Tom Terrific – The Complete Series
Tom Terrific was a serialized animated series created by the Terrytoons studio specifically for the Captain Kangaroo show which aired on CBS weekdays mornings and Saturday mornings. Gene Deitch, who was brought in to give the studio a creative kick in the pants, created the series and served as director. Deitch’s springboard for the show was a comic strip he created in 1955, “Terr’ble Thompson,” about a little boy who fancied himself as the world’s greatest hero and engaged in flights of fantasy. Deitch abandoned the strip when Terrytoons tapped him to be the studio’s creative director and he refurbished the character into Tom Terrific.
CBS’s budgets for the show were threadbare at best–backgrounds were simplified and the animation usually wasn’t even painted. But what transcended such lack of quality control were appealing heroes–Tom and his narcoleptic sidekick Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog–and some imaginative storylines. Tom wore a funnel on his head that served as his thinking cap, and he possessed the ability to change into whatever the situation called for.
Lionel Wilson furnished all the voices for the show, and Philip Schieb provided all music–comprised mainly of banjo and accordian. Two seasons of shows–13 stories per season–were produced and replayed on Captain Kangaroo until 1961. Episodes would be replayed throughout the 60s on Captain Kangaroo, and stories would be shown in their entirety albeit in three divided segments on the Saturday Captain Kangaroo show.
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