Wacky Races

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Wacky Races
Wacky Races Logo.jpg
Genre Racing
Comedy
Fantasy
Written by Larz Bourne
Dalton Sandifer
Tom Dagenais
Michael Maltese
Directed by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Voices of Paul Winchell
Don Messick
Janet Waldo
Daws Butler
John Stephenson
Dave Willock
Narrated by Dave Willock
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 17 (34 segments)
Production
Producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Editor(s) Richard Allen
Milton Krear
Running time 20 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera
Heatter-Quigley Productions
Release
Original network CBS
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Mono
Original release September 14, 1968 (1968-09-14) – January 4, 1969 (1969-01-04)
Chronology
Followed by The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (1969–1970)
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines (1969–1970)

Wacky Races is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera.[1] The series, inspired by the 1965 slapstick comedy film The Great Race,[2][dubious ] features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout North America,[3] with each driver hoping to win the title of the "World's Wackiest Racer." The cartoon had a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among the 11 race cars.

Wacky Races ran on CBS from September 14, 1968, to January 4, 1969. 17 episodes were produced, with each episode featuring two different races.

Plot[edit]

The villain of the series drives a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. Dick Dastardly is an archetypal mustache-twirling villain; Muttley is his wheezily snickering dog henchman. Dastardly's usual race strategy revolves around using the Mean Machine's great speed to get ahead of the other racers, and then setting a trap to stop them and maintain the lead; but most of his plans backfire, causing him to fall back into last place. Dastardly never sees victory.

The other racers include

  • The Slag Brothers, Rock and Gravel, in a cavemen-themed racer called the Boulder Mobile;
  • the Gruesome Twosome, who are monsters in the Creepy Coupe;
  • Professor Pat Pending, a scientist, in the Convert-a-Car;
  • the Red Max in a car/plane hybrid;
  • Penelope Pitstop, the lone female, in a 1930s racing costume;
  • Sergeant Blast, in an army tank/jeep hybrid with a small steamroller wheel attached to the front, called the Army Surplus Special;
  • the Ant Hill Mob, gangsters, in the Bulletproof Bomb;
  • Luke, a hillbilly, and Blubber Bear, his pet bear, in the Arkansas Chugabug;
  • Peter Perfect, a gentlemanly racer, in the Turbo Terrific; and finally
  • Rufus Roughcut, a lumberjack, and his companion Sawtooth in the Buzzwagon.

Production[edit]

One of the unused plans for the series was that the races would be part of a live-action quiz show made by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley Productions in which contestants would bet on which Wacky Racer would cross the finish line first. Although the game show concept was eventually scrapped, the series still retained a Hanna-Barbera/Heatter-Quigley dual production credit.

In 1988, a made-for-TV movie, Around the World with the Wacky Racers, was planned as part of Hanna-Barbera's Superstars 10 series of TV movies, but it never got past the concept stage.

Voice cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Episode # Episode title Original airdate
WR-1 See-Saw to Arkansas (35–1)

Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist (35–2)

9/14/1968
WR-2 Why Oh Why Wyoming (35–3)

Beat the Clock to Yellow Rock (35–4)

9/21/1968
WR-3 Mish-Mash Missouri Dash (35–6)

Idaho a Go-Go (35–5)

9/28/1968
WR-4 Baja-Ha-Ha Race (35–11)

Real Gone Ape (35–8)

10/5/1968
WR-5 Scout Scatter (35–7)

Free Wheeling to Wheeling (35–10)

10/12/1968
WR-6 By Rollercoaster to Upsan Downs (35–9)

The Speedy Arkansas Traveler (35–12)

10/19/1968
WR-7 The Zippy Mississippi Race (35–15)

Traffic Jambalaya (35–17)

10/26/1968
WR-8 Hot Race at Chillicothe (35–16)

The Wrong Lumber Race (35–18)

11/2/1968
WR-9 Rhode Island Road Race (35–19)

The Great Cold Rush Race (35–13)

11/9/1968
WR-10 Wacky Race to Ripsaw (35–20)

Oils Well That Ends Well (35–21)

11/16/1968
WR-11 Whizzin' to Washington (35–22)

The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby (35–24)

11/23/1968
WR-12 Eeny, Miny Missouri Go! (35–14)

The Super Silly Swamp Sprint (35–23)

11/30/1968
WR-13 The Dopey Dakota Derby (35–27)

Dash to Delaware (35–26)

12/7/1968
WR-14 Speeding for Smogland (35–28)

Race Rally to Raleigh (35–25)

12/14/1968
WR-15 Ballpoint, Penn. or Bust! (35–30)

Fast Track to Hackensack (35–29)

12/21/1968
WR-16 The Ski Resort Road Race (35–33)

Overseas Hi-Way Race (35–34)

12/28/1968
WR-17 Race to Racine (35–31)

The Carlsbad or Bust Bash (35–32)

1/4/1969

Spin-offs and similar series[edit]

Penelope Pitstop and the Ant Hill Mob were spun off into another cartoon series in 1969 titled The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. In the same year, Dick Dastardly and Muttley were given a spin-off series titled Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. The series is sometimes mistakenly known as Stop the Pigeon, after the show's working title and theme song. Both series ran for two seasons.

In 2006, the pilot for a spin-off series titled Wacky Races Forever was produced for Cartoon Network.[4] The series depicted a roster of both new and returning racers competing against each other. Penelope Pitstop and Peter Perfect had married and created Perfect Industries, the corporate sponsor of the new Wacky Races, whereas their children Parker and Piper competed in the race. Other characters included the Slag Brothers, Professor Pat Pending, a teenage version of the Gruesome Twosome, and Dick Dastardly and Muttley (working for a new villain named Mr. Viceroy, who sought to steal Perfect Industries). The series was not picked up by Cartoon Network.

A new Wacky Races reboot will be released on Boomerang's SVOD service in Spring 2017.[5] It will also air on the Boomerang channel in June 2017.[6]

Video games[edit]

Various video games based on the series have been produced.

Home media releases[edit]

A three-disc DVD release of the complete series was made available in Japan on August 10, 2001, and had both English and Japanese audio. In Britain Warner released a three-disc set with no extra features, which was only available in Virgin Megastores. The complete box set of Wacky Races was released on July 31, 2006 as an HMV exclusive but is essentially the standard Volumes 1–3 with no extras. The Australian release of Volume 1 and 2 was made available in 2005 and Volume 3 released in 2007.

Warner Home Video released the entire series, with commentaries and other extras, in a DVD box set on October 26, 2004. A two and a half-hour VHS video was made available in the 1996. All 34 episodes can be purchased on the iTunes Store.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Wacky Races – The Complete Series 34 October 19, 2004
  • Commentary on various episodes
  • Rearview Mirror: A Look Back at Wacky Races (retrospective documentary)
  • Spin-Out Spin-Offs (featurette on the spin-off shows Dastardly and Muttley and Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop)
  • Wacky Facts Trivia Track (pop-up trivia over episodes "See-Saw to Arkansas and" "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist")

Non-English language titles[edit]

  • Argentina: Los Autos Locos (The Crazy Cars)
  • Brazil: Corrida Maluca (Crazy Race)
  • Croatia: Uvrnute trke (Whirlpool races)
  • France: les Fous du volant (Madmen at the wheel)
  • Germany: Autorennen Total (Total car race)
  • Hungary: Flúgos futam (Wacky race)
  • Italy: Wacky Races/Le Corse Pazze (The Crazy Races)
  • Japan: チキチキマシン猛レース – Chikichikimashin mō rēsu (Chitty Chitty Machine Fierce Race)
  • Poland: Odlotowe wyścigi (Wacky Races)
  • Portugal: A Corrida Mais Louca do Mundo (The World's Craziest Race)
  • Romania: Curse Trăsnite (Crazy racing)
  • Serbia: Уврнуте трке (Whirlpool races)
  • Spain: Los autos locos (The mad cars)
    • Galcian: Os autos tolos (The crazy cars)
    • Catalan: Els cotxes esbojarrats (The crazed cars)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wacky Races – The Complete Series". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  2. ^ John V. Schmidt. "September 14th, 1968.". Hot Ink. Retrieved December 9, 2013. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ Only three of the 34 rallies took place outside the Contiguous United States: one entirely within Baja California; one across a substantial portion of Canada evidently along or near the Trans-Canada Highway; and one across the Canada-US border from Saskatchewan to Oregon.
  4. ^ Wacky Races Forever – Unaired Pilot
  5. ^ http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/boomerang-cartoon-streaming-subscription-time-warner-turner-wb-1202003660/
  6. ^ http://kidscreen.com/2017/03/20/boomerang-takes-ott-content-outside-of-the-us/

External links[edit]