Production of the animated UPA series began in 1960. The series added several supporting characters to the cast of the episodic adventures. Tracy (voiced by radio and stage performer Everett Sloane) was teamed with such crime fighters as Heap O'Calory (patterned after actor Andy Devine),
Hemlock Holmes (sounding like a bad imitation of Cary Grant), The Retouchable Squad (a Keystone Kops-like group whose name parodied the then popular UntouchablesTV show), and two characters which are now considered politically incorrect due to their unflattering portrayal of racial stereotypes: Jo Jitsu, an Oriental master of Karate and Ju Jitsu, and Go Go Gomez, a Mexican gumshoe who was a master of disguises.
They battled such no-gooders as Sketch Paree and the Mole, Flattop and B. B. Eyes, Stooge Villa and Mumbles, The Brow and Noodles and Pruneface and Itchy. These villains were characterized by their grotesque appearances and mannerisms.
Even though it was titled The Dick Tracy Show, Tracy usually appeared at the beginning of the cartoon to assign the case, then only twice more in each animated segment. Once would be in the middle of the action, when the good guy would shout "Hold everything!" At that point all the action would freeze, and the hero would call Tracy on his two-way wrist radio to fill him in on how things were progressing. The action would resume when Tracy radioed back "...Over and out!" The last time Tracy would be seen was at the end, to praise his men for their "...Good work." On rare occasions Tracy would show up on-screen during the story to get involved.
Originally titled The Adventures of Dick Tracy, the TV cartoons were designed in a flexible format for use with an on-camera, local station host. In New York, on WPIX-TV, long-time local kids show host, "Officer" Joe Bolton hosted Dick Tracy. On WGN-TV, Chicago, the episodes were introduced by Sergeant Pettybone, portrayed by popular local personality Ray Rayner, and Tracer the Dog.
Direction of the130 five-minute cartoons was supervised by Abe Levitow. Segment directors included Ray Patterson, Clyde Geronimi and Brad Case. The series was scripted by many fine storymen from the golden days of animation, including Bob Ogle, Dick Kinney, Al Bertino and Homer Brightman. In addition to Everett Sloane as Tracy, other voices included June Foray, Paul Frees, Jerry Hausner, Joan Gardner, Benny Rubin and, as Go Go Gomez in the pilot only, Mel Blanc.
All 130 episodes of the classic UPA series,
from SonyWonder and ClassicMedia, on DVD.
The Dick Tracy Show- The Complete Animated Series was released on September 26, 2006
Click on the picture above to order this 4 disc box set.
Send comments to:
This Site Originated May 21, 1997.
Updated October 7, 2006
TOON TRACKER © 1997 - 2006