Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rein-Toon-Ation: Mini-Munsters (1973)

It turns out that NBC's Emergency Plus 4 (which we reviewed a while back) wasn't the only collaboration between Universal and independent producer Fred Calvert.

You see, pilgrims, Calvert was also tasked with producing an animated pilot for a proposed series based on the 1964-6 series, The Munsters. The final product, The Mini-Munsters, aired on the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie in October 1973, one of three new episodes produced that year.

What hurt the project was the fact that Calvert was only able to secure one of the original cast for the cartoon. Al Lewis reprised his role as Grandpa. As you'll see in the following video, Herman was drawn with blond hair instead of black, which was another mistake. Fred Gwynne apparently turned it down, but Calvert was able to find someone who sounded enough like Gwynne to play the part. In fact, he'd already worked with the actor on another Superstar Movie project. Richard Long had reprised his role from Nanny & The Professor for a season 1 installment of the Superstar Movie, and wouldn't ya know, kids, the sequel to that film was the series finale.

Sad to say, the full-length version is not yet available on YouTube. What follows now, instead, is a truncated version that surfaced in the 80's, or so the story goes. Henry Gibson (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) guest-stars.

A car that runs on rock music? Radical. Not enough to make it a series, though. I never saw the show initially, so I can't rate it.


magicdog said...

I caught this on YT and it's abysmal! In fact I was squirming because I was so bored!

hobbyfan said...

Calvert's cartoons were all poorly animated, which would explain why he was out of the toon business after his Muhammad Ali show was cancelled.