Inspired by Future Quest, I am soliciting opinions of the following H-B shows. I'm familiar with Jonny Quest and Space Ghost, but I've never seen any of the ones listed below. Which ones can you recommend? Not recommend? All of these are available on DVD. Any thought/commets would be appreciated.
Frankenstein, Jr. & the Impossibles
Is there a place other than Amazon to get Birdman and Space Ghost? Not spending a hundred on those tapes.
I finished watching these about two weeks ago. Not that anyone remembers (or cares), but I said I’d come back and rank these when I was done. This is going to be a little harder than I had, at first, anticipated. I’m going to rank them two ways: first by the shows as they were packaged, then as individual features. These are my opinions; fell free to disagree.
First, a few disclaimers. I am going to eliminate Jonny Quest, Frankenstein, Jr. & the Impossibles, and Shazzan! from consideration. Jonny Quest is, IMHO, the best cartoon ever made for TV and would top any “best of list” I’d care to make. Despite their inclusion in the Future Quest comic book, I’m going to deem Frankenstein, Jr. & the Impossibles too juvenile for consideration and doesn’t really belong with the others. I didn’t ask about Shazzan! because it’s the one of these I do remember from when I was a kid. I didn’t care much for it then and I have no interest in watching it again now. If that assessment ever changes and I do decide to give it another look, I’ll slot it in where I see fit.
Judging by the way some of these features were paired, I assume Hanna-Barbera wanted each half hour segment to be diverse, so if one cartoon didn’t click with a given kid, the other might. I like the “serious” super-hero segments more than the juvenile ones, however, so I must rank Birdman & the Galaxy Trio (two strong features) ahead of either Space Ghost & Dino Boy or Moby Dick & Mightor (a strong feature paired with a weak feature).
Here’s where it gets tough. Whereas I might be tempted to rank Herculoids ahead of either Birdman or The Galaxy Trio on an individual basis, I have to give Birdman & the Galaxy Trio the edge here (two strong features over a single strong feature). I am also going to rule that a weak feature dilutes a strong feature, so I’m going to give Herculoids the edge over both Space Ghost & Dino Boy as well as Moby Dick & Mightor.
Here, then, are my rankings:
1. Birdman & the Galaxy Trio
2. The Herculoids
3. Space Ghost & Dino Boy
4. Moby Dick & Mightor
Now let’s consider the individual features. (This was also a difficult choice.) I really liked Birdman, but Space Ghost is just so iconic. Similarly, it’s difficult to choose between Herculoids and The Galaxy Trio. No need to drag this out any longer. Taking into consideration concept, execution, music and voices, here is my ranking of features:
1. Space Ghost
3. The Herculoids
4. The Galaxy Trio
6. Dino Boy
7. Moby Dick
Because most of the H-B shows are three segments each, I think the strongest line-up would be Space Ghost, Birdman and The Galaxy Trio. (Even though I ranked The Herculoids above The Galaxy Trio, I think The Galaxy Trio is a better match with Space Ghost. Tracy disagrees and thinks the three science fiction-themed shows (Space Ghost, The Herculoids and The Galaxy Trio) should be grouped together. But what about Birdman? Ooh, Space Ghost, Birdman and The Herculoids (my top three overall). But leaves out The Galaxy Trio. See? Very difficult.
THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN: As Luke correctly pointed out a while back, Thundarr is Ruby-Spears. But when I was looking at these on Amazon back when I started this discussion, I noticed that Thundarr is in the same Hanna-Barbera packaging as the others. I agree that Thundarr sholdn’t be considered along with the others, but Detective 445 was so enthusiastic about it that I decided to watch it, too. So ‘Tec, if you’re still reading this, I started watching Thundarr last week and am currently about four or five episodes in.
The net tells me Kirby also worked on a Ruby-Spears cartoon called Centurions: Power Xtreme, and also Gil Kane. DC published four issues of a tie-in comic in 1987 which Don Heck drew.
I have a non-sports trading card set from the '90s which features the design work Kirby did for Ruby-Spears. He probably made more money working for Ruby-Spears than he ever did in comics, but I think he became increasingly frustrated that he was throwing out so much and very little was being used.
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announcing the following.