CBBC Memories – Secret Squirrel.

Secret Squirrel (NBC, 1965-1966)

This is yet another memorable Hanna-Barbera cartoon that I first saw many years after being originally shown in this country (and there are a few more to come after this). And it’s another one that I saw for the first time during The CBBC Breakfast Show strand back in 1997, seemingly when they had run out of episodes of Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch.

This is another “putting a talking animal into an unusual situation” cartoon. In more recent years, a lot of squirrels have turned up near where I live, they are always running around, or climbing up walls or over fences, and it does always amuse me to see them. But did you know that squirrels can also be spies? Well, yes they can it seems.

Secret Squirrel was always ready to take part in some “bushy-tailed espionage” (as it was memorably described). And this was another one that had a great opening theme (watching a few bits again recently must’ve been the first time that I had seen this when it wasn’t around 7:30am and I was half-asleep), and they also made the most of the silly sound effects that were available.

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This was essentially a parody of spy films, as our hero Agent 000 (who seemed to wear his hat over his eyes somehow) would be given his latest mission by the International Sneaky Service. But even he couldn’t do it all by himself, and he would often be assisted by his sidekick Morocco Mole. He would take on several villains, using the gadgets that he had been provided with, just like, er, Inspector Gadget.

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There’s no doubt that he was the furriest secret agent around. Another notable thing is that Secret Squirrel was voiced by Mel Blanc, who was famous for voicing some of the most popular cartoon characters of this era (including most of the Looney Tunes), and this explains why he does sound a little like Sylvester The Cat. There were 26 episodes in two series in the mid-60s.

And unlike some of the other cartoons that I have reviewed recently, there eventually was a revival of this in 1993 for one series, which was renamed Super Secret Secret Squirrel, although I haven’t seen that. The repeats on CBBC continued until as late as 1999 (so they clearly got their money’s worth), along with later turning up on other channels including Boomerang.

One thought on “CBBC Memories – Secret Squirrel.

  1. Michael says:

    I like this show called Secret Squirrel which features Mel Blanc (who died on 10th July 1989) and Paul Frees (who also died on 2nd November 1986) as the voices of Secret Squirrel, Morocco Mole, Double-Q, Yellow Pinkie and Hi-Spy, respectively.

    I think this show must have been broadcast on BBC One in the 1970s and 1980s and the repeats on CBBC continued until as late as 1999, but has also been shown on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the UK, IIRC.

    On a side note, the Secret Squirrel episode “Sub Swiper” is available on the Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Vol. 1 DVD (albeit only in the USA) while Warner Archive released The Secret Squirrel Show: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection in November 2015 (also in the USA only).

    The Secret Squirrel Show: The Complete Series was also even made available for download via iTunes in August 2016.

    And finally, Warner Archive released 2 Stupid Dogs/Secret Squirrel Show Volume 1 on DVD in August 2018, which includes all of the first-season episodes of 2 Stupid Dogs and all of the episodes of Super Secret Secret Squirrel (once again, in the USA only).

    Talking of which, there is also a 1993 reboot called Super Secret Secret Squirrel which features Jess Harnell, Jim Cummings, Kimmy Robertson and the late Tony Jay (who died on 13th August 2006) as the voices of Secret Squirrel, Scirocco Mole, Morocco Mole, Goldflipper, Penny and Double-Q/the Chief, respectively.

    What are your thoughts about this show anyway?

    Like

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