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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Spy > Action > Espionage > Cool McCool – The Complete Series

Cool McCool – The Complete Series


Picture: B-     Sound: C+     Extras: B     Episodes: C+



The 1960s had a variety of unusual animated series, but if nothing else each had their own style and flare.  New on DVD is Cool McCool: The Complete Series.  Cool McCool features a suave, trench coat wearing detective who is more of a Maxwell Smart (Get Smart) than a Sherlock Holmes.  McCool is constantly messing up, getting into trouble, and is by all means a dunce; but just like Maxwell Smart he always manages to luck out and save the day.  Capitalizing on America’s fascination with superheroes and James bond, Bob Kane (Yes, the same man who brought the world Batman) created Cool McCool to be a bumbling, comically inept detective with all the desire and none of the talent.  Whereas Cool McCool was definitely not the most innovative series of the 1960’s it had a great deal of creativity in voice acting department.


With Cool McCool and his father Harry McCool being voiced by Bob McFadden the rest of the voice acting on the series done by voice actor Chuck McCann, who provided most of the show’s voices from villains to do-gooders.  The series ran from 1966-1969 with 20 shows in all with 2 episodes per show, making for a total of 40 classic episodes.  The series has an animation style like that of Mr. Magoo with a dash of Rocky and Bullwinkle and a cast of villains that could have been torn from the pages of the Batman comics.  Where it is not always captivating, the series is fun and stands the test of time.


The technicals for this particular TV on DVD set are surprisingly good for the cartoon’s age.  The picture is presented in the original 1.33 X 1 Full Screen and for the most part is clear and color balanced.  The problem with the picture, however, is that it does have a degree of blurriness as well as some debris that flies by the screen; this hardly detracts from the viewing experience and is adequate seeing as how the animation is over 40 years old.  The sound is presented in a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, boosting the original monophonic soundtrack.


The sound is adequate for the aging cartoon series, but does sound muffled and distant at times.  The real surprise of this DVD set is the extras.  Extras include two special audio commentaries, two interesting interviews, and one odd music video entitled “The School of McCool.”  The interviews are the real special part of this set; as this reviewer has always said, get interviews while you still can.  Interviews include interesting segments such as “McCann on McCool,” a special interview with the voice of many Cool McCool characters, Chuck McCann.  Another interview also included, “Chatting with Chuck,” centers on all of the work the talented Chuck McCann has done over his long career.  Overall, this set has very good extras and adequate picture and sound.


In the end, for such a classic set the choice is simple.  So pull out your magnifying glass and gear up for Cool McCool: The Complete Series!  I can say these kinds of things because, Danger is my business!


For more on Bob Kane’s other non-Batman animation, Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse is also out there on DVD from A&E.  Kane’s creative output continues to be grossly underrated, but sets like these shows show otherwise.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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