Review Wacky Races (1968)

michaellevenson

Member: Rank 8
OMG! why am I starting a thread devoted to this ? Perhaps it's the two bottles of red wine I've consumed tonight < hic> pardon me
Or maybe because it's fun rewatching those wacky heroes;
Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, Pat Pending, The Gruesome Twosome,The Ant Hill Mob, Army Surplus Special and Dick Dastardly and Mutley.
 

chainsaw_metal1

Member: Rank 8
I love this show! They used to show it quite a bit on Boomerang (they might still, but I don't have that channel anymore, so I don't get to see it), and it was really great. Honestly, there's not story to this. A random group of characters from assorted cartoons get tossed into a race across country, but it's funny as hell. Worth checking this out.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
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Wacky Races
is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions.[1] features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout North America,[2] with each driver hoping to win the title of the "World's Wackiest Racer."

The cartoon had a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among the 11 race cars. Wacky Races ran on CBS from September 14, 1968, to January 4, 1969. 17 episodes were produced, with each episode featuring two different races.


Plot

The villain of the series drives a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. Dick Dastardly is an archetypal mustache-twirling villain; Muttley is his wheezily snickering dog henchman. Dastardly's usual race strategy revolves around using the Mean Machine's great speed to get ahead of the other racers, and then setting a trap to stop them and maintain the lead; but most of his plans backfire, causing him to fall back into last place. Dastardly never sees victory.

The other racers include

  • The Slag Brothers, Rock and Gravel, in a cavemen-themed racer called The Boulder Mobile;
  • The Gruesome Twosome, who are monsters in The Creepy Coupe;
  • Professor Pat Pending, a scientist, in The Convert-a-Car;
  • Red Max in a car/plane hybrid; called The Crimson Haybailer
  • Penelope Pitstop, the lone female, in a 1930s racing costume in The Compact Pussycat;
  • Sergeant Blast, and Private Meekly in an army tank/jeep hybrid with a small steamroller wheel attached to the front, called The Army Surplus Special;
  • The Ant Hill Mob, gangsters, in The Bulletproof Bomb;
  • Lazy Luke, a hillbilly, and Blubber Bear, in The Arkansas Chugabug;
  • Peter Perfect, a gentlemanly racer, in The Turbo Terrific; and finally
  • Rufus Ruffcut, a lumberjack, and his companion Sawtooth, a beaver, in The Buzzwagon.
Production

One of the unused plans for the series was that the races would be part of a live-action quiz show made by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley Productions in which contestants would bet on which Wacky Racer would cross the finish line first. Although the game show concept was eventually scrapped, the series still retained a Hanna-Barbera/Heatter-Quigley dual production credit.

In 1988, a made-for-TV movie, Around the World with the Wacky Racers, was planned as part of Hanna-Barbera's Superstars 10 series of TV movies, but it never got past the concept stage.

Voice cast


Spin-offs and similar series

Penelope Pitstop and the Ant Hill Mob were spun off into another cartoon series in 1969 titled The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. In the same year, Dick Dastardly and Muttley were given a spin-off series titled Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The series is sometimes mistakenly known as Stop the Pigeon, after the show's working title and theme song. Both series ran for two seasons.

In 2006, the pilot for a spin-off series titled Wacky Races Forever was produced for Cartoon Network.[4] The series depicted a roster of both new and returning racers competing against each other. Penelope Pitstop and Peter Perfect had married and created Perfect Industries, the corporate sponsor of the new Wacky Races, whereas their children Parker and Piper competed in the race. Other characters included the Slag Brothers, Professor Pat Pending, a teenage version of the Gruesome Twosome, and Dick Dastardly and Muttley (working for a new villain named Mr. Viceroy, who sought to steal Perfect Industries). The series was not picked up by Cartoon Network for the reasons that the traditional humor the pilot had was not what newer generation of kids want.

In 2016, DC Comics launched a comic series called Wacky Raceland. It is a dark and gritty re-imagining of the series set after the apocalypse in a similar vein to the Mad Maxfranchise. The comic ran for six issues from May to December 2016.

A reboot - also produced by Hanna-Barbera - was released on Boomerang's SVOD service in 2017. It also aired on the Boomerang channel in June 2017.
 

johnnybear

Member: Rank 6
I used to love that show as a kid! I bought the DVD set for the kids when it came out but they never watch it these days I'm sad to say! Wasn't too keen on Pigeon or Penelope's own shows though!
JB
 
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