BOOTLEG FILES 627: “Laverne & Shirley in the Army” (1981-82 animated series).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never re-released after its initial broadcast.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Oh, I hope not.
In concept, making an animated series based on “Laverne & Shirley” made perfect sense because the beloved sitcom was the most cartoonish program in the 1970s prime-time schedule. With its propensity for slapstick comedy and a line-up of over-the-top characters, “Laverne & Shirley” was a living cartoon. Continue reading →
BOOTLEG FILES 600: “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” (1968-70 television series).
LAST SEEN: Bits and pieces can be found on YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It is a bit complicated.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not in its original form.
Contemporary children’s television is a fairly boring scene that offers little in the way of genuine fun for the young viewers. Indeed, some shows are so lacking in energy and personality that you can’t help but wonder if the programming is designed to narcotize the kiddie audience into a state of numbness.
“Mike Tyson Mysteries” isn’t just a fun self aware satire of Mike Tyson, who seems to have a good time poking fun at himself, but is also a really clever poke at Hanna Barbera. Everything from a talking animal sidekick (incidentally a talking pigeon), a snooty ghost, geeky teen detective, and absurd mysteries make “Mike Tyson Mysteries” a hilarious series. Even the notion of basing a series around a random celebrity is typical seventies Hanna Barbera. Even the DVD for the first season is sorted out like one of the Hanna Barbera Archive releases for one of their many obscure series. That much attention to detail just has to be appreciated.
I fondly remember renting “Meet Rockula and Frankenstone” quite often from our local videos store when I was a kid, and thankfully the movie genuinely holds up. Like all great comedy series, the Flintstones have had their share of crossovers, and this time they have the misfortune of meeting Dracula and Frankenstone. Or their stone age counterparts, as it were. While it’s not raucously funny as when Abbot and Costello met them, it’s a darn good short movie with the Flintstones doing what they do best.
If you’re one of the many KISS fans that have always wondered what a sequel to “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park” would look like, look no further. “Scooby Doo Meets KISS” should be more aptly titled “KISS Meets the Crimson Witch featuring Scooby Doo.” In all honesty, while this is primarily a cartoon for the Scooby Doo franchise, the majority of the film is based around KISS and their magical presences. Even the opening sequence is comprised of wonderful animated KISS montages with “Rock and Roll All Night” playing rather than the Scooby Doo theme song.
Pretty much all of the later series from Hanna Barbera included a group of snot nosed teens solving crime along with some odd sidekick. After “Scooby Doo” the company repeated the successful formula thirty times with varied results. Often times it was incredibly awful like “Jabberjaw” and sometimes it was fun like “Space Ghost.” One of the last Hanna Barbera shows to feature that awkward laugh track addition, “Captain Caveman” mixes the studios odd fixation on the stone age, with crime solving teens, and the whole “Scooby Doo” formula to create a pretty decent animated adventure show.
“Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!” is best left for nostalgia fans and animation collectors. While it’s by no means the worst of the Hanna Barbera animated shows, it’s yet another of their derivative titles. If you think you’ve seen “Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!” before then you have. It was called “Yogi Bear.”
Though the argument will be that this film is not marketed to someone like me, I think you can be of age and still think “Yogi Bear” is an assault on the senses. In fact I think it tends to border on noise pollution with a slew of stars whom are much more talented than the film would dictate. Particularly Tom Cavanaugh who looks like he has the life beaten out of him playing the toned down more Duder version of Ranger Smith.