Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rein-Toon-Ation: Beetle Bailey (1989)

More than 25 years after his television debut, Beetle Bailey was given a chance at a possible comeback in 1989. Unfortunately, this animated special, produced for King Features, never made it to air. The voice talent includes Henry Corden (misspelled Cordon), Frank Welker, Linda Gary, and Larry Storch (as General Halftrack, recycling his Phineas J. Whoopee voice from Tennessee Tuxedo).

The plot? Halftrack receives a letter from the Pentagon requiring a physical makeover for one of his men. Beetle is chosen after Halftrack overhears Sgt. Snorkel (Corden) make a half-hearted compliment to Beetle about his penchant for goofing off.




So where did this go wrong? Howard Morris, the original voice of both Halftrack and Beetle, was available, but not asked to participate. Not only that, but while series creator Mort Walker was more involved from a creative standpoint than in the 60's shorts, trying to stretch the Camp Swampy crew to a half-hour with a paper thin plot was a bit of a reach.

Rating: C.

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