Friday, July 01, 2005

Flashback Friday: Frankenstein Jr.

The tale of Frankenstein is a dark and cautionary tale about hubris, the relationship between God and man, the dangers of science gone wrong, and the creative power of women. And one day, a Hanna-Barbera executive said, "Hey, let's make it a cartoon."

Problem is, at its core, Frankenstein's monster is pretty scary. So let's give him a big smile and raggedy clothes. And he's gotta be cool, so let's make him three stories tall. And forget that whole mad scientist bit. Have him run by a kid with a remote control. Behold, Frankenstein Jr. Pretty soon, you had something that had as much to do with the original story as The Six Million Dollar Man had to do with My Left Foot. They could've just called it Robot Man and been done with it.

And why was it "Junior?" The monster didn't have a father, as far as I could see. And was the robot named Frankenstein? Because in the original story, Frankenstein was the creator, and the monster had no name. Common misconception.

I personally loved this show, even though I knew it didn't make sense. Who wouldn't want a super-strong giant robot at their command. The show got that right. I even bought a remote-controled toy robot and taped stuff to it to make it look like Frankenstein Jr. Of course, the "robot" just rolled back and forth, but it was still cool. "Let's go, Buzz!"


Mauricem said...

If i remember right, the thing was run by a remote control with one button. The Japanese would laugh us sick over our attempt to make a cartoon show about a robot. And what's with the cape and symbol on his chest? Was he a superhero or a robot?
So many questions...

Monkey Migraine said...

Good point about the remote. I guess it just said "fight crime." And you're right, he was more like a superhero. They should've called him Frankenstein Man.

Mauricem said...

"Frankenstein Man and Dracula Boy to the rescue!"
The scary part is they actually did a superhero version of Dracula back in the sixties.

glomgold said...

Hanna Barbera really did some odd stuff. But I liked them too. Except for that Great Gazoo shit.