Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Secret Squirrel was a cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera. Secret Squirrel was one of two co-stars of The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show, which debuted in 1965. He was given his own show in 1966, but was reunited with Atom Ant for one more season in 1967. Secret first appeared in a prime-time animated special called The World of Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel, which aired on NBC on September 12, 1965.
The Secret Squirrel half-hours included three individual cartoon segments: "Secret Squirrel," "Squiddly Diddly," and "Winsome Witch." Secret Squirrel's shorts were a parody of the then-popular spy genre, with most of his shorts' elements satirizing those of the James Bond films. Secret Squirrel was also known as "Agent 000". Beginning in 1993, thirteen new Secret Squirrel cartoons appeared in between the 2 Stupid Dogs episodes, with the updated title, Super Secret Secret Squirrel and a new cast. As of 5th September 2011, episode reruns returned on Boomerang from Cartoon Network.
Secret Squirrel (voiced by Mel Blanc) serves as a Secret Agent, taking orders from his superior Double-Q (voiced by Paul Frees) of the International Sneaky Service. His designation is Agent 000. Secret Squirrel is assisted in his adventures by fez-wearing sidekick, Morocco Mole (also voiced by Paul Frees impersonating Peter Lorre). The pair fights crime and evil enemy agents using cunning and a variety of spy gadgets, including a machine gun cane, a collection of guns kept inside Secret's trench coat, and a variety of devices concealed in his fedora (which he almost never removes).
Secret Squirrel's recurring arch-enemy is Yellow Pinkie (also voiced by Frees), a parody of Auric Goldfinger from Goldfinger and Kasper Gutman from The Maltese Falcon. The last episodes introduced Hy-Spy (again voiced by Frees), the master of scientific criminology.
Secret Squirrel's debut was on September 12, 1965 in The World of Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel prime-time special on NBC. The original series was broadcast from October 2, 1965 to September 2, 1967. Secret Squirrel had his own show in 1966 and was then reunited with Atom Ant in 1967 until 1968. Episodes were broadcast in syndication and as part of The Banana Splits variety and compilation series.
The new series Super Secret Secret Squirrel debuted in 1994.
The first seven episodes of the 1960s Secret Squirrel series was broadcast in front of the 1994–1995 season of Hanna-Barbera's 2 Stupid Dogs (1993–1995).
Their shorts have aired from time to time on Cartoon Network's sister cable television station Boomerang. The Secret Squirrel Show returned to Boomerang when Boomerang removed the shows Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear on January 2, 2008. The Secret Squirrel Show was removed on June 30, 2008, but it returned in June 2009 as a filler segment for 2 Stupid Dogs during the summer. The Secret Squirrel Show returned again on August 31, 2009.
Years later, Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole were revived in 1993 for back-up segments of TBS Super Station's animated series 2 Stupid Dogs. Titled Super Secret Secret Squirrel, these new cartoons featured Secret Squirrel voiced by Jess Harnell imitating Mel Blanc and Morocco Mole voiced by Jim Cummings.
These segments featured different artwork compared to the original 1960s cartoons. All the characters inhabiting the world were now animals. Double-Q, called simply the 'Chief' in these shorts and voiced by Tony Jay, is a cape buffalo instead of a man with a balding hairline, and arch-foe Yellow Pinkie was replaced with a sea lion known as Goldflipper (voiced by Jim Cummings). These new shorts also introduced Penny (voiced by Kimmy Robertson), a female squirrel assistant to the Chief (à la Miss Moneypenny) as a possible love interest for Secret (as hinted at in the episodes Queen Bea and Quark). Morocco was given a new color scheme, wears sunglasses, and has an evil twin brother, Scirocco Mole (voiced by Jess Harnell). Secret's art design remained relatively intact, but with a more modern design than the previous animated series' version of the character. His hat has a slightly different style. This new series seems to have fallen under the villain of the week formula and Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole have once appeared on a 2 Stupid Dogs story.