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Western Animation / The Super Globetrotters

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The Super Globetrotters is a spinoff of the The Harlem Globetrotters animated cartoon, produced by Hanna-Barbera for NBC. It ran for 13 episodes in 1979.

The premise of the show is that five members of the Harlem Globetrotters are secretly superheroes. When trouble arose, they would enter portable lockers, then transform into their super-powered forms and fly into acton. The team consisted of:

  • Nate Branch/Liquid Man, Fluid Man, and/or Aqua Man - Turns himself into water.
  • Freddie "Curly" Neal/Super Sphere - Has a basketball-shaped head. He could also retract his limbs and grow into a giant ball, then bounce and smash opponents.
  • James "Twiggy" Sanders/Spaghetti Man - His body was turned into ropes, and he could also function as a rope ladder.
  • Louis "Sweet Lou" Dunbar/Gizmo Man - He had an immense afro, where he stores various gadgets for whatever situations arose.
  • Hubert "Geese" Ausbie/Multi Man - Could duplicate himself.

Not surprisingly, the team fought various super-villains, and the confrontations would invariably be settled with a basketball game between the two sides. Some of the powers and costumes were taken directly from Hanna-Barbera's earlier The Impossibles.

Tropes used by the series:

  • Animated Adaptation
  • Animated Tattoo: This was the power of Tattoo Man.
  • Beeping Computer: Or Beeping Satelita for the Crime Globe. Beep! Boop! Ooga-Wow! Right on!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens multiple times in the Bullmoose episode, mostly the Globies to retort how every room in the hideout gets wackier and wackier. In a way it reminds the audience this episode is weird even for a show like this.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Each the heroes had his initial on his chest: F for Fluid Man (even if he wasn't always actually called that), M for Multi Man, G for Gizmo Man, and S for both Super Sphere and Sphaghetti Man.
  • Celebrity Toons: Our five Globetrotters are based upon five real life Globetrotters. None of which provided their own voice though.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Bwana Bob
  • Face Stealer: The Facelift
  • Film Felons: Movie Man, whose gang consisted of a master of disguise, a special effects man, a sound effects expert and a stuntwoman.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Once per Episode the Globies and their enemy of the week would agree to settle things with a basketball game. Playing normally, the Globetrotters were inevitably crushed by the villains, who used their powers as they played. At halftime the Crime Globe would usually call and remind them they have powers too, maybe they should be using them against the supervillains/monsters.
  • Hairy Hammerspace: Gizmo Man ("better than travelers' checks!").
  • Harmless Liquification: Fluid Man can turn his body into water temporarily.
  • Historical Domain Crossover: In one episode, the Time Lord assembled "the greatest criminals in history" into a gang.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "The Super Globetrotters vs. Bwana Bob"
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title is basically "The Super Globetrotters vs. the Villain of the Week."
  • Making a Splash: Fluid Man.
  • Me's a Crowd: Multi Man.
  • Mirror Match: "Robo and the Globots." At least until the Transformation Sequence.
  • Once per Episode: The Globetrotters and the villain hit a stalemate and play basketball to settle things.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Pretty much all the bad guys have one for the sake of the inevitable basketball game. Some are more fleshed out than others.
    • Movie Man actually has TWO! His henchmen earlier in the episode are movie staff themed, then his basketball team is a movie monster themed one.
  • Reused Character Design: As mentioned in the Shout Out listing there is a lot of this to be found. So much, that it seems the creators were doing it just for the fun of referencing more than saving money.
  • Shout-Out: Surprisingly a lot to other HB shows, with some of design re-use and others on purpose.
    • It goes without saying three of the team's super hero identities are done in tribute to The Impossibles
    • In one episode, Gizmo Man pulls a white rabbit out of his afro. The rabbit says "Brak" like the Magic Rabbit.
    • Whale Man's pirates use the same designs as from the original Scooby-Doo ghost pirates.
    • Similarly Wolf-Person is drawn the same but colored differently as the werewolf from Scooby Doo.
      • In Universe we might assume the fake Scooby ones may have had their costumes inspired upon bu these real ones.
    • One step even more forward in Time Lord episode, the professor there is drawn and voiced the exact same way as one on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in the Mummy episode., he probably is the same guy.
    • Museum Man's episode takes place in Big City, which is Dynomutt's hometown. When they got to meet the chief of police, he's drawn the same as the one on Dynomutt.
    • The classic Globetrotters bus from the first series returns in some episodes.
    • There's a villain calling himself The Time Lord around the same time Doctor Who was running strong.
  • Something Person: Most of the heroes and villains were named "<something> Man".
  • Transformation Sequence: The Globetrotters will do their group hand stack, run into the lockers and come out the Globetrotter super heroes.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: One of the Villains of the Week was "Bull Moose", who evidently had all the powers of Theodore Roosevelt. Except for the whole Memetic Badass thing.
    • His henchmen are farm-animal themed, and by that it varies. The pig guy is a humanoid pig, while the horse girl just has a super powered "pony"-tail. Joining them is a guy in a rooster mascot outfit, a "sheep" woman with steel wool for hair, and a mountain guy with goat horns.