In this day and age, you just never know what weird and obscure cartoon will suddenly reappear, after being hidden from public for years, maybe decades. Case in point: DePatie-Freleng’s Super 6.
For those who don’t know, The Super 6 (on screen, simply titled “Super 6”) is a cartoon that aired on NBC Saturday Mornings starting September 10, 1966. It was produced by DePatie-Freleng (DFE), their first try at making made-for-TV cartoons after doing theatrical shorts for several years.
This is a three-short cartoon: the first segment featuring “Super Bwoing”, and the second “Brothers Matzorileys”. The third slot rotated between Granite Man, Magneto Man, Elevator Man, Super Scuba, and Captain Zammo. Collectively, The Super 6 takes place in Super Service, a company where superheroes work on the clock. It is run by Super Chief (voiced by Paul Frees), a dispatcher who assigns a superhero for any crime that takes place. Often times he is forced to dispatch Super Bwoing, the “rookie” of the group, to stop a crime because everyone else is busy. He would always fly with his “Super Bwoinger”, a guitar which also acts as his weapon. He’s the clumsy one in the group, although he would succeed in catching bad guys.
Granite Man is, as his name implies, made of granite. He spends his day as a statue in the park, but he would get his assignment delivered to him by his assistant Percival, a messenger pigeon. His power is super-strength, due to his nature as a living statue.
Magneto Man and his assistant Cal both have English accents. His power, of course, is being able to attract anything through his magnetism. Each episode featuring him ends with Cal giving a brief scientific tidbit, an early use of featuring educational content in a Saturday Morning cartoon.
Elevator Man’s power is becoming big or small, made possible by his belt that has an up button and a down button, like an elevator. Cartoons starring him are a bit different from what you would expect in the show. His adventures are told through monologue, where he narrates everything that went on. His cartoons are the least humorous of the bunch, the closest the show has to semblance of seriousness.
Super Scuba can be described as a poor man’s Aquaman. Along with his mermaid assistant Bubbles, Super Scuba handles marine related crime.
Finally, there’s Captain Zammo. His power is to go back in time to historical events, together with his assistant Private Hammo. He does the least fighting in the group, often delegating any physical fighting to Hammo, which often injures him. In spite of that, Hammo is fiercely loyal to Zammo, willing to take the bullet if asked by him. Captain Zammo made the least appearance out of all the superheroes in this cartoon.
In the middle of all this were the Brothers Matzoriley, who were not part of the Super 6 line-up. The cartoons centered on a siamese triplets (three heads sharing the same body) taking on different jobs in each episode, sometimes even appearing in different time periods. One can compare this to the Three Stooges if they all shared the same body. They originally appeared as villains in the Inspector cartoon The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation (1965).
This is a fun, enjoyable show, with enjoyable characters and stories parodying the superhero genre. This being a DePatie-Freleng production, it had involvement from many Looney Tunes veterans, including directors Hawley Pratt, Robert McKimson, and Norm McCabe. Much of DFE’s theatrical animators, such as Manny Gould, Don Williams, Bob Matz, and Art Leonardi, were involved, together with numerous other animators hired in order to churn out enough TV episodes to satisfy network demands. Manny Gould in particular stood out; according to Mike Kazaleh, Friz Freleng used Gould’s animation on the show as the yardstick for other animators to follow. Bill Lava is often derided for his music on the later WB cartoons, but he does effective scoring on this show. The voice talent are top notch. Paul Frees and Daws Butler are very prominently featured, with Charles Smith (he voiced Super Bwoing), June Foray, Arte Johnson, Joan Gerber, and others making up the cast. As an icing on the cake, there’s the catchy theme song sung by Jerry Lewis’ son, Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
This is a very cheap, barebone DVD. The 20 half-hour shows are crammed into two DVD discs, so compression is there. In spite of that, however, the picture quality is pretty good. The colors are vibrant, and the film transfer looks new. Like most DFE outputs, the show is owned by MGM, but they didn’t release the DVD, instead licensing it to a third party distributor TGG Direct.
Even though Amazon won’t release it until August, it already available in most Wal-Mart stores, found in their $5 bin, mixed with other cheap DVDs containing public domain cartoons. There are absolutely no extra content, but the cartoons alone make this purchase worth it.
Coldpinky (Super Bwoing)
Jolly Green Gorilla (Brothers Matzoriley)
Down Please (Elevator Man)
Easy Kid Stuff (Super Bwoing)
Dirty Pierre (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Cement Mixup (Granite Man)
Molehattan Island (Super Bwoing)
High Noon (Brothers Matzoriley)
Will the Real Magneto Man Please Stand Up? (Magneto Man)
Martian Mixup (Super Bwoing)
Knight’s Hart Day (Brothers Matzoriley)
One of Our Missiles is Missing (Super Scuba)
Hag Bag (Super Bwoing)
You Go To My Heads (Brothers Matzoriley)
Right Train on the Wrong Track (Granite Man)
Thunder 8-Ball (Super Bwoing)
Ruin and Board (Brothers Matzoriley)
Whale of a Tale (Super Scuba)
Mayor Go Round (Super Bwoing)
Moby Richard (Brothers Matzoriley)
London Britches is Falling Down (Magneto Man)
Jumping Jack (Super Bwoing)
Highway Slobbery (Brothers Matzoriley)
Having a Ball (Granite Man)
Bomb Clom (Super Bwoing)
Heck’s Angels (Brothers Matzoriley)
Water, Water Nowhere (Magneto Man)
Think Little (Super Bwoing)
Heau Beau Jest (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Mummy Caper (Elevator Man)
Don’t Gloat Red Coat (Super Bwoing)
No Biz Like Schome (Brothers Matzoriley)
Shapoor Caper (Elevator Man)
Monster Come Home (Super Bwoing)
Road Scholars (Brothers Matzoriley)
Smuggler’s Cove (Super Scuba)
A Witch in a Ditch (Super Bwoing)
The Three Matzoteers (The Brothers Matzoriley)
The Bad Brothers Ride Again (Captain Zammo)
Unidentified Floating Object (Super Bwoing)
Hyde and Shriek (The Brothers Matzoriley)
Matucci Venus (Granite Man)
Jerk and the Beanstalk (Super Bwoing)
Window Pains (Brothers Matzoriley)
Who’s Watching the Gold? (Super Scuba)
The Karate Kid (Super Bwoing)
Dog Nappers (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Fly (Elevator Man)
Who Put the Finger on Arnold Hangnail? (Super Bwoing)
A Tree Grows in Matzovania (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Pacific Star Caper (Elevator Man)
The Man from T.R.A.S.H. (Super Bwoing)
Willy of the Wilderness (Brothers Matzoriley)
Ship of Mules (Captain Zammo)
Topsy Turvy Time Traveler (Super Bwoing)
Lone Shark (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Termite (Magneto Man)
Little Shredded Riding Hood (Super Bwoing)
Matzonuts (Brothers Matzoriley)
The Hessians are Coming (Captain Zammo)