Before they became hacking and slashing horror movie characters (?), “The Banana Splits” were a niche kids program from the seventies. They were performers dressed in animal outfits that performed original pop rock like “The Monkees” and got in to various misadventures. They’d also show various animated shorts during the program. While I was never personally a fan, “The Banana Splits” were so much more interesting than “The Monkees” ever were. Their animated Halloween special is also one of the highlights of their television life, even if you’re not a fan.
“The Legend of the Vampire” is a bittersweet occasion. As it is one of the many, many “Scooby Doo” animated movies, it is also apparently the first Scooby-Doo movie to feature Casey Kasem, Heather North, Nicole Jaffe and Frank Welker together since 1973. The gang are back together to bring what is a pretty strong and fun mixing of the usual Mystery Inc. exploits and some great rock and roll music. Once again, we see the appearance of The Hex Girls who should, by all rights, have their own animated spin off by now. Ah well, a man can dream.
Warner Bros. killed it and decided to throw it away, never to really be seen. Then thanks to uproar from the hardcore comic, Superman, and Scooby-Doo fan bases, “Scooby-Doo! and Krypto, Too!” was thankfully saved and thrown in to the already massive library of “Scooby-Doo” movies. This was of course put over in to the straight to home media market where Hanna Barbera’s cash cow rests comfortably. But that’s not at all a slight, as “Scooby-Doo! and Krypto, Too!” is a very good mixing of the crime fighting mutt, and Superman’s poochy pal.
BOOTLEG FILES 806: “Hokey Wolf” (a short series of Hanna-Barbera cartoons from 1960-1961).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Two episodes were included in a DVD release.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Probably not.
During the early 1960s, the Hanna-Barbera animation studio flooded television viewers with a surplus amount of cartoon mischief that quickly became incorporated into the popular culture. Creations including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, Top Cat and The Jetsons gained instant iconic status.
I was born in 1983, so most of my education of classic Hanna Barbera cartoons comes from the early days of Cartoon Network on cable television. In the early to mid-nineties, the channel was treasure trove of their classics. Among some of their best on constant rotation was “The Herculoids.” A mix of “Swiss Family Robinson,” “He-Man,” and “Kazar,” the series mixed some great character dynamics and sleek monster designs in what was a show primarily centered around action and adventure.
It’s pretty surprising that Scooby Doo and Courage the Cowardly Dog have never met in the animated medium before. Courage is something of a neo-Scooby Doo for the contemporary Hanna Barbera slate of animated series, and has its devotees. It’s a much more bizarre, spookier, and edgier series that’s even been embraced by the horror community. While it doesn’t make too much sense for them to meet, it also does make a ton of sense which adds to the oddity that’s “Straight Outta Nowhere.”
I guess because it’s written in blood in a contract with some demonic force that every single year, Scooby Doo has to have a new movie released on or around the Halloween season. Truth be told, the movies sell well and Scooby Do around Halloween just makes sense. The long running series from Hanna Barbera has been one of the most influential franchises of all time, even bringing with is a wave of goofy, silly, god awful copy cats. They tried everything to duplicate the success of Scooby from talking mopeds, goofy ghosts, and even miniature detectives.
These are five of the worst Scooby Doo Knock Offs, and Four of the Best.
I’m a big fan of “Josie and the Pussycats.” I think the theme song one of the most raucously entertaining themes ever made, while the cartoon is one of the better byproducts of the “Scooby Doo” influence. Hoping to continue the series, Hanna Barbera took their franchise to the more obvious setting: Space! And they branched out in to orbit with Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space: The Complete Series, now on Blu-Ray.