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Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels: The Complete Series

I'll be the first to admit, I'm an old guy and I'm partial to old Saturday morning cartoons. Mostly, I think, this is because a lot of the cartoons today are based on properties from other mediums. Comic books, video games, card games, etc. And while the cartoons I grew up on weren't devoid of this, we also had a healthy dose of Looney Tunes and stuff from Hanna-Barbera that were originals.

In 1977, in a bid to own Saturday mornings on ABC (who doesn't even bother with a Saturday morning kid's shows lineup these days as I assume they put their efforts into the Disney Channel), Hanna-Barbera put together the two hour block Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. It had various segments consisting of the Laff-A-Lympics which had characters from the Hanna-Barbera stable competing in Olympic-style events, two Scooby-Doo segements (one new, one rerun), The Blue Falcon & Dynomutt, and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that older cartoons were some kind of high art compared to today's stuff. No way. The old cartoons were down right silly. Check out this narration that introduced every Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels segment:

Set free by the Teen Angels from his prehistoric block of glacier ice, comes the world's first superhero, Captain Caveman! Now the constant companion to the Teen Angels—Brenda, Dee Dee and Taffy—in their hilarious, and sometimes scary mystery missions. Get ready for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels!

And that is exactly what the show was.

Voiced by Mel Blanc, Captain Caveman was a big fur covered thing with bare feet, an animal skin cape and a giant club, which sometimes opened and a little bird would come out. He inexplicably was thawed out by these three teen girls and the four of them drove around in a van solving mysteries.

The most important element of this show, and most shows of the era, is that every episode is an entry point. There are no arcs or characters you need to know before watching any episode. You get that intro every time, the characters are simple, and each mystery takes 11 minutes to introduce and solve. Next week, same pattern.

Another thing you won't always find in modern shows: good female characters. While they often rely on Captain Caveman to do things like bash in doors or lift heavy objects, like cars, with his super powers, the three Teen Angels are smart and capable, and they are the ones who actually solve every mystery.

Anyway... Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was a part of the Laff-A-Lympics for two years, and then it's own half-hour show for 16 episodes in 1980, even then sticking to the 11 minute segment format, one new and one rerun. This DVD set contains all 40 of the original segments, 440 glorious minutes of three ladies solving mysteries with the help of a lovable unfrozen caveman superhero.

I can't recommend this enough.

Review by Jason Pace
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