Any regular watcher of television will tell you that a dog is man’s best friend. They will also attest that nifty gadgets are a crime-fighter’s best friend. So, what if we had a dog who was a loyal pet and sidekick to a crime fighting millionaire? Logic suggests that he would be equipped with plenty of high-tech sophistication. Such was the case with Dynomutt, a lovable but ever-clumsy canine robot, equipped with an array of gear that would make the future Inspector Gadget a tad jealous.
In 1976, ABC and Hanna-Barbera decided that Scooby-Doo could use a canine companion to share airtime with and created The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. A year later, the canine crime fighter would appear in Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, a segment of Scooby’s All-Star Laugh-A-Lympics that was usually broken into two segments, with the first part containing a cliffhanger ending.
Dynomutt was the loyal cyber-canine to millionaire art dealer Radley Crown. When duty called, via the Falcon Flash, the two would assume the identity of The Blue Falcon and sidekick Dynomutt and head out in the Falconcar to save the citizens of Big City from the criminal elements that lurked about, reporting directly to Mayor Gaunt. Luckily, they had an arsenal of interesting gadgets to help them in their missions. (And if all of this sounds very similar to the premise of Batman, you are not alone).
Frank Welker, who is the current voice of both Fred Jones and Scooby-Doo, as well as “Nibbler” on Futurama, provided the voice of Dynomutt, while iconic Laugh-In announcer, Gary Owens, played the role of Radley Crown/The Blue Falcon. Local Los Angeles news anchor Larry McCormick voiced the character of Mayor Gaunt.
Dynomutt, Dog Wonder episodes (all twenty of them, that is) originally aired until 1978, but made a return in 1984 on the USA Cartoon channel. The Cartoon Network and Boomerang still occasionally show episodes and recently, both The Blue Falcon and Dynomutt made an appearance on Robot Chicken.
While Dynomutt might not have the universal appeal or recognition of Inspector Gadget, he had the nifty appliances long before the good inspector got into the investigating business. A tip of the hat is certainly in order.
If Dynomutt, Dog Wonder was once a part of your regular Saturday morning viewing, we’d love to hear all of your thoughts in our comments section, as we fondly pay tribute to another cartoon hero of yesteryear.