Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Rubik the Amazing Cube (1983)

Rubik's Cube was a popular game in the early 80's. In fact, it was so big, one local player adopted the handle of "Professor Rubik" when he called into an area radio station's primetime show on a regular basis.

In 1983, Ruby-Spears Productions was given a license to adapt the game into a cartoon----by making the cube a sentient entity! Now, that's enough to make you go completely loco, don't ya think?

As it was, Rubik the Amazing Cube lasted one season. It was touted as the first cartoon to use Latino protagonists as lead characters. Two years earlier, the Super Friends had welcomed a Latino hero, El Dorado, but he was meant to be a supporting player all along, and was written out of the show within 3 years time. As for Rubik, his voice was done by actor Ron Palillo (ex-Welcome Back, Kotter), who'd made his toon debut two years earlier as well, as a porcine drill sergeant (literally) in Laverne & Shirley's animated series. The Latino teen group, Menudo, recorded the show's theme song.

Here's the open, uploaded by crakkerjakk:

It's easy to suggest that whomever pitched this idea to the network, or even to the producers in the first place, might've been a few fries shy of a happy meal.

Rating: D.


magicdog said...

Boy was this a bad idea!

It wasn't bad enough they were ripping off video games and TV sitcoms for show ideas, but to base a show on a popular puzzle toy?

Not to mention having Menudo do the theme song! I remember they were treated as the "Hispanic Beatles" in the media back then (trouble was, only Hispanics knew who the group was, Ricky Martin not withstanding), and they're still a faded memory of the 80s (even though the lineup continues to this day).

I wasn't aware that Ron Palillo did Rubik's voice! The things you learn!

hobbyfan said...

Hey, you ain't alone. Who knew that "Horshack" was behind that sentient puzzle man? Yoiks! Today, that job would probably be given to Frank Welker automatically.