Fifty Years Later, Josie and the Pussycats Still Rock

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Josie and the Pussycats

Fifty years ago, Saturday mornings were the place for young kids to rock out with their favorite animated characters. And in 1970, Hanna-Barbera, a giant in the animation industry, brought to life a spinoff out of Archie Comics: JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. The teen trio of Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown, and Melody Valentine would travel the world from gig to gig, accompanied by their road crew of Alan M (veteran voice actor Jerry Dexter) and twin troublemakers Alexander Cabot III (radio legend Casey Kasem) and his sister Alexandra Cabot (Sherry Alberoni of FAMILY AFFAIR, who would later go on to provide the voice of Wendy on SUPER FRIENDS).

Much like Mystery Inc (whom they would eventually meet more than once on Scooby-Doo's own show), The Pussycats would invariably encounter trouble at every stop around the globe. It being 1970, spy movies were in vogue, so there were more than a few nods to the Bond franchise. The villainy was sometimes as tricky as crooks pretending to be aliens to trick South American villagers to dig diamonds for them, to a kooky mad scientist who wants to spray her aging formula around the globe to make everyone old.

With music on every episode provided by The Pussycats, the studio actually hired two voice actresses for each character -- one for the narration and one for the musical number. So while Josie was voiced by Janet Waldo (more famously known as Judy Jetson and, later, Princess from BATTLE OF THE PLANETS), her singing alter ego was voiced by Cathy Douglas. Valerie's script was done by Barbara Pariot while Patrice Holloway did her singing. And Melody Valentine, the bubble-headed blonde drummer, was voiced superbly by Jackie Joseph from LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, while her singing was done by acting newcomer Cheryl Ladd, before she became one of CHARLIE'S ANGELS.

This set includes a documentary that examines the life of Dan DeCarlo, the renowned comic book artist most notable for his renditions of the Archie Comics characters. Included in this feature are memories from Mark Evanier, Scott Shaw!, Paul Dini, Stan Lee (the first to hire Dan for Timely Comics), as well as Josie DeCarlo, his inspirational wife.

This is, for the most part, an excellent collection of 70s nostalgia. My one quibble is that the second platter is two-sided, which just makes it riskier to get fingerprints on when handling it. Otherwise, this is a set no true Josie fan should be without.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Upon publication of this review, the Blu-ray of JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS arrived, which is the TRUE NEW RELEASE. This release contains all the same material below, but on two single-sided discs.)

The Complete Series

Disc One Disc Two (Side A)
01. The Nemo's a No No Affair
02. A Greenthumb is not a Goldfinger
03. The Secret Six Secret
04. Swap Plot Flop
05. The Midas Mix-Up
06. X Marks the Spot
07. Chili Today and Hot Tamale
08. Never Mind a Master Mind
09. Plateau of the Apes Plot
10. Strangemoon Over Miami
11. All Wong in Hong Kong
12. Melody Memory Mix-Up
Disc Two (Side B)

13. The Great Pussycat Chase
14. Spy School Spoof
15. The Jumpin' Jupiter Affair
16. Don't Count on a Countess

Special Feature: The Irresistible Charm of Dan DeCarlo: The Man and His Art

 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0