Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daytime Heroes: Rod Rocket (1963)

Most of us have referenced 1966's New Adventures of Superman as the series that put Filmation Associates on the map. However, 3 years earlier, Lou Scheimer & Hal Sutherland co-directed a serial that had episodes running 4-5 minutes per day.

Rod Rocket was developed at True Line, the California studio headed by Scheimer & Sutherland, who'd met while working with Larry Harmon 3 years earlier on his Bozo the Clown & Popeye shorts for syndication. True Line produced Rod Rocket in conjunction with Sib, a Japanese company, and the CBS network, which would pick up Superman and start the Filmation ball rolling. Rocket was included in locally produced packages across the country. I was but an infant when Rod Rocket debuted, and the series was long gone by the time I actually started watching television.

Toontracker uploaded this sample, which unfortunately is in black & white, kicking off one long story arc.

Hal Smith (The Andy Griffith Show) voiced the Professor, but it sounds to me like Sam Edwards (Rod) may have also worked for the Harmon studio. I seem to recall him doing the voice of a talking dog for a Popeye cartoon from that period. Just as unfortunate is the fact that as of now, Rod Rocket is not yet available on DVD, and the above clip is all we have of the show.

Rating: B.


Anonymous said...

Back when I was in grade school - maybe 4th or 5th grade - in Whitehall, during inclement weather, our recess would consist of movies. Mostly cartoon shorts and 3 Stooges shorts. Old black and white stuff - Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Bozo the Clown, Felix the Cat, Betty Boop and, as I watch this I seem to recall a few episodes of Rod Rocket.

hobbyfan said...

Oh, kind of like the rainy day theatre the book mobile used to have in Troy back then, eh? Ya know, to be honest with you, this was the first time I'd actually seen anything of Rod Rocket.