ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Complete Underdog TV series arrives on DVD

Updated on March 28, 2016

“There’s no need to fear…Underdog is here”.

The superhero pooch has returned to home video in Shout Factory’s new nine DVD box set, “Underdog Complete Collector’s Edition”. This box set is the definitive release of the cartoon series, and is a must have for Underdog fans.

For the past decade, several Underdog DVD sets have been released. Sony Wonder produced the first Underdog DVD in 2000, followed by two more titles in 2001 and 2002. Disappointingly, these three discs featured versions of the original four part Underdog cliffhanger episodes edited into single cartoons. Plus, the bonus toons of fellow Total TeleVision productions characters King and Odie,TennesseeTuxedo, and more were missing their original intros and titles. In 2007, Classic Media released a three disc Ultimate Underdog collection, to coincide with Disney’s live action movie based on the animated series. It was better than the initial DVD’s with the cliffhanger episodes restored, but unfortunately, just repeated the bonus features from the earlier DVD’s.

The new “Underdog Complete Collector’s Edition” lives up to its title. Shout Factory has compiled all 124 episodes of the classic cartoon series, in their original network broadcast order. The Underdog series originally ran from 1964 to 1967 first on NBC then CBS, with network reruns continuing until 1973. These nine DVD’s recreate these broadcasts. The Underdog cliffhanger episodes are paired with toons from fellow Total TeleVision productions characters Go Go Gophers and Commander McBragg for the first two seasons, and Klondike Kat, Tooter Turtle, and The Hunter during the last season.

The cartoons contain nice colors and brightness, and a crisp picture. They look visually better than ever. Yes, it’s limited animation, but that’s to be expected from U.S.Saturday morning cartoon shows of the 1960’s. The Underdog show was animated in Mexico by Gamma Productions, the team who performed the same duties for the Rocky and Bullwinkle series. So, the general look of the episodes is very similar to the Jay Ward program.

The Underdog Show opening

With so many episodes included in this set, you get to rediscover villains other than Underdog’s usual foes, Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff. In Season three, Underdog tackles the Electric Eel, who wants to use his powers to take over the U.S. Government; Batty Man, a Dracula look- alike who raids Fort Knox and turns the stolen gold into black bowling balls; and outer spacemen Zorb and Crum, who want to rule the earth.

Underdog faces off with villains old and new

As for the companion cartoons, yes the Go Go Gophers (Chief Ruffled Feather and Running Board) might be considered politically incorrect today. Yet, these two cartoon Native American gophers always get the best of Colonel Kit Coyote and Sergeant Okey Homa in each episode. It’s interesting to see how the colonel is made to look like Teddy Roosevelt and the sergeant sounds like John Wayne. Klondike Kat is the feline equivalent of Dudley Do-Right, a clumsy Canadian Mountie always out to arrest the French mouse, Savoir-Faire. And what would Tooter Turtle do if he didn’t have Mr. Wizard the lizard to rescue him from each adventure (“Help Mr. Wizard!”)?

One of the set’s bonus features is a 29 minute documentary on the making of the Underdog series. The show’s co-creator, Buck Biggers, narrator George S. Irving, animation historian Mark Arnold, Gamma Productions animator Roman Arambula, and “Little House on the Prairie’s” Alison Arngrim, daughter of Norma McMillan (the voice of Underdog’s romantic interest Sweet Polly Purebred), provide some interesting anecdotes. Biggers wrote the show’s theme song (“Speed of lightning/roar of thunder…”) in just one hour. Sweet Polly Purebred’s look was modeled after Marilyn Monroe. Simon Bar Sinister’s character was based on Lionel Barrymore, Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Riff Raff was patterned after George Raft, known for playing gangsters in films of the 1930’s and 1940’s, including the original “Scarface”. Howard Stern’s father, Ben, produced the audio tracks for the Underdog show.

Underdog Episode #120, Batty Man Part 4

In addition, some clips of Underdog’s black and white next show bumpers, promos, and alternate credits, along with the original open for the Go Go Gophers are included. One of the few things missing from the set is an Underdog cereal commercial, shown here.

“Underdog Complete Collector’s Edition” also comes with a 20 page booklet, with more on the canine superhero’s history and an episode guide. Arnold, author of the 2009 book “Created and Produced by Total TeleVision productions”, did a nice job writing the informative liner notes.

So, kudos to Shout Factory on this Underdog box set. They’re also releasing a “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” six DVD collection this month.

4 stars for Underdog Complete Collector's Edition

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MarshFish profile imageAUTHOR

      Marshall Fish 

      4 years ago

      Thanks trusouldj. Miss Johnson sounds like a great teacher, letting her students watch Underdog and Tennessee Tuxedo during lunch. Actually, Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons were educational, with Mr. Whoopee explaining how things worked to Tennessee and Chumley (not the Pawn Stars Chumlee). So Mr. Whoopee would show the duo the basic how to's of plumbing, coal mining, building bridges, and more.

    • trusouldj profile image

      LaZeric Freeman 

      4 years ago from Hammond

      Good stuff. In 4th and 5th grade, our teacher -- Miss Johnson --- used to bring the tv in and let us watch Underdog and Tennessee Tuxedo during lunch.

    • MarshFish profile imageAUTHOR

      Marshall Fish 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for your comments and kind words about the hub. I appreciate it.

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Thank you for this delightful hub about one of my favorite childhood heroes! It was so good to relive the memories. We need more shows like Underdog today, shows that emphasize right vs. wrong and that display more of that heroic American spirit.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)