Groovie Goolies – The Saturday “Mourning”
(Horror/Comedy/Animation; aka Sabrina
& The Groovie Goolies)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B
the same time Hanna Barbera and CBS hit with the original Scooby Doo and NBC had a Pop culture classic with Laugh-In, one of its writers (previously
involved with other animation as well) Jack Mendelsohn signed on with Filmation
and helped to create Sabrina & The
Groovie Goolies again involving CBS and another classic hit was born. Filmation was already on a roll with The Archies and decided Sabrina could
be their Goldie Hawn/Munsters’
Marilyn figure in this show about a musically inclined group of monsters who
came up with more puns and jokes than you could shake a box of silver bullets
at. For licensing reasons, her name was
dropped from the title in future reruns and the like, but all her footage
remained in all the episodes.
Superheroes, classic monsters were being sent up all over the place and the fun
side of the counterculture sensibility struck again as we were treated to
Frankie (voiced by Howard Morris doing his best and funniest Boris Karloff),
Drac (F-Troop’s Larry Storch, a
regular cartoon voice actor with underrated comic sense), Wolfie (Morris as a
hip talker), Orville Mummy (Morris), Harvey Kinkle (Don Messick), Bonepart
(Larry D. Mann) and Jane Webb voicing Sabrina, Bella Love-Ghostly, Hagatha,
Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda. And that is
just the beginning of the send-ups of great monsters of the past.
The show is
truly funny and holds up exceptionally well, from its fun art designs, to great
character designs to brilliant use of color.
It captures the heart, soul and (no pun intended) spirit of how those
classic monsters were being celebrated in everything from late-night revivals,
to model kits, to action figures, to costumes, to customized cars and
vans. This is one of the all-time tour
de forces of American TV animation and one of Filmation’s very best-ever
series. Sadly, only 16 shows were
produced, but the joy, energy and hilarity are undiminished and over 35 years
later, it has only become better with age.
How many animated programs from anywhere, especially from the 1970s, can
you say that about?
result was a show that kept Filmation on top and competitive with its
competitors. The great Hal Sutherland
directed, Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer produced, plus then-CBS mastermind
Fred Silverman backed the show up and this 3-DVD set could easily make the show
a huge hit all over again. Anyone who
loves the classic monster from Universal to the rest of the studios will find
this set is a must have!
X 1 image is one of the best we have seen with a Filmation animated series on
DVD and is only a tad soft in enough places to stop it from getting a higher
rating, but I should strongly add that the color in inarguably excellent and
even more vibrant and complex than the DVD case would lead you to believe. What I like about the box art is that it also
still has good color and shows us how enduring the leads are. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is really good and
clean for its age, which helps the gags and the music throughout the show. The combination is very impressive and those
who love the show will be very happy and surprised with the playback quality. The hit version of Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes Love It) that was a Top Ten hit by Daddy
Dewdrop (aka Richard Mondo in 1971 on the Sunflower label) is not here, but the
original is. What can you say about a
show cool enough to have a band called The Rolling Head Stones?
are once again many and include a DVD-ROM section that allows you to read and
print every teleplay script, see the show’s bible guide when it was being
produced under the also-interesting name of The
Kookie Spookies, a sing-a-long for the show’s title song, several stills
galleries, two excellent audio commentary tracks on the first two episodes with
Scheimer, Mendelsohn, Bob Burns (part one) and Darrell McNeil (part two) both hosted
enthusiastically by Wally (Family Guy)
Wingert, liner notes by TV writer/producer Shawn Sheridan in a paper pullout
and an new (and sometimes awkward) 45-minutes long “docu-comedy” on the show
with interviews and some silliness.
all, an all time American animated classic has arrived on DVD and especially if
you have never seen The Groovie Goolies,
this is a must-see and must have. Mendelsohn
alone went on to writer for The New
Scooby-Doo Movies (1972), animated Addams
Family (1973), live-action Shazam!
and (reviewed elsewhere on this site) Hong
Kong Phooey. The other talent stayed
at Filmation, even if they did work outside of the company. Horror fans will want to have this box on the
same shelf as their Universal Horror Classics and all the rest.
- Nicholas Sheffo