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
Like its predecessor, Wacky Races (1968), the title and content of this series are spoofing a particular film, in this case the old silent movie serials, the most famous example being The Perils of Pauline (1914). See more »
I've known about Wacky Races and this other Hanna Barbera cartoon for several years. I've never seen either of them growing up as they were before my time and I probably would've watched it sooner if my parents had gotten Boomerang (or if that cable channel had already been a part of our cable package). But I've always been curious about it and, if not the most curious, as well as interested in checking it out, more so than Wacky Races. The former show I might explore eventually in the future.
At last, instead of having access of viewing it via Boomerang, I did begin watching the first three episodes of it so far (on different late nights) at the Kiss Cartoon site. I'd like to start off by stating that this is one of the few H-B productions that stand out more, so I've got to give it that, as at least it isn't one nor does it follow any of the three formulas that were the norm of most H-B shows, especially throughout the 1960s and '70s: Talking animals who impersonate comics of the day, mysteries that crib from Scooby Doo, and family-centric series that came from the Flintstones. I haven't seen every H-B program growing up, but I learned and now know just how formulaic the majority of them were once I began reading about what others were saying about them on the 'net. Secondly, despite the few flaws there may be with it, according to some people's comments I read outside of this site, I still find it enjoyable. It's not the first nor one of the first by H-B that I'd have high on my list of favorites, as I like some of their movies and specials/one or two-off productions even more, which should've been expanded into series, but I still like it just the same and might at least consider it a late '60s/early '70s animated series favorite. I wouldn't say this is all bad nor a total loss.
The notion is a former race-car driving, blonde Southerner who frequently gets kidnapped by her guardian, Sylvester Sneakly, disguised as his alter ego, the Hooded Claw, and puts her in jeopardy one way or another in order to steal her inheritance. Somebody in one thread on a forum on another site compared her to Princess Peach of Super Mario Bros. fame, but times 10. Another person in a thread on a second forum on a second site complained about her never noticing her guards having gone missing. Although Penelope is a blonde, therefore the point is the creators of this may have been simply pandering to the ditsy blonde stereotype. I'll admit it would've been nice to see her wise up to that in due time, even though that recurring gag went on for too long. Her obliviousness to that fact is one bad quality about her but I've got to counter it with a good quality. What else I've got to say is that she hasn't always been totally incapable of getting herself out of predicaments nor has she always been reliant on the Ant Hill Mob, who are gangster parodies/versions of the seven dwarfs. I must admit that Penelope is also resourceful and sometimes gets herself out of jams. Did Princess Peach ever do that? I may be somewhat defending this, but I just have to give my take/viewpoint on it. Some may have beef with the Ant Hill Mob often failing to rescue Penelope as one of the shticks of the show. I know that they should've done better at their rescue attempts, but at the same time, the point of that shtick is to provide comic relief to balance out the perils. However, it would've been nice to see them succeed, at least once. Clyde, the leader, seems to be the most competent out of them though. Another good quality Penelope has about her is she is a lady of many talents and sometimes she uses her cleverness to her advantage. Somehow, things still manage to work out well for her in the end. In addition to those, she's not that bad of a protagonist/heroine. The settings in this show aren't too much of the same, which is another thing I like about it.
I, too, would still consider it to be one of the strongest productions as far as H-B series go. So I'd still check it out any way if anyone reading it is as curious as I was. Don't listen to what anybody outside this site says otherwise. It may not be one of the best, but it isn't one of the worst either. I rather this than any of the gross-out, sick-humored, mindless cartoons any day, even though I know there have been other shows that are free of those. One other thing: I wish this series had a more proper ending rather than being open-ended. It would've been nice to see just how this whole thing is resolved.
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