Dastardly and Muttley
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this hilarious animated classic will make you want to root for the villain. But although it's very well executed, the series has its fair share of violence, weapon use, and stereotypes (the latter thanks mostly to its "classic" status).
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What's the Story?
DASTARDLY AND MUTTLEY, one of the classic late-'60s/early-'70s cartoon spin-offs of Wacky Races, showcases villains Dick Dastardly (voiced by Paul Winchell), Muttley (Don Messick), and other affiliates from the "Vulture Squadron," whose ultimate mission is to stop Yankee Doodle Pigeon from delivering homeward-bound messages.
Is It Any Good?
When watching Dastardly and Muttley, expect plenty of clever one-liners and entertaining cartoon action ... accompanied by dated references and frequent (if cartoonish) violence. The show's frequent violence usually comes across as funny, but it's still glamorized to a certain level. Weapons make regularly scheduled appearances, and characters are constantly running away from bullets, rifles, and explosives -- and even being burned at the stake.
Since the show is now several decades old, parents should also watch out for stereotypes. Native Americans are portrayed as obtuse, aggressive characters with one-dimensional personalities. And Dastardly and Muttley's fellow villain Klunk (Messick again) suffers from what appears to be Tourette Syndrome; although this characteristic is used ingeniously as a gag, playing up his problem serves to mock a serious disorder.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about heroes and villains. What makes the villains in this series funny and intriguing? Why are their pursuits ultimately unsuccessful? Why are villains fun to watch on TV even though they set bad examples in real life?
- Premiere date: September 13, 1969
- Cast: Don Messick, Paul Winchell
- Network: Boomerang
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: December 16, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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