Fantastic Max

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To be distinguished from the 90s cartoon Mighty Max.
Fantastic Max
Fantastic-max.jpg
Genre Animated
Created by Kalisto Ltd.
Written by Kristina Luckey
Judy Rothman Rofé
Voices of Ben Ryan Ganger
Nancy Cartwright
Gregg Berger
Elisabeth Harnois
Paul Eiding
Gail Matthius
Don Messick
Benji Gregory
Composer(s) Michael Tavera
Country of origin United States
United Kingdom
Wales
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Charles Grosvenor
Mike Young
John Parkinson
Running time 22 min. (approx.)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Kalisto Ltd.
Booker PLC
Tanaka Promotion Co.
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Original run September 9, 1988February 1, 1990

Fantastic Max is a 1988–90 animated cartoon series as part of the 4th season of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, created by Kalisto Ltd. and Hanna-Barbera Productions and in association with S4C. It centers on a diaper-wearing toddler with a mohawk named Maxwell "Fantastic Max" Young who has adventures in outer space with two of his toys: FX, a pull string alien doll from a planet called Twinkle-Twinkle, and A.B. Sitter, a C-3PO-like android made of blocks.

History[edit]

Fantastic Max was developed by Judy Rothman and Robin Lyons from Siriol Animation as part of the creation of Kalisto Ltd.. The series was originally called Space Baby before being developed by Mike Young and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions further. In the United States, Fantastic Max ran in syndication for two years as part of the weekly Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera program block. The first episode aired on Sunday September 11, 1988 and the last first-run episode aired on February 1, 1990. Currently, Boomerang airs re-runs of the show on Monday–Friday at 10:30 am. In the UK, the series was broadcast on CBBC, but this time all the episodes were split into two parts.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

  • Maxwell "Fantastic Max" Young – A baby who was given the abilities of speech and intellect by FX. Max is very brave and adventurous, but his actions often wind him up in trouble. Nevertheless, Max cares for his friends and the people he meets. His catchphrase is "Dirty Diapers!" which he exclaims whenever things go wrong.
  • FX – An alien doll with magical powers that can create virtually anything, such as a baby-bottle-shaped rocket out of sand which Max uses to travel through space. He is Max's best friend, as shown in "Back to Twinkle, Twinkle" where he was crying after being separated from Max. His catchphrase is "Rocket and Roll!" which is also the command for using his powers.
  • A.B. Sitter – A toy robot who was brought to life by FX, and his origins were explained in the episode "Straight Flush". He is often trying hard to keep Max out of danger, but it seldom works and he often ends up annoying Max. AB doesn't enjoy going in outer space as much as the others, but he goes anyway in order to keep Max out of trouble. He provides most of the mature humor in the show. He also has the fewest episodes dedicated to him as a whole.
  • Zoe Young – Max's older sister who is occasionally dragged into her brother's adventures. Max doesn't think very highly of her, and often calls her dumb. She is rivals with her next door neighbor, Ben. She frequently becomes suspicious of her brother's travels, but Max puts her to sleep so she can't reveal their secret. She is usually reprimanded (and grounded) at the end of Max's travels, especially by her strict Dad, for her impish and mischievous behavior.
  • Mrs. and Mr. Young – Max's parents who are completely oblivious to their infant son's true personality. They seem to pay a lot more attention to Max than Zoe. Their faces and backs of their heads are never seen at all.
  • King Klutzes – A jovial knight with an orange goatee (and mustache to go with his goatee) who rode a white horse and befriended Max, A.B. and FX when they were lost. He needed their assistance for a riddle involving dragons and the answer, not given until near the end of the episode, was "a zipper". He only appears in "Stitches in Time".
  • Rooty the Carrot – A giant carrot from a planet inhabited by vegetables, he was taken by Zoe and entered in a carrot growing contest. He enlisted Max's help to escape from a giant rabbit named Fatso who wanted to eat him. He eventually returned to his planet at the end of the episode. His only appearance was in "Carrot Encounter of the Third Kind".

Villains[edit]

  • Bronx – (voiced by unknown) A ringmaster. Only appearance was "Monkey See, Monkey Zoo".
  • Goldie – A space gypsy. Only appearance was "All in a Babe's Work". His catchphrase was "Goldie the (laughs) Space Gypsy" while gypsy-style music played in the background. He is even seen with two other space gypsy subordinates: Cosmo (voiced by unknown) and Gar. Gar's name is only mentioned once by Goldie himself and, apart from only having one scene, where he fires Max and the gang with a gypsy gun filled with whipped cream vermicelli and speaks no lines, is only given a mere background appearance. Of course, Cosmo and Gar only appear in that one episode.
  • Dumping Jack Trash – A garbage man who always spoke in rhyme. Only appearances in Season 1 were "Back to Twinkle, Twinkle", "Attack of the Cubic Rubes", and "Beach Blanket Baby", and "Puzzle, Puzzle, Toil and Trouble" in Season 2. He was used to replace Texas Pete from SuperTed when that cartoon phased out in 1988; thereby, like when older characters are dropped and are usually replaced by new characters when it made a sequel show called The Further Adventures of SuperTed, "Beach Blanket Baby" could be the replacement episode in this cartoon for the Superted episode "Superted at the Funfair".
  • XS – FX's mischievous little cousin who first appeared in "Cooking Mother Goose". He appears in "Boo Who"? and "Back to Twinkle Twinkle". He enjoys teasing FX for being easily scared, but in "Boo Who?" he becomes a fraidy-cat. His command for using his powers is "Rock'em and Sock'em!"
  • Amanda – (voiced by unknown) She is Zoe's friend, but she doesn't seem to be since she doesn't believe in superstitions and ridicules Zoe for acting weird. She even walks out on her and is never seen again in the cartoon. Her only appearance is "Cooking Mother Goose".
  • Ben Letterman – Even though he is a main character, his only appearances in series one were "Carrot Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Back to Twinkle, Twinkle". Ben appears in "Boo Who?" and "Ben the Blackmailer" (the only two series two episodes he appeared in) as well. He is the Young's next door neighbor, and is Zoe's rival. Max, FX and A.B. don't like him very much as he is always bothering them and he is a boaster; plus, he plays all sorts of mean tricks on them. According to Max, Ben is a bigger jerk than Zoe.
  • Fatso – A big rabbit from another planet that wants to carrotnap Rooty and eat him. His name is pronounced "FahZo" (the t is silent) and his only appearance was in "Carrot Encounters of the Third Kind".
  • Evil, nasty, bad-tempered, spiteful, etc. pirate – (voiced by unknown) Self-explanatory, his only appearance was in "Beach Blanket Baby". He is referred to as 'Magellan the Cloud Keeper'. He's so nasty tempered, he refused to help Max, AB, FX and the mermaid (as well as the seahorse), when the beach was about to dry.
  • Pumpernickel – (voiced by unknown) An evil wizard with black hair and a black mustache who tortured the village peasants to pay him by using the dragon as an incentive. He had a pet raven (named "Blackie") who could talk and tried to take over the whole world especially after imprisoning Max and the gang. The only episode featuring him (and Blackie, for that matter) was "Stitches in Time". He also hates pumpernickel bread. As said at the beginning, rather than the traditional long white beard and hair, this evil wizard has only a mustache and has black hair.
  • Mr. Tartar – A plump villain sporting bling and a blond quiff, who appears with his robot sidekick Mr Wrenchley in the episode "To Tell the Tooth". Tartar is "the most popular man in Tartarville" a town where teeth feature as prominent icons – for example, the buildings all appear to have been constructed in the image of giant molars. Despite the generous and likable image he has cultivated, he has captured the Tooth Fairy and is stealing teeth from under children's pillows with the intention of having her turn them into cash so he can become the richest man in the Galaxy.
  • Sticky Wicket - A toy designer who kidnaps FX and tries to turn him into a toy line. He is fired from his job when the company he worked with decided to turn to making tires, while Wicket objected to the idea. He began advertising for cookies called Wicky-Biscuits as his new job.
  • Unnamed Villain - This villain, only appearing in Movie Star Max has waited a long time for Max's film festival. During Max's speech after winning the Maxie award, the villain snatches his diaper (as he claims it to be the galaxy's greatest souvenir), embarrassing Max in front of the whole crowd, covering himself with the award. Max later claims that "the joke's on him" when FX asks if he should look for whoever stole his diaper, probably meaning the diaper was dirty.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1988)[edit]

# Title Original broadcast date Plot of episode
1 "The Loon in the Moon" 17 September 1988 A.B. is frustrated because Max never listens to him, so he suggests that Max create a new plastic parent – so he does.
2 "Toys will be Toys" 24 September 1988 A toy manufacturer named Sticky Wicket can't think of a new idea for a toy, so he steals FX and pretends to have invented him.
3 "All in a Babe's Work" 1 October 1988 Max is bored when he has to spend all day in a day care center, so he takes his baby friends into space.
4 "The Big Sleep" 8 October 1988 FX's cord gets pulled out of shape and ruins his voice, so the gang goes back to Twinkle Twinkle in search of his doctor to fix it.
5 "Attack of the Cubic Rubes" 15 October 1988 Max takes A.B. and FX to colorless planets (literally) with crayons, but after they meet color lovers Alan and Neil, things get out of hand.
6 "Monkey See, Monkey Zoo" 22 October 1988 The gang visits an interplanetary circus and discovers that the ringmaster had kidnapped the animals and is making them perform against their will.
7 "Cooking Mother's Goose" 29 October 1988 Max is bored with fairy tales until the gang goes into storybook world. Things are fine until FX's mischievous cousin, XS, comes along and makes everyone dance to music--which distracts them from their duties.
8 "Journey to the Center of my Sister" 5 November 1988 Zoe gets plagued with Nasal Bathrobe, the virus from Osirus, on the day of her birthday party. By order of Agent Wally, Max and company have to capture the virus or else they'll never go into outer space again.
9 "Carrot Encounters of the Third Kind" 12 November 1988 Zoe grows a giant carrot for a vegetable competition, but the carrot, named Rooty, appears to be alive. He enlists Max's help to save him from a rabbit named Fatso, who wants to eat him.
10 "The Baby Who Fell to Earth" 19 November 1988
11 "Beach Blanket Baby" 26 November 1988 Max and his friends enlist the help of Dumpin' Jack Trash to help find the plug of planet Beachball before it drifts fatally close to the sun.
12 "Stitches in Time" 3 December 1988 The gang takes Stitches through time via the rocket, but Stitches is a baby at heart, which gets him into trouble.
13 "From Here to Twinkle, Twinkle" 10 December 1988 FX is deeply homesick so he ponders going back home to Twinkle Twinkle, but Max is reluctant to let him go.

Season 2 (1989)[edit]

# Title Original broadcast date Plot of episode
1 "Boo Who?" 29 October 1989
2 "Ben, the Blackmailer" (Dish Network's description lists this episode as "Beh, the Blackmailer") 5 November 1989 Ben videotapes Max's latest trip into space, and he blackmails Max into letting him come along on the next voyage in exchange for his silence.
3 "Cowboy Max" 12 November 1989 Max's latest babysitter turns out to be Hoo Jipson, a famous outer space rodeo star.
4 "Straight Flush" 19 November 1989 A.B.'s body is stolen by a plumber. When they go on an adventure, the plumber and Max trade, when the plumber finds a rare "hairball extractor". Then A.B. gets his body again. A.B. tells Max about being the baby, then Max says that FX and Max were born before him, so technically, Max says that A.B. is the baby, so they dress him as a baby. Max says that he and FX decide when A.B. sleeps. (The show breaks the 4th wall when A.B. talks about all the body jokes in the episode, and he says that they don't have to force it. Then Max gets the idea of faucet.).
5 "Rats Like Us" 26 November 1989 While visiting Buckyland theme park, Max and company encounter a friendly family of rats who are desperate for food, and they in turn do what they can to help.
6 "Grab Bag Rag" 3 December 1989
7 "Movie Star Max" 10 December 1989 Max attends a film festival with himself as the main attraction.
8 "To Tell the Tooth" 17 December 1989 The gang goes after the tooth fairy after s/he takes Max's tooth from under his pillow and doesn't leave him any money.
9 "Dr. Max and Baby Hyde" 24 December 1989
10 "Guess Who's Coming to Dinar" 31 December 1990
11 "A. B. Phone Home" 7 January 1990 Max's constant crank telephone calls result in a long bill, and he has to work at an interplanetary phone company to pay it off.
12 "Puzzle Puzzle Toil and Trouble" 14 January 1990
13 "Blarney Fife" (an obvious reference to Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show) 21 January 1990 After an accident, A.B.'s foot squeaks, so the gang travels to Ireland to find a good cobbler. The cobbler they find is a leprechaun named Blarney Fife who is trying to keep the map to Leprechaun Land from a greedy sneak named Pete O'Moss.

Cast[edit]

Additional Voices[edit]

Home Media releases[edit]

There's yet no plans for a remastered DVD of the complete series from Warner Archive.

External links[edit]