Fangface

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Fangface
FangfaceTitleLogo250x188.jpg
Genre Animation
Created by Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Written by Norman Maurer
Mark Jones
Cliff Ruby
Elana Lesser
Directed by Rudy Larriva
Voices of Frank Welker
Bart Braverman
Susan Blu
Jerry Dexter
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 16 (Season 1, 1978)
16 (Season 2, 1979–80)
Production
Executive producer(s) Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Producer(s) Jerry Eisenberg
Running time 30 minutes (1978)
15 minutes (1979–80)
Production company(s) Ruby-Spears Productions
Distributor Filmways (1978–1981)
Worldvision Enterprises
(1981–1991)
Turner Program Services (1991–1996)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1996–present)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 9, 1978[1] – September 27, 1980

Fangface is a 30-minute Saturday morning cartoon produced by Ruby-Spears Productions for ABC which aired from September 9, 1978 to September 8, 1979. The executive producers were Joe Ruby and Ken Spears.

Fangface[edit]

Highly derivative of Scooby-Doo (which was also created by Ruby and Spears) with a bit of the Tasmanian Devil and I Was A Teenage Werewolf thrown in, Fangface features four teenagers — buff and handsome leader Biff, his brainy and beautiful dusky-skinned girlfriend Kim, short, stocky and pugnacious Puggsy and tall, skinny simpleton Sherman "Fangs" Fangsworth (Puggsy and Fangs being based on Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall of The Bowery Boys fame[2]), the latter of whom transforms into a wildly whirling werewolf named Fangface whenever he sees the moon, a picture of the moon, or anything resembling the moon. Fangface has one large fang in the middle of his upper jaw which protrudes over his lower lip, and he has brown fur with tan paws, muzzle, and lupine tail tip. The four kids drive around in a sleek convertible dune buggy called the Wolf-Buggy[3][4] and catch crooks and solve crimes involving monsters and evil masterminds. Fangs sits in the backseat next to Puggsy, while Fangface rides on Puggsy's shoulders.

Despite the temporary difficulty of Fangface always attacking Puggsy after he first transforms, the gang never hesitates to initiate the transformation to take advantage of the werewolf's power to cope with any danger. Indeed, they often refer to Fangface as their "secret weapon", even though very few people are afraid of him. Fangface and Fangs are unaware of each other, but Fangface lives in the moment, so he never seems to question why he's suddenly in a new place, whereas Fangs is always bewildered upon reversion.

Oddly if perhaps not surprisingly considering how much Puggsy bullies the cowardly Fangs in his weak-willed human form, whenever Fangface sees food or hears a food word like "turkey", he eats Puggsy whole, although he doesn't chew or swallow him and just contentedly leaves him trapped in his hugely bulging chipmunk-like cheeks. The only way to get Puggsy out of Fangface's jaws is for either Biff or Kim to rub Fangface's foot, thereby calming him down and releasing Puggsy.

Another bizarre personality trait is that whenever Fangface sees his reflection in a mirror, he goes completely wild and starts to howl uncontrollably. In this feral state he only relies on instinct, usually to the detriment of Puggsy or whoever else is with him, although even this can sometimes be used to the good guy's advantage, sometimes with an addition of an order given to him, as demonstrated near the ending of A Heap of Trouble, as well as Dr. Lupiter and the Thing from Jupiter, A Creep from the Deep, and Westward Ho to the UFO.

Even though Fangs and Fangface are completely different in their personalities, they have similarities to one another. Fangs and Fangface both wear a backwards-facing orange cap,[5] although the rest of Fangs' clothes disappear when he transforms, and both are loyal friends of Kim, Biff, and Puggsy. Fangs and Fangface also say the phrase "Ooh! Ooh!" (the trademark exclamation of Joe E. Ross) before expressing an idea, as heard in the episode The Evil Design Of Vulture-Man's Mind.

Fangs is basically comic relief on the show having no real use as Fangs and getting changed into Fangface when he's needed, although Fangs does show a spark of use whenever he's super scared. When he's super scared, he loses his normal dimwittedness and comes up with a super good idea to save his super scared neck.

Another interesting occurrence are the barrage of invented words that the character Puggsy says, such as 'scramify' and 'rescuefy' in the episode The Ill-Will Of Dr. Chill, which can be heard throughout the entire series.

In the episode Don't Abra When You Cadabra, it is revealed that Fangs has an uncle named Arnie (rumored to be possibly the baby werewolf Fangpuss's father) and that he runs a video arcade in New York City called Arnie's Arcade.

During Season 1, Fangface would see the sun, or a representation, and transform back to Fangs at inconvenient times, as shown in the episode Space Monster Mishap, long before the gangs' case would be over. As a result, the gang would have to transform him back into Fangface in order to complete their case.

The opening title narration, voiced by John Stephenson,[6] for each episode consists of the following:

Every 400 years, a baby werewolf is born into the Fangsworth family, and so when the moon shined on little Sherman Fangsworth, he changed into Fangface, a werewolf! Only the sun can change him back to normal. And so little Fangs grew up and teamed up with three daring teenagers: Kim, Biff and Puggsy, and together they find danger, excitement and adventure! Who can save the day? Who can wrong the rights and right the wrongs? None other than Fangface!

Sixteen 30-minute episodes of Fangface were produced for the 1978 season from 8:30–9:00 a.m.

When the series first aired, there was no TV Parental Guidelines rating system, but with repeats the show has been rated as TV-G.

Fangface and Fangpuss[edit]

In 1979, the second season titled Fangface and Fangpuss aired as a segment on The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and introduced a new character: Baby Fangs, Fangs' infant cousin who turns into a baby werewolf called Fangpuss (which contradicts the opening narration stating that only one werewolf is born into the family every 400 years, but, of course, that werewolf could be born through another family which may be married to the Fangsworth family). The show remained in the same mystery-adventure style as the first season, but episodes were now shortened to 15-minute segments. Sixteen episodes of Fangface and Fangpuss were produced for the 1979–80 season.

The episodes The Creepy Goon from the Spooky Lagoon and Dr. Lupiter and the Thing from Jupiter are the only season two episodes in which Baby Fangs/Fangpuss did not make an appearance.

Just as Fangs is unaware that he is Fangface, Fangs is also unaware that his cousin, Baby Fangs, is Fangpuss. When Fangs sees Fangpuss, in the episode There Is Nothing Worse Than A Stony Curse, he becomes scared and runs off.

During Season 2, Fangface and Fangpuss would never see the sun, or a representation, as shown in the episode There Is Nothing Worse Than A Stony Curse, and transform back to normal before the gangs' case would be over.

Fangface and Fangpuss ran from September 22, 1979 to September 27, 1980; it then became a separate series in 1981 and, like the original Fangface, ran for just one season. After this series, Fangface and company faded into obscurity until reruns began to air on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

Episodes[edit]

Fangface (1978)[edit]

Title Original air date
1 "A Heap of Trouble" September 9, 1978
Professor Arnos uses his invention to change into a hulking blue Heap creature, and plans on changing everyone on the university's campus into monsters for revenge.
2 "A Creep from the Deep" September 16, 1978
Grueller and his men steal an ancient tablet that will lead them to lost treasure, defying the consequences of its curse.
3 "The Shocking Creature Feature" September 23, 1978
Dr. Cybron, an evil scientist, plans to create numerous energy creatures and use them in his plot to take over the world.
4 "Westward Ho to the UFO" September 30, 1978
A race of spider creatures from space cover the city in webs, trying to take over the world.
5 "The Great Ape Escape" October 7, 1978
Professor Ling is captured by Ape Creatures on the Misty Islands, and its up to the gang to rescue him.
6 "Dinosaur Daze" October 14, 1978
A live Tyranosaurus breaks surface during an earthquake and is being controlled by a mysterious figure. Fangface must stop it before it causes damage to the city.
7 "Don't Abra When You Cadabra" October 21, 1978
Mysto the Magician creates a super wand that can bend buildings over sideways, and with it, he plans to take over the world.
8 "Space Monster Mishap" October 28, 1978
A Space Monster gains entry into a space station and uses a device to drain the minds of the most brilliant scientists.
9 "The Invisible Menace Mix-up" November 4, 1978
The Sky Ghost kidnaps airplane daredevil Su Chang in order to get information on where her uncle hides a valuable black pearl, the only thing that can power his invisibility machine.
10 "The Cuckoo Carnival Calamity" November 11, 1978
The evil swami Zorak uses a control device to turn Harold 'Hal' Hercules into a monster in order to get the world's strongest teenager to help him steal gold.
11 "Begone, You Amazon" November 18, 1978
During a storm, the gang land in the Amazon jungle where Fangface rescues Sheba, an Amazon queen. Fangface and his friends must help her reclaim her throne from her evil cousin, Thera.
12 "Snow Job Jitters" November 25, 1978
The gang's ski-trip turns into a delivery when they help take Charlie (a cat with a formula on how to make synthetic gold hidden on him) to a laboratory while trying to avoid a villain named the Scorpion.
13 "The Goofy Gargoyle Goof-Up" December 2, 1978
The gang go to a Hollywood costume party, where they meet the glamorous Raquel Taylor. Unfortunately, Crula plans on making the actress a bride for her gargoyle.
14 "A Toothy Shark Is No Lark" December 9, 1978
Neptune, a sea-creature from Atlantis, uses a device to control a shark in order to enslave humanity into building him a new empire.
15 "Where's the Wolf That's the Werewolf?" December 16, 1978
A werewolf is stealing the animals in the Jungleland Animal Safari and Fangface is to blame. What they don't know is that a staff member named Zorlaff is stealing the animals using a special potion in order to create a potion that will turn him into different animals.
16 "Don't Get Mean with the Cobra Queen" December 23, 1978
Cobra Queen sends her giant cobra to abduct Gloria Vanderfeller in order to claim her fortune.

Fangface and Fangpuss (1979–80)[edit]

Title Original air date
1 "There Is Nothing Worse Than a Stony Curse" September 22, 1979
The evil Medulla possesses an amulet that gives her the appearance and powers of Medusa. She uses her powers to turn the top scientists to stone and auction them off to the highest bidder.
2 "Evil Guider of the Giant Spider" September 29, 1979
Upon crashing onto Spider Island and an encounter with a giant spider, the group ends up stumbling upon the lab of Dr. Lazarus Web who plans to use a formula to enlarge the insects and take over the world.
3 "Dr. Lupiter and the Thing from Jupiter" October 6, 1979
When astronaut Steve West lands on Jupiter, Dr. Lupiter opens a trap door in the shuttle where the gases of Jupiter turn Steve into a molten monster in a plan to tap the Earth's energy supply.
4 "Who Do the Voodoo" October 13, 1979
Nigel Winslow helps Count Drako escape from prison by using black magic to change Count Drako into a mist monster.
5 "The Creepy Goon from the Spooky Lagoon" October 20, 1979
Dr. Vincent Blackmire has invented a machine that transfer the contents of one's brain to another. The results end up different when he switches the brain contents of a Lagoon Monster with Fangface.
6 "A Scary Affair in the Skullman's Lair" October 27, 1979
A race of Skullmen have kidnapped Professor Ortega and Carmen. They have also shrunken them in a plot to enter a crack in the Earth and retrieve a Skull Coin containing the superpowers of the Skullmen's ancestors.
7 "A Time-Machine Trip to the Pirate's Ship" November 3, 1979
Our heroes are transported in time where they stumble upon pirates led by Ironmask who has plans to rob a Spanish ship.
8 "The Ill-Will of Dr. Chill" November 10, 1979
Dr. Chill uses a heat ray to melt the polar ice caps. He plans to flood the Earth if his demands aren't met.
9 "The Romantic Plot of the She-Wolf Robot" November 17, 1979
Countess Zarla creates a robotic female werewolf to seduce Fangface into helping her steal the Maltese Diamond Cat from its museum.
10 "The Sinister Plan of Lizard Man" November 24, 1979
Lizard Man uses a ray that turns his victims into small reptiles. He uses the device to steal a meteor that will give him enough super-strength to rule the world.
11 "Royal Trouble with the King's Double" December 1, 1979
Count Basil kidnaps King Rudolph to prevent his coronation. Seeing as Puggsy resembles the king, he takes his place while the others rescue the real king.
12 "The Stone-Cold Dragon of Gold" December 8, 1979
A golden dragon statue lies within Hong Kong.
13 "The Evil Design of Vulture-Man's Mind" December 15, 1979
Vulture-Man is abducting Peruvian natives with his giant condor and is making them his slaves to mine for the precious metals located in Vulture Mountain.
14 "The Defiant Casablanca Giant" December 22, 1979
Abdul the Giant captures a nuclear physicist named Zatci Hafid and plans to sell him to aliens in exchange for diamonds.
15 "The Film Fiasco of Director Disastro" December 29, 1979
Disastro is an alien director who plans to make a movie called "The Day the Earth Exploded" with special effects that are too real.
16 "A Goofy Bungle in the Filipino Jungle" January 5, 1980
On the Philippine Islands, a tribe of Filipino Cavemen have been discovered by Zeno, who uses his ring to hypnotize them into stealing Professor Batack's invention which can make a man 100 times stronger than normal.

Voices[edit]

Merchandising and video releases (1978–1986)[edit]

A Parker Brothers board game, titled as "FANGFACE – Parker Brothers' Wacky Werewolf Game", was released in 1979. Peter Pan Records released a Fangface 12-inch LP album in 1979, containing two audio-stories on each side.[7] Other merchandise included a 3D ViewMaster reel set, a plush toy, and a Halloween costume.There was also a sleeping bag. Three episodes of the series, "A Heap of Trouble", "The Great Ape Escape", and "A Creep from the Deep", were released on a 'Fang face VHS videocassette by Worldvision Enterprises in 1983.[8] A second VHS tape, Fangface: Spooky Spoofs, was released in 1986 and contained the episodes "The Shocking Creature Feature" and "Dinosaur Daze".[9] Fangface has not been released on DVD.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 0-8160-6599-3. 
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff: Fangface, Page 412. The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons – 2nd Edition
  3. ^ Fangface View-Master 3D Story Booklet – Page 14
  4. ^ Fangface Series Wolf-Buggy Model Sheet
  5. ^ Fangface Introduction
  6. ^ John Stephenson – Voice Actor Profile at Voice Chasers
  7. ^ Fangface Peter Pan Record #1107
  8. ^ Fangface Worldvision Video 1983 Video Back
  9. ^ Fangface Spooky Spoofs Worldvision Video 1986 VHS Tape

External links[edit]