August 22, 2015


(ABC, September 11, 1976-October 29, 1977)

Hanna-Barbera Productions

Gary OwensThe Blue Falcon/Radley Owens
Ron Feinberg – Narrator, F.O.C.U.S. One, Mudmouth, Worm

Larry McCormick – Mayor Gaunt

The Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.

            Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears for Hanna-Barbera Productions, the series was a parody of DC ComicsBatman and Robin. It focused on the bumbling robotic dog, Dynomutt (Frank Welker, taking inspiration from the Red Skelton characters of Gertrude and Heathcliff), who could pull any kind of device from his robotic body. His straight man and partner was the Blue Falcon (Gary Owens), aka millionaire socialite art dealer Radley Crown. Together they protected Big City when they received a trouble alert from the headquarters of secret agent F.O.C.U.S. One (Ron Feinberg) via their Falcon Flash. They would abscond to the Falcon Lair located inside Crown’s penthouse to change into their outfits and depart in the Falcon Car. Unfortunately, protecting the city was often made more difficult when Dynomutt’s gadgets backfired; putting the heroes at the villains’ mercy (at least until after the commercial break).

A coloring book based on the hour.

            Dynomutt began on ABC on September 11, 1976. The first season aired on as part of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour alongside The Scooby-Doo Show. As a result, the Mystery, Inc. gang often crossed over with Dynomutt to help solve mysteries. The series particularly gained notoriety for being the first Saturday morning cartoon to depict an African-American public official in Mayor Gaunt (Larry McCormick). Many of the concept designs were done by Alex Toth. The series was written by Jeffrey Scott, Haskell Barkin, Earle Doud, Donald F. Glut, Orville H. Hampton, Michael Muarer, Lee Orgel, Dalton Sandifer and Deirdre Starlight with music by Hoyt Curtin.

Blue Falcon, Dynomutt and their identities model sheet.

The following season, the show was rerun as part of the Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics programming block. Four new stories, broken up into 8 episodes, were aired as part of the block amongst the original 16 under the title The Blue Falcon & Dynomutt. Blue Falcon and Dynomutt also appeared as regular characters in the Laff-A-Lympics portion of the block as members of Scooby-Doo’s team, The Scooby-Doobies. In 1978, the series broke out on its own in syndicated reruns as Dynomutt, Dog Wonder before being paired up with Godzilla in The Godzilla/Dynomutt Hour in 1980. 

Blue Falcon on Dexter's Laboratory.

After years of inactivity, Blue Falcon and Dynomott appeared in the Dexter’s Laboratory episode “Dyno-Might” while Dynomutt cameoed as a picture in the “Agent Penny” episode of the Super Secret Secret Squirrel segment of 2 Stupid Dogs. Blue Falcon guest starred in the Johnny Bravo episode “Johnny Makeover,” helping to revamp Johnny’s show alongside “Weird Al” Yankovic and Don Knotts. Blue Falcon was reimagined as Spanish lawyer Azul Falcone (Maurice LaMarche) for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law while Dynomutt would appear in the episode “Deadomutt” with a Spanish accent provided by Andre Sogliuzzo. Victor Yerrid and Kevin Shinick would assume the roles for the Robot Chicken episode “Ban on the Fun.” 

Blue Falcon and Dynomutt reunite with Scooby-Doo on Mystery Incorporated.

The characters would reunite with the Scooby gang in the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode “Ban on the Fun,” where series star Welker reprised his role, but Blue Falcon was given a grim and gritty portrayal by Troy Baker. In 2012, the gritty theme was revisited when the Scooby gang got involved in a mystery surrounding a gritty reboot of the Blue Falcon film franchise in the direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon. Blue Falcon was represented by the “actors” that played him: the new one, Brad Adams (Diedrich Bader), and the original, Owen Garrison (named for Gary Owens and voiced by Jeff Bennett). Scooby spent a good portion of the film dressed up as Dynomutt. Another team-up occurred when Blue Falcon and Dynomutt were featured as central characters in the 2020 CGI film, Scoob!; this time voiced by Mark Wahlberg and Ken Jeong, respectively.

The variant cover for Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1.

In 1977, Marvel Comics published a six-issue Dynomutt comic series. They also appeared in Marvel’s 1978 Laff-A-Lympics series and the related issue of Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. In 1999, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt were featured in the 21st issue of Cartoon Network Presents by DC Comics. In 2018, the pair returned to comics in Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 by Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin as part of the second wave of Hanna-Barbera crossover one-shots, which finally gave an origin to Dynomutt’s robotics. 

The DVD cover.

Also in 1977, Milton Bradley produced a board game based on the series while Rand McNally published a series of coloring books, sometimes pairing the characters up with Scooby-Doo. Dynomutt was also a featured character on the Scooby-Doo watercolor paint set in 1979. In 2003, Toynami produced an action figure box set for the characters and two small figures as part of their Hanna-Barbera Adventure Superstars line, as well as two maquettes that linked up by their bases to form a single statue. In 2006, Warner Bros. Home Video released the complete Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour on DVD as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection, featuring the original 16 episodes of Dynomutt. The Final eight have yet to see release.

Season 1:
“Everyone Hyde!” (9/11/76) – Mystery, Inc. helps the heroes take down Willie the Weasel, who has turned himself into Mr. Hyde.

“What Now, Lowbrow?” (9/18/76) – Lowbrow wants to become the king of crime, but the heroes and Mystery, Inc. stand in his way.

“The Great Brain…Train Robbery” (9/25/76) – The Gimmick dares the police to stop him from stealing a train car inhabited by a prince.

“The Day and Night Crawler” (10/2/76) – The Worm and Grub use a digging machine to bust Bugsy Busby and Roto Chopper from prison to help them steal a super computer.

“The Harbor Robber” (10/9/76) – Fishface plans to steal and ransom the city’s oil supply.

“Sinister Symphony” (10/16/76) – Manyfaces tricks Dynomutt into arresting his allies.

“Don’t Bug Superthug” (10/23/76) – Superthug and Zorkon use a super steel skeleton to steal the city’s steel supply to mass-produce an army of skeletons.

“Factory Recall” (10/30/76) – Mr. Cool finds Falcon’s lost communicator and uses it to dispose of the heroes.

“The Queen Hornet” (11/6/76) – The heroes investigate Queen Hornet in order to find the evidence that will put her away.

“The Wizard of Ooze” (11/13/76) – Swamp Rat and Mudmouth plan to flood the city, but the heroes team-up with Mystery, Inc. to stop them.

“Tin Kong” (11/20/76) – Eric von Flick plans to use his robotic creation to destroy Big City for his next motion picture.

“The Awful Ordeal with the Head of Steel” (11/25/76) – Ironface seeks revenge on Big City by capturing all its champions of justice.

“The Blue Falcon vs. the Red Vulture” (11/27/76) – The Red Vulture steals the most powerful jet-engines for his Vulturuejet in order to rule the air.

“The Injustice League of America” (12/4/76) – Fishface, Gimmick, Lowbrow, Queen Hornet, Superthug and Worm escape from prison and team-up.

“Lighter Than Air Raid” (12/11/76) – Blimp steals the city’s supply of helium.

“The Prophet Profits” (12/18/76) – The Prophet scams Mayor Gaunt into paying him for his predictions of disasters Prophet set up himself.

Season 2:
“Beastwoman Part 1” (9/10/77) – Beastwoman uses her Beast Whistle to have all the animals in the zoo drive the people out of the city, and even manages to control Dynomutt.

“Beastwoman Part 2” (9/17/77) – Falcon frees Dynomutt from Beastwoman’s control and prevent her from turning the country into a jungle.

“The Glob Part 1” (9/24/77) – Norbert Prindle becomes the Glob and steals the Baltese Falcon. The heroes give chase and end up subjected to the same process that created the Glob.

“The Glob Part 2” (10/1/77) – Dynomutt sculpts Falcon back to normal and they use Falcon’s Instant Hardening Spray to defeat the Glob.

“Madame Ape Face Part 1” (10/8/77) – Madame Ape Face steals and plans to sell the faces of the starlets of the city.

“Madame Ape Face Part 2” (10/15/77) – Dynomutt goes undercover to capture Madame Ape Face and ends up losing his own face.

“Shadowman Part 1” (10/22/77) – Shadowman knows all of the plans of the Crime Commission and makes off with a diamond, money plates and gold, framing Mayor Gaunt in the process.

“Shadowman Part 2” (10/29/77) – The heroes attempt to prove Mayor Gaunt’s innocence and capture Shadowman, who turns out to be the corrupt Crime Consultant.

Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.


Jared said...

Rand McNally also published a story book featuring Dynomutt in 1977 "Hanna Barbera’s Dynomutt and the Pie in the Sky Caper". Story by Fern G. Brown, illustrations by Marilou Wise.

Chris Buchner said...

Thanks for the lead.

Anonymous said...

It's Radley Crown. (Possibly Crowne, I'm not sure, but the former seems to be used.)

LTYSON said...

A cool cartoon in it's own right. Did a good job for the time period of combining action & comedy. I think the show is under estimated for it's potential, had 2 great lead characters. Fond memories for the show & the time period!