Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Hanna-Barbera Deep Dive: Who is Blue Falcon in “Scoob!?”

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This weekend Warner Animation released “Scoob!,” the story of a young Scooby-Doo and Shaggy as they team with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt to stop Dick Dastardly. Most people know Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. Hardcore Hanna-Barbera cartoon fans might know Dick Dastardly. But who the heck is Blue Falcon?

Image: Balloons? Or blue balls?

Blue Falcon (now voiced by Mark Wahlberg of “The Substitute” fame) started life back in 1979 on the “The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour” block on Saturday mornings. Back before the dawn of the internet and cable television channels for cartoons, cartoons were on Saturday mornings.

And Hanna-Barbera made a billion cartoons. They also had a tendency to have “Hours” where they would advertise 2 or 3 shows that were lumped together with some common theme, usually. Like a couple of superhero shows or a couple or cartoon shows. Nearly every single one had some dog sidekick that looked exactly like Scooby (see: “Dynomutt,” “Wonderdog,” etc.).

Remember when Blue Falcon was on “Dexter’s Lab”? I member!

Blue Falcon was kind of like Batman, but he had second billing to Dynomutt, Dog Wonder. It would be as if Batman was sidekick to his own sidekick Robin, but Robin was Ace the Bat-Hound. Blue Falcon and Dynomutt lingered on for about a year or so, having around 24ish total episodes of their escapades over 2 original shows and then a handful of random, cobbled together shows with various names that kept airing until Saturday morning cartoons died in the 1990’s. Hanna-Barbera was notorious for making a handful of episodes of something and then re-using them strung together with other stuff forever.

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Basically, Hanna-Barbera was really cheap in the late 70’s.

Cheap animation.

Blue Falcon mostly fell into obscurity. He went from millionaire art dealer Radley Crown and his robotic dog Dynomutt to pretty much a second-hand character that was less cool Space Ghost. In fact Gary Owns, original voice of Space Ghost, was also the voice of Blue Falcon. Frank Welker, the voice of nearly everything in your childhood, was the voice of Dynomutt. The one fun idea was that, like Batman ’66, Blue Falcon often had cliffhangers… but these were resolved within each episode. It was a commercial break cliffhanger forcing you to stick around for the “Micronauts” commercials.

Blue Falcon and his trusty robotic dog Dynomutt, Dog Wonder will be appearing in “Scoob!” May 15th on VOD. Hopefully minus the cheap animation and laugh track. Will we see shades of a new, Hanna-Barbera superhero universe? A Space Ghost cameo? The gorgeous Penelope Pitstop!?

With hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever — a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global dog-pocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone could have imagined.

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