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Hanna-Barbera cartoon (1960), a spin-off from the rather strange, but definitely seminal, The Wacky Races - and an awful lot better than stuff like Stop the Pigeon.

The story is simple enough. Penelope Pitstop is an heiress standing to gain a lot of money. Her guardian Sylvester Sneekly, ostensibly nice and caring, is actually trying to kill her and claim the cash: whenever he wants to put another plan into action, he disguises himself as The Hooded Claw, in a purple suit, a green cape and hat and the de rigeur strip of cloth over the eyes (with eye holes, of course). He doesn't do anything to try and alter his give-away campness. Still.

He is aided in his attempts to kill the long-legged heroine (with a southern US drawl) by The Bully Brothers: typical henchmen - identical, big, and thick. They botch everything. (Why don't these so-called intelligent bad guys surround themselves with intelligent assistants?)

Penelope herself was always dressed in pink, and wore a little driving helmet and goggles. She was, of course, pretty feckless, but The Anthill Mob always came to her rescue in a sort of Keystone Cops sort of way. They were Clyde, Dum Dum, Pockets, Snoozy, Softy, Yak Yak and Zippy. Clyde was the boss. Softy always cried, so he always got to announce the good news. 'Penenlope is safe (boo hoo). I'm so happy (sob)' - it wore thin after a bit. Yak Yak always seemed a little too cheerful. He always got the bad stuff to talk about: 'Oh she's definitely going to die this time'. Pretty formulaic stuff. The rest merged into one.

The Hooded Claw always fell foul of Conventional Bad Guy Behaviour. There was much tying up of the heroine, lots of bombs and dynamite, timing devices, that sort of thing. They never learn, do they? The best bit of the whole thing was the car: Chugga-Boom. I've known several heaps of scrap that behaved in precisely the same way.

Watchable. But very, very far from ace. Home from school stuff.

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