Young and old alike love to dress up and watch scary flicks on TV or at the movies during Halloween. But for those that are too young for really scary shows there are child-safe cartoons starring fangtastic characters such as vampires and werewolves. Here are some favorite retro cartoons featuring those fang-faced characters. Some of these howling good shows can be found on DVD at your local store or online at favorite shopping sites such as Amazon or possibly E-Bay.
Count Duckula (1988)
Vampire lovers can’t help but love a cartoon starring a green-skinned vampire duck, even if he is a vegetarian who likes to eat ketchup and broccoli. He goes by the name of COUNT DUCKULA and resides in Castle Duckula in Transylvania. If you’re wondering how a vampire could possibly be a vegetarian, well, I’ll tell you. It goes something like this:
If a vampire is destroyed by a wooden stake or sunlight there is hope for them to come back to life using a secret ritual. To complete this ritual first you need some blood. Unfortunately, in COUNT DUCKULA’s case, a bottle of ketchup was mistaken for a bottle of blood and thus was born the vegetarian vampire COUNT DUCKULA. Now instead of lusting after blood, the Count lusts after healthy vegetables along with money and power which was always slipping through his fingers, but he always had plenty of vegetables. COUNT DUCKULA’s biggest enemy is Dr. Von Goosewing who has a specially sharpened wooden stake ready to use on the Count. In order to escape the clutches of the evil doctor, the Count has devised a teleportation device to transport Castle Duckula anywhere on the planet, but always returns to Transylvania at dawn.
The COUNT DUCKULA series is a spin off from the DANGERMOUSE cartoon, specifically the episode titled “The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse” where super agent DangerMouse was tasked with retrieving a feather from a vampire duck.
COUNT DUCKULA was produced by Cosgrove Hall Productions for Thames Television and aired from 1988-1993.
Drak Pack (1980)
Known as the DRAK PACK, these animated teenage descendents of famous monsters joined forces to try to atone for the sins of their ancestors. members of the DRAK PACK included Drak (Dracula’s son), Howler (Wolfman’s progeny), and Frank (Frankenstein’s son). The teens morphed into monsters by clasping hands and shouting, “Drak Pack Wacko!” Drak’s great-grandfather, Dracula, doled out assignments to the DRAK PACK to fight evil against adversaries such as their nemesis O.G.R.E. (The Organization of Generally Rotten Endeavors.) Led by the villainous Dr. Dred, OGRE was based in a flying dredgible. members of OGRE consisted of creeps such as Vampira, Toad, Mummy Man, Fly and Big D.
DRAK PACK was produced by Hanna-Barbara and aired on CBS from 1980-1982.
In real life, Sherman “Fangs” Fangsworth is a cowardly teenager who turns into the friendly werewolf FANGFACE when the moon is full, or even if he just sees a picture of a full moon. It’s not a stretch to say this show was inspired by the hit teenage sleuth show SCOOBY DOO, but the bad guys on FANGFACE didn’t wear ghostly masks; these were genuine bad monsters FANGFACE was facing. Friends Kim, Biff and Pugsy helped Sherman investigate day-to-day mysteries and troubles faced in high school and drove around in the coolest orange convertible dubbed the Wolf Buggy. To change back from FANGFACE to the human Sherman, the loveable werewolf must see the sun or something that resembles the sun. Sherman has no memories of the activities he pursues when he is FANGFACE and dismisses what he does remember as weird dreams.
Sherman has a baby cousin known as Baby Fangs who also turns into a werewolf who goes by the name of FANGPUSS and appeared on the cartoon FANGFACE & FANGPUSS on ABC in 1981. FANGFACE aired on ABC from 1978-1979 and was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions.
Gravedale High (1990)
GRAVEDALE HIGH is another ghoulish cartoon that features offspring of famous monsters, only this time they are teenagers in high school. The high school is located inside an old cemetery and is run by a human named Max Schneider (voiced by Rick Moranis, Ghostbusters) who helps these friendly monsters with life lessons, as well as various social activities and sporting events. Also on staff are Ms. Crone, the spooky headmistress, and Coach Cadaver. The big man, umm, vampire, on campus is none other than Vinnie Stoker himself. Other teen monsters attending GRAVEDALE included Sid the Invisible Kid, Cleofatra, J.P. Blanche, Frankentyke, Gill Waterman, and Duzer.
GRAVEDALE HIGH aired on NBC from 1990-1991 and was produced by Hanna-Barbera.
The Groovie Goolies (1971)
Horrible Hall is the monstrous boarding house which is run by Tom Drac. He lives there with his wife, Hagatha; their son, Frankie; Hagatha’s enchanted broom named Broom Hilda; and their two pets, Salem the cat and Rover the dinosaur. Monsters boarding at Horrible Hall include Bella La Ghostly, Ratzo and Batzo the vampire twins, Wolfie the Wolfman, Dr. Jekyll/Hyde, the Thing-Eating Plant, the two-headed switchboard operator, the disembodied Ghoulihand, a skeleton called Napoleon Boneapart, Orville Mummy, and the Ask-It Casket.
The Groovie Goolies was originally teamed with Sabrina the Teenage Witch on SABRINA AND THE GROOVIE GOOLIES/CBS/1970-71 Later, the show ran in syndication under the title GROOVIE GOOLIES AND FRIENDS/SYN/1972-75. The GROOVIE GOOLIES also teamed with Looney Toons characters in the ABC SATRUDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE “Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies.” In the last five minutes of the film, The Goolies became live-action characters when they entered the “Mad Mirror Land.”
THE GROOVIE GOOLIES aired on CBS from 1971-1972 and was produced by Filmations.
Little Dracula (1991)
LITTLE DRACULA had green skin and hung out with his best bunny friend Werebunny. Children could relate to this 8-year-old vampire as he faced some of the same things children do such as starting school, celebrating Christmas, gong on vacations, and holding down his first job at a fast food restaurant. But things aren’t as easy for LITTLE DRACULA as they are for kids in real life. His vacation was ruined by an evil villain made of garlic (vampires don’t like garlic), and it turned out that the fast food restaurant was owned by the evil garlicky villain and sold dangerous-to-vampires garlic burgers. LITTLE DRACULA is based on the children’s books by Martin Waddell and Illustrated by Joseph Wright.
LITTLE DRACULA aired on Fox in 1991, and on Fox Family in 1999.
Teen Wolf (1986)
Teen Wolf was a popular movie film in 1985 starring Michael J. Fox who was a teenage werewolf in high school. Then in 1986, the cartoon spin-off came to life with the not-so-original title of TEEN WOLF. The cartoon mainly followed the movie outline featuring a teenager named Scott living in the werewolf-obsessed town of Wolverton who finds himself turning into a real life werewolf. Only Scott’s girlfriend and best friend know the secret being kept by Scott and his family. His grandfather is constantly chasing the neighbor-ladies cat and she in turn is constantly spying on the family vowing to learn the secret she just knows they must be keeping. Scott’s younger sister Lupey can’t wait to become of werewolf age so she can transform but for now she has to pretend with plastic fangs.
TEEN WOLF (the cartoon) aired on CBS from 1986-1988 and was produced by Southern Star Productions and Atlantic Entertainment Group.
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION
The Groovie Goolies