Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saturtainment: Motormouse & Autocat (1969)

Suppose Tom & Jerry had to chase each other around with souped-up hot rod race cars? That was the premise of Motormouse & Autocat, a feature component of the Cattanooga Cats show during its first season in 1969 before being spun off on its own the following year.

Comparisons could also be made with the Road Runner, since, like Wile E. Coyote, Autocat (Marty Ingels, later the voice of Pac-Man) was forever designing new vehicles with which to chase down and capture Motormouse, whose motorcycle looked like it came off the pages of the same hot rod magazines used as inspiration for Autocat's cars. In that regard, Autocat could have some sympathy for studio stablemates Dastardly & Muttley over on CBS, as their show was another variation on the same theme.

Only one season's worth of episodes was produced, which makes the decision by ABC to split the 1 hour Cattanooga Cats into two component half hours of all repeats the following year all the more curious. Surely, they could've commissioned fresh material from Hanna-Barbera, couldn't they? Or, at the very least, ordered new cartoons and kept the series in its original configuration?

Some of the background music you'll hear in "Lights! Camera! Catastrophe!", comes from Wacky Races. Hanna-Barbera recycled the music in order to save money, I think.

Now, since Cartoon Network's sister channel, TNT, shares cable rights to NASCAR races, don't ya think they could borrow some of these cartoons just for fun?

Rating: A.

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