I'm not a huge fan of Hanna-barbera but this is just classic stuff. Penry the quiet canine janitor at a police station listens out for distress calls to Rosemary the telephonist, before you knew it he was transformed into the mighty dog-wonder Hong kong phooey. Dressed up in kung-fu regalia he and his striped cat spot would drive around in the phooey mobile solving crime. The phooey mobile would change into whatever was needed with a bang on the magic gong. The beauty of it all was of course that phooey was a blithering idiot in the style of Clouseau who was always rescued by spot the cat. Spot never got any recognition for his work and each episode would end with phooey back as Penry the janitor being shouted at for some blunder by the 'sarge while he daydreamed of his crimefighting skills, all watched on by a headshaking, sighing spot.
The real skill here was getting Scatman Crothers to do the gravel voiced phooey. what could have been just another churned out cartoon became inspired by his ability to find dignity and humour in his character.
I just love this show and it's release on DVD is long overdue.
on 11 September 2008
My 6yr old ADORES this dvd which I got when the martial arts classes proved to be a hit - this is classic 70's cartoon humour at its finest, sadly forgotten about now that technology (and Pixar!) have snowballed.
Of course the quality of the cartoon is as you expect of the 70's and the colour can appear rather dull and grainy - but let's face it, it's OLD! The jokes are still laugh-out-loud-able, though, for all ages.
There is the obligatory, politically correct note on the U certification label: "Contains mild cultural stereotyping" - But bear in mind that this applies to the entire character set (eg. Rosemary the telephone operator, blond, mini-skirted and away with the fairies) and anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see that it is the same stereotyping which remains the backbone of contemporary cartoon pastiche.
This DVD contains 16 episodes, so I would recommend obtaining the 'Complete' DVD if you can get it, rather than buying the 2 separate volumes, purely for convenience.