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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 564 minutes
Stretch your Plastic Man Knowledge Retrospective featurette
2006 Plastic Man Cartoon Network pilot
Eel O’Brien gets the Saturday Morning clean-up.
Michael Bell, Jack Baker, Melendy Britt, Johnny Brown and Peter Cullen
Plastic Man debuted in 1979 with a rather lame Saturday Morning cartoon. ABC gave the show nearly an hour every Saturday morning for its first season. Then, they tried to cram in twists and other wacky devices to make the series last a little longer. American children hated Baby Plas and the lackluster villains. By 1981, the show folded and went into the Warner Brothers dustbin.
A lost still from Grant Morrison’s sole Saturday Morning offering entitled Disco Mummy and the Doom Patrol.
David Oliver spoke about the Ruby-Spears generation earlier today. Between that flashy RS Logo and the Hanna/Barbara swirling star logo, both animation houses have crushed my brain into a fine powder. Plastic Man and its 1979-1981 run on ABC are pretty forgettable in the Ruby-Spears legacy. Sure, it’s no New Adventures of the Puppy, but the series lacks any connection to its Jack Cole roots. Why did the mad-cap comic hero crash on Saturday morning?
Looks like Abby Arcane, but screws like one of the Ani-Men.
The co-stars of the show, Penny and Hula Hula, are pretty indicative of the show’s faults. Cookie-cutter creations that nearly border on offensive are shoe-horned into any openings. The villains range from Disco Mummy to The Clam and Computerhead. The pulpy roots of the character’s origins were forsaken due to the fact that this was a goddamn kids’ show in the late 1970s. Goofy gus folk talking about taking over the Earth and discovering buried treasure were the main story staples.
During those lean years between Quality Comics era and the DC Takeover, Plastic Man made his way as a Meth Cook.
If that weren’t enough, you had enough god awful humor stuffed into every show closer. When ABC could smell the shit in the pot, they offered up Baby Plas as a last season hail-mary. What this did was to help elevate the rest of the run into an area of cult appreciation. Mixing the weird Lou Costello style humor against the goofy villains allowed for a certain ironic charm. You could watch the show and wonder who in the hell pieced this monster out of the long-boxes of Plastic Man comic book history.
The episodes run anywhere from 10 minutes to standard 22 minute run. I always wondered why the creative talent couldn’t agree on a set-release pattern. Plus, I’ve done some digging and older television schedules seem to suggest a lot of recycled material. That was typical for broadcast patterns at the time, but this lead to potential re-airings of the same material within a four-week basis. That’s not even counting the summer airings.
Whiskey Hotel Duckberg.
Imagine getting bombarded by this awkward animated abortion. There’s a time for laughs at the misfortunes of others and then there’s this. You can’t even find a reason to be offended by the chubby Hawaiian Hula-Hula. Does act like a Pacific Islander stereotype? No, he acts like a chubby man-child wandering around with his metahuman pal. Shit like this is why I want a Suicide Squad animated series to clean out the animated DCU. Deadshot vs. Hula-Hula…make it happen.
Somehow this will end with Hula Hula getting beat with a whip.
The package includes a featurette about Plastic Man’s classic cartoon adventures. You also get to see an un-aired Plastic Man pilot. It’s a quickie 2006 attempt at reviving the erstwhile JLA member on Cartoon Network. Maybe a Kyle Baker style romp would’ve been better suited for Adult Swim? Oh well, we can play the What If game all day. What matters is that you’ve got a perfectly fine classic cartoon rental on your hands.