Friday, August 21, 2015

Animated World of DC Comics: Green Arrow joins the Super Friends (Gulliver's Gigantic Goof, 1973)

You can tell Hanna-Barbera's original Super Friends didn't have much of a budget. Everyone in the cast had to play multiple characters, and the animation coming out of Australia wasn't exactly on a par with the studio's output in the 60's. And that's with Alex Toth designing the characters!

Green Arrow was one of three 1-shot guest stars (Flash & Plastic Man were the others), and made his only SF appearance in the episode, "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof".



The episode was a commentary on the population explosion, riffing at the same time on Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, except that in this case, Gulliver (Casey Kasem, doing a Peter Lorre impersonation) is a misguided scientist (and there were a lot of those back then) who thinks shrinking people will stop the expansion of the population.

Rating for the episode: A-.

6 comments:

magicdog said...

I hated how HB's animated looked during this period. You're correct in that their animation was improving throughout the 60s. Why they farmed it out to Australia I'll never know. The New Scooby Doo Movies was also part of the catalog that got animated there - and it showed!

This era of SF was always about misguided scientists. In theory it was a good idea than going the typical super villian route. I know it was due to the new violence restrictions (thanks Peggy Charren - not!) but if you think about it, aren't the worst situations cause by people with good intentions?

Of course the episode's Malthusian wet dream was later disproven, and it comes across as so alarmist.

hobbyfan said...

Not just scientists, but ordinary folks, too(i.e. Mr. & Mrs. Mole). Also, looking back now, you can tell when the cast members were playing other roles. Casey Kasem was not only Prof. Gulliver, but Prof. Goodfellow, Twisty, and a few others. You can tell it's him, obviously, though, as noted, he did a killer Peter Lorre mimic as Gulliver. They went with a small cast to save money. Not a good idea in hindsight.

magicdog said...

They couldn't have been saving that much money - a VA can play up to 3 characters in one [episode] before they have to be paid more. Studios to this day use that same set up. Even as a kid I recognized the same VAs doing double or triple duty for some toons - not everyone could make their characters as vocally distinct as Mel Blanc.

hobbyfan said...

So true. I wonder what other excuses there could be.....

Lionel Braithwaite said...

I'm sorry, Magicdog, but this episode's villain was crap, and then some. The show's stupid restrictions imposed on it by Peggy Charren makes one long for the straightforward storytelling/scripts of the later Justice League/Justice League Unlimited shows, where they were able to use the real bad people from the comic books (although the later Challenge Of... shows rectified that.)

hobbyfan said...

Crap? Nope. There've been worse.