Sunday, January 08, 2006

Lovers of Crappy Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Unite

"Hong Kong Phooey" (number one super guy!) is coming to DVD, as part of Warner Home Video's apparent attempt to make available every single cartoon that's ever been spoofed on "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law".

I don't know what it is about the bad Hanna-Barbera stuff that makes it so appealing; I think I know more people who love their bad stuff -- "Scooby Doo," "Superfriends," "Josie and the Pussycats," "The Smurfs" -- than who love their early, funny TV cartoons like "Ruff and Reddy" or "Huckleberry Hound." If I had to guess, I'd say that for a kid growing up watching cartoons, the H-B cartoons, putrid as they were, had a certain strange integrity: they weren't trying to sell us products, they weren't about pro-social messages, they were just about trying to entertain us. The fact that the "entertainment" mostly consisted of Muttley laughing a lot or Casey Kasem freaking out for some reason or other -- well, that was a minus, but at least Bill and Joe really did seem to care about giving kids a good time. Anyway, it beats "Rubik the Amazing Cube."

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