Topic: Comic Book Movies
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3212:
Today I'm pleased once again to have as guest blogger, Vinnie, who is writing 'His Take' on the Clutch Cargo Vol 7 DVD and the cartoon in general:
[SPOILER ALERT: This whole blog post is a 'Spoiler Alert', but that is because Vinnie goes into some detail in his review blogs. This is more of a review of the collection from a tween's POV.]
My Take On:
The Clutch Cargo Volume 7 on DVD from EastWestDVD!
Yesterday, my dad and I went to a collectible store and bought multiple DVDs, but the only one he opened for us to view was the Clutch Cargo DVD. So, Tina, dad, and I watched the DVD. He told me that he used to watch a few chapters of this cartoon as a child, and 50 years later, I am doing the same thing. This is why he picked this up, and opened it to share with us. Below are my thoughts on the Clutch Cargo Volume 7 DVD.
Because I view modern day cartoons, this looks very outdated. I haven't seen any cartoon in modern days that looked as bad as this, but it is only due to the lack of technology they had back then. Whenever the characters were up close, their eyes wouldn't blink, and they had a real mouth.
It seemed a little creepy as it looked as though they were staring at you, and were talking at whatever was looking at it. If I read the credits correctly, this process was called syncro-vox. Whenever they had character talking, but not up close, they would always conveniently have their mouth hidden by something.
On the DVD, there were 3 episodes, with each episode containing 5 four minute chapters, telling that episode's story. They would have a recap of the previous chapter before the clip and I almost felt that half of the chapter was the recap. Along with that, they kept recycling footage, using it whenever they could so they wouldn't have to produce it again. It was actually kind of funny spotting where they had already used that scene from.
What I found to be very funny, was that when it ended the 3rd collection of episodes, it restarted back from 1, meaning, you could possibly have your child sit there watching it all day without them knowing it was the same thing.
And finally, on the Comic Book Grade Scale, I would give it a 5.5 out of a possible 10.0 scale, which is a FINE MINUS (F-) letter grade.-------------------------------------------
That's the end of the first part of today's guest blog by Vinnie...My thanks to him for sharing here today what we watched this weekend!
If YOU'd like to start viewing these cartoon episodes, here's a good place to start with on Volume 1: Clutch Cargo - Volume 1 !
Also...If YOU liked his review on this DVD, you may enjoy reading his reviews on: The All New Super Friends Hour Season 1 DVD, The Ultimate Underdog Collection Volume 1, Planet Hulk, Coraline, Ponyo, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Sonic the Hedgehog TPB Vol 1, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, just to name a recent few!
Here's my own additional thoughts on this DVD, before we close this blog post:
First of all, this DVD contained Episodes:
#40 'The Missing Mermaid' with chapters 196 - 200.
#44 'Water Wizards' with chapters 216 -220.
And Episode #23 'The Midget Submarine' with chapters #111 - 115.
Figuring that this is a 'fair representation' of the TV Cartoon Series, which had a total of 52 episodes, I want to say this:
I never was able to catch all these episodes when I was younger. I might see a chapter or two, but even then it was very strange at that time to see the talking lips in the cartoons!
Which is why I opened this DVD last night to share with Vinnie and Tina! To let them see what this cartoon series was about. You see, the cartoon had five chapters. Each chapter could be aired on a weekday, and then the 5 compiled in a half hour Saturday morning cartoon show in syndication. It actually makes a lot of sense to recap the previous chapter because a 'real day' would have passed since then.
Not justifying this format, just explaining it to you that haven't viewed this cartoon series before. The sales clerk told me that it wasn't a modern cartoon series before she rung it up, as the rest of the DVDs were anime DVDs. I told her that I understood that, and she explained that her kids were a little disappointed in the format when she opened her copy.
What I found in doing a little more research on this series was the following:
The show was written by Clark Haas, and produced by Cambria Productions. The show used the voices of Richard Cotting who was a radio actor and voiced Clutch, Margaret Kerry who voiced Spinner and Paddlefoot (the Daschund), and Hal Smith who voiced Swampy and others.
An interesting note here...Margaret Kerry has her own web site where she sells a Clutch Cargo cartoon photo card. See this link for that!
And Hal Smith is probably better known as 'Otis' on The Andy Griffith Show!
Historical Note: This show was the first TV show to use the syncro-vox optical system. It had been used for talking animal commercials before that!
As for the 'limited animation' issue. You have to know that what footage the Disney Studio would produce for $250,000 would be produced for only $18,000 by Cambria Productions! Thus the BIG difference in quality!
As a final historical note...Cambria Studios had 2 other syncro-vox TV series! Space Angel in 1962 and then Captain Fathom in 1965. They also had a different type of show in 1965 titled 'The New 3 Stooges Show' without the moving lips feature.
I personally found viewing the DVD a novel yet strange experience. The bongo beat in the theme music was familar, and the moving lips, but I hadn't seen the Saturday compilation shows, so seeing the 5 chapters in each episode run together was a little repetitious in replaying what had gone on in the previous chapter(s). But that isn't the way it was originally presented each weekday!
For comic book fans, would you believe Alex Toth had a hand in this show?! As well as Cambria Productions' Space Angel and Captain Fathom!
I can't end without stating that the syncro-vox was invented by Edwin Gillete, who was a co-partner in the Cambria Productions company.
Clark Haas went on to be associated with Hanna-Barbera, and worked on a few shows, including Super Friends that Vinnie has already blogged about!
My thanks to Vinnie and Tina who watched this DVD with me last night!
AND My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over the 3,210 total posts in number!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
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