The Dick Tracy Show

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The Dick Tracy Show
Dick Tracy Show title card.jpg
Premiere 1961
Finale 1962
Based on the "Dick Tracy" comic strip by
Chester Gould
Developed by Henry G. Saperstein and
Peter DeMet
Network/Provider First-run syndication
Style 5-minute animated crime/adventure/comedy shorts
Company United Productions of America,
Television Personalities Inc.,
Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News Syndicates
Seasons 1
Episodes 130
(List of episodes)
Origin USA

The Dick Tracy Show is a series of animated shorts based on the Dick Tracy comic strip created by Chester Gould.

The 130 shorts in this series, produced by United Productions of America, focus on the titular police detective and his subordinate sidekicks Hemlock Holmes (a Cockney-accented police bulldog, named for Sherlock Holmes and whose voice is patterned loosely after film actor Cary Grant), Joe Jitsu (a stereotypical Oriental detective patterned after fictional detective heroes Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto), Go Go Gomez (another stereotype, this time a Mexican police detective and a master of disguise, based on Mel Blanc creation Speedy Gonzales) and Heap O'Calorie (an overweight uniformed officer based on movie comedian Andy Devine) as they take on such Dick Tracy villains as The Mole, Flattop, Pruneface, Itchy, Mumbles, B-B Eyes and Stooge Viller in their quest to keep law and order. While Tracy and the villains he battles come directly from the comic strip, Tracy's deputies were created specifically for the series. Also, unlike the more serious-minded and often violent comic strip, the show focuses more on humor and punning by the deputy characters and tones down the violence, altering it to a more TV- and kid-friendly slapstick form. As UPA had abandoned their own cartoon studio, they had animation farmed out to Format Films, Larry Harmon Studios and Grantray-Lawrence studios in New York.

Although the show is titled The Dick Tracy Show, Tracy's squad of detectives are the primary focus in each short, while Tracy himself only makes three brief appearances per short—in the beginning, to fill in one of his men on the latest criminal caper involving two of Tracy's rogues' gallery; in the middle, when Tracy gets an update from one of the heroes via two-way radio on his progress in the case; and at the end, when Tracy congratulates the spotlighted detective on busting the bad guys.

Outside of the main series, Tracy appeared in a 1965 episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo titled "Dick Tracy And The Mob". Tracy has Magoo impersonate a lookalike hitman and infiltrate a gang featuring the likes of Flattop, Pruneface, Mumbles and Itchy.

The Dick Tracy Show was created for first-run syndication, frequently for airing on locally-hosted morning and afternoon kids' shows in many markets in North America. DreamWorks Classics (formerly Classic Media) now owns the rights to the series, although it has not aired on television in recent years due to the racial and ethnic stereotypes of Joe Jitsu and Go Go Gomez. The entire series is available on DVD from DreamWorks Classics.



Actor Character
Main Cast
Everett Sloane Dick Tracy
Paul Frees Go Go Gomez
BB Eyes
Mel Blanc Various characters
BB Eyes
Benny Rubin Joe Jitsu
Sketch Paree
Cheater Gunsmoke
Stooge Viller
Jerry Hausner Hemlock Holmes
The Mole
The Brow
BB Eyes
The Retouchables
Johnny Coons Heap O'Calory
June Foray Various characters
Joan Gardner Various characters


Season  Premiere Finale #
First-run syndication
Season One 1961 1962 130


At a Glance: Additional information about the series

DVD Releases

Title Release Discs
Complete Series  (Region 1 (USA))
The Complete Animated Crime Series September 26, 2006 purchase 4
Complete Series  (Region 1 (Canada))
The Complete Animated Crime Series January 4, 2010 purchase 4

External links