1 April 2006 | blondiesguy2004
Scooby-Doo Meets the Bowery Boys
That's about as best as I can describe this otherwise well-made knockoff of the Great Dane Sleuth. And it is a knockoff... the stalwart "Freddie"-like leader (Biff), the resident Daphne-like sexpot (Kim), the goof ball Shaggy (Puggsy), and the mascot Scooby-Doo (Fangface).
However, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the head writers of "Scooby-Doo" who created this show for their own Ruby-Spears company (RS's very first series, by the way...) took a few liberties with their patented "kids and a pet meddle in mysteries" formula... first of all, Fangface isn't a scaredy-cat who's afraid of his own shadow, but a fearless, if dense, hero... shades of Dyno-Mutt (both of whom were voiced by the great Frank Welker, one of the last of the old-school voice artists). Second, the relationship between Fang and Puggsy is more antagonistic than that of ol' buddies Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. In fact, if you'll notice real closely, this is about as close as you can get to seeing the 1940's comedy team The Bowery Boys in animation, with Fang taking on the Huntz Hall role, while Puggsy channels Leo Gorcey, complete with derby.
Those little touches make Fangface stand out from the other rip-offs, and pretty much excuses the usual formulaic scripts that are a staple of such shows like this. Then they had to go and do a "Cousin Oliver/Scrappy-Doo" by adding baby FangPuss... who, while nowhere near as annoying as Scrappy, still signaled the beginning of the end (or in this case, THE end) of a rather good show.
My rating: *** stars
"Fangface" is a Ruby-Spears Production in association with Filmways TV, made between 1978 and 1980.