The Heathcliff and Dingbat
Show (1980) + Snorks – The
Complete First Season (1984/Warner Archive DVD sets)
Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Episodes: B
NOTE: These titles are only available from Warner Bros. in
their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the links below.
The Heathcliff and Dingbat
The Heathcliff Show ran for a total of 25 episodes from 1980 to 1982; for its first 13
episode season the series was titled The Heathcliff and Dingbat Show. Heathcliff was the star with Dingbat and the
Creeps lending themselves for backup segments.
The series was created by Ruby Spears Productions and was the first
animated series about the sassiest, frassiest, classiest Heathcliff. Before Garfield (Jim Davis; 1978) there was
Heathcliff (George Gately; 1973).
Heathcliff is a tomcat with an attitude
that gets himself into a ton of trouble and high jinks, but always manages to
slide on by. Heathcliff was voiced by
the famous Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc.) who was joined by
a host of other famous voice actors such as Henry Corden, June Foray, Don
Messick, and many more.
The series is awesome and whereas
Heathcliff is named the foremost star, I would argue that Dingbat and The Creeps was a much better done animated
creation. Dingbat was creative
and kooky and 100% created for the Heathcliff animated series; they were
(sadly) replaced by Marmaduke in Season 2.
Dingbat and the Creeps starred Dingbat (a vampire dog), Sparerib (a rotund skeleton who can
morph), and their leader Nobody (a Jack-o-lantern); collectively known as ‘The
Creeps,’ workers for ‘Odd Jobs Inc.’ The
insanely odd and creative concept has the team (in short segments) taking
off-center jobs and using their odd abilities and talents to get out of jams.
I think it is a brilliant set that I am
glad Warner Archives has decided to release in full unedited 13 episode form.
Snorks – The Complete First
The Snorks were the underwater
answer to the Smurfs and though never as popular did have a decent run
airing from 1984 to 1989; airing reruns in syndication for much longer. The concept of the Snorks was created by Belgian
artist Nicolas Broca (not to be confused with Belgian artist Peyo who created
The Smurfs) and was produced for television by Hanna Barbera.
Snorks is not a very deep series (unless you are referring to deep
water!). The Snorks (like The
Smurfs) involves a lot of sentences and events that involve the word
‘snork’ as we watch the underwater crew get into and out of trouble.
I enjoyed Snorks as a child and I
think it holds up nicely to this day.
Both children and adults alike can find something to appreciate about Snorks. Granted the episodes can get a bit
repetitive, the animation is awesomely creative, along with the backstory
(though minimal) given to the characters.
The characters do each seem to fit nicely into a stereotypical role
(like those on The Smurfs), but as children are the main viewing
audience it is understandable. I would
highly recommend this series and can’t wait for future season sets to hit
The episodes included in this set are as
1. Journey to the Source / Hooked on a Feeling
2. Vandal Scandal / The Ugly Yuckfish
3. The Littlest Mermaid / Which Snork Snitched?
4. Allstar's All-Star Band / A Sign of the Tides
5. Now You Seahorse, Now You Don't / Snorkymania
6. Snork Dance / Snork Marks the Spot
7. Junior's Secret / The Blue Coral Necklace
8. Casey and The Doubleheader / Das Boot
9. Snorkin Surf Party / The Snorkness Monster
10.A Snork on the Wild Side / Allstar's Double Trouble
11.Fine Fettered Friends / Time Out for Sissies
12.Me Jo-Jo, You Daffney / The Old Shell Game
13.The King of Kelp / Whale Tales
The picture, sound and extras on these
sets are very similar. The picture on
both series is presented in a 1.37 X 1 full screen image that demonstrates
solid, bright colors, but does have issues with crispness, clarity, and some
dirt/debris from their 35mm film origination.
Overall, both series are a pleasurable viewing experience, but could use
some touching up to take it to the next level.
The sound is adequate but nothing to fantastic as its Dolby 2.0 Mono
track comes all from the front; getting the job done with ease.
Sadly no extras exist on either set,
which would have been nice, but perhaps later seasons will hold something to
To order these titles, go to the following links:
- Michael P. Dougherty II