The Dick Tracy Show

1961

Seasons & Episodes

  • 1
6.2| NA| en| More Info
Released: 01 January 1961 Ended
Producted By: United Productions of America
Country: United States of America
Budget: 0
Revenue: 0
Official Website: http://www.toontracker.com/tracy/dicktracy.htm
Info

The Dick Tracy Show was an American animated television series based on Chester Gould's comic strip crime fighter. The series was produced from 1961 to 1962 by UPA.

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United Productions of America

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The Dick Tracy Show Audience Reviews

KnotMissPriceless Why so much hype?
Exoticalot People are voting emotionally.
Matialth Good concept, poorly executed.
Arianna Moses Let me be very fair here, this is not the best movie in my opinion. But, this movie is fun, it has purpose and is very enjoyable to watch.
Little-Mikey I remember watching this cartoon weekday afternoons just before supper. It was 1961 and I was about 7. I was in the First Grade and had just started to learn to read. So what captured my curiosity with my newly acquired reading skills? You got it,the Sunday Funnies! I asked my mother what comics she liked to read. She liked to read DICK TRACY.So when DICK TRACY came on TV, I thought my mother would enjoy seeing her comic strip come alive on TV. Maybe she saw one episode. I don't remember. What I do remember is that she was always too busy to watch DICK TRACY on TV.Thirty five years later, I saw this cartoon on TV and now I can understand why my mother was always too busy to watch this cartoon. It was bad, really bad! Joe Jitsu, complete with his slant-eyes and buck teeth was such an offensive Japanese stereo-type that you don't even have to be Japanese to be offended. Then there is Go-Go Gomez! Given the choice between watching this horrible cartoon or slaving over a hot stove, my mother wisely chose the hot stove. I rest my case!
John T. Ryan We saw DICK TRACY creator,Chester Gould, as a guest on our CBS TV Affiliate's AT RANDOM Saturday's Late Night talk fest. The Show's host, Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Irv Kupcinet hosted and provided us with interesting, stimulating excursions into "The Lively Art of Conversation." At this time, either late 1960 or early '61, Mr. Gould announced that there had been a deal cut between his syndicator,The Chicago Tribune-N.Y.News Syndicate and United Productions of America (UPA for short)an Animation Studio, to produce a series of DICK TRACY animated cartoons for Television. He thought that they'd be on TV shortly, but ventured no further opinion.Well, that sure sounded good to this 14 year old's family. It's not that TRACY was a favourite, but we did get the Chicago Sunday Tribune and were familiar and could get much more closely acquainted.There had been Dick Tracy adaptations before. He sold a lot of Comic Books and Big Little Books. He was the starring in 4 1930's-40's Republic Pictures' Serials, 4 RKO Series "B" Movies and a short lived 1950's DICK TRACY live action Television Series. So, great, he would be welcomed with open arms! Well, to our surprise the Dick Tracy UPA Cartoons were just about an equivalent to their MR.MAGOO TV Cartoons(not the Theatrical releases). Of course there is nothing intrinsically evil or even dis likable about The MAGOO TV productions; but we never expected such similarities.Chester Gould's DICK TRACY(1931-Present)had long been called "the best written and worst drawn strip in the Newspapers." He made use of the bizarre, the crude, the evil in creating colorful foes for Tracy to battle. Bad Guy Characters had Names that were indicative of physical attributes and habitual behaviour. Hence we saw Prune Face, Flat Top, The Mole, Mumbles, The Brow, etc.* Most of these villainous foes were used in the cartoons, but in twosomes. The greatest divergence from the Strip was an army of Tracy Deputies such as Jaspanese Detective-"Joe Jitsu", Mexican Sleuth-"Go-Go Gomez", "Heap O'Calorie"-a human caricature obviously inspired by Actor/Funnyman Andy Divine and "Shemlock Sholmes"(a talking, cockney accented English Bulldog and his "Retouchables" an animated Keystone Kop Knockoff.There was surely no skimping on the acting talents assembled. The voices were provided by the cream of the Voice Actor Fraternity. Names like Mel Blanc, Paul Frees, Jerry Hausner and Johnny Coons** were numbered among the creative talents featured. They were joined by veteran screen Comedian and Dialectician Supreme, Benny Rubin. And the voice of Dick Tracy was provided by distinguished Actor, former member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre of the Air, Everett Sloane!(Honest, you can look it up yourself!)* Not only did the bad guys get such descriptive monikers. After Tracy's 1st partner, Pat Patton was promoted to Chief of Police, his 2nd partner was introduced, Sam Ketcham! 2 regular supporting characters, a man & woman Hobo pair were aptly named "B.O.Plenty & Gravel Gertie"and later after marriage, they had a daughter, "Sparkle Plenty." Others included Tracy's Girlfriend & later Wife, "Tess Trueheart" and Shakespearian Actor and Health Fanatic, the John Barrymoreesque, "Vitamin Flintheart". ** "Uncle"Johnny Coons had long been a top Kiddie TV Host/Performer in the Chicago Market. He had won the local Emmy and maybe even a Peabody(?) for Children's Television. It was he of the famous on air flub when, thinking he was off said the immortal words, "There, that out to hold the little bastards for another day!" He made a quick exit to the L.A area, working in TV, Commercials and in voice acting for people like UPA.
theowinthrop The television generation grew up with one innovation that it's predecessor did not have - cartoons from Windsor McKay through Walt Disney, through Walter Lanz, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and the rest were meant for adults. They were designed to appeal (with in jokes and commentaries) about current events. When Bugs Bunny confronts a gremlin in a U.S. bomber the gremlin is trying to destroy, Bugs looks at the camera (figuratively speaking) and says (while the gremlin is sneaking in the back), "You don't suppose that is a "gremlin"?" The gremlin grabs one of Bug's ears, and yells, "WELL IT AIN'T WENDELL WILKIE!!". The fact is that an audience of kids born from 1945 onward would never hear of the Republican Presidential Candidate, until he or she took an in depth 20th Century American History Course.The baby boomers did enjoy the knockabout and silliness of Woody Woodpecker, or Bugs Bunny, or Donald Duck and Goofy. But the shows that were on television in the daytime to comfort the kiddies did have jokes that were twenty years old or so. So new cartoons were needed, and for the first time the cartoons were designed for kids.Unfortunately, this meant that the producers, directors, and writers of cartoons (thinking they were doing something good) "dumbed down" the cartoons. Not all of them. There was the marvelous Rocky and Bullwinkel . Some of the Heckyll and Jeckyll were good. But Harvey's dismal Casper, Wendy, Herman and Catnip, Little Lotta cartoons repeated the same stupid situations again and again. And they were not alone. I hate to add that Hanna Barbera did trends (imitaing classic comedians like Joe E. Brown as "Peter Potomus" or Bert Lahr as "Snagglepuss) that were tiresome after awhile. But then there were occasional glimmers of originality by H-B. They did create the first cartoon series (and successful one) that played at night - THE FLINTSTONES. But even that was a cartoon version of THE HONEYMOONERS* (*To be fair, Chuck Jones did a series of cartoons about mouse characters like Ralph, Alice, Norton, and Trixie. It was set in Brooklyn, and called THE HONEYMOUSERS. But it was only three cartoons, for theatrical release.) This series appeared in 1961, and it was good for the undemanding infant, like myself. In retrospect, after reading the old Chester Gould comic strips, it was dreadful. As was pointed out in another reviews the characters of the villains were all lone wolves against the police. And with good reason - they had different criminal activities. The Mole (before he reformed) kept an underground hiding place for fugitive criminals. Pruneface (and separately, the Brow) were Nazi agents (the Brow would be killed when he was impaled on a flagpole with an American flag on it - quite symbolic). Flattop (named for the nicknames of the aircraft carriers of World War II) was the first killer for hire in a detective comic strip. Beebee Eyes was running a stolen rubber business (it was war time - and rubber was a commodity the government needed). In trying to flee from Tracy, Beebee Eyes hides on a barge, and when the garbage is dumped a tire falls around his arms, pinning them to his side - so that he drowns.The most odd change (actually by Gould) was Stooge Villiers. Originally he was a highly skilled pickpocket hired to frame Tracy for theft. Then he became a rival for Tess Truheart - but he gradually is exposed, but instead of dropping his rivalry he kept returning, as a bigger and bigger criminal. It never really made sense.Gould was trying to make his comic a weekly morality story, where crime does not pay. The results were quite good, even if his names resembled the stick figures of John Bunyan's PILGRIM'S PROGRESS (for example, a man who gets his way by giving money to politicians is Mr. Bribery).The show dumbed down the comic considerably. Besides pairing off the criminals, the detectives were never Tracy, but four caricatures that were silly. Hemlock Sholmes (a talking British dog - he sounds, badly, like Cary Grant), Joe Jujitsu (a Japanes Detective who was a whiz at judo), Go - Go Gomez who was a super-fast Mexican (complete with sombrero). He was a steal from Chuck Jones' Speedy Gonzalez, although Speedy was a mouse. Finally there was Heep O'Calorie, a fat cop who used his prodigious belly as a weapon,(his voice sounded like Andy Devine). With Sholmes, there was a "Keystone Cops" group who "aided" him. Tracy would (as was mentioned on this thread elsewhere) get an assignment on his intercom from an unnamed chief, and pass it to one of the four detectives via his two way radio. They always beat the bad guys - but that was expected for the cartoons for the kiddies.I saw it when Chuck McCann was doing a Sunday morning show for kids in the New York Metropolitan area. McCann's show, LET'S HAVE FUN, had these cartoons, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and other programs mixed in. And he would come out (for the Dick Tracy segment) as Tracy, to a theme song: "Dick Tracy. He's got a bulldog jaw. Dick Tracy. For he's the arm of the law. Dick Tracy. You must do what he'd say: Crime doesn't ever pay." That was not the theme of the DICK TRACY SHOW, but it was for McCann, who would shake his finger at the viewers when they were told that Crime never paid. These days it seems rather feeble, but McCann was enjoying his performance, and it did lead into the cartoons. Fortunately they ended soon enough to make way for Bud and Lou or Moe, Larry, and Curley.Hardly great cartooning. Hence it's lack of revival on television.
Puck-20 This goes way back; I watched this in the very early 60's. It was quite faithful to the strip, as I remember. The episodes started out the same: Tracy calling one of his cops [Hemlock Holmes, more often than not] on his TV wristwatch. The episode would revolve around the not-too competent Hemlock and the Keystone Kops trying to get the bad guys, which they would invariably do. I still remember the final shot of the show, the timpani pounding out the theme, and a high overhead shot of a busy city intersection, looking at all the ant-like cars letting a police car go by...then continuing on their way as it passed.What made this show interesting were the voices. Everett Sloane [Citizen Kane] was Tracy...but it also had such greats as Mel Blanc and Paul Frees, Jerry Housner [I Love Lucy] and Benny Rubin [Citizen Kane]...I don't recall this show being shown since the mid-sixties. I hope they bring it back.