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The Dick Tracy Show 

Cartoon series produced by UPA, in which Dick Tracy (voiced by the distinguished film and stage actor Everett Sloane) played more or less of an incidental role. Most of the crime fighting ... See full summary »
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1961  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jerry Hausner ...  Hemlock Holmes / ... 68 episodes, 1961
Benny Rubin ...  Joe Jitsu / ... 42 episodes, 1961
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Storyline

Cartoon series produced by UPA, in which Dick Tracy (voiced by the distinguished film and stage actor Everett Sloane) played more or less of an incidental role. Most of the crime fighting was left to his assistants, all originals created for the series: Hemlock Holmes (an English bulldog who talked like Cary Grant), the calorically challenged beat cop Heap O'Calorie (who talked like Andy Devine), and the offensively (today) stereotyped Latino and Asian characters Go-Go Gomez and Joe Jitsu, respectively. Most of the familiar Tracy villains from the comic strip (Flattop, Mumbles, Pruneface, etc.) were featured here, as well. In addition to Sloane, such talented voice persons and character actors as Benny Rubin, Paul Frees, and Mel Blanc handled much of the voice-work for this series. Written by Bob Sorrentino

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sarjissankarit 1 See more »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series was widely syndicated again in 1990 to coincide with the release of Dick Tracy (1990). But the reruns caused controversy due to the ethnic stereotypes portrayed by the characters Joe Jitsu and Go-Go Gomez. The reruns were pulled due to protests by concerned parents. They returned in heavily edited form with all segments featuring those two characters removed. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some airings delete all of the segments featuring Joe Jitsu and Go-Go Gomez due to protests over the ethnic stereotypes portrayed in them. See more »

Connections

Version of Dick Tracy (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A cartoon series for the undemanding kid of six. or seven
5 September 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

The television generation grew up with one innovation that it's predecessor did not have - cartoons from Windsor McKay through Walt Disney, through Walter Lanz, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and the rest were meant for adults. They were designed to appeal (with in jokes and commentaries) about current events. When Bugs Bunny confronts a gremlin in a U.S. bomber the gremlin is trying to destroy, Bugs looks at the camera (figuratively speaking) and says (while the gremlin is sneaking in the back), "You don't suppose that is a "gremlin"?" The gremlin grabs one of Bug's ears, and yells, "WELL IT AIN'T WENDELL WILKIE!!". The fact is that an audience of kids born from 1945 onward would never hear of the Republican Presidential Candidate, until he or she took an in depth 20th Century American History Course.

The baby boomers did enjoy the knockabout and silliness of Woody Woodpecker, or Bugs Bunny, or Donald Duck and Goofy. But the shows that were on television in the daytime to comfort the kiddies did have jokes that were twenty years old or so. So new cartoons were needed, and for the first time the cartoons were designed for kids.

Unfortunately, this meant that the producers, directors, and writers of cartoons (thinking they were doing something good) "dumbed down" the cartoons. Not all of them. There was the marvelous Rocky and Bullwinkel . Some of the Heckyll and Jeckyll were good. But Harvey's dismal Casper, Wendy, Herman and Catnip, Little Lotta cartoons repeated the same stupid situations again and again. And they were not alone. I hate to add that Hanna Barbera did trends (imitaing classic comedians like Joe E. Brown as "Peter Potomus" or Bert Lahr as "Snagglepuss) that were tiresome after awhile. But then there were occasional glimmers of originality by H-B. They did create the first cartoon series (and successful one) that played at night - THE FLINTSTONES. But even that was a cartoon version of THE HONEYMOONERS*

(*To be fair, Chuck Jones did a series of cartoons about mouse characters like Ralph, Alice, Norton, and Trixie. It was set in Brooklyn, and called THE HONEYMOUSERS. But it was only three cartoons, for theatrical release.)

This series appeared in 1961, and it was good for the undemanding infant, like myself. In retrospect, after reading the old Chester Gould comic strips, it was dreadful. As was pointed out in another reviews the characters of the villains were all lone wolves against the police. And with good reason - they had different criminal activities.

The Mole (before he reformed) kept an underground hiding place for fugitive criminals. Pruneface (and separately, the Brow) were Nazi agents (the Brow would be killed when he was impaled on a flagpole with an American flag on it - quite symbolic). Flattop (named for the nicknames of the aircraft carriers of World War II) was the first killer for hire in a detective comic strip. Beebee Eyes was running a stolen rubber business (it was war time - and rubber was a commodity the government needed). In trying to flee from Tracy, Beebee Eyes hides on a barge, and when the garbage is dumped a tire falls around his arms, pinning them to his side - so that he drowns.

The most odd change (actually by Gould) was Stooge Villiers. Originally he was a highly skilled pickpocket hired to frame Tracy for theft. Then he became a rival for Tess Truheart - but he gradually is exposed, but instead of dropping his rivalry he kept returning, as a bigger and bigger criminal. It never really made sense.

Gould was trying to make his comic a weekly morality story, where crime does not pay. The results were quite good, even if his names resembled the stick figures of John Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS (for example, a man who gets his way by giving money to politicians is Mr. Bribery).

The show dumbed down the comic considerably. Besides pairing off the criminals, the detectives were never Tracy, but four caricatures that were silly. Hemlock Sholmes (a talking British dog - he sounds, badly, like Cary Grant), Joe Jujitsu (a Japanes Detective who was a whiz at judo), Go - Go Gomez who was a super-fast Mexican (complete with sombrero). He was a steal from Chuck Jones' Speedy Gonzalez, although Speedy was a mouse. Finally there was Heep O'Calorie, a fat cop who used his prodigious belly as a weapon,(his voice sounded like Andy Devine). With Sholmes, there was a "Keystone Cops" group who "aided" him. Tracy would (as was mentioned on this thread elsewhere) get an assignment on his intercom from an unnamed chief, and pass it to one of the four detectives via his two way radio. They always beat the bad guys - but that was expected for the cartoons for the kiddies.

I saw it when Chuck McCann was doing a Sunday morning show for kids in the New York Metropolitan area. McCann's show, LET'S HAVE FUN, had these cartoons, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and other programs mixed in. And he would come out (for the Dick Tracy segment) as Tracy, to a theme song: "Dick Tracy. He's got a bulldog jaw. Dick Tracy. For he's the arm of the law. Dick Tracy. You must do what he'd say: Crime doesn't ever pay." That was not the theme of the DICK TRACY SHOW, but it was for McCann, who would shake his finger at the viewers when they were told that Crime never paid. These days it seems rather feeble, but McCann was enjoying his performance, and it did lead into the cartoons. Fortunately they ended soon enough to make way for Bud and Lou or Moe, Larry, and Curley.

Hardly great cartooning. Hence it's lack of revival on television.


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