Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daytime Heroes: Heathcliff & The Catillac Cats (1984)

In 1984, DIC acquired the license to use George Gately's Heathcliff. Coincidentally, 'Cliff's original ABC series was revived in reruns as part of the Plastic Man syndicated package we reviewed the other day. As with his 2 year stint with Ruby-Spears, 'Cliff couldn't carry the load alone, so the producers created an entirely new series for backup.

The Catillac Cats, alternately known as Cats & Company, was said backup feature. Hector, Wordsworth, & Mongo also shared adventures with Heathcliff, but the orange mischief maker never met the other two members of the Catillac Cats---Riff Raff, and his girlfriend, Cleo, although they managed to sneak in a Riff Raff cameo in a Heathcliff cartoon.

The Cats had distinct personalities. Mongo, like his namesake in the movie, "Blazing Saddles", was about as sharp as a broken toothpick, but ridiculously strong. Wordsworth was a poet, always speaking in rhyme. Hector was the de facto leader in Riff's absence. These cats loved to have fun. Like most couples, Riff & Cleo had their issues, especially with infidelity, though they always smoothed things over.

"Iron Cats" comes across as a snobs vs. slobs story, albeit as a parody of the 1980 movie, "Caddyshack", but this has nothing to do with golf.

I should point out that the creative personnel included John Kricfalusi, later the creator of Ren & Stimpy, and Chuck Lorre, better known now for his sitcom creations, including The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. Like, who knew? Also, voice actor Stanley Jones, in a dual role as Hector and Wordsworth, voiced Lex Luthor on Challenge of the Super Friends and in subsequent follow-up series.

Meanwhile, Heathcliff (Mel Blanc) takes a trip to "Meow Meow Island":

Rating: A.

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