Originally broadcast during the 1966-67 TV season, Frankenstein
Jr. and the Impossibles is
a fondly remembered show, by this reviewer at least.
Full of humor and action (the later of which
would soon disappear from Saturday morning cartoons) the program is
fun and is still entertaining all these years later.
Happily, the Warner Archives MOD program has
dug this classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon out of its vaults and released
entire 18 episode series on two DVD-R discs.
Each episode of Frankenstein
Jr. and the Impossibles consists to three 7-minute cartoons: two episodes of The Impossibles
with a Frankenstein
Jr. adventure sandwiched between them.
Since Franky gets top billing (to make up for the fact he's only
of the show I assume), I'll deal with that cartoon first.
Buzz Conroy, son of a scientist, Professor Conroy, is
something of a scientist himself.
Presumably with help from dear ol' dad the young boy has built a
30-foot-tall sentient robot that he's dubbed Frankenstein Jr. Activated by a ring on his finger and
controlled by his voice, this show actually precedes the Japanese
program Johnny Sokko and His Giant Robot by a
year, which had basically the same concept. (Alert reader Brian S. pointed out that this show aired a couple of years after Gigantor made it to US shores. How could I forget about that early anime program??)
The big difference between the two (aside from the fact that the
Japanese show was live-action) is the fact that Buzz had the foresight
his creation a mask, so that no one would recognize him.
From his father's mountain-top home/research
lab (complete with a telescope and radar dish, so you know he's a
Buzz activates the giant champion of justice whenever evil rears its
Emitting a ray from his ring which both opens the closet
where Frank Jr. sleeps and activates him when the ray touches the
his head, Buzz would climb onto Franky's shoulder and with a cry of
"Allakazoom!, the pair would fly off to confront danger!
(They would leave through a giant
mountainside door that is decorated with a giant F, which totally negates the need
for Frankenstein Jr's mask! If everyone
know he lives under the Conroy house/lab, what's the secret?? And Buzz himself doesn't wear a mask, yet he
rides on the flying giant robot.
Shouldn't he conceal his identity too?
As a kid, that really bothered me.)
Each short 7-minute adventure would feature a mad scientist,
alien, or other nogoodnik releasing a giant monster/creature/animal on
unsuspecting city. When he hears about
it on the radio, Buzz activates his giant buddy and off they go to save
The cool thing about the show, and what I really liked as a
kid, is that creating a 30-foot tall flying robot wasn't enough for
Buzz. He took it to the next level. The young inventor installed a myriad of
secret devices inside his creation that would come in handy almost
episode. There was a giant magnet he
could pull out of his chest cavity, a giant spring that comes out of
and, of course, Buzz had an oxygen tank installed so that his robot
breathe underwater! What a guy.
The Impossibles were a rock and roll group (all three played
guitar and sang). But that was only
their disguise! Their guitar's had
hidden two-way TVs with which their boss, the enigmatic "Big D" could
assignments. They'd drop everything and
change from a world famous rock band into The Impossibles:
Coilman (whose arms and legs were springs)
Fluidman (who could turn his body into a liquid) and Multiman (who had
ability to make countless duplicates of himself). Like
Frankenstein Jr., The Impossibles fought
a wide array of bizarre super-villains, alien invaders, and monsters.
Their adventures were a tad more comic, they once fought a
villain who could control all office supplies, and each seven minute
would begin and end with a song.
The thing that I enjoy about both shows, both now and when I
was a kid, is that they're short and sweet.
With only 7-minutes to set up the plot, fight the bad guy and
him, there's not a lot of room for padding.
Both shows hit the ground running and never let up, pausing only
enough to throw out a groan-inducing pun.
And isn't that what you want in an action/comedy cartoon?
All 16 episodes of this show are presented on two DVD-R
discs. The discs come in a single-width
case with full art.
The mono soundtrack is about what you'd expect from a kid's
cartoon from the 60's. The range isn't
very wide, and the highs are clipped, but the dialog is easy to discern
there isn't any significant background noise.
Like the audio, the full-frame video is about average.
There's a little aliasing, most notable in
the backgrounds, but the lines are generally tight and there is minimal
Though this is a Warner Archives release, there is an
extra! It's just a 5-minute look at the
show, but it is fun nevertheless.
Two great 60's spoofs in one action-packed half hour
show. What more could you want? Highly