I’ve read Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick many times, but I don’t remember any chapters in which the great white whale — that inscrutable avatar of doom, destroyer of ships, and nemesis of human hubris — befriended two stranded teens, Tom and Tub, and protected them during adventures beneath the waves that involved evil undersea queens and electric octopuses. Thankfully, Cartoon Network’s Boomerang channel has filled this gap in my literary knowledge by rerunning Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor, an animated Hanna-Barbera adventure series that originally aired from 1967 to ’69. Seems everything was trippier back then, even kids’ TV, which explains this surreal series that turns Melville’s fearsome instrument of nature’s wrath into a kid-friendly pet. (Tom and Tub have another pet, a seal named Scooby; his yelps and Moby’s grunts are both voiced by Don Messick, who would later voice a better-known Hanna-Barbera creature named Scooby.)
Actually, even weirder than the “Moby Dick” segments are theunrelated “Mightor” segments, centering on a teenage caveman who, whenhe wields his magical club, becomes the masked, flying superheroMightor, protector of his village against bizarre invaders (the IceMen, the Stone Men, the Scorpion Men). He has several sidekicks.There’s Tog, his flying dinosaur, who transforms into a fire-breathingdragon; Sheera, the village chief’s red-headed hottie daughter (and anapparent model for Scooby-Doo‘s adventure-seeking, kidnap-proneDaphne); and Sheera’s annoying kid brother Little Rok, who likes topretend he’s Mightor and has his own mask and flying sidekick, and whousually gets into trouble that the real Mightor has to rescue him from.Amazingly, neither Sheera nor Little Rok seems to recognize that theirbland friend Tor is really Mightor, even though they wear the samemedallion and green loincloth. Both adventures (designed by Alex Toth,who also did Hanna-Barbera’s Space Ghost and Jonny Quest) are thoroughly bonkers, but I can’t stop watching.
Anyone else seen this wacky show? And what other unlikely literarycharacters would you like to see transformed into Saturday morningcartoon action heroes?