Speed Buggy is an American animated television series, produced by Hanna-Barbera, which originally aired for one season on CBS from September 8, 1973 to December 22, 1973. With the voices of Mel Blanc, Michael Bell, Arlene Golonka and Phil Luther Jr., the show follows an orange anthropomorphic dune buggy who alongside teenagers Debbie, Mark, and Tinker, solves mysteries while participating in racing competitions around the world. The series was produced by Iwao Takamoto, executive produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and directed by Charles A. Nichols.
The series was originally developed under the working titles Speed Bug and Speed Buggs before it was settled as Speed Buggy. Takamoto was less involved with the series due to the trust he had for storyboard and animation artist Bob Singer. The concept for the show was inspired by the 1968 Walt Disney Pictures film The Love Bug and the Speed Racer anime franchise. Several of the storylines and plots originated on Hanna-Barbera's other animated series Josie & the Pussycats.
Speed Buggy lasted for one season with a total of sixteen episodes. Despite its short run, it was broadcast on the Big Three television networks years after its original run as the channels had purchased syndication rights. It was speculated that the series acquired a fan base due to its frequent rotation on American television. Critical response to Speed Buggy was generally positive; some critics enjoyed its shared themes with Josie & the Pussycats and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, while others found it unmemorable and overly repetitive. It has since been released on DVD as part of Warner Bros.' Archive Collection on a four disc set.
The series' title card
|Directed by||Charles A. Nichols|
|Voices of||Mel Blanc|
Phil Luther Jr.
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna|
Art Scott (associate)
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
Warner Bros. Television (currently)
|Original release||September 8 –|
December 22, 1973
Set in an assortment of locations around the world, the series follows three teenagers (Mark, Debbie, and Tinker) and a talking dune buggy as they partake in various adventures. Speed Buggy, the dune buggy, was designed by Tinker and participates in racing competitions in order to collect "winner's trophies". During their travels, the crew often defeats villains and crooks in order to save the world, such as diamond thieves, car-obsessed doctors, and evil pirates. Known as the "Speed Buggs", the group of three teenagers is able to activate Speed Buggy through the use of a portable walkie-talkie. Several episodes in the series feature reworked versions of storylines from Hanna-Barbera's Josie & the Pussycats.
The series features the following four main characters throughout its run:
Speed Buggy was developed with the working titles Speed Bug and Speed Buggs. The show's concept was partly inspired by the 1968 Walt Disney Pictures film The Love Bug and the Japanese Speed Racer franchise. It was hinted by author David Hofstede that the "Chugga-Boom" vehicle in Hanna-Barbera's The Perils of Penelope Pitstop served as a prototype for the vehicle in Speed Buggy. Executively produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's Hanna-Barbera Productions, Charles A. Nichols served as the director and Art Scott was the associate producer. Iwao Takamoto, the main producer, expressed in his posthumous 2009 autobiography that the creation of Speed Buggy occurred due to the success of his other productions Josie & the Pussycats and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. He wrote that his participation in the series was partly because he enjoyed getting "[his] hands on a show whenever [he] felt it was necessary"; however, he was ultimately less involved with the show due to his trust with Bob Singer, an animation artist for Hanna-Barbera productions at the time.
Jack Mendelshon and Chuck Menville were the two head writers for the episodes. Several other writers contributed to the series, including Lars Bourne, Len Janson, Joel Kane, Jack Kaplan, Woody Kling, Norman Maurer, and Larry Rhine. The main title theme for Speed Buggy was copyrighted in November 1975; it was composed by Hoyt Curtin under the supervision of Paul DeKorte. Besides the leading roles, other voice actors involved with the series include Janet Waldo, Hal Smith, John Stephenson, and Mike Road.
|Nº||Title||Original air date||PC|
|1||"Speed Buggy Went That-a-Way"||September 8, 1973||65-1|
|While visiting Debbie's aunt Belle, the crew witnesses the theft of her cattle on her ranch. Speed Buggy, Debbie, Tinker, and Mark set out to stop the evil Beefinger, the mastermind behind the robbery.|
|2||"Speed Buggy's Daring Escapade"||September 15, 1973||65-2|
|After learning about Speed Buggy's capabilities, Dr. Kluge plots to steal the automobile in order to create his own powerful version. Through various bribes and kidnapping attempts, Kluge is desperate to steal Speed Buggy.|
|3||"Taggert's Trophy"||September 22, 1973||65-3|
|During a racing event, a man known as "The Chief" hijacks all of the cars with a motion control device. The crew tries to put an end to the menace's unacceptable behavior.|
|4||"Speed Buggy Falls in Love"||September 29, 1973||65-4|
|While participating in a race, Speed Buggy takes a liking to Mata Cari, an automobile designed by the evil Baron Vulch. Meanwhile, Pygmo, Vulch's assistant, lures Speed Buggy to a castle to retrieve a device that Vulch planted inside of his trunk.|
|5||"Kingzilla"||October 6, 1973||65-5|
|In the Andes, the crew vacates a plane facing difficulty while flying, deserting them in region solely inhabited by gorillas. Two men, Professor Grovac and Karl, pressure Speed Buggy into kidnapping the king gorilla in order to have their own army.|
|6||"Professor Snow and Madame Ice"||October 13, 1973||65-6|
|The villainous Professor Snow and Madame Ice create automobiles for ice in order to travel. After learning about Speed Buggy, they attempt to control Tinker in order to take over the world.|
|7||"Out of Sight"||October 20, 1973||65-7|
|Speed Buggy and crew help Professor Rigby, who is being attacked by his former colleague, Professor Rishna, after discovering an invisibility solution. Rishna uses it to kidnap Debbie and Mark while Tinker and Speed Buggy come to their rescue.|
|8||"Gold Fever"||October 27, 1973||65-8|
|The menacing Gold Fever manages to steal gold from around the world, even Speed Buggy's prized racing trophy. In order to stop his continued thefts and rescue Debbie after being kidnapped, Mark and Tinker travel to Hawaii to end his plans.|
|9||"Island of the Giant Plants"||November 3, 1973||65-9|
|Traveling aboard a cruise ship, the crew falls overboard and ends up on an island infested by large plants that were modified by Dr. Meangreen. In order to control the universe, Meangreen attempts to steal Speed Buggy's remote control device.|
|10||"Soundmaster"||November 10, 1973||65-11|
|An evil replica of Speed Buggy designed by Dr. Ohm steals a powerful battery capable of ruining objects through the use of sound waves. The crew breaks into Ohm's secret headquarters in order to retrieve the stolen device and return to normalcy.|
|11||"The Ringmaster"||November 17, 1973||65-10|
|The crew visits Pleasure Island to enter the Bayou 500 racing competition. During the race, they find a ringmaster who plans to control all of the nearby animals in order to rule the world.|
|12||"The Incredible Changing Man"||November 24, 1973||65-12|
|At a race in the United States and Mexico, the crew encounters Jerick who is able to grow and multiply due to a powerful potion that Jerick's former friend created. However, the former friend places the potion's recipe on a tape that Jerick steals, so he asks Speed Buggy to retrieve the tape and save the day.|
|13||"Secret Safari"||December 1, 1973||65-13|
|Varzak and Emil, both crazy scientists, create a laser device that has the ability to take over the universe. In order to safely hide the device from the authorities, they plan to steal Speed Buggy and escape through a jungle.|
|14||"Oil's Well That Ends Well"||December 8, 1973||65-14|
|In an oil reserve in Oklahoma, the crew encounters Dr. Vesuvio, who is collecting large quantities of oil in order to rule the world. However, they discover that Vesuvio has been illegally hoarding the oil in order to accomplish the feat.|
|15||"The Hidden Valley of Amazonia"||December 15, 1973||65-15|
|While in the Himalayas, Speed Buggy visits the Hidden Valley of Amazonia, where the women use the men for slaves. Queen Sheba pressures Debbie into turning Mark and Tinker into slaves. In order to stop her plans, Speed Buggy and Debbie attempt to overthrow Sheba.|
|16||"Captain Schemo and the Underwater City"||December 22, 1973||65-16|
|Captain Schemo plans to use his private collection of submarines in order to take over the oceans and the world. The crew stumbles upon Scheemo's underwater stash and attempts to stop him before he controls the entire universe.|
Speed Buggy was broadcast on CBS as part of their Saturday morning children's lineup between September 8 and December 22, 1973. Before being cancelled, it continued to air regularly until August 31, 1974. After its original run, CBS included reruns of Speed Buggy in their children-oriented television blocks, it was broadcast from February 4, 1978 to September 2, 1978 and September 18, 1982 to January 29, 1983. It also played on both ABC and NBC, when they acquired syndication rights for the series. ABC aired it at noon in 1975-1976 and NBC aired it in 1978. According to The A.V. Club's Will Harris, the series was successful and had a large fan base because it aired on all three major television networks in the 1970s.
Boomerang has broadcast Speed Buggy on several occasions since its initial launch in 1992. As part of a Valentine's Day event in February 2007, the channel aired the program alongside other cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, and Dexter's Laboratory. The episode "Speed Buggy Went That-a-Way" was featured on the Warner Bros. Presents DVD compilation Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1970's Volume 1 and released on May 26, 2009. As part of the Warner Bros. Television Distribution's Archive Collection, the complete Speed Buggy series was made available on DVD as a four-disc set.
In retrospective reviews, critics saw the series as similar to the Scooby-Doo franchise. Aubrey Sitterson of Geek.com included Speed Buggy on their unranked list of "favorite Scooby-Doo knockoffs". He noted similarities between Speedy and Scooby-Doo's "Mystery Machine", and joked that Tinker is "basically just Shaggy in a jumpsuit". However, he hinted that Speed Buggy's success could have been derived from its shared storylines as seen on Josie & the Pussycats. Similarly, Harris from The A.V. Club agreed and wrote that the main difference between the two shows was that Speed Buggy "substitut[ed] racing for rock 'n' roll". He also claimed that the main character "confirm[ed] that sidekicks don't always have to be animals". Speed Buggy and the Scooby-Doo gang would be featured in a crossover episode ("The Weird Winds of Winona") in the second installment of the Scooby-Doo franchise, The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-1973).
Several comparisons were made between the show and other works created by Hanna-Barbera. David Mansour, author of From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century, wrote in his book that Speed Buggy shared several characteristics with Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. He speculated that Mark was the "Freddy-esque handsome brain", Debbie was the "Daphne-esque pretty girlfriend", and Tinker was the "Shaggy-esque mechanic and driver". Furthermore, he considered Speed Buggy to be one the most "famous dune buggies of pop culture" alongside the buggies in The Funky Phantom, The Banana Splits, and the Big Jim toy line. In a retrospective view of older cartoons, the staff at MeTV included the show on their list of "15 Forgotten Cartoons from the Early 1970s You Used to Love". On a more negative note, author David Perlmutter found Hanna-Barbera's use of "humanized automobiles" to be too predictable and repetitive.
Speed Buggy would not be the last time Hanna-Barbera incorporated automobiles into animation. Both Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch and Wonder Wheels also featured cars that were able to talk and act like humans. Perlmutter grouped the three shows together, calling them a "trilogy". Wonderbug, an occasional live-action segment on ABC's The Krofft Supershow (1976-1978), featured three teenagers and a talking dune buggy and often drew comparisons to Speed Buggy and The Love Bug. Also compared to the show was Adult Swim's Mike Tyson Mysteries, with Rolling Stone's James Montgomery calling it an ode to classic cartoons like Speed Buggy, Scooby-Doo, and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
The characters in Speed Buggy would also be featured in a 1973 Milton Bradley board game, where players would race Speed Buggy and other buggies in a fictionalized version of Baja California. Speedy would also make cameo appearances in later cartoons, including Johnny Bravo, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Invader Zim, Animaniacs, South Park, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
In 2018, an updated version of Speed Buggy appeared in the DC comic book The Flash/Speed Buggy Special.
This is a list of Australian television-related events in 1974.Buggy Boy
Buggy Boy, also known as Speed Buggy, is an arcade off-road racing game developed by Tatsumi in 1985. The object of the game is to drive around one of five courses (Offroad, North, East, South or West) in the shortest time possible. Each course has five legs, each filled with obstacles such as boulders and brick walls. Points are awarded for driving through gates and collecting flags. Offroad is a closed-circuit course that takes five laps to complete while North, South, East, and West are each a strict point A to point B style course.
The player could also hit logs and tree stumps in order to jump the buggy over obstacles, gaining extra points while airborne. Extra points are also rewarded for driving the buggy on two wheels.
The original, cockpit version of the arcade cabinet had a panoramic three-screen display, a feature previously employed in TX-1. An upright, single-screen cabinet was released in 1986 under the name, Buggy Boy Junior.Dan Mills
Dan Mills (c. 1931 – December 5, 2011) was an American animator and layout artist. Mills' long career in animation spanned from 1956 until he retired from the industry in 2002. His credits included work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hyperion Pictures, Universal, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, and Fox Animation.Mills began his career in animation in 1956. His credits as an animator included individual 1964 episodes of Linus the Lionhearted and the Cyrano episode of the ABC Afterschool Special, as well as the 1970s Hanna-Barbera television series Jabberjaw, Partridge Family 2200 A.D., These Are the Days, and Godzilla.In addition to his work as an animator, Mills also worked as a layout supervisor, layout artist, art director, story director and numerous other positions within the animation industry. Mills worked as the art director for the 1965 Cambria Productions series, Captain Fathom. He also became story director for three different Hanna-Barbera series launched in 1973, including Speed Buggy, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, and Inch High, Private Eye.Mills worked extensively in animation layout. He was the layout supervisor for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power animated series by Filmation during the 1980s. He held additional layout supervisor credits for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and a 1990 cartoon called Happily Ever After.Mills credits as a layout artist included several television series, included Pandamonium, which aired on CBS from 1982 to 1983, and, more recently, episodes of Family Guy. He also completed layout art for feature-length animated films, including The Secret of the Sword for Filmation in 1985, Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night in 1987, Freddie as F.R.O.7 in 1992, Asterix Conquers America in 1994, The Pagemaster in 1994, and Cats Don't Dance, which was released in 1997.His last professional credit was as a storyboard artist for The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, a direct-to-video sequel released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment in 2002. Dan Mills died on December 5, 2011, at the age of 80. His funeral service was held at the First United Methodist Church in Reseda, California.Hanna-Barbera Beyond
Hanna-Barbera Beyond is a comic book initiative started in 2016 by DC Comics that consists in a line of comic books based on various characters from the animation studio Hanna-Barbera.Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is an American adult animated television series created by Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter for Adult Swim. The show revolves around the activity of the Sebben & Sebben law firm, which is staffed mainly by superheroes and other characters who had originally been featured in past Hanna-Barbera cartoons, most notably Birdman and the Galaxy Trio.
The pilot first aired as a sneak peek on Cartoon Network on December 30, 2000.The series officially premiered on Adult Swim on September 2, 2001, the night the block launched. It ended on July 22, 2007, with a total of 39 episodes, over the course of four seasons. The entire series has been made available on DVD, and other forms of home media, including on demand streaming on Hulu.
A special, entitled Harvey Birdman: Attorney General, premiered on October 15, 2018.Jim MacGeorge
James A. "Jim" MacGeorge (born October 15, 1928) is an American actor and voice actor. He is also credited as Jim McGeorge and James MacGeorge.Laff-A-Lympics
Laff-A-Lympics is an American animated comedy television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series premiered as part of the Saturday morning cartoon program block, Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, on ABC in 1977. The show is a spoof of the Olympics and the ABC primetime series Battle of the Network Stars, which debuted one year earlier. It featured 45 Hanna-Barbera characters organized into the teams (the Scooby Doobies, the Yogi Yahooeys, and the Really Rottens) which would compete each week for gold, silver, and bronze medals. One season of 16 episodes was produced in 1977–78, and eight new episodes combined with reruns for the 1978–79 season as Scooby's All-Stars. Unlike most cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s, Laff-A-Lympics did not contain a laugh track. Scooby’s Laff-a-Lympics was originally owned by Taft Broadcasting, Warner Bros. Television Distribution currently owns the series thru its two in-name-only units, Warner Bros. Family Entertainment and Turner Entertainment.List of The New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes
This is a list of episodes from The New Scooby-Doo Movies television series. The episode titles given reflect Hanna-Barbera studio records and TV Guide listings. The following nine episodes have not been released on DVD yet due to conflicts with some of the guest stars: "Wednesday is Missing (The Addams Family)," "A Good Medium is Rare (Phyllis Diller)," "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hyde (Sandy Duncan)," "The Secret of Shark Island (Sonny and Cher)," "The Haunted Horseman of Hagglethorn Hall (Davy Jones)," "The Phantom of the Country Music Hall (Jerry Reed)," "The Haunted Showboat (Josie and the Pussycats)," "Mystery in Persia (Jeannie and Babu)," and "The Spirit Spooked Sports Show (Tim Conway)".List of animated television series of 1973
A list of animated television series that first aired in 1973.List of programs broadcast by Boomerang (Latin America)
The following is a list of programs currently or formerly broadcast on the Latin American cable channel Boomerang.Mel Blanc
Melvin Jerome Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and radio personality. After beginning his over-60-year career performing in radio, he became known for his work in animation as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons during the golden age of American animation. He voiced all of the major male Warner Bros. cartoon characters except for Elmer Fudd, whose voice was provided by fellow radio personality Arthur Q. Bryan, although Blanc later voiced Fudd, as well, after Bryan's death.He later voiced characters for Hanna-Barbera's television cartoons, including Barney Rubble on The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely on The Jetsons. Blanc was also the original voice of Woody Woodpecker for Universal Pictures and provided vocal effects for the Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by Chuck Jones for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, replacing William Hanna. During the golden age of radio, Blanc also frequently performed on the programs of famous comedians from the era, including Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen and Judy Canova.Having earned the nickname The Man of a Thousand Voices, Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice acting industry.Norman Maurer
Norman Albert Maurer (May 13, 1926 – November 23, 1986), a comic book artist and writer, was also a director and producer of films and television shows.Rickety Rocket
Rickety Rocket is an animated television series, produced by Ruby-Spears Productions, and ran from 1979 to 1980 as a segment on The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show.Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (also known as Mystery Incorporated or Scooby-Doo! Mystery, Inc.) is an American animated mystery comedy-drama series; the series serves as the eleventh incarnation of the Scooby-Doo media franchise created by Hanna-Barbera, as well as the first that was not originally run on Saturday mornings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network UK and premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on April 5, 2010, with the next twelve episodes continuing, and the first episode re-airing, on July 12, 2010. The series concluded on April 5, 2013, after two seasons and fifty-two episodes.
Mystery Incorporated returns to the early days of Scooby and the gang, when they are still solving mysteries in their home town, though it makes multiple references to previous incarnations of the franchise. The series takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the classic Scooby-Doo formula, with increasingly outlandish technology, skills and scenarios making up each villain's story, and a different spin on the famous "meddling kids" quote at the end of every episode. Contrasting sharply with this, however, are two elements that have never been used in a Scooby-Doo series before: a serial format with an ongoing story arc featuring many dark plot elements that are treated with near-total seriousness, and ongoing relationship drama between the characters. Furthermore, it is also the first series in the franchise to make use of real ghosts and monsters since The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
The series pays homage to the horror genre, drawing on many works from film, television and literature in both parodic and serious ways, from horror movie classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, modern films such as Saw, television series Twin Peaks, and the works of H. P. Lovecraft, alongside the classic monster horror movies shown in previous series. In particular, in the second season, the central story arc evolves to heavily feature the use of Babylonian mythology, exploring the Anunnaki, the Babylonian and modern pseudo-scientific concepts of Nibiru, and the writings of Zecharia Sitchin. Other Hanna-Barbera characters occasionally guest-star, including Captain Caveman, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, The Funky Phantom, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, and more.
As was the case with the previous three installments in the franchise, Mystery Incorporated redesigns the main characters, this time into a retro look that returns them to their original 1969 outfits, with some small changes (such as Velma now wearing bows in her hair). The series is also the animated debut of Matthew Lillard as the voice of Shaggy, after he portrayed the character in two live-action films, Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). Casey Kasem, the original voice of Shaggy, voiced Shaggy's father in five episodes; this would be his last voice-acting role before his death. Linda Cardellini, who played Velma in the live-action movies, voiced Hot Dog Water, a recurring character in the series. The show also brought back characters seen in previous Scooby-Doo series such as the eco-goth rock band The Hex Girls and Vincent Van Ghoul from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, though his character is portrayed as a direct homage to Vincent Price, being a famous horror movie actor rather than an actual warlock.The Funky Phantom
The Funky Phantom is a Saturday morning cartoon, produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions by Australian production company Air Programs International in 1971 for ABC.Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch is an American animated television series, produced by Hanna-Barbera, which originally aired for one season on NBC from September 7, 1974 to November 30, 1974. With an ensemble voice cast consisting of Frank Welker, Judy Strangis, Paul Winchell and Lennie Weinrib, the show follows a humanlike Volkswagen Beetle named Wheelie and an evil motorcycle gang known as the "Chopper Bunch". The series was produced by Iwao Takamoto, executively produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera and directed by Charles A. Nichols. An accompanying comic book series, with contributions from artist John Byrne, debuted in May 1975, although he quit while finishing his second issue as he was unsatisfied with his creative control and felt he was overcompensated for his work. Other artists completed the series, which totaled seven comic books.
In addition to Hanna-Barbera's Speed Buggy (1973) and Wonder Wheels (1977–78), the three series were commonly grouped together due to the similarities in plot and characters. Reception-wise, several critics reacted negatively to the violence and portrayal of motorcycles in the series, prompting viewers to write letters to NBC in hopes that the show would be pulled off the air. Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch had a total of 13 episodes, each consisting of 3 segments, or a total of 39 segments. It has since been released on DVD as part of Warner Bros.' Archive Collection on a three-disc set.