The Funky Phantom (TV Series 1971– ) Poster

(1971– )

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The Funky Phantom
raysond6 March 2009
The short-lived animated series "The Funky Phantom" was another example of Hanna-Barbera trying to cash in on the astounding success of "Scooby Doo,Where Are You?",and not to mention a slew of rip-off copycats that were using the same exact formula that ran throughout the entire decade of the 1970's. But this one followed the exact Scooby formula,but with an unusual twist: A trio of teenagers who solve mysteries and clues with the help of a friendly ghostlike character(voiced by Daws Butler)who acts as their companion as they go from one town to another to basically solve crimes,deal with the supernatural, and fight off evildoers as they unravel the clues and bring in the usual villains.

How did they meet this ghost? A trio of teenagers,April(Tina Holland),Skip(Mickey Dolenz of "The Monkees" fame),and Augie(Tommy Cook)take refuge from a storm one night to reset the clock to the proper time of midnight. This released the still-nervous ghost of Jonathan Muddlemore known as "Muggsey",who would join the teens in their Looney Duney buggy. Muddlemore was a cowardly New Englander hiding from the British in 1776 in his mansion's grandfather clock found the spirit of himself and his cat Boo freed almost 200 years later,thanks to an accident.

Some major difficulties were caused by Muggsey and Boo,who typically became invisible whenever any sort of fear struck them. And who reappear whenever the kids got themselves in trouble with some diabolical villain or help them to escape from certain harm. The teens had their own pet to help out with the mysteries,their bulldog named Elmo. This was a copy of the Scooby Doo formula. Hanna-Barbera stockplayer Daws Butler reprises his Snagglepuss character for this short-lived series and it shows in some of the episodes. The series premiered as part of ABC's Sunshine Saturday Morning schedule from September 11, 1971 until September 1, 1973. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. Out of the 17 episodes that were produced,the original episodes ran on ABC from September 11,1971 until September 2, 1972. Its second season consisted of repeated episodes that ran from September 9, 1972 until September 1, 1973. In 1980,the gang returned to Saturday Mornings as part of NBC's The Godzilla Super Power Show" in repeated episodes.
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This show was the best!!!!!!!
Jillian_H15 October 2005
One of my most treasured childhood memories is this show. I have not seen it since it left the airwaves in 1971. I remember as a child I looked forward to seeing this cartoon. I loved everything about the show. The phantom was great as was the theme music. Everything was just fantastic. I always look for a DVD or video when ever I am at my local DVD store. It is not a Scooby Doo rip off at all as I couldn't stand Scooby Doo at all as a child or now. This show had mysteries that they solved, but unlike Scooby Doo they actually did it in a logical manner. It made logical sense. Even as a child I knew Scooby Doo was totally inane. I just wish they would put this into a DVD format so I can see them again. I miss my Funky Phantom so…
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6/10
footnote cartoon
SnoopyStyle25 January 2019
Teenagers Skip Gilroy, April Stewart and Augie Anderson ride their dune buggy Looney Duney with their dog Elmo. They find ghosts from 1776 in a clock at a spooky house. It's scared patriot Jonathan Wellington "Mudsy" Muddlemore and his cat Boo. They go off to fight for justice and unmasking mysteries.

It's a Bizarro Scooby Doo from Hanna-Barbera. With Scooby Doo's success, it's not surprising that they would try to create another one. I do remember watching the reruns way back when although all I truly remember are the ghosts and their disappearing sounds. It is paradoxical that the premise is supernatural but like the Scooby gang, the kids usually uncover hoaxes that are revealed to be non-supernatural. The characters are less appealing. Quite frankly, April looks alien with her giant almond eyes and no nose. It's all slightly off and way too similar. It lasted 17 episodes with some minor revivals in other media. It's a footnote in the story of Hanna-Barbera.
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Hanna Barbera overview
Blueghost7 June 2017
Funky Phantom is a re-invention of the Scooby Doo formula of kids going around solving mysteries, as is so often with so many other Hanna Barbera offerings that pervaded the 1970s.

I don't want to make this another cruel review of Hollywood animation post 1940s, but I need to get the bad out of the way. Funky Phantom used recycled voice talent with little variance on the characters they were voicing. Couple that with a cheaper animation approach, look and feel, and you get a series of cartoons that aren't worth a whole lot.

If you were a kid who came home after school in the 70s and 80s, or even the 60s, and you saw Warner Brothers or MGM classics from the 30s, 40s and even 1950s, then you noticed a difference in quality between the guys who were offering Bugs and Daffy as well as Tom and Jerry, and the guys who were offering Scooby Doo, the Chang Clan, Funky Phantom, Wakcy Racers, Stop the Pigeon, Huckleberry Finn, Yogi Bear, and just a whole host of animated offerings that had a cheap look and recycled feel that, and I can only speak for myself, had me turning the channel.

Funky Phantom comes from that post corporate industrial period when the Hollywood social psychologists felt they had to create something for the kids that was beyond the slapstick antics of classic studio animation. Funky Phantom was part of an effort to get kids to stop and think about their fears or people presenting fears. Scooby Doo did this, even the Flintstones or the Groovy Goolies, and in particular the "Super Friends" (Justice League of America) all did this by trying to offer something that had stories that tried to be more sophisticated, but, again I can only speak for myself, came across as cheap and ham-fisted.

Reason; Japan was already offering more sophisticated action mystery animation for children that didn't rely on condescending tropes of including cute side kicks (Scrappy Doo for Scooby Doo) or kid audience avatars like The Wonder Twins for the Justice League or their substitutes Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog. Japanese animation had full fledged violence with bloodshed realizing that children knew how to accept violence without becoming programmed by it, and to this end also realized that it was important to put the violence in its proper context so that good young healthy minds could make their own decisions about it based on their parents' values of how to judge said actions.

Funky Phantom attacked American children with the usual cheap animation techniques that didn't have an ounce of artistry in Japanese offerings, and certainly were not as smooth as Disney or classic pre 1960s animation.

Funky Phantom, like all of the other Hanna Barbera offerings, takes all of the aforementioned elements and gave American children a repackaging of what was essentially the same theme of trying to teach children to be critical of the world about them.

In my opinion not only did it not succeed in this, but the cheap presentation of 1970s animation really had a lot of kids turning the channel. Just look at the number of reviews on Amazon between the DVDs of classic animation and the Hanna Barbera shows in the 1970s. I remember talking with kids my age about which cartoons were good and which were bad. We all agreed that classic cartoons from MGM and WB simply outclassed anything Hanna Barbera could throw at us.

Funky Phantom, with a perpetual re-use of voice talent (Dan Butler re-using the same character for the phantom that he did for Snaglepuss) re-use of the same set of sound-effects from the same sound studio in Burbank, and using the same formula of young kids solving mysteries and taking on crimes, couldn't be a bigger flop in terms of social objectives.

The proof is in the pudding; the UFO, ESP and astrology social phenomenons hit an all time high in the 70s and 80s. Religion fundamentalism continued to be on the upswing in the bible belt and beyond. And mysticism of all forms, and just a fascination with the supernatural, continued to grow among the same audience that watched Hanna Barbera's offerings.

Funky Phantom was poorly animated. Had a laugh track because it wasn't funny. Relied on cute characters to try and rope in boys and girls. And didn't even look good nor was it well animated. That's on top of all the social psychology injected into it and its cousin shows made by the same animation studio.

And that's pretty much what I think of Funky Phantom and all of Hanna Barbera's offerings from the late 60s up through the 80s.

Not a memorable show other than the fact that it was produced. If you need a nostalgia blast, well, there are better shows out there. Funky Phantom is another product of the cultural depression that was the 1970s in the United States of America. Thank goodness that era is over with.
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Not a total rip off.
OrangieTooDope2 May 2017
This cartoon seems highly unoriginal but since it was before my time I can't say for sure what has been ripped off from other cartoons.I do know that Mudsy has the exact same voice as Snagglepuss, a carbon copy even.I also know that voice is an impersonation of Bert Lahr(the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz).Most people will call it a Scooby-Doo rip off but that's only because they haven't seen the countless other cartoons it "borrows" from.I noticed another review on here that said "Even more amazing is a Shaggy-like character complete with goatee!".That statement not only proves that he has never seen this show because there is never one person on screen with any facial hair, it also proves he has never seen Speed Buggy, which has an actual Shaggy clone(albeit without the facial hair).Even Jabberjaw had a "Shaggy-like character", guess he never saw that either.I just watched every episode of this today and never once thought any of the characters were "Scooby-Doo- like".I did however notice that two of characters can't pronounce "helicopter" and I found that to be extremely disturbing.If you can look past all the stuff they stole, you will see a somewhat original show.A lot of the stories center around the Revolutionary War and New England.You will never see another cartoon do that.Plus the dog doesn't talk.It doesn't get more original than that.Overall I'd say if you like cartoons you should watch this.Just watch it with an open mind and you might have a good time.I just checked and Speed Buggy came after this show so they stole the dune buggy idea from this show.This show is more original than people will admit.
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Kind of a low budget Scooby Doo...
elsbed-12 November 2001
I caught this on the Saturday morning "Boomerang" show and it stirred a memory of having watched it on Saturday mornings long ago in the 70's. The bizarre thing about this (which didn't really click for me as a kid) is it's almost a carbon copy of Scooby Doo...teenage sleuths, goofy sidekicks (the phantom/his cat)...even the same music! Even more amazing is a Shaggy-like character complete with goatee! I really don't know what Hanna Barbera was thinking here....guess they were trying to capitalize on the success of Scooby...but it's nowhere near as endearing. The man who does the voice of the Phantom is, I believe the same who does Babu, Jabberjaw, ad infinitum...which really adds negative points in my book. Watch it for a slice of Hanna Barbera's "other" toons...
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Cute but somewhat forgettable
koconnor-16 February 2003
A Scooby Doo clone - teenagers and a goofball sidekick with a gimmick travel the country tackling baffling mysteries and unmasking the bad guys. The difference here is that ghosts are real... as evidenced by the title character, Sir Muddlemore, a timid ghost who's afraid of his own shadow, and his sidekick kitty, "Boo". Muddlemore was voiced by Daws Butler, and his voice characterization is virtually indistinguishable from animation's own "Master Thespian", Snagglepuss ("Heavens to Mergatroid!").
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