I can recall thinking this show was good at six years old. Having never seen any of the old Charlie Chan movies, I always believed this concept had to do with the unavailability of an actor, possibly Keye Luke, to portray Chan's son in a movie, so it was recast and we had number two son. This cartoon merely sought to carry it all the way to ten kids.
Keye Luke was the connection. Having played Number One Son in the old movies to Warner Olandt as Detective Charlie Chan, he now did the voice of the father. Luke is possibly better known to a later generation as the Ancient One on the seventies show, Kung Fu, with David Carradine as Grasshopper. I would like to think he had fun doing this cartoon.
The Chan Clan was another Scooby Doo clone and this time seemed to have a Partridge Family influence, which I didn't remember. I have seen episodes since on Cartoon Network. Several of the older kids had a band and performed, and very forgettable songs are played. Look for one child to be playing the drums in one scene and another child is playing them in the next scene.
If the show had any thing going for it, it was the kids' stereotypical characters; the smart one, the obese one, the beautiful one, the tomboy one, the bossy one, the stylish one (funny for the seventies), even an Oriental Shaggy one. A turnoff is the adventures and I do recall disliking the pet, Chu-Chu. It was joked in one episode as to if it were a cat or a dog and I didn't like that it was unclear. I think now it was a dog. I had also totally forgotten the Chan van that can change appearance.
Robert Ito, who did the voice of the oldest son, Henry Chan, is perhaps better known for appearing on the seventies show, Quincy, with Jack Klugman, and funnily enough, when the children who did the voices had too thick accents and couldn't be understood and were recast with obviously Anglo children, Jodie Foster, about ten or eleven years old at this time, came in and did the voice of the tomboy.
Not the greatest cartoon. If you can't get enough Scooby Doo in your system, you can check this one out. I remember thinking the beautiful one was like an Oriental version of Daphne Blake in Scooby Doo.
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