Huckleberry Hound is a blue-haired Southern dog with a fondness for the song, "My Darling, Clementine", and is a jack-of-all-trades cartoon star, appearing as a scientist (trying to ... See full summary »
Sylvester Sneekly is the legal guardian of female race car driver Penelope Pitstop. He disguises himself as The Hooded Claw for the purpose of killing her so as to acquire her wealth. Penelope's protectors, the Ant Hill Mob (Clyde, Softly, Zippy, Pockets, Dum Dum, Yak Yak and Snoozy) always foil his crimes to rescue her. Through the series, Sneekly keeps his alter ego in the front to mask his identity and intentions from Penelope. He would break the fourth wall by directly addressing the narrator revealing his crimes to the audience. He would then browbeat the narrator by calling him horrible and sinister names. Written by
The mark of a good show is always how much the technical staff and actors enjoy doing it. The DVD commentaries for this show prove it, as Janet Waldo (Penelope), Gary Owens (narrator) and Iwao Takamoto (designer) spend the whole time regaling us with wonderful anecdotes about Paul Lynde, Mel Blanc, Joe Barbera, and just how much fun was had during the production - fun they're still having just as much of from watching the episodes again over 35 years later.
The Wacky Races / Dastardly & Muttley / Penelope Pitstop triumvirate were also supremely blessed by the scripting elegance of Micheal Maltese, who years earlier had created the Road Runner and Coyote with Chuck Jones (and it shows in this series in particular with the Hooded Claw's ridiculously over-complicated Rude Goldberg traps).
This is the real joy of 'golden age' Hanna-Barbera (1968-1969 were the very best years, IMO); where the emphasis was in appealing character designs and the quality of the writing and voice-work, rather than what would look most sophisticated on the screen (although by 1960s TV animation standards, this is actually pretty good).
Still a classic so many years later, and a show that could really teach today's more turgid cartoons about giving your animators free reign to enjoy themselves so that everyone benefits in the end.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?