Western Animation / Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kids

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids was a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1973 for NBC. The show features several Follow the Leader elements that are often bungled online. The Five-Man Band is designed to fit similar roles to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. However the whole band travels around the world and foils schemes is closer to Josie and the Pussycats. Even though in this case this is their job and most of their enemies are more war-esque criminals so the plots would technically be closer to Jonny Quest than either the previous two. The show itself depicted the adventures of a teenybopper rock group, led by heartthrob Cassidy, who, while eluding fans, worked undercover with his bandmates as a team of teenage secret agents (Butch, Merilee, Steffy, Wally, and Wally's dog Elvis), solving mysteries and apprehending criminals.

The teen musical sleuths were advised by a supercomputer named Mr. Socrates, who, strangely enough, was highly allergic to the fleabag Elvis. So when the group visited Mr. Socrates for their latest assignment, Elvis was always made to stay outside the lair. But in each episode, either Elvis would find his own way in, or Wally, forgetting Mr. Socrates' allergy, would for one reason or another bring Elvis into the lair. Either way, Elvis' presence would cause the supercomputer to violently sneeze, blowing the group out of the lair and off to their assignment (in one episode the mere mention of Elvis' name aggravated Mr. Socrates' allergy!).

Cassidy (designated as "Sundance 1") wore a special ring with a hidden communicator to keep in contact with Mr. Socrates from afar. When they performed their music, Butch sang and played lead guitar, Merilee played tambourine, Steffy was on bass guitar and Wally was the drummer.

The series title is a word-play on the title of the unrelated 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Micky Dolenz, formerly the drummer and most commonly used singer of The Monkees, provided the voice of Wally, drummer for The Sundance Kids.
The series provides examples of:
  • Band Toon: They are a band, this is a cartoon.
  • Beach Episode: "The Pearl Caper" has Merilee and Butch go to the beach and switch into swim wear. "The Super Sub" does the same for Steffy and Wally.
  • Beeping Computers: Mr Socrates is an excellent example.
  • Fake Band: It's their cover.
  • Genre Savvy: In "The Pearl Caper" the criminal leader actually calls out all the coincidences that wherever the Sundance Kids go there seem to be crime busts. Including some of the earlier episodes.
  • Groupie Brigade: Butch and company are often mobbed by groupie fans.
  • Large Ham: Elvis sometimes. In "Double Trouble" Wally and Steffy want him to fake ill to call a vet. Elvis acts as if he's practically got the plague.
  • Master of Disguise: Merliee sometimes dons a random get up in the line of the mission.
  • Mission Briefing: It's why they go to Socartes.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Elvis and Mr. Socrates.
    • Butch himself is an odd example sharing the name with a real life outlaw. While never expressed in the show the band name may in fact be a in-universe pun based on this trope.
  • Once an Episode: Somehow or another Mr Socrates will start sneezing whenever Elvis sneaks into the mission room and sometimes even when Butch petted Elvis before accepting a call on his ring.
  • Plot Allergy: Mr Socrates allergy to dogs.
  • The Reveal: Used in the end of the first episode where we learn the scientist the group had come to rescue, is the creator of Mr. Socrates.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Utilized only in one episode "The Haunted Castle", much less than some would have you believe.
  • She's Got Legs: Merilee, showcased by her miniskirt. Steffy to an extent too.
  • Shoe Phone: Butch's ring.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Mr. Socrates
  • The Spymaster: Mr. Socrates
  • Team Pet: Elvis
  • Teen Superspy: A very good example of this trope before it would boom in later years.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Steffy and Merilee.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Wally receives an old castle from an Uncle he never knew in "The Haunted Castle".
  • You Meddling Kids: While not the normal type, they still are young people saving the day.

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