Hanna-Barbera's version of Moby Dick.


Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1967
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The Hanna-Barbera Studio is widely known for taking concepts from other studios and even other media, and making their own cartoons about them. But in Moby Dick, which was the back segment to The Mighty Mightor, they didn't even swipe the concept — all they …

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… did was take a name that was familiar to the public, tho in the public domain, and wrap a typical Hanna-Barbera cartoon around it.

Melville's Moby Dick, hereinafter referred to as the "real" Moby Dick, was less a character than an obsession. He wasn't friendly, sympathetic, well-rounded, or anything else we expect a cartoon protagonist to be. Hanna-Barbera's version started off by rescuing a couple of boys, Tom and Tub, following a shipwreck, something it would be hard to imagine the real Moby being caught dead doing. Afterward, he became their pal, which violates everything we know about Moby Dick. Their multi-species band was rounded out by Scooby (no relation), their pet seal. The four went adventuring on the high seas on CBS, starting September 9, 1967. Incredibly, this went on for two seasons, totalling 36 episodes.

Tom was voiced by Bobby Resnick, who seems to have few if any acting credits at all, either face or voice. Tub was Barry Balkin, who seems to have even fewer. The two non-humans were both done by Don Messick, who, from The Jetsons' Astro to Shazzan's Kaboobie the Camel, was the studio's go-to man for non-human voices.

Moby Dick had no real spin-offs, tho he did do an unlikely crossover or two with the likes of Dino Boy in the Lost Valley. He also didn't have a comic book, tho he did appear in a few stories in Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera's Super TV Heroes, alongside such superheroes as Birdman and Young Samson.

After he went off the air, he sank into obscurity.


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Text ©2007 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Hanna-Barbera.