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From the previous comment,"Fangface" was not a complete carbon copy of
"Scooby Doo". However,it was a mixture of several shows that it
completely copied. "Fangface" in fact was part "I Was A Teenage
Werewolf",mixed in with part of "Josie And The Pussycats",part "The
Funky Phantom",part of "The Hardy Boys",and part "Scooby Doo".
Producers Joesph Ruby and Kenneth Spears,who were collaborators with Hanna-Barbera struck out on their own with their own animation company Ruby-Spears Productions in 1978 for there first-ever Saturday Morning animated cartoon series ever produced under the company for ABC-TV. "Fangface" told the story of a quartet of teenage kids whose friendship was complicated by the fact that one of them could turn into a beast with one large arrow-pointed incisor sticking out from his mouth. Under the circumstances,Sherman Fangsworth(a carbon copy of Shaggy from Scooby Doo whose hairy alter ego was known as Fangface),his two male buddies and a young girl that accompanied them in their Wolf Buggy vehicle in solving mysteries,fight crimes,and running into the usual suspects,rather human or supernatural. In some of the segments they had to contend with not only Fangsworth's condition but also dealing with the lamebrained antics of Fangface and Puggsy. The leader of the group Biff,was also a carbon copy of Scooby Doo's Freddy while the female counterpart of the group,Kim,was the carbon copy of Scooby Doo's Daphne,but with one exception to the fact that she was Hispanic. Other characters along for the mysteries and adventure were Sherman's little baby brother,who was also a werewolf,aka Baby Fangs. The show ran for one season on ABC-TV,producing 13 episodes that aired from September 9, 1978 until October 28, 1978,and again in repeats from November 4, 1978 until September 8,1979. After Fangface's intital run after one season,the character appeared as part of the hour-long "Plasticman Comedy Adventure Show",also produced by Ruby-Spears for the 1979-1980 season. Ruby and Spears next animated venture the following season in 1979 was based on the DC Comics character Plasticman,and in 1980,they hit Saturady Morning paydirt with there first-ever action adventure entry "Thundarr The Barbarian" which became their biggest Saturday Morning hit.
That's about as best as I can describe this otherwise well-made
knockoff of the Great Dane Sleuth. And it is a knockoff... the stalwart
"Freddie"-like leader (Biff), the resident Daphne-like sexpot (Kim),
the goof ball Shaggy (Puggsy), and the mascot Scooby-Doo (Fangface).
However, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the head writers of "Scooby-Doo" who created this show for their own Ruby-Spears company (RS's very first series, by the way...) took a few liberties with their patented "kids and a pet meddle in mysteries" formula... first of all, Fangface isn't a scaredy-cat who's afraid of his own shadow, but a fearless, if dense, hero... shades of Dyno-Mutt (both of whom were voiced by the great Frank Welker, one of the last of the old-school voice artists). Second, the relationship between Fang and Puggsy is more antagonistic than that of ol' buddies Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. In fact, if you'll notice real closely, this is about as close as you can get to seeing the 1940's comedy team The Bowery Boys in animation, with Fang taking on the Huntz Hall role, while Puggsy channels Leo Gorcey, complete with derby.
Those little touches make Fangface stand out from the other rip-offs, and pretty much excuses the usual formulaic scripts that are a staple of such shows like this. Then they had to go and do a "Cousin Oliver/Scrappy-Doo" by adding baby FangPuss... who, while nowhere near as annoying as Scrappy, still signaled the beginning of the end (or in this case, THE end) of a rather good show.
My rating: *** stars
"Fangface" is a Ruby-Spears Production in association with Filmways TV, made between 1978 and 1980.
Okay maybe it was inspired from Scooby Doo, and also from I Was a Teenage Werewolf. But it was a real fun cartoon. I like seeing it sometimes has reruns on the cartoon network. The show centers around a wimp named Fangsworth when ever there is full moon or when ever he looks at a picture of a full moon, he turns into a brave gutsy werewolf named Fangface. And turns back into Fangsworth when ever its light or he looks at a light. While he and his friends solve mysteries. It was a little similar to Scooby Doo, But not a total copy. Hey isn't imitation the highest form of flattery.
I watched this show in its first running and re-runs. I loved this cartoon by Ruby-Spears Enterprises, afterall it had the same look as the Hanna-Barbera Enterprises' cartoons. As Ruby and Spears had fomerly worked for H-B Ent. and helped make the great cartoons of the late 1960s and into the 1970s with them. The easily frightened Sherman Fangsworth turns into the werewolf known as Fangface, whenever he sees a Full Moon or a picture of one. He returns to to his human-self whenever he sees the Sun or a picture of it. When Fangface sees food or a picture of food, he wants to hunt down and eat Pugsy. Kids will love this show, especially if they are into the other creations of these two enterprises when they work together, such are Scooby-Doo, Captain Caveman, Jabber-Jaw, Speed Buggy and the like!
Although this show was obviously inspired by the Scooby-Doo Genre of
Teenage-Sleuths-solving-mysteries, it did stand alone in it's own way.
difference is that the Bad Guys weren't people in masks pretending to be
ghosts/monsters to scare off those "meddling kids". These Bad Guys were
bona fide monsters or super villians. I remember that when Fangs was in
Human form, he and Pugsy brought a Ralph Cramden/Ed Norton relationship to
the show (with Pugsy as Ralph and Fangs as Norton). But that would end
as Fangs saw the Moon. Then Pugsy would always get his comeuppance for
treating Fangs so poorly. He never seemed to learn though. It's not good
to mess with a kid who turns into a Werewolf.
Frank Welker brought his usual vocal talents to the show. Although he had been over-using his "Dynomutt" voice by this time.
The show's greatest downfall was the introduction of Baby Fangs/Fangpuss. Why Cartoon Producers felt it necessary to introduce a baby version of the main character, I'll never know. It was a failing formula for many shows (ok Scooby-Doo carried on a long time with the annoying Scrappy, but every fan will agree Scrappy was the most hated). In this case, when Fangpuss was introduced, the magic was gone as Fangface now did all of his antics with Fangpuss permanently attached as if by an invisible Umbilical cord. Plus, the Fangs character was almost completely erased as he and Baby Fangs would change into their alter egos early into the episode, and not change back until the very end. Most of the comedy with the first season came with the fact that you never knew when Fangs/Fangface would see the moon/sun and change at the most inconvenient moments.
It's a fondly remembered show. Too bad it never acheived the popularity of Scooby-Doo. I would be very interested to see how a Live Action Feature Film could portray the fun-loving Werewolf, Fangface.
I remember watching this show as part of the Plastic Man show way back in the mid-80's as a little kid. If you've seen Scooby -Doo, then be prepared for yet another spinoff/takeoff of the show. In the "beloved pet/supersleuth" role, is Fangs, known as Fangface the Werewolf when he looks at the moon (he changes back when he looks at the sun, of course....and has no idea what happened.) In the "Shaggy/friend of pet sleuth" role is Pugs. The only thing missing is a Velma translation......maybe it's combined with the Daphne character in the female member of the group. Just another weak Scooby rip-off, avoid at all costs.
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