There IS Need to Fear

Underdog is here. I’ve seen the commercials for the movie of the live-action character, opening today, voiced by Jason Lee (Earl of My Name Is…) and it seems lame. A Chicago Tribune piece by Louis R. Carlozo seems to agree: “…redux has all the hallmarks of a film that lives up to its title, minus the ‘under’ part.”

Fortunately, the REAL Underdog is here. The cartoon version, voiced by Wally Cox, my favorite Hollywood Square, is also coming out today: three volumes of The Ultimate Underdog, six episodes each, $12.93 each from Classic Media. The product also features shorts of Tennessee Tuxedo, voiced by, would you believe, Don Adams, plus Commander McBragg and the annoying Go Go Gophers.

I was never a big fan of live action versions of cartoon characters. The Garfield movie seems a little creepy to me. But I didn’t really care that much about Garfield, anyway.

The Underdog cartoon, though, I was invested in. Beginning with its faux Superman opening – “It’s a bird.” “It’s a plane.” “It’s a frog.” “A FROG?” – let even this 11-year-old in on the tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek joke. But it was clever, not condescending, or dopey. “Not bird or plane or even frog. It’s just little ol’ me [CRASH ] Underdog.”

What does it say about me that I know the theme songs for all four of those cartoon segments?

More Spider Pig on ‘Simpsons’ DVD and other pop culture stuff.


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