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Taking My Chances With Chan.

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, May 3, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I did have a Saturday morning agenda in 1972, but "The Amazing Chan And The Chan Clan" wasn't part of it. All I saw at that time was a promotional ad. I think the man said, "The kids cause problems for Charlie Chan, but they never fail to get their man," or something like that, at least. In fact, it took me two years just to see an episode. I did so on Sunday, September 22, 1974--the day the show was cancelled! I vowed that never again would I put off seeing a Hanna-Barbera cartoon until the show's final air date. In this episode, the ten kids set their own traps to catch the bad guys, but caught one another instead. It was a riot.

    Luckily, I had the chance to make up for my costly error when the show entered syndication a few years later. I didn't know what I was missing. The songs were great, and the mysteries intriguing. Yes, the show was nothing like the old Charlie Chan movies, but give H-B a break. They were trying to make it as early 70's as possible. How else do you explain lines like "Wham! Bam! We're in a jam?"

    And my reason for skipping it wasn't due to prejudice against Asians. I was just plain stubborn, and going through angst and depression back then.
  2. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    This is another clone of Hanna-Barbera's flagship series Scooby Doo Where Are You? However, in the Chan Clan's iteration, the creators were looking to break out of the lily-white character mold, and to focus more on deductive reasoning to solve the mystery, as though Velma were in charge things rather than Freddie. It was also a way to angle into the Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew teen mystery dramas that were big at the time. Further, it made for a fine demonstration of observation and deduction: essential Sherlock Holmes skills, workable to grade schoolers. Not a stellar cartoon, certainly, but commendable on a number of levels.
  3. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Not coming from a fan but you left 1971 without mentioning Pebbles & Bamm Bamm';s show!
  4. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Actually, I didn't. I included it in my Flintstones thread. See, what I do in these threads, is, if a show has one or more spinoffs or iterations, I include them all in one thread. It's easier that way.
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  5. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    Keye Luke had played Charlie Chan's Number One Son in the 1940s Charlie Chan movies with Sidney Toler and Warner Oland playing Charlie Chan. Keye Luke played the voice of Charlie Chan in this show. Luke was also co-starring as Blind Master Po in the "Kung Fu" series at the time "Chan" was airing on Saturday Morning.

    The show was interesting to see with the Chan Kids as fully Americanized teens...and not bound to stereotypes (laundry gags, speaking broken English, etc). Ron Dante, who performed as the lead singer in the Archies songs, performed the songs that the Chan Clan Band sang. The cartoon show was faithful to the original Charlie Chan novels by Earl Derr Biggers in that Charlie Chan had 12 kids...Chan was a widower who worked for the Honolulu Police Department.

    I liked the cartoon although the show had too many characters and the kids were too bumbling and the laugh track in some episodes was pretty awful. Future MASH star Jamie Farr was a series story writer and admitted in a DVD extra segment that the Chan Clan show was difficult to write because of the large cast.

    Terrytoons had a Charlie Chan cartoon series as one idea in development in the 1960s but no pilot cartoon was ever produced.
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  6. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    This show was my first exposure to Charlie Chan in general. My youthful detective interests were naturally more heading to Holmes and the Hardy boys. Mr Chan as a literary character would not get into my head for many more years. However this show i glimpsed during CN's weekend mysteries incorporated block. Another show that fought it out for the third spot. My memory of this show were pretty blanket based. I remember several kids, the car, but not really any of the episodes.

    When the DVD came it was time to go back on the case and while the show delivers it also showcases one of it's major gambles. 12 main characters on the team is very much a large number to move around in the 30 minute mystery cartoon. Josie was pushing it in space with 8, but this was a big one. So it sometimes shows when they split into larger groups, but that's going with the territory. It's not so much a bad problem, as much as a sign that it could have been done a little better.

    One of the shining things to say here is that Henry/Stanley have a fantastic dynamic. I enjoy the amount of time they usually get and it's a very good thing. They play off one another really well. It's really a nice shining spot in a show that while entertaining really wouldn't register high on my favorites board. Even though the amount of votes it got in Warner Archive's cartoon poll makes me think this show was more remembered than i would have guessed. It did stay on CN for a while, so i would not be surprised if there's a good number of people my age that dug it.

    Also Ron Dante giving more music is also pretty great. And while i don't think intentional the stock footage they use of Chan and the two kids grooving to the music, is a fantastic unintentional bit of comedy to me. And also i would really like my own chan van. But hey i can dream.
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  7. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    The Chan Kids:

    Henry (Robert Ito)- oldest son, wore orange shirt, serious, irritated by Stanley's constant wisecracks.
    Stanley (Lennie Weinrib)-second oldest son, dark green shirt, comedian, likes to disguise himself which others guess who he is immediately,"Wham Bam, We're in a Jam!"
    Suzie (Cherylene Lee)-oldest daughter, turquoise dress...not much of a distinctive personality other than following the group and meddling in her dad's investigations.
    Tom (John Gunn)- wore thick framed glasses, white shirt and vest, used big words in conversations, brains
    Alan (Brian Tochi)-wore tinted wire-framed glasses, wore purple shirt and bell bottom pants, inventor, created the changable Chan Van.
    Anne (Jodie Foster)- tomboy, wore baseball cap, orange/white t-shirt and jeans, wanted to do things the boys do.
    Flip (Gene Andrusco)- wore a porkpie hat and lime green collared shirt, used police code slang and hard-boiled detective novel cliches in his dialogue.
    Nancy (Beverly Kushida)-ponytail, chubby, wore purple t shirt, hates confrontation, likes food.
    Mimi (Cherylene Lee)-youngest daughter, yellow shirt and hair band, bossed Scooter around often.
    Scooter (Michael Morgan)-youngest son, red shirt, tended to repeat everything Flip says.

    When the kids split up to investigate the different leads in their pop's criminal cases, the groups were usually split into

    Henry/Stanley
    Suzie/Anne/Alan/Tom
    and
    Flip/Nancy/Mimi/Scooter

    From some accounts, there were different voice actors when the series was cast and they were actually all Asian actors but the accents made the voice recordings difficult to understand. Only Keye Luke as Charlie Chan, Ito, and Tochi were retained from the original cast and the listed voice actors above were replacements and listed in the final credits and their voices were heard for all 16 episodes in the series.

    I do not believe there was any episode aired with the full set of the original voice actors performing. (Luke, Ito, Tochi, Stephen Wong as Stanley, Virginia Ann Lee as Suzie, Mitchell Sakamoto as Tom, Leslie Kumamota as Anne, Jay Jay Jue as Flip, Debbie Jue as Nancy, Leslie Kawai as Mimi, and Robin Toma as Scooter)
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
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  8. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    And Chu-Chu the dog, who could imitate a police siren as well as bark.
  9. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Also did anyone else by just seeing Chu-Chu think he was a cat at first? I know i did, and my friend did when i showed it to her. Are we alone in making that mistake?
  10. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Trivia Question 65: How many Chan kids were in the band?
  11. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    ...and what Chan kid played which instrument?
  12. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Right. Originally, I did add that part.. Thanks. :)
  13. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Trivia Answer: Five. Henry on drums, Stanley on lead guitar, Susie on tambourine, Tom on trumpet, and Alan on trombone.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  14. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    Voiced by Don Messick, who also played various law enforcement figures, suspects, and side characters. Lennie Weinrib also played various suspects, law enforcement figures, and side characters as well.

    Hazel Shermit, best known as the voice of Henrietta Hippo in "The New Zoo Revue", played various female characters along with Janet Waldo and Lisa Gerritson. Paul Winchell performed in one episode without any voice credit.
  15. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    In 1971, Hanna-Barbera did a presentation reel for a planned prime time series about a family with 12 children and a dog and a changeable RV motor home touring various parts of America with actual photos of landmarks used as backgrounds for the cartoon action. The title was "Duffy's Dozen". The show didn't sell but elements of the series did carry over to the Chan Clan show in 1972 with the ten kids, a dog, a changeable mode of transportation in the Chan Van, and in later episodes, the Chan family on a travel tour and solving mysteries.

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