Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Lone Ranger vs. Bear Claw (1966)

Hi-yo, Silver! The Lone Ranger (Michael Rye) and Tonto (Shepard Menken) battle a vengeful outlaw named "Bear Claw" in this short from 1966. The villain is so named for the gloves he wears. A mutant, he ain't.

The British H-B, Halas & Bachelor, made their American debut working with Format Films and Jack Wrather on this series. Wrather also held the rights to Lassie, which at the time was a primetime staple on CBS.

As before, the credits freeze near the end of the video, so it's not complete. Meh.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I hadn't seen too much of this version of the series - the Filmation version was more commonly aired. The intro was quite long wasn't it?

I'm glad they weren't afraid of mentioning that some of those brave pioneers died in their quest for a new life in the west.

I wouldn't mind a reboot but I just don't trust those Hollywood jerks!

hobbyfan said...

When you consider the animation difference between Format's 1966 run and Filmation's cleaner 1980 incarnation, well, it's obvious why this has been tucked into the vault, plus the gunplay.

Jennifer Schillig said...

I'd love to see a new Lone Ranger animated series, with the quality of animation that was used for, say, Gargoyles or Avengers: EMH. Maybe they can salvage the character from the movie's reputation by being closer to the source material (but fine-tuning what needs to be fine-tuned, like Tonto's broken English). My wish would be that they'd be true to the ideals of the character without playing him for laughs (as the movie too often did) or Batmanning him up (as the Dynamite Comics series does).

Neal McDonough would make a great voice for the Ranger, wouldn't he?

hobbyfan said...

"Batmanning him up", Jennifer? Granted, I haven't read the Dynamite book, but then, maybe I don't need to. Both examples you cite represent today's mentalities in regards to a legend like the Lone Ranger. The movie was horrid, I'll agree to that, as it was the worst film I've seen in 30 years.

Jennifer Schillig said...

By "Batmanning," of course, I mean the tendency to drench things in grimness and darkness. For a while there, after the success of Tim Burton's first Batman movie (which was a radical change from the camp image of Batman that the old series had popularized), there was a fad of making all superheroes grim, gritty, and brooding. From what I have heard of the LR Dynamite comic series (which does have its fans), that seems to be the case there.

I believe that in the case of TLR, you can touch on more serious subjects without making the hero too grim.

The movie was quite a missed opportunity. If only they'd had more faith in the source material instead of trying to turn it into Cowboys of the Caribbean...And maybe it's my crush talking, but I believe Armie Hammer could have done a good job if they'd written the character differently.

hobbyfan said...

There is still a mentality, Jen, to darkening heroes to appease the fanboys who are into that sort of thing. Hammer would've worked better with a different script, but you have to remember who was being given top billing (Johnny Depp). That was the root of the problem.