Monday, November 10, 2008

Big City Falcon

Taking place in Big City, crime of all kinds is tackled by super-hero's Blue Falcon and side-kick, Dyn-o-Mutt, who also goes by the name of Dog Wonder. The series is a parody of Batman and Robin. I'm sure most know that Robin was often referred to as the Boy Wonder.

The concept of the series was to have Blue Falcon pursue crime and evil-doing along side Dog Wonder. They receive their missions from an executive known as Focus One who appears on a big screen hidden behind a book case. Blue Falcon's secret identity is art dealer/collector, Radley Crowne. Falcon's lair is the base of operations for the two heroes. Upon getting their mission statement from Focus One, it's time to fly off...which Blue Falcon delivers his catch-phrase, the urgent and up-beat "To the Falcon Car!".

The adventures are basic and simple, nothing really complex...afterall this is a spoof of super-hero cartoons and the plots outlandish and filled with slap-stick cartoonish violence. Dynomutt is a mechanical dog...able to extend all parts of his body. This ability would prove valuable in almost any case but in this case it proves to be a hindrance for Dynomutt is klutzy and his powers are always mal-functioning which leads to a lot of the humor.

A highlight of the show is seeing Dynomutt blunder and get the two of them in trouble with that week's villain. A mal-function would often lead to Blue Falcon uttering another catch-phrase, "D-o-g-g-g-g Won-n-n-n-der-r-r-r-r!!!" said in a hilarious, drawn out, frustrated manner. One of the mal-functions, specifically the net, would almost always capture Blue Falcon instead of the villain. Dog Wonder's enthusiasm makes him a character viewers may feel sorry for because in spite of the mal-functions, he still has the enthusiasm to do things right. An example of this would be "Don't worry, BF...I'll stop 'em with the Dyno super-duper instant glooper glue...".

I made up that line but if it were a real scene we'd see Dynomutt grab the glue gun from his chest, where his props/weapons were stored, and we'd see Dynomutt spray the glue but it probably would go all over Blue Falcon, or, Dynomutt would squirt the glue on the floor, but it would land in Blue Falcon's walk path, and stick him to the floor. That's a typical mal-function that Blue Falcon would endure, often causing him to utter "Dog Wonder!!!" in that drawn out delivery I was writing about earlier.

The villains of the series bordered on the Batman and Dick Tracy style villains. Each villain had a schtick...a lot of them had facial or body defects that added to their personality. Fishface, for example, was a villain that was part man and part fish. The Worm was a villain that played on the cliche of the scientist working on an experiment but is caught in the crossfires and as a result their personality is transferred to the creature they were experimenting on. Low Brow was a cave-man villain. An obvious parody came along with The Queen Hornet whose name was patterned after The Green Hornet. The Queen spoke like a cross between Mae West and Jayne Mansfield. The Gimmick was a megalomaniac genius often did in by his own schemes. Super Thug was a parody of Superman...in fact, in the episode Don't Bug Super Thug the show's announcer parodied the announcing style of the Superman cartoons telling us of Super Thug's incredible powers and abilities. The villains were over-the-top but perhaps the villain who was more down to Earth was The Red Vulture, which parodied Blue Falcon's name.

Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder were tied to the Scooby-Doo show. The cast of Scooby-Doo made several appearances on this series. Everybody Hyde was an episode that featured Blue Falcon and Dynomutt teaming up with Scooby and the gang to capture a villain who used a potion that transformed him into a Hyde-like creature/monster. Willie the Weasel was the unlikely villain who used a Mr Hyde disguise while committing crimes. The Wizard of Ooze is an episode that featured the super-heroes and the Scooby gane on the pursuit of a swamp rat, going by the name of Swamp Rat who teamed with a henchman with the peculiar name of Mud Mouth. The two villains were on the prowl for water pumps...they used the pumps to flood Big City with swamp water in an effort to create an evacuation...leaving the city easy to loot.

If there were still any doubters where Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder's inspiration came from, there was an episode actually called The Injustice League of America which featured many of the villains from the series teaming up to destroy the two super-heroes. For those who don't know, Batman and other super-heroes in the DC Comics universe, mostly those depicted in the Superfriends TV series, were collectively referred to as The Justice League of America, or JLA for short.

Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder were introduced in a series known as The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Adventure Hour, which ran for 16 episodes in 1976. The series was released on DVD a few years ago. There were four further adventures of Blue Falcon and Dog Wonder produced in 1977 that aired on Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics program...the four episodes were broken into two parts each, parodying the cliff-hanger, and allowing the series to claim eight 11 minute episodes instead of four 22 minute episodes.

Those 1977 episodes and the 1976 episodes were later ran together in numerous syndicated airings throughout the late '70s and '80s leaving some to wonder why those four episodes from 1977 weren't a part of the DVD release a few years earlier but technically since those 1977 episodes weren't part of the 1976 show that is why they weren't included in the Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt DVD.

Dog Wonder's pet-name for Blue Falcon is "BF". In turn, BF's pet-name for Dynomutt is "Dog Wonder" or often, "Dog Blunder". The voices are Gary Owens, in the role of Blue Falcon; and Frank Welker as the voice of Dynomutt. Ron Feinberg is the emotionally-charged announcer, which is a parody of the style heard on the 1960's live-action version of Batman. Larry McCormick, a news anchor, was heard as Big City's Mayor. John Stephenson was heard as several of the villains: Red Vulture, The Blimp, Von Flick, and The Glob. Stephenson was also the voice of Big City's Chief of Police as well as numerous other incidental characters.

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