mysteries (2014)

Well, it's here. Monday saw the debut of Mike Tyson Mysteries, [adult swim]'s latest 15 minute comedy series, and, well, it's about what you'd expect.

The former World boxing champion now fancies himself a comedian, as per turns in the "Hangover" movie series, and parodies the celebrity-driven cartoons of his youth by voicing his own animated likeness. Aided by the ghost of the Marquess (actually Marquis, but factor in Mike's speech impediment, played for laughs) of Queensbury as his new mentor, Tyson has an adopted daughter and a talking pigeon (Norm McDonald, ex-Saturday Night Live) rounding out the team. The script, in typical [as] fashion, is all over the place, such as in the opener.....

Well, what can you do in 15 minutes? Tyson doubles as a consulting producer, since this was his idea in the first place. How many classic cartoon tropes did you spot in the episode?

Rating: B--.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Toon Sports: Off Road Racer (Catillac Cats, 1984)

Riff Raff and the Catillac Cats take up off-road auto racing in this episode. Riffy decides to enter when he learns his girlfriend, Cleo, kisses the winner. Gee, y'think maybe this is also a bit of a homage to Wacky Races?

Funny thing. Actor Stan Jones, better known as the voice of Lex Luthor to fans of the Super Friends franchise, voices both Riff Raff and Wordsworth, the latter voice seemingly a mimic of certain of Howard Morris' characters (i.e. Mayor McCheese). Like, who knew?

Rating: B.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Toon Legends: Scooby-Doo vs. the Diabolical Disc Demon (1978)

It's been a while since we showcased Scooby-Doo, so why don't we take a trip back to 1978, when Mystery, Inc. (though not going by that appellation at the time) took on the case of "The Diabolical Disc Demon". As memory serves, the episode title card was edited off some syndicated prints, aside from this one.....

Edit: 10/31/14: Unfortunately, the poster pulled the video off YouTube rather suddenly. I will see if there is another copy available ASAP. Sorry.

Yes, the villain is modeled after KISS bassist/vocalist and later actor-reality show star Gene Simmons, whose costume predictably lent itself to be copied like this. KISS, it should be noted, made a live-action movie for Hanna-Barbera around the same time that you'd be hard pressed to find today.

Rating: B.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saturday School: Two Rabbits Too Many (Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, 1970-1)

Emmanuel Mateer, Jr. brings us another episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch from the Filmation years.

Well-meaning Sabrina (Jane Webb) tries again to pep up downtrodden Jughead (Howard Morris), but her success spell has an unexpected side effect. Jughead starts behaving like a rabbit, just in time for Riverdale High to be audited. Uh-oh.

Study the image of Sabrina's cousin, Ambrose (Morris). In both the current Secrets of a Teenage Witch series, and the just-launched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book, Ambrose has been de-aged into a warlock around Sabrina's age or older, and not the comedy relief he was presented to us as back in the day. I prefer the adult Ambrose myself. What about you?

Rating: B.