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Western Animation / The Herculoids

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"Somewhere out in space live the Herculoids:
Zok, the laser-ray dragon, Igoo the giant rock ape,
Tundro the Tremendous, Gloop and Gleep the formless, fearless wonders!
With Zandor their leader, and his wife Tara and
son Dorno, they team up to protect their planet from sinister invaders!
All brave, all strong, all heroes!
They're the Herculoids!"
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This 1960s Animated Series from Hanna-Barbera was unlike its contemporary, Space Ghost, in that it was set on Amzotnote , a primitive planet protected by King Zandornote . Zandor's wife, Tara, and their son, Dorno, were the only other known human inhabitants. For some reason, aliens kept trying to conquer an isolated, largely uninhabited jungle world full of monsters. Go figure.

When trouble arose, Zandor commanded a small army of exotic beasts: Gloop and Gleep, a pair of gelatinous shape-shifters; Igoo, an ape with rocklike skin; Tundro, a rhino-triceratops-like creature that could shoot burning rocks from its horn, and Zok, a flying dragon capable of firing laser beams from its eyes and tail.

In the early 1980s, the Herculoids joined Space Ghost in the Animated Anthology series Space Stars. In 2016, they also joined most of the other 1960's Hanna-Barbera adventure heroes for the massive multiplayer crossover comic book Future Quest.

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This show provides examples of:

  • Beauty = Goodness: The title aliens of "Mutoids" were shapeshifters who had evil looking red eyes and fangs, but disguised themselves to look more human to outsiders. When we see one revert back to "monstrous", it's meant to be our first tip-off that they're evil, and Zandor even states that he was only fooled due to their altered appearance.
  • Crossover: In the sixties, they appeared in the Space Ghost cartoon "The Molten Monsters of Moltar", part 4 of the six-part "Council of Doom" serial. The two crossed over more frequently on Space Stars in the eighties. And the Herculoids got to meet everybody from Jonny Quest to Birdman in Future Quest.
  • Damsel in Distress: Tara. When she wasn't getting threatened or captured by the Monster of the Week, she was being kidnapped by the lizard-snake people to be their brainwashed queen. Mitigated by her usually trying to run from danger when she isn't being ambushed. Zandor and the Herculoids always managed to rescue her -and Tara's so nice and generally sensible it's understandable why they keep doing it.
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  • Deadly Force Field: Some alien invaders attempt to sweep away The Herculoids by generating a wide force field wall. This barrier is shown to reduce trees to toothpicks and boulders to gravel on contact. Fortunately, Igoo the rock ape deduces that such a force field would be equally deadly to those on its other side. Igoo uses a treebuchet to push the aliens from behind into their own force field.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: The heroes had slingshots loaded with Tundro's explosive rocks. Very cool, very fancy as is appropriate for the heroes.
  • Hammered into the Ground: In a non-comedic example, "The Crystalloids" had Igoo the rock ape pounding a Crystalloid into the ground with a club.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: None of the animal Herculoids spoke in anything but stock shrieks, growls, and warbles, but the humans among them understood them just fine.
  • Jet Pack
    • "Queen Skorra": Queen Skorra's attack robots use jet packs to fly while fighting the Herculoids.
    • "The Pirates": The pirates wear jet packs while flying their "flying torpedoes" (hover vehicles). When Tundro smashes one of the vehicles and Zok destroys another one with his laser eye beams, the pirates piloting them fly away using their jet packs.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: A rare, male example with Zandor in "The Raiders Apes". His skirt lifts up with Zok flies passed him, revealing his briefs.
  • Money Mauling: Gotron almost escapes The Herculoids and justice aboard his longboat, which is laden with so much gold that it can barely move. Zandor pitches one more sack of gold at Gotron, which not only knocks him off his feet, but causes his boat to sink. Gotron never surfaces; either he can't swim, or his greed wouldn't let him unhand his gold.
  • Plant Mooks: When a glowing meteor lands on their home world, the Herculoids find themselves battling common, harmless flora suddenly gone monstrous, aggressive and hostile.
  • Robot War: According to Future Quest, Zandor and his family are refugees from a planet conquered by its robots, and that's why they chose to settle on a primitive planet without advanced technology.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Several enemies of the Herculoids have far more advanced tech, but lose to them either way.
  • Rock Monster: Igoo's body is made out of (or at least covered in) dense granite.
  • Space Amish: The three humans certainly know about aliens and spaceships and such, and are even friends with Space Ghost, but they choose to live a primitive life.
  • Space Pirates: The villains of the episode "The Pirates". They try to leave their treasure on the Herculoids' planet, then take Dorno hostage when their plan goes south. It doesn't go well for them.
  • Taken for Granite: Subverted when a medusa-type villain tried to change Igoo into stone, who already was granite.
  • Two Shorts: The 1960s show had two shorts per episode, both with the Herculoids.

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