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Western Animation / Drak Pack

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"WHACKO!" - Frankie, Drak Jr., and Howler
From the monsters of the past, comes a new generation, dedicated to erasing the evil image of their forefathers...

Hanna-Barbera created Drak Pack in 1980, consisting of Frankie, Howler, and Drak Jr., three teenage boys who were capable of turning into a Frankenstein's Monster, a Werewolf, and a Vampire. As a Vampire, Drak Jr. (usually referred to simply as "Drak" in the series itself) is capable of shapeshifting, telekinesis, and flight. Frankie is extremely strong and becomes even stronger when he's angry (or when he sneezes), and since he's green in this form, he brings to mind the Hulk. Howler has super breath like the Big Bad Wolf, and his howl is ultrasonic and can shatter glass. Their boss is Drak's uncle, Count Dracula, known affectionately by the trio as Big D. And of course, they use their powers for good, instead of evil.

Their primary antagonists are O.G.R.E., the Organization of Generally Rotten Enterprises, headed by the diabolical Dr. Dred, along with his henchmen: Toad, Fly, Mummy Man, and Vampira.

Tropes associated with this series:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Frankie occasionally calls Howler "Howlie".
  • Actor Allusion: "Perilous Plunder of Pirate's Park" has Dr. Dred dressed like a pirate captain for most of the episode, which recalls Hans Conried's role as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
  • Animation Bump: Despite being animated by Hanna-Barbera's Australia-based satellite studio, the animation gets surprisingly well-done half the time, especially when compared to the Australia studio's work in the early-to-mid 1970s.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Even though both his allies and his enemies are all classic monster types, in "Hideout Hotel" we have Dr. Dred declaring there's no such thing as ghosts.
  • The Atoner: "Big D" supports the Pack in their efforts to do good in order to make up for the wrongs he committed in the past.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: "Perilous Plunder of Pirate's Park" had Toad jump into a barrel and wear it after losing his pants.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Toad is Dr. Dred's incompetent lackey.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Played with. Drak Jr., Frankie and Howler usually change into their monster forms by simultaneously high-fiving each other and shouting "Whack-o!", but the shout is unnecessary, and any form of three-way willful contact will trigger the transformation. In "Perilous Plunder of Pirate's Park", Drak and Frankie slap Howler's feet as he plummets through the air. In "Night of the Terbites" and "Color Me Dredful" (among others), they transform by merely tapping fingertips. In "Hideout Hotel", they're buried up to their necks in sand, so they perform a three-way headbutt.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Organization of Generally Rotten Enterprises (or Endeavors, according to the episode "A Dire Day in Dredfulland"). One episode has them try to convert a luxury beach hotel into one for criminals, by making it more like prison. To better make them feel at home.
  • Casting Gag: Dr. Dred was voiced by Hans Conried, who had experience voicing blue-skinned villains with mustaches.
  • Catchphrase: "Bad Toad, bad!" - both Dr. Dred and Toad himself. (Sometimes inverted into "Good Toad, good!" when Toad does something exceptionally well)
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Frankie has shades of it, rather than being simply dumb. He can be clever and quick-witted, but he can also be easily tricked, makes odd logical leaps, and has awful taste in clothing.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • Toad in "Perilous Plunder of Pirate's Park," leading to him wearing his Bankruptcy Barrel.
    • Frankie in "Dred Goes Hollywood".
      Frankie: "Hey! I feel a draft."
    • Dr. Dred in "Dr. Dred is a Shrinker". It even made front page news!
  • Cool Air Ship: Dr. Dred's airship, the Dredgible.
  • Cool Car: The Drakster, which had settings to let it travel on land, in the water, or in the air.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In "Color Me Dredful", it is shown that Dr. Dred owns a dartboard featuring a picture of the Drak Pack in their human forms.
  • Daywalking Vampire: While Big D can't survive in the sunlight, Vampira and Drak Jr. are shown to be impervious to it. The latter doesn't even need to be in human form to avoid sunlight's effects.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Drak, Big D, Howler.
  • Evil Counterpart: Vampira, Mummy Man, and the Fly are approximate counterparts to Drak, Frankie, and Howler, respectively.
  • Head-and-Hip Pose: Vampira strikes this pose during the intro, placing one hand on her head and the other against her hip.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Drak's main schtick is giving himself credit for ideas Frankie and Howler come up with, or claiming he was just about to do something that one of them suggest as a next step.
  • Good Is Dumb: Especially in later episodes, the Drak Pack had a habit of changing back to their human selves as soon as they didn't need their powers anymore, even if they were still in pursuit of OGRE. This was made worse when they then decide to split up so they can't Drak Whack. Unsurprisingly they ran into a lot of problems they could've easily handled had they remained in their monstrous forms. Sometimes it was justified (e.g. they were in a theme park and after averting a threat they were hounded by tourists looking for autographs).
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Yeah, they call Dracula "Big D".
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Wipes are done with a red curtain being pulled back and forth with a characteristic pulley sound for scene transitions.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The Drakster, as noted in Cool Car above, can fly and swim.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: "Dr. Dred is a Shrinker" has Dr. Dred's evil scheme involve shrinking trains. The Drak Pack end up shrunk when they hide on one of the trains he's targeting to get closer to his operations. By the end of the episode, the heroes shrink Dr. Dred and his minions.
  • Insult Backfire: This exchange from "Package Deal".
    Dr. Dredful: Your stupidity is exceeded only by your grotesque looks.
    Toad: Oh, thanks!
  • Just Between You and Me: Almost Once an Episode, Dr. Dred would invite Drak to a secret meeting place. Drak would go only as it would often be the only way he'd learn of Dred's plans. Dred would often have a trap waiting for Drak, which ranged from simple Amusing Injuries to something more life threatening. (Notable exception: "Night of the Terbites" doesn't feature such a meeting, instead featuring Dred telling the Pack about his plans while he had them trapped in glass tubes.)
  • Lorre Lookalike: Dr. Dred's bumbling sidekick Toad looks and sounds like Peter Lorre.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Dred, though he also serves as the Evil Genius and Diabolical Mastermind.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Dr. Dred loves to do this to Drak Jr., calling him something that rhymes like "Snack", "Whack", "Track"... and Drak Jr. never fails to rise to the bait:
      Drak Jr.: That's Drak!
    • He uses similar nicknames for the group as a whole. Sometimes even Toad corrects him.
  • Manchild: Frankie. His giant ass slipping down a children's slide in "Dred's Photo Finish" is just one example.
  • Monster Mash: Yup. The show features three vampires, a Frankenstein-esque golem, a werewolf, a mummy, a fly-man, a toad-man, and a purple-skinned mad scientist in every episode. Some episodes bring in even more, including ghosts ("Your bed just floated out the window?")
  • Mummy Wrap: Mummy Man, of course, frequently uses his wrappings to tie up the Drak Pack.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: "Perilous Plunder of Pirate's Park" features Toad wearing a wetsuit that's colored the same shade of green as his skin.
  • Opening Narration: "From the monsters of the past, comes a new generation, dedicated to erasing the evil image of their forefathers."
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They don't burn in the sun (well, Vampira and Drak don't, but Big D does), but they also don't explain why Big D and Vampira are vampires all the time but Drak has to magically transform into one.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Howler can transform from human to wolf-man form (and back) more or less at will, his main power is imitating the Big Bad Wolf (with a more rarely-used power of howling as his name suggests) rather than using those claws and fangs, and he tends to act as the group's Cowardly Lion.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: Dr. Dred spies on the Drak Pack through eyeholes on a portrait of Big D in the episode "Package Deal".
  • Robotic Reveal: In "Night of the Terbites", the Drak Pack are invited to dance at a disco with some female monsters. After Howler's date falls into the water and short-circuits, it is revealed that most of the female monsters are actually robots, the one exception being a thinly-disguised Vampira.
  • Running Gag:
    • Big D getting his hand caught when he closes his coffin lid.
    • Dr. Dred has a flyswatter, but he doesn't use it on Fly. Nope, instead he uses it on Toad. (In fact, he once says "This isn't a flyswatter, it's a toad-tapper!" when Toad suggests using it on Fly)
    • Dr. Dred inviting Drak to secret "dumb meetings" that Drak continually lampshades.
    • Dr. Dred refusing to use Drak's or the Pack's proper name.
    • Toad hitting himself and exclaiming "Bad Toad, Bad Toad!" whenever he upsets Dr. Dred.
  • Rushmore Refacement: The episode "International Graffiti" has Dr. Dred use an invention to change stone sculptures around the world so that they bear his likeness. The Drak Pack stop him before he can use his invention on Mt. Rushmore.
  • Shock and Awe: In addition to brute strength Frankie could also shoot lightning out of his neck bolts, usually to cut through whatever was confining the team.
  • Shout-Out: Frankie's green, and he gets stronger when he gets mad. Does this remind you of anything? (The twist is that Frankie is pretty placid and gentle most of the time, and making him angry is difficult. More often than not, Howler has to trick him into thinking he should be angry). In "Night of the Terbites", he outright says he hates smashing things.
    • Howler's greatest power is to blow things away, just like the Big Bad Wolf.
  • Status Quo Is God: A couple episodes end with Dr. Dred's island fortress sinking, but count on it being back good as new as soon as another script calls for it.
  • Super Multi-Purpose Room: The Drak Pack's headquarters. A button marked with a gothic-styled D transforms it from an ordinary (if extremely old-fashioned) living room into a high-tech war room.
  • Super-Strength: Frankie and Mummy Man's main power. (Frankie gets stronger when he gets angry or when he sneezes, and can shoot electricity from his neck bolts; Mummy Man also has access to Mummy Wrap)
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Big D often gets angered whenever the Drak Pack bungle things up, which is quite often.
  • The Brute: Mummy Man is a huge fellow who serves as O.G.R.E.'s muscle.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Although the big problem faced by the Pack in most episodes is finding a way to touch hands so they can transform before Dr. Dred's latest deathtrap finishes them off. (Hands are not strictly required - at least twice they've tapped fingers, once they slapped together two hands and a foot, and once - while buried up to their necks in sand - they managed a three-way headbutt)
  • Transformation Sequence: The Drak Whack. Sometimes subverted by showing what it actually looks like (it's pretty much instantaneous) rather than using the Stock Footage (which is still only about ten seconds long). The very first episode, for example, has them transform three times, but they only use the stock footage once. Once subverted even further by having them duck into an elevator right before the transformation, leaving the audience unable to see it.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Clumsy and fearful Toad was often at the receiving end of abuse from his Diabolical Mastermind boss, Dr. Dred.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Dr. Dred is the only adversary the Drak Pack are ever seen dealing with.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Drak and Vampira's main power. Drak tends to prefer bats and clouds of mist, while Vampira prefers spiders and snakes, but they can both turn into anything they can imagine. (Note: Vampira cannot imagine pretty butterflies, only ratty-looking patchwork butterflies)
  • We Will Meet Again: Dr. Dred makes a vow that the Drak Pack will see him again at the end of "A Dire Day at Dredfulland".
    Dr. Dred: I'll be back! You can count on that! I'll be back!
    • "Back be I'll! Worry don't!" is his vow when reversed by the broken Time-Stopper in "Time Out For Dr. Dred".
  • Wunza Plot: One's a vampire, one's a werewolf, one's a ... flesh... golem? Regardless, they all fight crime.
  • Yes-Man: Toad, though occasionally this strays into The Dog Bites Back
  • You Have Failed Me: A few episodes end with Dr. Dred chasing his failing lackeys off. Disturbingly, in the episode where their Evil Plan involved making a movie, he ordered Vampira to keep rolling. Thankfully Status Quo Is God so no one is ever harmed.
  • Your Mom: In "Dredful Weather We're Having", Drak Jr. taunts Toad by saying "Your mother has webbed feet".