Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spooktober: The Funky Phantom (1971)

With Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? a huge hit for CBS, it wasn't long before the other networks wanted a piece of the action. Hanna-Barbera, of course, was willing to oblige, and served up The Funky Phantom, part of the freshman class of 1971-72 on ABC. ClassicTelevisionFan uploaded the familiar opening. Unfortunately, the print used here hasn't been preserved too well, it seems.......

Long time H-B voice artist Daws Butler applied his Snagglepuss voice to the title ghost, one Jonathan Muddlemore, a Revolutionary War spirit trapped in a grandfather clock with his pet cat, Boo. Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz made his toon debut as Skip, one of the teens who found Muddlemore. The Funky Phantom was the first H-B series to be produced in Australia, in this case in conjunction with Air Programs International, which would strike out on its own the next year with Around the World in 80 Days for NBC, but is better remembered for initially launching Famous Classic Tales, a series of animated specials, for CBS (H-B would take over FCT within a couple of years of its launch). Funky lasted just 1 year on Saturdays, and currently languishes in Cartoon Network's vaults, as they are unwilling to run the series, especially with Halloween right around the corner. Their loss, as usual. It was fun while it lasted.

Rating: B.

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