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Hong Kong Phooey: The Movie

Forgive yourself if you don’t recall Hong Kong Phooey… The 1970’s Hanna Barbera cartoon seems to have developed a cultural fame that transcends its ratings or its running time (16 episodes total). The show regained some fame back in the mid-1990s when the band Sublime (just prior to singer Bradley Nowell’s untimely death) re-recorded the Hong Kong Phooey opening theme song, which had originally been recorded by Scatman Crothers. (Crothers was also the voice of the character). In the original series, the rather slow-witted funny animal dog named Penry worked as a janitor at a police station… but then in secret he would change to become Hong Kong Phooey, a rather slow-witted kung fu crimefighter. So why bring this all up now? Well it seems that Hollywood is at it again: A brand new Hong Kong Phooey live-action/animation movie is in the works. And taking over for the late Scatman Crothers? None other than the Donkey himself, Eddie Murphy. Cinemablend has a write-up that includes this: “The comedian will voice Hong Kong Phooey for Alcon Entertainment’s upcoming production, a live-action/animation hybrid (much like The Smurfs or Garfield) that will take its cues from the Saturday morning cartoon of our childhoods. Variety reports Murphy will lend his voice to Penry, a mild-mannered dog who stumbles into a secret ceremony and is accidentally granted mystical powers, including the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu.” Actually, it sounds more like the recent Underdog movies to us. Stay tooned for more.

image c. 2011 Hanna Barbera Productions