Hong Kong Phooey
By the way, he was a dog who changed into the superhero by going into a filing cabinet. Seriously.
My hopes are pretty low, given that the production credits of the team involved (Alex Zamm and David Goodman) include Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board, Inspector Gadget 2 and Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Goodman is also a writer/producer of Family Guy.
Is it possible to create kid-friendly fare based on cartoons of my childhood that is also pleasing to adults? When I think of this genre, I can only come up with the awful Scooby Doo movies and Alvin and the Chipmunks (and despite sucking hard, both movies are either getting or have had sequels).
Based on the people involved, the movie will likely be juvenile and formulaic. I look forward to it with the same glee I look forward to train wrecks.
Last time on "Saturday Morning" we reviewed the busy 1974-75 schedule of CBS. In this installment we take a look at the lineups for ABC and NBC.
When looking at the respective schedules you can see a few patterns that were prevalent in Saturday morning programming of the 1970s. As mentioned last time, one of these themes was the increasing amount of live-action shows on the air. Six new live-action programs came out during this year, with three premiering on ABC and NBC combined. Another pattern was the use of prehistoric locations for shows. Each network had at least one show that took place during the time of the dinosaurs. The third pattern was the continuing decrease in quality of the Saturday morning animated fare. Nothing much could be done on that front since the networks were asking for more of this material faster than the studios could produce it and for less money than they needed.
Still and all, 1974 was a good time for Saturday morning programming as it produced a number of programs viewers remember even today. Two such programs are featured in this installment. Now, if the Way-Back Machine is ready, step on in and let's journey back 34 years in the past.
Speaking of Scooby, the intro they post is from a late-'70s revival of the show, which included the then-new character of Scooby-Dum. But they kind of miss the boat on this one; that's maybe the third-best intro, behind the originial Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and my personal favorite, the oh-so-cheesy Scooby-Doo Movies from 1972. Remember the episodes with the Harlem Globetrotters, Sandy Duncan, Batman and Robin, and Tim Conway? That was from this series. In order to refresh your memory, I've embedded the intro to that after the jump.
There are two cartoons I remember very fondly and distinctly from my days as a youngster. Both of them ceased production before I was born, but I gobbled them up in reruns. The first was Underdog, and the second was Hong Kong Phooey. So, naturally, I was ecstatic when I found out that all thirty-one episodes of Hong Kong Phooey, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon which featured Scatman Crothers as the voice of an inept crime-fighting dog who knows kung fu, would be coming out on DVD on August 15. Of course, when Phooey wasn't fighting crime he worked as mild-mannered (all super hero alter egos are mild-mannered) janitor Penrod "Penry" Pooch. The DVD set will also feature a documentary on the making of the series.
Oh yeah, and the complete series of Magilla Gorilla comes out on the same day, but I never watched that.
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