Shirt Tales

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Shirt Tales
Genre Fantasy
Created by Janet Elizabeth Manco (original characters)
Directed by Oscar Dufau
George Gordon
Carl Urbano
John Walker
Rudy Zamora
Bob Hathcock (Season 1 only)
Ray Patterson (supervising director)
Voices of Nancy Cartwright
Robert Allen Ogle
Pat Harris
Steve Schatzberg
Ronnie Schell
Fred Travalena
Herb Vigran
Bill Woodson
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Opening theme "Shirt Tales"
Ending theme "Shirt Tales" (Instrumental)
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 23 (46 segments)
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Kay Wright
Editor(s) Gil Iverson
Running time 22 minutes (whole)
12 minutes (separate)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Original channel NBC
Original run September 18, 1982 (1982-09-18) – January 21, 1984 (1984-01-21)

Shirt Tales are characters that were created in 1980 by greeting card designer Janet Elizabeth Manco, and were featured on Hallmark Cards greeting cards. The characters were adapted into an animated series for television by Hanna-Barbera Productions, which first aired in 1982 on NBC.


Hallmark Cards released the homonymous line of greeting cards with animal characters wearing T-shirts upon which was a message. Those cards were among Hallmark's best sellers at that time, which led the company to team with Hanna-Barbera Productions to adapt the Shirt Tales into a Saturday morning cartoon, which premiered on NBC on September 18, 1982. The card line remained, but faded shortly after the show left broadcast television in 1985.

TV series[edit]

The animated Shirt Tales cartoon featured Tyg Tiger (in orange), Pammy Panda (in pink), Digger Mole (in light blue), Rick Raccoon (in red), and Bogey Orangutan (in green, so called because he spoke using a Humphrey Bogart-style voice). They lived in Oak Tree Park and wore shirts which flashed various brightly lit messages reflecting the characters' thoughts. They spent their time teasing the park ranger, Mr. Dinkle, and battling crime in and out of their hometown of Mid City. They zipped around the world in a vehicle known as the STSST (Shirt Tales' SuperSonic Transport) which could operate as a car, jet, boat, submarine, and other forms of transportation. Though most law enforcement agencies knew of the Shirt Tales as crime fighters by reputation, few people seemed aware that they were talking animals—including Mr. Dinkle, whom the group often had to trick to keep their secret safe.

Each episode was divided into two 11–minute segments. After the success of the thirteen episodes in Season 1, ten episodes were created for Season 2. However, the show was semi-rebooted and Kip Kangaroo (in yellow) was added to the cast of characters without context for her joining the Shirt Tales. There is also a difference in leadership among the Shirt Tales, in which for the first season Rick appeared to be the de facto leader, but in the second season is instead Tyg. Also several stories in Season 2 either omit Rick altogether or give him a minor role in the story. The second season also added some superhero elements to the dynamic of the group as well, most notably the color of all their T-Shirts changing to a Bright Red Color when "Shirt Tale Time" is called for.

Buck Beaver (in whitish blue) helped the Shirt Tales use a tree as a bridge in "The Big Foot Incident" and helped them build an ark in "Dinkel's Ark". In "Moving Time", four cousins from out west were introduced for this episode only: Prairie Dog Pete (in red with black vest), Fillmore Fox (in green), Violett Skunk (in yellow), and Hoozitz Owl (in lavender). In "Back to Nature", Cubby Bear (in red) helped the Shirt Tales when a wild bear had Mr. Dinkle chased up a tree.

Following the initial run on NBC, Shirt Tales aired on CBS during the 1984–1985 Saturday morning season, replacing The Biskitts in their time slot. CBS aired selected episodes from its two-season NBC run until March 23, 1985, when The Biskitts were returned to the time slot for the rest of the 1984–1985 season.

On March 23, 1985, Shirt Tales was pulled from broadcast television for good ("Shirt Tales" was airing on CBS at the time), and the Hallmark franchise faded not long after as well. The show continued for a number of years as part of USA Network's "Cartoon Express" and on Cartoon Network, but also continues to be broadcast in selected countries around the world, including Boomerang.


Season 1[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Written by Original air date
1 1 "The Case of the Golden Armor / Crumpling's Circus Caper" The Case of the Golden Armor: Bob Ogle
Crumpling's Circus Caper: Tom Dagenais
November 28, 1982
2 2 "Shirt Napped / Game Masters" Shirt Napped: Jim Ryan
Game Masters:
December 4, 1982
3 3 "Elephant on the Loose / The Big Foot Incident" Elephant on the Loose: Bob Ogle
The Big Foot Incident: Tom Dagenais
December 11, 1982
4 4 "Horsin' Around / The Humbolt Ghost" Horsin' Around: Bob Ogle
The Humbolt Ghost:
December 18, 1982
5 5 "Mission Mutt / Vacation for Dinkel" Mission Mutt: Jim Ryan
Vacation for Dinkel: Tedd Anasti
December 25, 1982
6 6 "Digger Runs Away / Wingman" January 1, 1983
7 7 "Figby, the Spoiled Brat Cat / The Commissioner Is Missing" January 8, 1983
8 8 "The Terrible Termites / Raiders of the Lost Shark" The Terrible Termites: Jim Ryan
Raiders of the Lost Shark: Tedd Anasti
January 15, 1983
9 9 "Moving Time / Back to Nature" January 22, 1983
10 10 "Save the Park / Pam-dora's Box" January 29, 1983
11 11 "Hapless Hound / Nearsighted Bear" February 6, 1983
12 12 "The Magical Musical Caper / The Very Buried Treasure" February 13, 1983
13 13 "Dinkel's Ark / The Duke of Dinkel" February 20, 1983

Season 2[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Written by Original air date
14 1 "Bogey Goes Ape / Digger's Three Wishes" Bogey Goes Ape: Glenn Leopold
Digger's Three Wishes: Bob Ogle
November 14, 1983
15 2 "The Rain, the Park and the Robot / Digger's Double" The Rain, the Park and the Robot: Glenn Leopold and Cliff Roberts
Digger's Double: Bob Ogle
November 21, 1983
16 3 "Kip's Dragon / Taj Mahal Tyg" Kip's Dragon: David Detiege
Taj Mahal Tyg:
November 28, 1983
17 4 "Double Exposure / The Outer Space Connection" Double Exposure: Jim Ryan
The Outer Space Connection:
December 05, 1983
18 5 "Brass Bogey / The Forbidden Island" Brass Bogey: Bob Ogle
The Forbidden Island: John Bates
December 12, 1983
19 6 "T.J.'s Visit / Pleasure Valley" T.J.'s Visit: David Detiege
Pleasure Valley: Dan DiStefano
December 19, 1983
20 7 "Saturday Night Shirt Tales / Kip's Toy Caper" Saturday Night Shirt Tales: Cynthia Friedlob and John Semper
Kip's Toy Caper: Cynthia Friedlob, Glenn Leopold, Cliff Roberts, and John Semper
January 09, 1984
21 8 "Dinkel's Buddy / The Big Set-up" Dinkel's Buddy: Alan Burnett and Jeff Segal
The Big Set-up: Jim Ryan
January 16, 1984
22 9 "The Ghost Out West / Dinkel's Gift" The Ghost Out West: David Detiege
Dinkel's Gift: Alan Burnett and Jeff Segal
January 23, 1984
23 10 "Mayhem on the Orient Express / The Cuckoo Count Caper" Mayhem on the Orient Express & The Cuckoo Count Caper
Cynthia Friedlob and John Semper
January 30, 1984


Additional voices[edit]

Other media[edit]

There were also two musical book-and-record sets released by K-tel International under the "Castle Rock" imprint: A Song Saves the Park, and Sunrise Surprise. However, both sets use sound-alikes for the voices, and are presented differently from typical read-alongs.

DVD release[edit]

On September 16, 2014, Warner Archive released Shirt Tales: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection.[1]


  1. ^ The Shirt Tales - 'The Complete Series' of the '80s Cartoon is Now on DVD!

External links[edit]