|Written by||Larz Bourne
|Directed by||William Hanna
|Voices of||Daws Butler
|Narrated by||Dave Willock|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||17 (34 segments)|
|Running time||20 minutes|
|Original release||September 14, 1968– January 4, 1969|
|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. The series, inspired by the 1965 slapstick comedy film The Great Race,[dubious ] features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout North America, 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.
The villains (and also the stars) of the series, in a purple, rocket-powered car with an abundance of concealed weapons and the ability to fly. 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 saw victory.
The other racers include The Slag Brothers, two cavemen themed racers. The Gruesome Twosome, who are monsters. Professor Pat Pending, who is a scientist. The Red Max in a car/plane hybrid. Penelope Pitstop as the lone female in a 1930s racing costume. Sergeant Blast who have a army tank/jeep hybrid with a small steamroller‘s wheel attached to the front. The Ant Hill Mob who are gangsters. The Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear who is a hillbilly and his pet bear. Peter Perfect, a gentlemanly racer. Finally Rufus Ruffcut who is a lumberjack.
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.
- Produced and Directed by: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
- Associate Producers: Alex Lovy, Art Scott
- Story: Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Mike Maltese, Dalton Sandifer
- Story Direction: Art Davis, Earl Klein, Paul Sommer, Irv Spector
- Animation Director: Charles August Nichols
- Production Design: Iwao Takamoto
- Production Coordinator: Victor O. Schipek
- Character Design: Jerry Eisenberg
- Daws Butler – Rock Slag, Big Gruesome, Red Max, Sergeant Blast, Peter Perfect, Rufus Ruffcut
- Don Messick – Muttley, Professor Pat Pending, Gravel Slag, Little Gruesome, Ring-a-Ding, Sawtooth
- John Stephenson – Luke and Blubber Bear
- Janet Waldo – Penelope Pitstop
- Paul Winchell – Dick Dastardly, Private Meekly, Clyde
- Dave Willock – Narrator
|Episode #||Episode title||Original airdate|
|WR-1||See-Saw to Arkansas (35–1)
Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist (35–2)
|WR-2||Why Oh Why Wyoming (35–3)||9/21/1968|
|WR-3||Mish-Mash Missouri Dash (35–6)||9/28/1968|
|WR-4||Baja-Ha-Ha Race (35–11)
Real Gone Ape (35–8)
|WR-5||Scout Scatter (35–7)
Free Wheeling to Wheeling (35–10)
|WR-6||By Rollercoaster to Upsan Downs (35–9)
The Speedy Arkansas Traveler (35–12)
|WR-7||The Zippy Mississippi Race (35–15)
Traffic Jambalaya (35–17)
|WR-8||Hot Race at Chillicothe (35–16)
The Wrong Lumber Race (35–18)
|WR-9||Rhode Island Road Race (35–19)
The Great Cold Rush Race (35–13)
|WR-10||Wacky Race to Ripsaw (35–20)
Oils Well That Ends Well (35–21)
|WR-11||Whizzin' to Washington (35–22)
The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby (35–24)
|WR-12||Eeny, Miny Missouri Go! (35–14)
The Super Silly Swamp Sprint (35–23)
|WR-13||The Dopey Dakota Derby (35–27)
Dash to Delaware (35–26)
|WR-14||Speeding for Smogland (35–28)
Race Rally to Raleigh (35–25)
|WR-15||Ballpoint, Penn. or Bust! (35–30)
Fast Track to Hackensack (35–29)
|WR-16||The Ski Resort Road Race (35–33)
Overseas Hi-Way Race (35–34)
|WR-17||Race to Racine (35–31)
The Carlsbad or Bust Bash (35–32)
Spin-offs and similar series
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.
Various video games based on the series have been produced.
- Wacky Races (1991)
- Wacky Races (2000)
- Wacky Races Starring Dastardly and Muttley
- Wacky Races: Mad Motors
- Wacky Races: Crash and Dash
Home media releases
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||
Non-English language titles
- 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)
- "Wacky Races – The Complete Series". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- John V. Schmidt. "September 14th, 1968.". Hot Ink. Retrieved December 9, 2013.[unreliable source?]
- 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.
|Look up Appendix:Hanna-Barbera in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|