Welcome to another edition of the Daily Cartoon on Car JoeMez! Many thank yous to everybody who has been coming by and checking these out as our web traffic here has been really good so it’s nice to know that there’s people sticking around to read these.
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Today’s cartoon is Josie And The Pussycats which was produced by Hanna-Barbera and had a run of 16 episodes before they repackaged the show as Josie And The Pussycats In Outer Space. Outer space will have to wait for another day, because today we’re focused on the original.
I really didn’t (and still don’t) know too much about this show other than it was a chick rock band and I think they solved crimes between gigs kind of like the Scooby-Doo crew. I don’t ever remember watching this as a kid, but I do recall little snaps of Josie and the Pussycats performing their song about themselves after – now that I think about it – episodes of Scooby Doo. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.
So, obviously, I did a little research about this show and found out that this came into existence because of the success my double main-man, Lou Scheimer, and his crew at Filmation had with The Archie Show. That was a huge hit and even led to some big record sales, so Hanna-Barbera wanted in on that. Josie was another property of Archie Comics so Hanna-Barbera snatched up the rights and tried to set the stage for a huge animation showdown. Or maybe not. They just really hoped it would be as successful as Archie and lead to good merchandising opportunities with music and such.
It’s probably safe to say that never happened, but it did inspire a live-action Josie movie released in 2001 that starred Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid and the uber-lovely Rachael Leigh Cook who I used to have a huge crush on. I’m sure she reads this blog so that will be embarrassing for me when she sees it. I’m actually a fan of the movie. I like it a lot. I own it on DVD. Shut up, it’s fun.
Let’s watch a cartoon.
Josie And The Pussycats: E.5: “Midas Mix-Up”
Originally Aired: October 10, 1970
Let’s start with just introducing our cast of characters since even I’m unfamiliar with them.
Josie – The lead singer and guitar player. Romantically linked to Alan, their roadie
Valerie – Tambourine player and mechanical wizard
Melody – Drummer and airhead
Alan – Roadie and basically Fred from Scooby-Doo
Alexander – He’s kind of the manager/agent of the band also basically Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. He – like Shaggy – is voiced by Casey Kasem so they don’t even try to hide the resemblance.
Alexandra – Twin sister of Alexander, she is insanely jealous of Josie because she feels like she’s the real talent even though she’s not even in the band and she also wants to get down with Alan because, I suppose, chicks dig kerchiefs.
Sebastian – Alexandra’s cat who can be mean, but also helpful.
OK, so now that we know everybody, we open with the entire crew arriving to a ski lodge in a van. The Pussycats are going to be playing here, but will certainly have time to relax and get some skiing in.
There’s a golden castle shown on the top of the mountain and, inside, we’re introduced to Midas. He’s a horrible human being and is hellbent on making all of the world’s gold disappear with his super-spray he’s developed. Why he would want to do this is – as of this point – unclear.
The girls play a quick show on what appears to be a frozen pond and then goes skiing. Alexandra sabotages the crew because she wants to show up Josie and impress Alan and the entire team ends up crashing and landing on a cable-car that takes them to Midas’s castle. Even though they just made a mistake, Midas deals with them as intruders and describes his evil plan. They ask him what good making all the gold disappear will do him, which is a terrific question, and he states that the world will give him half of all they gold or else he’ll make it all disappear. Well…OK, then.
They get slammed in a prison where the floor is opening beneath them. Luckily, Sebastian the cat distracts the guards and frees them all. Look, what happens next is literally a Scooby episode with different characters. It’s not fun, it’s not creative.I mean, literally, you have two characters who are really just Fred and Shaggy under different names trying to save the day from a weird villain and his evil plans.
Hell, the Midas guy even refers to them as “those meddling kids”.
At some point, we get a ski chase to give us time to play a song in the background to hopefully sell some Josie records, but it’s just too long and too stupid.
Spoiler alert, they stop Midas and save the day.
Look, I completely get what they’re going for here and I love the whole idea of a female rock ‘n roll group. But the execution of this is so piss-poor. It literally is just Scooby-Doo with small pieces of the band playing or having a song in the background to justify the whole “them being a band” thing.
I understand there’s a significant amount of time between the two, but this show needed to be more Jem & The Holograms. That show did a female music group right. With Josie, there’s just no depth to the story, characters or writing and it’s a complete issue of laziness to give you what amounts to Diet-Scooby. Garbage.
If you’re interested, I’m sure there’s a Hanna-Barbera Classics DVD collection of this somewhere out there. I, however, found a bunch of these episodes on YouTube in good quality. By all means, go check it out and if you disagree with my opinion, I’d love to hear why. Let’s talk it over. Otherwise, thanks for coming back today.