Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday morning cartoons: Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.

"Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch was a 30-minute cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera which aired for one season on NBC from September 7, 1974 to August 30, 1975. It aired on Saturday morning from 8:30-9:00 am, opposite the popular The Bugs Bunny Show.

The series focuses on Wheelie, a red Volkswagen Beetle, and his girlfriend Rota Ree (a pun on both the "rotary engine" and Ruta Lee).Wheelie made his living as a professional- and quite successful- racing and stunt car. Wheelie didn't talk (Unlike the other characters in the show)but emoted by honking and displaying symbols across his windshield showing his inner thoughts such as a heart for love or a lightbulb for an idea.Wheelie could also produce any form of prop needed from his trunk thru the use of special mechanized hands, much like Inspector Gadget would later. Wheelie's regular nemeses were a 4-member motorcycle gang called the Chopper Bunch which included the leader Chopper, Who was jealous of Wheelie and had a spiked motorcycle helmet for a head, Revs, a sputtering three- wheeled motorcycle who often mixed up his words ("Chight,Rhopper"-"Oh,I mean, Right, Chopper!") Hi-Riser, who was tall in body but shorter in brains, and Scrambles,a small minibike who acted more like the good kid caught up in the wrong crowd. Scrambles would constantly try to warn Chopper that his plans were about to backfire only to be rebuffed ("Muffle it, Scrambles!") and end up taunting his sullen leader once they inevitably did.

Two other characters were used on occasion to keep the Chopper Bunch in line. They were Captain Tough a hulking Police car, and Fishtail,who was literally a motorcycle cop. The show was the subject of a seven-issue comic book from Charlton Comics, published from July 1975 to July 1976"

1 comment:

bikerted said...

Hi s.a.
I can remember Motor Mouse & Auto Cat from about the same era also from the Hanna-Barbera studios. These were shown on BBC 1 over in the UK. I have managed to find small clips on You Tube but no complete cartoon. Any chance you can find one?

Really enjoying for varied posts.