Inch High, Private Eye worked for The Finkerton Detective Agency (a wordplay lampoon of The Pinkerton Detective Agency), and his boss was of course the cantankerous A. J. Finkerton, constantly dreamed of the day that he will find a reason to fire our thumb-sized hero. He was married to Mrs. Finkerton, another regularly featured character. Despite his less than intimidating size, Inch is a gun-ho, no nonsense P.I. who takes what he does very seriously.
On a bit of a nostalgia roll with these Hanna Barbera Saturday morning animation series from the 1970s. Inch High, Private Eye "The world's biggest little detective", appeared in 1973, and ran for 13 episodes until 1974. It received regular syndicated into the 80s, and more recently on cable and satellite cartoon TV channels. The titular character of Inch High, Private Eye was literally a one inch tall detective. He would solve mysteries with the help of his niece Lori, her boyfriend, the muscular Gator (who reminded me of the comic strip character Lil' Abner) and their dog Braveheart. As with most formulaic animation series characters that solved mysteries, they had a special vehicle, in their case the Hushmobile. The Hushmobile, was a streamlined car that makes virtually no noise while being driven, making it perfect for following criminals unnoticed.
Popular voice actor Lennie Weinrib (also the voice of H.R. Pufnstuf, and the original Scrappy-Doo) was the voice of Inch High. His voice was a perfect blend of comedy legend Jack Benny and Don Adams' Maxwell Smart character from Get Smart. In fact, Inch High can often be heard exclaiming "Now cut that out!" or "Sorry about that, Chief!", signature catchphrases of both Benny and Adams, respectively.
The Funky Phantom of the show was a Revolutionary War-era ghost named Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore. While hiding from Redcoats during the revolution, Mudsy and his cat Boo had hidden in a clock. Unfortunately the pair got stuck inside and eventually died in there, until three teenagers stumbled across the clock and released them by setting the hands to midnight. Thus begins the show, in a slightly macabre and creepy fashion. The rest is as formulaic as you would imagine from a Hanna-Barbera animation, as the gang get caught up each week in a series of misadventures. Accompanied by their ghostly friends and that 70s canned-laughter track, that animations of the period always seemed to have.
The show only ran for 17 episodes, which were regularly repeated right into the 80s. The voice of Mudsy was done by Daws Butler and was identical to his voice work for the character Snagglepuss, down to the use of Snagglepuss's catchphrases. The voice of Skip, was provided by Mickey Dolenz, the drummer and singer of manufactured 60s band The Monkees.
First shown between 1971 and 1972, this Hanna-Barbera animation was a regular on Saturday morning TV programming throughout the 70s and into the 80s on the BBC in the UK, but apparently not hardly seen in the US after it's cancellation by CBS in 1974. Making it a firm childhood favourite for many Brits, but a slightly obscure series in the Hanna-Barbera canon for many on the other side of the pond.
I loved the "Hair Bear Bunch" as a kid, it was one of my all time favourite Saturday morning shows, along with The Banana Splits. Mad-cap mayhem all the way for me as a kid in the 70s. Help!... It's The Hair Bear Bunch!, was one of the first ever animations to use a canned-laughter track, which became the standard of so many Saturday morning animation shows during the 1970s.
The programme was originally broadcast in the UK as a segment of the cult Sunday morning magazine TV show Network 7 on Channel 4, and was later repeated in a late night slot.
While researching for the Weird Retro article Charley Says... Don't Do Stupid Shit Kids! I came across this brilliantly funny parody of the well known British public information films of the 1970s. The animation from the website www.thepoke.co.uk warns of not posting tweets things "nobody gives a shit about"!
As if Alice In Wonderland wasn't a subliminally drug soaked kids story already, the makers of this little beauty brought the drugs front and centre. As Alice "drinks" the potion and enters Wonderland, we encounter all the characters we are familiar with. Only this time, rather than the nudge-nudge wink-wink drug references we are generally used to in some retellings of the story, they slap us in the face with a cool psychedelic trip of an animation. There is no way, that the animators weren't sniggering themselves stupid in a stoner haze when they handed this beauty over to the US government.
Yes, Toxic Crusaders was formulaic, part of the cookie-cutter animations of the period. However due to only lasting 13 episodes and the cult film it was loosely based on, Toxic Crusaders has since in itself become somewhat of a cult classic. More so in many ways than the other animations that sit along side it.