24

Newton vs. Toot


 

This was one of those not-much-posting days (for me, I mean; not for our bloggers covering the election, who continue to deliver the goods). So as a combination of compensation and sheer filler, here’s a little flashback to a show that was on all the time when I was a kid — and I know for a fact that I was not the only one in my neighbourhood who watched it. I was at this birthday party where the entertainer was one of those “man of a thousand voices” types, and one of the voices he did was Newton. Or, should I say “Was Newton, Was Newton.” It was pretty good, too (pretty good, too) and most of the kids in the room seemed to respond with delighted recognition. Unfortunately, as I recall, he didn’t do Daedalus, who was voiced by Jack “Popeye” Mercer (the show was put together by people from the Paramount/Famous cartoon studio after it shut down). Nor did he sing the theme song, which was really cool even by the surprisingly high standards of these cheap ’60s cartoons that TV stations showed as filler (or CanCon, since many of them were U.S./Canada co-productions). All the best work seemed to go into the songs on shows like Rocket Robin Hood or Spider-Man.

The fact that a lot of us watched it and recognized the characters doesn’t prove that the show was good; I don’t know for sure that anyone really thought that. In fact, I think it was a formative moment in recognizing bad storytelling. When you’re a child, you frequently don’t notice (or care about) plot holes or repetitive stories, but with “The Mighty Hercules” I finally started to notice that the show really seemed to reach to find reasons for Hercules to be stripped of his powers or not put on his magic ring. (The ring was basically his equivalent of spinach.) Then I noticed that the plots seemed to be exactly the same every time. The tipping point was this villain (also voiced by Mercer) with a garbage can on his head, who called the can “The Mask of Vulcan” and claimed it made him invincible. When I saw them find one excuse to knock the can off his head, that was fine. When I saw them do it several times, a lightbulb went on in my childish head and I realized: this show has writers, and they’re not doing a very good job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y61GDmSk4Us


 
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Newton vs. Toot

  1. A running gag during my university days were to randomly scream out in Newton's voice "Don't touch me there, Herc! Don't touch me there!". Does that make me a bad person? ;-)

  2. A running gag during my university days were to randomly scream out in Newton's voice "Don't touch me there, Herc! Don't touch me there!". Does that make me a bad person? ;-)

  3. "this show has writers, and they're not doing a very good job."

    Obviously, sir, you don't remember the episode with Newton's evil twin, Notwen. If I may point it out, NOTWEN is NEWTON spelled backwards. 'Not doing a very good job?' How can you say that!

    Also, did you notice that every beast and monster in Hercules had the same raspy roar? I think they fought for Daedalus in exchange for smokes.

  4. "this show has writers, and they're not doing a very good job."

    Obviously, sir, you don't remember the episode with Newton's evil twin, Notwen. If I may point it out, NOTWEN is NEWTON spelled backwards. 'Not doing a very good job?' How can you say that!

    Also, did you notice that every beast and monster in Hercules had the same raspy roar? I think they fought for Daedalus in exchange for smokes.

  5. Oh, this brings back memories! The song alone will bring me back to the family home and the family I worked for, my first job in Canada, looking after two boys….the living room carpet was a bright red mixed with orange swirls….and I remember washing windows for the first time with windex, which I had never heard of or used before…….we always washed windows with water and sponge, and the squeezy………So neat! Strange how just a song can bring back such vivid images.

  6. Oh, this brings back memories! The song alone will bring me back to the family home and the family I worked for, my first job in Canada, looking after two boys….the living room carpet was a bright red mixed with orange swirls….and I remember washing windows for the first time with windex, which I had never heard of or used before…….we always washed windows with water and sponge, and the squeezy………So neat! Strange how just a song can bring back such vivid images.

  7. The tiny kingdom of Caledon certainly had its fair share of villains and monsters.

    To be honest, as a kid I always expected that there would come an episode when Hercules could no longer take any more of Newton's idiotic and repetetive interjections, and in a fit of anger would kill the little centaur.

  8. The tiny kingdom of Caledon certainly had its fair share of villains and monsters.

    To be honest, as a kid I always expected that there would come an episode when Hercules could no longer take any more of Newton's idiotic and repetetive interjections, and in a fit of anger would kill the little centaur.

  9. Because I'm a jerk…it's actually spelled Tewt.
    At any rate, I always thought Herc's skirt was flapping pretty wild and free on his way down from Olympus.

  10. Because I'm a jerk…it's actually spelled Tewt.
    At any rate, I always thought Herc's skirt was flapping pretty wild and free on his way down from Olympus.

    • I did not know that. That's cewt.

  11. I did not know that. That's cewt.

  12. Hey Jaime, do you do requests?

    If so, how about some background on how they make Mantracker – seen on OLN. I'm always amazed that the cameramen shooting the chase scenes are always located in such prescient locations.

  13. Hey Jaime, do you do requests?

    If so, how about some background on how they make Mantracker – seen on OLN. I'm always amazed that the cameramen shooting the chase scenes are always located in such prescient locations.

  14. Even as a youth, I observed Tewt (I didn't have the spelling right at the time, mind you) and thought, "Wait, the sidekick has a sidekick. Isn't that kind of like a motorcycle with two sidecars? Cull the herd."

  15. Even as a youth, I observed Tewt (I didn't have the spelling right at the time, mind you) and thought, "Wait, the sidekick has a sidekick. Isn't that kind of like a motorcycle with two sidecars? Cull the herd."

    • He wasn't a sidekick, he was the understudy. It's just practical planning for the day Herc kills Newton in a fit of anger, but realises he still needs a sidekick to get his arrows from a hollowed out old tree.

  16. He wasn't a sidekick, he was the understudy. It's just practical planning for the day Herc kills Newton in a fit of anger, but realises he still needs a sidekick to get his arrows from a hollowed out old tree.

  17. The music is credited to "Win Sharples Jr." So is that Winston Sharples of Famous/Paramount fame, or his son?

  18. The music is credited to "Win Sharples Jr." So is that Winston Sharples of Famous/Paramount fame, or his son?

  19. Also, the second video posted is from the time these were cleaned up for Internet/VOD distribution (I don't think there was ever a DVD release.) Shoddy digital noise reduction has damaged the original animation in places. Also, I recall they didn't or couldn't clear the original theme music so it was replaced by some piece of crap.

  20. Also, the second video posted is from the time these were cleaned up for Internet/VOD distribution (I don't think there was ever a DVD release.) Shoddy digital noise reduction has damaged the original animation in places. Also, I recall they didn't or couldn't clear the original theme music so it was replaced by some piece of crap.

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