The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan

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The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
Chan clan.jpg
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan title card.
Genre Cartoon series
Created by Earl Derr Biggers (character)
Written by Dennis Marks
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of (See article)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Production
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 30 min.
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 9, 1972 – December 30, 1972

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (sometimes abbreviated as The Amazing Chan Clan) is a 1972 TV series made by Australia's Eric Porter Studios for American studio Hanna-Barbera Productions and network CBS. It premiered shortly after what would have been Charlie Chan creator Earl Derr Biggers' 88th birthday. The voice of Mr. Chan, Keye Luke is the only actor of Chinese ancestry to play the title character in any screen adaptation.

Overview[edit]

In this series, Mr. Chan (whose first name is never given, except in one episode title), his children and their dog Chu Chu solve mysteries around the city, with the children helping their father in every episode (or at least trying to). They traveled in a van which could be transformed into other vehicles (much like Hong Kong Phooey's Phooeymobile, courtesy of Chan's fourth son, Alan, a mechanical genius) with the push of a button. The older children also had their own music group, The Chan Clan; every episode featured a song, either being played over the action or with the characters playing various instruments and performing. Vocals for the group were provided by former Archies lead singer Ron Dante, with music supervision by Don Kirshner (who had supervised the music for The Archie Show).

Most of the voices of the children were recast almost immediately, as it was deemed that their (original) thick accents would be too confusing for young viewers to understand. With the new cast in place, old episodes were re-dubbed using the new voices. Prolific voice actor Keye Luke - who played Charlie's Number One Son in many of the Charlie Chan movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s - provided the voice for Mr. (Charlie) Chan, thus making him the first actor of true Chinese ancestry to take the role; also thanks to Luke, Charlie now spoke whole sentences (as opposed to the original film series, in which he tended to emit prepositions, articles, pronouns, et al). Prolific voice actor Don Messick, the voice of Papa Smurf, Scooby-Doo and many other characters, provided the voice of the Chan family dog, Chu Chu. Gene Andrusco, who provided the (redubbed) voice of "Flip," went on to be a successful record producer and musician fronting the band Adam Again. Jodie Foster, who provided the (redubbed) voice of Anne, went on to become an Oscar-winning actress, director, producer (The Accused, Little Man Tate, Silence of The Lambs, et al.).

Sixteen episodes were made in all. The show lasted for one season (and was then rerun for a second season) in 1972 on CBS, and is today often rerun on Cartoon Network's sister network, Boomerang. In the original novels by Earl Derr Biggers, Charlie Chan was a widower who worked for the Honolulu police department and had 10 children. No mothers, fathers or in-laws appeared or were mentioned in the Chan Clan series.

Cast of Characters[edit]

  • Mr. Charlie ("The Amazing") Chan: Famous detective and widowed or divorced father of ten. Dressed in a blue suit, tie and fedora hat. Often finds whatever case-solving clues his children may have overlooked.
  • Henry Chan: The eldest of Charlie's ten offspring. A relatively mature hunk, and a natural leader for his siblings in their dad's absence. Wearing an orange turtleneck shirt, he's the drummer for the Chan kids' band. When the kids split up he always goes with Stanley.
  • Stanley Chan: The second eldest Chan offspring and Henry's impulsive. More often than any of the others, he delivers the show's tagline: "Wham-Bam; somebody's (usually in reference to their father's clientele, though on a couple of occasions they've used it on themselves) in a Jam!" Wearing a green shirt, he's a guitarist for his siblings' band. When the kids break into groups he always goes with Henry.
  • Suzie Chan: Charlie's eldest daughter, this sweet and pretty teen is basically a variation on Daphne Blake. She likes to knit and has chronically sore feet. Wearing a turquoise dress, she plays the tambourine for the Chan siblings' band. When the children are in separate units she's usually seen with Alan, Anne, and Tom, but on occasion she's seen with Flip. At one point the middle kids paired off, and she went with Alan.
  • Alan Chan: An inventor/engineer who builds and supplies whatever crime-stopping gadgetry his siblings might need (which their father, on the other hand, rarely needs)...particularly the Chan Van. He wears sunglasses, a purple vest and a pink shirt. He's also part of the horn section (usually playing an oboe, to be precise) for the Chan kids' band. In the first episode he was seen on the drums. When the kids separate into segments, he's usually seen with Suzie, Anne, and Tom, but at one point he joined Nancy and several times he's been seen with Flip. Once when the middle kids paired off he went with Suzie.
  • Anne Chan: A feminist tomboy, she wears an orange-on-white t-shirt with a matching baseball cap. She alternates between guitar and percussion for the kids' band. As far as grouping is concerned, she's usually seen with Suzie, Alan, and Tom, though once she and Tom went off alone. They also went together when the middle kids paired off.
  • Tom Chan: He's the most intellectual of the Chan children. He sometimes talks in scientific terms. He wears black-framed eyeglasses and a brown vest with a white shirt. Trombonist for the Chan kids' band. Is usually seen with Suzie, Alan, and Anne, but at one point went off alone with Anne. When the middle kids paired off, he also went with Anne.
  • Flip Chan: A natural leader to his younger siblings. He's also the most enthusiastic when it comes to helping their dad solve cases. Usually called "Chief" by Scooter. Wears a light-green short-sleeve shirt and porkpie hat. He's usually seen with Nancy, Mimi, and Scooter, though on occasion is seen with his older siblings.
  • Nancy Chan: A robust 9-year-old with a ponytail, and the most accident-prone of the Chan offspring. She's almost always seen with Flip, Mimi, and Scooter, though once committed a caper in the company of Alan and Tom.
  • Mimi Chan: At 7, she's Charlie's youngest daughter and second-youngest offspring. Despite her girly nature, she's prone to bossing Scooter around. Wears a yellow shirt. Usually seen with Flip, Nancy, and Scooter, occasionally she and Scooter go off on their own.
  • Scooter Chan: At 6, he's the youngest and most boyish of the Chan children. Flip's "right arm", and fiercely proud of it. Wears a red shirt. He's usually seen with Flip, Nancy, and Mimi, but occasionally goes off alone with Mimi.
  • Chu Chu: Chan children's pet dog that assists in solving cases and is an expert in making sound effects. Chu Chu can howl like a police car siren whenever the kids in the Chan Van need to get to places very fast. Is usually seen with the four youngest children.

Episodes[edit]

Title Original air date Code
1 "The Crown Jewel Caper" September 9, 1972 (1972-09-09) ACC-1
The Crown Jewels have disappeared from their case.
2 "To Catch a Pitcher" September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16) ACC-2
A famous pitcher is missing and feared kidnapped.
3 "Will the Real Charlie Chan Please Stand Up?" September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30) ACC-3
The Chan Clan must find the impostor who is framing Mr. Chan for the hotel robberies.
4 "The Phantom Sea Thief" September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30) ACC-4
A mysterious thief steals a painting during the Chan Clan's performance aboard a cruise ship.
5 "Eye of the Idol" October 7, 1972 (1972-10-07) ACC-5
A thief uses a smoke bomb to distract the Chan Clan and everyone in the room while he steals a jeweled idol's eye.
6 "Fat Lady Caper" October 14, 1972 (1972-10-14) ACC-6
Dimples the fat lady seems to disappear when a bank robber is on the loose.
7 "Captain Kidd's Doubloons" October 21, 1972 (1972-10-21) ACC-7
The Chan Clan must solve the theft of the doubloons.
8 "Bronze Idol" October 28, 1972 (1972-10-28) ACC-8
A con artist uses an idol statue to trick the villagers into giving it more pearls.
9 "Double Trouble" November 4, 1972 (1972-11-04) ACC-9
Prince Hareem, who plans to be in an auto race, is kidnapped and replaced with an impostor.
10 "The Great Illusion Caper" November 11, 1972 (1972-11-11) ACC-10
A magician's dog has been stolen, and the Chans must help find her.
11 "The Mummy's Tomb" November 18, 1972 (1972-11-18) ACC-11
A golden coffin of a famous pharaoh is stolen.
12 "The Mardi Gras Caper" November 25, 1972 (1972-11-25) ACC-12
A valuable ring is stolen while the Chan Clan is in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
13 "The Gypsy Caper" December 2, 1972 (1972-12-02) ACC-13
A mural has been stolen. While on the case, Stanley accidentally makes Henry swallow a clock.
14 "The Greek Caper" December 9, 1972 (1972-12-09) ACC-14
A statue of the winged goddess Athena is stolen and replaced by a plaster copy. Mr. Chan enlists Alan's help to find it.
15 "White Elephant" December 16, 1972 (1972-12-16) ACC-15
The Maharaja's white elephant Sing Ha disappears from the elephant enclosure when they are feeding it, and is feared stolen.
16 "Scotland Yard" December 30, 1972 (1972-12-30) ACC-16
A priceless stone called the Stone of Scone is stolen and the Chan Clan must help get it back.

Voice Cast[edit]

Original voice Cast[edit]

  • Debbie Jue — Nancy Chan
  • Jay Jay Jue — Flip Chan
  • Leslie Juwai — Mimi Chan
  • Leslie Kumamota — Anne Chan
  • Virginia Ann Lee — Suzie Chan
  • Michael Takamoto — Tom Chan
  • Robin Toma — Scooter Chan
  • Stephen Wong[disambiguation needed] — Stanley Chan

Re dubbed voice Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

Don Kirshner produced the songs for the show as he did for The Monkees and The Archie Show. Singer Ron Dante supplies the singing voice of Stanley as he did for Archie on The Archie Show.

Comic book[edit]

At about the same time that the show came out, Gold Key Comics produced a comic book series based on the program, with artwork by Warren Tufts; it only lasted four issues. The first issue (an adaptation of the first episode) was written by Mark Evanier and was "the first comic book script of mine to make it to print in English".[1]

Other media[edit]

  • The Chans appear in an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, as a Japanese band called "Shoyu Weenie" who sued another band ("The Neptunes" from the Jabberjaw animated series) for plagiarism. "Shoyu Weenie" with Mr. Chan as their semi-tyrannical band manager. Shoyu Weenie only speak Japanese, even though they are Chinese.
  • In episodes from Krypto the Superdog including "Up, Up, and Away!", Mimi Chan is in Kevin's class on the field trip to Lex Corp.
  • Susie Chan appears in Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated as a student at the high school.

Home Media releases[edit]

On June 19, 2012, Warner Archive released The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[2] It was made available on Amazon.com starting July 19, for international customers.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]