Shirt Tales

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Shirt Tales
Genre Saturday morning cartoon series
Directed by Ray Patterson (Supervising)
Oscar Dufau
George Gordon
Bob Hathcock
Carl Urbano
John Walker
Rudy Zamora
Voices of Nancy Cartwright
Bob Ogle
Patricia Parris
Steve Schatzberg
Ronnie Schell
Fred Travalena
Herb Vigran
William Woodson
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 46
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Iwao Takamoto
Kay Wright
Running time 30 min.
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 Shirt Tale line of greeting cards with animal characters wearing T-shirts upon which was a message. The Shirt Tale 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 13 episodes in season one, ten episodes were created for season two. 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 the first season Rick appeared to be the de facto leader. In the second season, Tyg appeared to be the leader. Also several stories in season two 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. Shirt Tales continues to be broadcast in selected countries around the world, including Boomerang.


Season 1[edit]

Title Air date
1 "The Case of the Golden Armor / Crumpling's Circus Caper" November 28, 1982
2 "Shirt Napped / Game Masters" December 4, 1982
3 "Elephant on the Loose / The Big Foot Incident" December 11, 1982
4 "Horsin' Around / The Humbolt Ghost" December 18, 1982
5 "Mission Mutt / Vacation for Dinkel" December 25, 1982
6 "Digger Runs Away / Wingman" January 1, 1983
7 "Figby, the Spoiled Brat Cat / The Commissioner is Missing" January 8, 1983
8 "The Terrible Termites / Raiders of the Lost Shark" January 15, 1983
9 "Moving Time / Back to Nature" January 22, 1983
10 "Save the Park / Pam-dora's Box" January 29, 1983
11 "Hapless Hound / Nearsighted Bear" February 6, 1983
12 "The Magical Musical Caper / The Very Buried Treasure" February 13, 1983
13 "Dinkel's Ark / The Duke of Dinkel" February 20, 1983

Season 2[edit]

Title Air date
14 "Bogey Goes Ape / Digger's Three Wishes" November 14, 1983
15 "The Rain, the Park and the Robot / Digger's Double" November 21, 1983
16 "Kip's Dragon / Taj Mahal Tyg" November 28, 1983
17 "Double Exposure / The Outer Space Connection" December 05, 1983
18 "Brass Bogey / The Forbidden Island" December 12, 1983
19 "T.J.'s Visit / Pleasure Valley" December 19, 1983
20 "Saturday Night Shirt Tales / Kip's Toy Caper" January 09, 1984
21 "Dinkel's Buddy / The Big Set-up" January 16, 1984
22 "The Ghost Out West / Dinkel's Gift" January 23, 1984
23 "Mayhem on the Orient Express / The Cuckoo Count Caper" 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]