Saturday, February 3, 2018

TV's Mightiest Old Cartoon Series!


The Mighty Hercules is a wonderful cartoon blast from the past. Several years ago I got a dvd with twenty of the one hundred sixty cartoon adventures. These are a hoot and I wish I had more of them.  They are short but brisk yarns which feature Hercules, with the help of a magic ring which allows him to keep his great strength on Earth, jumps down from Olympus into the kingdom of Caladon to help out the prince or some other citizen who has come under attack by monsters or more likely the arch fiend Daedelus, an evil wizard or the Sea Witch who also goes by the name Wilhemine.


Herc is assisted by a centuar named Newton (who repeats everything he says twice) and his lovely girlfriend Helena. Other characters pop in and out of the little misadventures, but given the length of these five minute cartoons there's precious little time to develop and it's amazing how much story is delivered in so short a time. The animation is strictly limited but the designs are so handsome that with some clever direction and smart re-use of standard shots these stand up pretty well. The cartoon ran in the early 60's and there was apparently quite a bit of marketing tied to it. Below I've gathered from the bowels of the internets some of the games, books, and other paraphernalia including two comic books from Gold Key. Enjoy!















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4 comments:

  1. Man, i never saw any of this stuff - we didn't even get the comic books. But a half century later, that theme song still sounds clear in my head. Much like the show itself, it was starkly simple but lightheartedly effective. And with those very short episodes, we heard it a lot.

    ...and now it's stuck in my head.

    I'm going to have to go hunt down some episodes if i want peace any time soon.

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    1. You won't be disappointed. Getting them might be tough since the collection I was lucky to find is getting a bit expensive when I've seen it online. These little cartoons are wonderfully infectious and the music is a big part of that.

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  2. Bruce Timm has acknowledged that the "look" of Superman in his 90s WB series was based on the "Mighty Hercules" cartoon.
    Ironic since the writers of the cartoon were DC scripters Jack Miller and George Kashdan!

    In the 1980s, Mighty Hercules had two series of VHS releases.
    One was a two-volume pair of hour-long compilations entitled "Mightiest Mortal" and "Chanpion of the People".
    Ther other was a three-volume series combining a half-hour each of Mighty Hercules and Trans-Lux stablemate Speed Racer!

    Classic Media, which owns the Trans-Lux library released a HTF DVD with around 20 of the 128 6-minute segments, but has never done a complete collection.

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    1. We need that complete collection for sure. The twenty they offer are so exceedingly tasty. He does look like Superman, but I assumed that was evoking the classic Shuster face which is also used of course for the Fleisher cartoons.

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