Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Beasts Of Zartan!

Among the odd factoids about Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Herculoids is that Zandor's original working name was "Zartan", an obvious variation of Tarzan. So obvious was it in fact, that the name was changed to avoid the legal ire of the Burroughs estate.

But it does put this outer space jungle family into a somewhat different perspective to imagine them as the MGM-RKO Tarzan family unit. Zandor is Tarzan, Tara is Jane, and Dorno makes a fine Boy. It's all rather elegant.

And Igoo, Tundra and the other critters make some better sense as Tantor, Cheetah and other denizens of the Mutia Escarpment translated to the distant planet of Amzot. Gloop and Gleep in particular get the role designated to the trickster Cheetah, the comedy relief. The Beasts of indeed!

It's a fun way to reflect on this outstanding Alex Toth designed cartoon.

Rip Off


  1. ZANTAR!
    I Never Put The Correlation With The Herculoids And Tarzan
    You Sir Are Amazing
    I've Always Thought That Frazetta Tarzan Painting
    Was So Great
    Not Only Tarzan
    Just Look How He Captures The Animals Anatomy
    Man, Your Blog Is So Great

  2. I never made that connection either. For all these years, the Herculoids has always seemed to me fascinatingly odd but inexplicable -- and I often wondered where the inspiration could have come from. With this one missing detail, the whole thing seems so much clearer. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. If you go and read my review of The Herculoids DVDS over at my DVD Late Show site, you'll see I called it as a Tarzan-inspired concept in the first line of the second paragraph - and I also received several notes from folks who had never picked up on the resemblance.

    To me, it's always been obvious; but discovering here that Zandor's original name was a blatant anagram of Burroughs' jungle lord truly nails it.

  4. I appreciate the kind thoughts guys, but the idea is not original to me. I found it online somewhere. It was not something that crossed my mind until I found the name change.

    Rip Off

  5. I remember the Herculoids from Cartoon Network if my memory serves me right. By the way, great blog man. Keep up the good work!



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