Western Animation: Fangface
One of the first regular series from Ruby-Spears. Debuting in 1978. Highly derivative of Scooby-Doo (which was also created by the founders of Ruby-Spears), Fangface features four teenagers — Kim, Biff, Puggsy and Sherman "Fangs" Fangsworth (Puggsy and Fangs imitating Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall of The Bowery Boys fame). Fangs transforms into a werewolf named Fangface whenever he sees the moon, a picture of the moon, or anything resembling the moon. Fangface has brown fur with tan paws, muzzle and tail tip. He has one large fang in the middle of his upper jaw, which protrudes over his lower lip. They drive around in their convertible called the Wolf-Buggy, and catch crooks and solve crimes involving monsters and evil masterminds. Fangs sits in the backseat next to Puggsy, while Fangface rides on Puggsy's shoulders.Despite the temporary difficulty of Fangface attacking Puggsy, the gang never hesitates to initiate the transformation to take advantage of the werewolf's power to cope with any danger. Indeed, they often refer to Fangface as their "secret weapon", even though very few people are afraid of him. Fangface and Fangs are unaware of each other, but Fangface lives in the moment, so he never seems to question why he's suddenly in a new place, whereas Fangs is always bewildered upon reversion.Although it is consistently odd, if Fangface ever sees food or hears a food-related word like "turkey", he eats Puggsy. Fangface doesn't swallow him whole, though; he just leaves Puggsy trapped in his jaw. The only way to get Puggsy out of Fangface's jaw is for either Biff or Kim to rub Fangface's foot, thereby calming him down and releasing Puggsy.Another oddity is that whenever Fangface sees his reflection in a mirror, he goes completely wild and only relies on instinct; sometimes with an addition of an order given to him, as demonstrated near the ending of "A Heap of Trouble", as well as "Dr. Lupiter and the Thing from Jupiter", "A Creep from the Deep" and "Westward Ho to the UFO".Even though Fangs and Fangface are completely different in their personalities, they have similarities to one another. Fangs and Fangface both wear an orange hat, although the rest of Fangs' clothes disappear, and are friends of Kim, Biff and Puggsy. Fangs and Fangface also say the phrase "Ooh! Ooh!" (the trademark exclamation of Joe E. Ross) before expressing an idea, as heard in the episode "The Evil Design of Vulture-Man's Mind".Another interesting occurrence are the barrage of invented words that the character Puggsy says, such as 'scramify' and 'rescuefy' in the episode "The Ill-Will Of Dr. Chill", which can be heard throughout the entire series (Another Leo Gorcey trope from the Bowery Boys films).In 1979, the second season, titled Fangface and Fangpuss, aired as a segment on The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show and introduced a new character: Baby Fangs, Fangs' infant cousin who turns into a baby werewolf called Fangpuss (which contradicts the opening narration stating that only one werewolf is born into the family every 400 years, but, of course, that werewolf could be born through another family which may be married to the Fangsworth family). When Fangs saw Fangpuss, he was afraid of the child. The show remained in the same mystery-adventure style as the first season, but episodes were now shortened to 15-minute segments. Sixteen episodes of Fangface and Fangpuss were produced for the 1979-80 season. The episodes "The Creepy Goon from the Spooky Lagoon" and "Dr. Lupiter and the Thing from Jupiter" are the only season two episodes in which Baby Fangs/Fangpuss did not make an appearance.Fangface and Fangpuss ran on ABC from September 22, 1979, to September 27, 1980; it then became a separate series in 1981 and, like the original Fangface, ran for just one season. After this series, Fangface and company faded into obscurity until reruns began to air on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
This show contains examples of:
- All Just a Dream: When Fangface reverts to Fangs, he dismisses it as such.
- Berserk Button : Subverted. Whenever Fangface sees his reflection in a mirror, he goes crazy, howling as loud as he can, hopping around, spinning on the floor, and then charging at the bad guys! But sometimes, it backfires.
- Brainy Baby: Baby Fangs. Yes. A tiny toddler who knows his cousin's and his own werewolf abilities. Hell, the baby actually embraces the fact that he himself is Fangpuss!
- Catch Phrase: Puggsy's has to be "Ah, shuddup!"
- Chased Off into the Sunset: Happened at least once - one episode ended with Puggsy angrily chasing Sherman "Fangs" Fangsworth into the distance. This ended up happening when Fangs' alter ego, Fangface, attempted to eat Puggsy and then changed back. As Fangs had no memory of what his werewolf self did, he's puzzled as to why he's being chased.
- Chekhov's Hobby : Despite Sherman Fangsworth being a cowardly nitwit and a fraidy cat, one of his hobbies is collecting dirt. Thanks to said hobby, he can analyze soil and accurately find the geographic source of it! Fangs also demonstrates other abilities that make him a bit like MacGyver, making him the show's resident Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
- The Chew Toy: Poor Puggsy. You cannot help but pity him (or laugh at him!) for being in the Humiliation Conga as Fangface's sidekick, especially when his lycanthropic buddy attacks him after his Transformation Sequence!
"GRRRRRRRR!! Where is he? Where's (that pipsqueak) Puggs?! GRRRRRRRRR!!"
- And it just gets nastier for Puggsy when Baby Fangs transforms into Fangpuss and joins his cousin in terrorizing the poor guy!
- Cool Down Hug: Subverted; when he devours Puggsy, Biff and Kim rubs Fangface's foot just to get him calmed down enough to spit Puggsy out!
- Expy: The main characters (except Puggsy) are all based on the Scooby-Doo characters.
- Fangs: Scooby/Shaggy
- Kim: Daphne/Velma
- Biff: Fred
- And as noted above, Fangs and Puggsy/Huntz Hall and Leo Gorcey's Bowery Boys personas.
- Follow the Leader: Scooby-Doo, again
- Just Eat Him: Played for Laughs. When Fangface sees food, or hears a word that sounds even remotely like food (let us = lettuce), he stuffs Puggsy between two HUGE slices of bread, puts him in a stew pot, or (most of the time) simply gobbles up Puggsy in one gulp!
- Our Werewolves Are Different... and HOW!
- Refuge in Audacity: It is a comedy show, isn't it?
- Scooby-Dooby Doors
- Transformation Sequence: Anytime Fangs see the moon or Fangface sees the sun...