I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, October 28, 2005

"Clutch Cargo" (1959)

I was delighted to find this old cartoon on DVD, so I brought a copy. It chronicles the adventures of Clutch, a blond manly man, and his pals, a little boy named Spinner, and a dog named Paddlefoot. They travel around the world, getting caught up in mystery and intrigue. The fun is in watching the animation.

The way the cartoon was put together is very flat. The characters don't move very much, but their mouths do. A technology was used called Syncro-Vox. Actual human lips spoke the lines, and then were superimposed on the drawings. The cartoon was done very cheaply. Many times when characters are talking, you only see the backs of their heads. The same frames were used a lot to show the characters expressing shock, surprise, or terror.

The stories, which are serialized, are actually not bad. Clutch and his pals were always left in some extremely bad situation at the end of each chapter. Miraculously, they would survive the situation--plane going down, ship sinking, boulders bearing down on them, etc.--at the beginning of the following episode. I remember one episode I watched when I was about six years old where a hooded figure was tipping up on Clutch, Spinner, and Paddlefoot while they were in some old building. Of course, they didn't see the person, who appeared to be set to do them harm. Suddenly, the announcer booms in with the old "Will they make it? Tune in next time!" I found that to be scary at the time.

Like so many of those old cartoons, they are seldom rerun on TV (if at all) because of the politically incorrect images contained. Asians are seen as evil, Africans as violent and backwards, and so on. Wouldn't fly today.


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