Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive - THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW and THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW on DVD ""

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Warner Archive - THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW and THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW on DVD

THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW (1981-82)
Man, Warner Archive keeps digging up more cartoons that I used to love as a kid, but haven't seen in decades. I figure that I must have seen this one in some form of syndication - although I was actually around for its first run circa 1981-1982. THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW has the varied format I used to love wherein many characters are featured in different sections of the show. You have your Kwicky Koala bits where the cute little teleporting (actually he's just really fast) namesake is always dodging an evil wolf (voiced by the veteran John Stephenson - who sounds like Paul Lynde), but there's more. The Bungle Brothers are two dog performers always trying (and failing) to do various circus sideshow acts. Next, there's Crazy Claws - a wildcat with a sharp wit and claws to match - who is constantly being hounded by an old-school trapper and his mangy mutt. Lastly, there's Dirty Dawg and his sidekick Ratso who are hobos on the lookout for delicious food scraps all over the city whilst a local cop does his best to thwart their efforts.
One fun thing about older animated shows like this is that the creators often model their characters after popular personalities from the annals of media history. In this case, a couple of the featured players in THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW are humorously carved out this way. My favorite thing about the show (which I totally forgot) is that the vocal characterization for Crazy Claws is clearly modeled after Groucho Marx. He has the same cadence and wise-cracking style and I love it. 
On top of that, Dirty Dawg (voiced by the amazing Frank Welker) is oddly and interestingly very much being done in the style of famous sports commentator Howard Cosell. 
The big thing about this show is that it was one of the last things Tex Avery was involved with and fans of his should certainly find the show of interest for that reason as well. 
Buy THE KWICKY KOALA SHOW on DVD here:
http://amzn.to/2eAexB3
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THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW (1964)
I love Hanna-Barbera characters with gimmicks and special abilities. That kind of thing helps separate them from their other efforts and makes for a fun time whilst viewing. Peter Potamus has a couple unique things about him. First, his ballon airship (which looks vaguely like son thing out of Jules Vern) has the ability to cross the boundaries of space and time and thus allows him to interact with characters from lots of different eras (pirates, knights, aliens etc). The gang on the Warner Archive Podcast compared it to the Tardis from Doctor Who and that is an apt parallel. Secondly, Peter has a low-level super power in his "hurricane holler" which he employs to blow away challengers with a windy blast of breath from his large maw. As I watched the show with my daughter, I found myself looking forward to each holler and even saying it out loud to her when he did it. 
As with many solid Hanna-Barbera Shows, this one has two other cartoons built into it. First up is BREEZLY AND SNEEZLY - the tales of a polar bear along with his green seal sidekick and their antagonist relationship with a nearby military base and its commanding officer (reminiscent of YOGI BEAR). The other enclosed mini-show is YIPPEE, YAPPEE AND YAHOOEY - which deals with a trio of inept musketeers and their swashbuckling misadventures which often cause displeasure for the king they are serving. Another enjoyable thing about the show is that the animation style is along the lines of THE FLINTSTONES, so it is an aesthetically familiar and pleasing kind of character design. Also, the voice cast for the show is fantastic and includes the likes of veterans Daws Butler, Mel Blanc and Don Messick among others. One additional neat thing is that Warner Archive has basically reassembled the show as it was meant to be seen as opposed to split apart and shoehorned into other Hanna Barbara staples. PETER POTAMUS was interestingly sponsored by a company called Ideal Toys and Warner Archive has even restored the little intro bits and bumpers where Peter calls out the sponsor himself.
Buy THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW on DVD here:
http://amzn.to/2fnvYng
Amazon Button (via NiftyButtons.com)

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