Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From Comics To Toons: Dick Tracy vs. Mumbles (Archie's TV Funnies, 1971)

I've waited a long time for this.

One of my favorite segments on Archie's TV Funnies was the return to TV of Chester Gould's famous detective, Dick Tracy. Unlike his 1961 series for UPA, Tracy (John Erwin) was more active in solving cases, aided by longtime sidekick Sam Catchem, adopted son Junior, and, in this series, Moon Maid (Jane Webb, of course), who had been introduced in the strip in the late 60's.

Willy Carlson brings us this meeting of Tracy and his incomprehensible foe, Mumbles, whose interpreter is modeled after Stooge Viller, but uses a different name in this story. If Erwin's voice as Tracy sounds awfully familiar, it should. He used the same voice for He-Man more than a decade later.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

I do remember watching this incarnation of Dick Tracy and it is infinitely better than the UPA toons. As noted, at least Tracy actually got in on the action in this version.

I never even remembered that John Irwin was Dick's VA.

I also do not remember seeing Moon Maid. I know she was part of the comics at that time, but with all due respect to Chester Gould, I really don't think she ever belonged in the strip in the first place. From what I've heard, she's since been resurrected in one of the comics.

I do appreciate that Filmation's animators made the Dick Tracy world very much like it's comic counterpart - the characters looking exactly like they walked off the newspaper and into the TV show!

hobbyfan said...

Which was the whole point. Apparently, and this is just a guess, mind, UPA couldn't get the rights to all of the characters, so they had to replace Tracy's support team with made-for-TV clowns.

When I first ran across Moon Maid as a pre-teen, I did think she was hot. Of course you know there's another alien babe that was even hotter that came along a few years later......