Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dachshunds in Pop Culture: Paddlefoot in Clutch Cargo

Huh? Clutch Cargo is an animated television series noted for its very limited animation, yet imaginative stories. The series was a surprise hit, and could be seen on 65 stations nationwide in 1960.
The stories centered around Clutch Cargo, described as "a writer and pilot with a muscular build, white hair and rugged good looks". As was typical of adventure serials, Clutch Cargo was sent around the world on dangerous assignments. With him on the assignments were his young ward Spinner and yes, his pet dachshund, 'Paddlefoot.' Some dachshund friends of ours in Chicagoland are named 'Spinner' and 'Paddlefoot!'
Because of budgetary limitations and the pressure to create television animation within a tight time frame, the show was the first to use the "Syncro-Vox" optical printing system. Clutch Cargo employed the Syncro-Vox technique by superimposing live-action human lips over limited-motion animation or even motionless animation cels.
There were 52 Clutch Cargo adventures which are now available on DVD. Find out more about Clutch Cargo at Toon Tracker.

Clockwise from top left: Clutch, Swampy, Spinner, and Paddlefoot.

Enjoy Paddlefoot and his pals in "Jungle Train."

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