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Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
Wheelie.jpg
Intertitle for Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.
Genre Animation
Directed by Charles A. Nichols
Voices of Franklin Welker
Don Messick
Lennie Weinrib
Paul Winchell
Judy Strangis
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Running time 30 minutes (6 minutes per segment)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 7, 1974 – August 30, 1975

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch is a 30-minute cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera which aired for one season on NBC from September 7, 1974 to August 30, 1975. It aired on Saturday morning from 8:30-9:00 am, opposite the popular The Bugs Bunny Show.

Contents

Plot

The series focuses on Wheelie, a red Volkswagen Beetle, and his girlfriend Rota Ree (a pun on both the "rotary engine" and Ruta Lee). Wheelie made his living as a professional- and quite successful- racing and stunt car. Wheelie didn't talk (Unlike the other characters in the show) but emoted by honking and displaying symbols across his windshield showing his inner thoughts such as a heart for love or a lightbulb for an idea. Wheelie could also produce any form of prop needed from his trunk thru the use of special mechanized hands, much like Inspector Gadget would later. Wheelie's regular nemeses were a 4-member motorcycle gang called the Chopper Bunch which included the leader Chopper (Who was jealous of Wheelie and had a spiked motorcycle helmet for a head), Revs (a sputtering three-wheeled motorcycle who often mixed up his words), Hi-Riser (who was tall in body but shorter in brains), and Scrambles (a small minibike who acted more like the good kid caught up in the wrong crowd). Scrambles would constantly try to warn Chopper that his plans were about to backfire only to be rebuffed ("Muffle it, Scrambles!") and end up taunting his sullen leader once they inevitably did:

(SCRAMBLES: "Itoldja! Itoldja!"
CHOPPER: "I know! I KNOW!!")

Two other characters were used on occasion to keep the Chopper Bunch in line. They were Captain Tough a hulking Police car, and Fishtail, who was literally a motorcycle cop.

The show was the subject of a seven-issue comic book from Charlton Comics, published from July 1975 to July 1976. The first five issues featured some of the earliest published artwork of John Byrne(#2-4) and Joe Staton(#1,#5)

39 six-minute installments of Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch were produced (3 aired per show). In the 1980s, repeats were shown on USA Cartoon Express and later resurfaced on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

Since the show aired on NBC, Wheelie sometimes "imitated" the network's trademark "chimes".

Episodes

Three 6 minute segments per 30 minute episodes

WCB-1. Get a Doctor / A Day at the Beach / Ghost Riders (September 7, 1974)
WCB-2. Double Cross Country / The Stunt Show / Razzle Dazzle Paint Job (September 14, 1974)
WCB-3. The Autolympics / The Delivery Service / The Infiltrator (September 21, 1974)
WCB-4. The Big Bumper / Surprise Party / On the Town (September 28, 1974)
WCB-5. Black Belt Fuji / Our Hero / Wheelie Goes Hawaiian (October 5, 1974)
WCB-6. The Inspection / The Old Timer / The Copter Caper (October 12, 1974)
WCB-7. Dr. Crankenstein / Bulldozer Buddy / Happy Birthday Wheelie (October 19, 1974)
WCB-8. Wheelie, The Super Star / Down on the Farm / Roadeo (October 26, 1974)
WCB-9. Carfucios Says / Mighty Wheelie / Camping With a Go Go (November 2, 1974)
WCB-10. Lenny Van Limousine / Snow Foolin / Wheelie in Paris (November 9, 1974)
WCB-11. Dragster Net / Dragula / Boot Camp (November 16, 1974)
WCB-12. Dr Cykll and Mr. Ryde / Johnny Crash / Wheelie and the Smoke Eater (November 23, 1974)
WCB-13. Friday the Thirteenth / Wings of Wheelie / Wheelie's Clean Sweep (November 30, 1974)

Voices

DVD Release

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch was included on Disc #1 of Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Volume 1 released by Warner Home Video on May 26, 2009.

Production credits

  • EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: WILLIAM HANNA and JOSEPH BARBERA
  • Directed by: Charles A. Nichols
  • Creative Producer: Iwao Takamoto
  • RECORDING DIRECTORS: Art Scott and Wally Burr
  • EXECUTIVE STORY CONSULTANT: Myles Wilder
  • STORY EDITOR: Ray Parker
  • WRITERS: Larz Bourne, Len Janson and Chuck Menville, Robert Ogle, Dalton Sandifer
  • STORYBOARD EDITORS: John Ahern, Carl Fallberg, Gary Hoffman, Earl Klein, Paul Sommers
  • VOICES: Don Messick, Judy Strangis, Lennie Weinrib, Franklin Welker, Paul Winchell, Rolinda Wolk
  • PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bob Singer
  • PRODUCTION SUPERVISION: Victor O. Schipek
  • TITLES: Iraj Paran
  • MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Hoyt Curtin
  • MUSIC SUPERVISION: Paul DeKorte
  • CHARACTER DESIGN: Jerry Eisenberg, David High
  • LAYOUT UNIT MANAGERS: Owen Fitzgerald, Bob Givins
  • LAYOUT: Pete Alvarado, Roman Arambula, Jim Fletcher, Bob Foster, Cullen Houghtaling, Homer Jonas, Jack Manning, Floyd Norman
  • UNIT DIRECTOR: Jerry Hathcock
  • ANIMATION: Frank Andrina, Tom Barnes, Jack Foster, Hugh Fraser, John Garling, Frank Gonzales, Milt Gray, Robert Hathcock, Jr., Lawrence Huber, George Jorgenson, Margaret Parkes, Morey Reden, Mike Reyna, Veve Risto, Joanna Romersa, Ken Southworth, Rich Trueblood, Carlo Vinci, Bob Trochim
  • BACKGROUND SUPERVISION: Fernando Montealegre
  • BACKGROUND: Fernando Arce, Gino Giudice
  • TECHNICAL SUPERVISION: Frank Paiker
  • CHECKING AND SCENE PLANNING: Evelyn Sherwood
  • INK AND PAINT SUPERVISION: Billie Kerns
  • XEROGRAPHY: Robert "Tiger" West
  • SOUND DIRECTION: Richard Olson, Bill Getty
  • SUPERVISING FILM EDITOR: Larry Cowan
  • MUSIC EDITOR: Chip Yaras
  • SOUND EFFECTS EDITOR: Richard C. Allen
  • NEGATIVE CONSULTANT: William E. DeBoer
  • POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISION: Joed Eaton
  • CAMERA: John Curtis Hall, Ron Jackson, Jerry Mills, Norman Stainback
  • PRODUCTION MANAGER: Art Scott
  • ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER: Jayne Barbera
A HANNA-BARBERA PRODUCTION
© 1974 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.

Other Media

  • Hi-Riser appeared in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "SPF" voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He appeared as one of the many characters who were victims of cybersquatting.
  • Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch were referenced in the Psych episode "Zero to Murder in Sixty Seconds."

External links








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