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Throughout the mid to late 1970's,producers William Hanna and Joesph Barbera were the forefront of children's programming and had some of most successful shows ever devised for Saturday Mornings. Unlike their counterparts over at Filmation,they were ahead of the competition bringing a variety of shows that were especially designed for children as well as adults to enjoy. There were some that were very interesting to watch and for one "Jabberjaw" is one of them. On the same premise as another Hanna-Barbera cartoon about a talking car like "Speed Buggy", this premise consisted of a talking great white shark who could walk upright and was always getting into mischief. If you listen to the voice of Jabber it sounds just like Curly of "The Three Stooges",but it was really Frank Welker who did numerous voiceovers for various characters including Dino,and Scooby Doo. He always protected a bunch of kids called "The Neptunes" who were the equals of Scooby Doo but had a rock and roll band under the sea. I watch this show tremendously and the reruns can be seen on Cartoon Network. I really love the person who did the voice of Shelly,but if you looked closely,it does looked like Seinfeld's Julia-Louis Dreyfuss(as a teenager) in an animated cartoon.
The short-lived animated mystery/musical/adventure series "Jabberjaw"
was a prime example of a lowpoint in Saturday Morning cartoons during
the mid-1970's. This particular series lumped together several concepts
into a mess of a show that became one of the "worst" of the Scooby and
Josie clones that were all over the place that clogged up Saturday
Mornings. Produced by William Hanna and Joesph Barbera(who also served
as executive producers of this show),under the direction of legendary
animator Charles A. Nichols and under the creation of Joesph Ruby and
Kenneth Spears(who also served as some of the writers of this
show...Ruby and Spears were the head writers for a lot of Hanna-Barbera
shows including "Scooby Doo,Where Are You?",and "Josie and the
Pussycats" to name a few),"Jabberjaw" was nothing more than a
train-wreck that happened with the quickness. Each episode had the same
For one,"Jabberjaw"(capitalize on the popularity of the 1975 blockbuster hit "Jaws")was a whimpering talking great white shark who sounds like Curly Howard,(another one when it was the inspiration of "The Three Stooges" and some of its cartoons too including "The Three Robotic Stooges" that premiered some two years later),and mutters "I Don't Get No Respect"(a nod from comedian Rodney Dangerfield)whenever he gets in trouble and is sometimes very lame and clumsy. He travels with a band called The Neptunes(since the show is set under the sea)in a futuristic undersea realm that various on the same exact format.....stumbled into a mystery,with the lead character in tow while taking on various villains with sinister schemes. It was no wonder it lasted more than one season.
"Jabberjaw" originally ran on ABC-TV from September 11, 1976 until September 3, 1977. The series produced 16 episodes. However,ABC repeated these episodes when they moved the show to the Sunday Morning timeslot from September 11, 1977 until September 3, 1978,the last time this show was ever shown on network television. And for good reasons. "Jabberjaw",was one of the worst of the "Scooby" clones and its right up there with "Captain Caveman","The New Shmoo",and "Fangface" as the worst of that genre that featured moronic no brainer characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WE DO RECALL catching some of the episodes of this short lived HANNA
BARBERA Catoon series. There seemed to be some similarities to others
in their stable, done up in combination.
IN MUCH THE same mode as H & B's MOBY DICK, the action and adventure takes place in "Davy Jones' Locker" (that's underwater, Schultz!). From the highly successful SCOOBY DOO Franchise, we get the idea of an intelligent animal getting in on the action and dialog.
INSTEAD OF MAKING use of "Man's Best Friend", the series opted for exploiting all of the hysteria and publicity generated by JAWS (Universal, 1975), we got JABBERJAW, a Great White Shark with the voice and mannerisms of THE 3 STOOGES' Curly Howard!
AS GREAT OF a stretch as this is, we thought it to be an extremely, outrageously funny concept. Why in addition to the voice and various 'screams' and 'nyuks', Jabberjaw would use his front fins in the same manner as would Curly do his arms.
BUT EVEN THOUGH JJ had the facial appearance and rotund physique of the admittedly funniest of the Stooges, the series bit the dust and had a short life.
An example of a low point in Saturday morning cartoons, this particular
series lumped together several concepts into a mess of show. Jabberjaw
(capitalizing on the popularity of the movie "Jaws") is a talking shark
who sounds like Curly Howard (leading the way for other insipid Three
Stooges-inspired cartoons, including "The Three Robotic Stooges") and
who mutters "I get no respect" (a nod to Rodney Dangerfield?). He
travels with a band "The Neptunes" (like "Josie and the Pussycats" and
countless other H-B cartoons) in a futuristic undersea realm (Sealab
2020) taking on various villains' nefarious schemes ("Scooby Doo, Where
Are You", etc.).
Thanks to Turner's Boomerang channel for reminding me how much I hated this cartoon as a kid. It was around this time that I realized that my favorite cartoons were "Looney Tunes" and "Rocky and Bullwinkle" - cartoons that were made in previous decades aimed at general audiences and not patronizing to kids.
Hanna-Barbera created another cartoon with the same format as Scooby Doo. But time it's underwater and the star and his friends are a musical band. Although the 70s Hanna-Barbera created toons with the same format (adventure,music,and mysteries). For instance cartoons like Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kids,Amazing Chan Clan,and The Patridge Family 2200 AD. If anyone noticed these cartoons didn't last long. Jabberjaw is one cartoon that really sucks. It strictly a rip-off of Josie & The Pussycats and Scooby Doo.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, as others have noted, Jabberjaw was simply a clone or ripoff of
Scooby Doo and Josie & the Pussycats.
Tho Josie was largely influenced by Scooby Doo as well, I include Josie as a comparison because Jabberjaw was in a traveling band, the Neptunes, like the Pussycats.
But even more than that, Jabberjaw ripped endless plots from Josie as well; mixed up packages, boarding the wrong trains.
Truthfully, many of these themes are found in Scooby episodes as well, such as Mystery Mask Mix Up.
But even worse, Jabberjaw would attempt to clone jokes and setups from Scooby Doo.
One was in "Jeepers, It's The Creeper" where Scooby must contend with a baby chick who thinks Scooby is his mother.
In The Fast-Paced Great Chase, or whatever it was called, Jabberjaw would do this as well, posing as a tuna nesting (on a chicken nest, no less, and alongside other tunas sitting on these nests as well) and apparently some of the tuna eggs hatched.
At the end of the episode, Clamhead would bring a fishbowl up to Jabberjaw with two little tunas in it, who are going 'mama, mama, no respect, no respect, nyok, nyok, nyok.' WEll, it hardly carries over as cartoonically well as did Scooby's baby chick.
The aquatic theme is a head-scratcher as well. One minute they are in the water, the next they are in a domed city or dwelling.
That the show made continuous efforts to maintain that diving helmets or something should be shown shows someone was exercising thought.
One episode has the gang camping. Not only do we see the tent, but we also have OUTSIDE the tent, but they are still in a see thru tent underwater.
In fact, the camping episode, with the villain called the Octopus, we get a medallion (that is a map) which is pressed too hard upon Jabberjaw's person, leaving an impression. Strange that this would be played out five years later in "Raider of the Lost Ark".
And why do all their bad-punned dwellings seem to be Mexican in origin? The songs were beyond forgettable, tho one is "You gotta Believe In Love" which Elton John would have a 'hit song' with a similar theme about twenty years later "I Believe In Love." Did he watch Jabberjaw?
All through the 70s Hanna-Barbera released cartoons with the same format(adventure,music,and mysteries). Jabberjaw lasted only a year (1976-1977) and aired reruns the following year. This cartoon was like Scooby Doo except it is set to be underwater and they are a musical band which the star of the show is the drummer. I don't know what Bill and Joe were thinking when they created this cartoon but it sucks. It's strictly a copycat of Josie & The Pussycats and Scooby doo. A guy that's the leader,two girls,and the star's sidekick buddy. Not only Jabber there was the Amazing Chan Clan,Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kids,the Partridge family A.D. bulls*** etc. These cartoons didn't last long and wasn't original. Hanna-Barbera most successful mystery,adventure,music cartoon will always be Josie & The Pussycats.
This show really sucked. It was another horrible "Scooby-Doo" ripoff
show (something Hanna-Barbera did A LOT in the 1970's), execpt instead
of a Great Dane for a title character, we have a Shark (but a really
lame shark at that) who is protecting a band called "The Neptunes"
(They do have a bit in common to our well known sleuths on
"Scooby-Doo"), and in the process, they all solve mysteries. But the
worst thing about this show is how Jabberjaw uses Rodney Dangerfield's
signature "No Respect!" line, and Curly Howard's signature "Nyuk-Nyuk"
line. What is up with that? Why didn't Dangerfield sue? Why didn't the
Howard family sue (If these were my lines, I'd be taking Hanna-Barbera
to court)? I guess that's a question for another time.
Bottom line: This show sucks.
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