I love the Warner Archive Collection.
And when I win the lottery, I’ll be spending a lot of money there because that’s the place to go for obscure and vintage Hanna-Barbera cartoons, plus a few others now owned by Warner Bros.
Along with “Johnny Quest” and “The Jetsons,” they’ve got “Funky Phantom,” “Goober and the Ghost Chasers,” “Shazzan,” “Thundarr the Barbarian,” “Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch,” “Challenge of the Gobots” and “Speed Buggy.”
Most recently added to the bunch is “Inch High Private Eye,” a 1973 Hanna-Barbera cartoon that I remember fondly from reruns on USA cable network’s “Cartoon Express” in the 1980s, long before Cartoon Network came around. The folks at the archive were kind enough to send it along.
The not-even-pint-sized P.I. works for the Finkerton Agency with help from niece Lori, disguise semi-master Gator and scaredy-cat dog Braveheart. He’s not a very good detective, but he always winds up catching the crook.
I’m not going to wax rhapsodic about how good the show is. It really isn’t. There are lots of lame jokes, bad pun names kids today probably won’t get (Hasha Yifitz, Lawrence Milk) and so-so animation.
Lennie Weinrib (H.R. Pufnstuf himself and the original voice of Scrappy-Doo) nails the voice and, dare I say it, even elevates the material a bit.
There are lots of silly capers and even a bit of prescient accessorizing. Lori has a “compact phone” that resembles more modern flip cellphones, only with makeup included (I’m surprised they didn’t market that idea). There’s also the quiet, electric Hushmobile, which could be played by a Nissan Leaf today.
But, and that’s the big bucks “but” for Warner Bros. and folks like me, there’s a big nostalgia factor for these shows. The Warner Archives is a manufacture-on-demand service, which is a great fit for titles like these that wouldn’t support a wide release, but there’s little overhead this way.
But since they don’t get a wide release, they don’t get as much publicity, either, so it’s up to blogs like this to help spread the word.
Consider it spread.
Now where’s my Captain Caveman?