Of all Dukes of Hazzard rare collectibles, there was never one as elusive as the “The Dukes” animated series. This famous Saturday morning cartoon originally aired on CBS from February 5th 1983 to November 5th 1983.
The legendary creative talents of Hanna-Barbera, who brought you The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and many other classic cartoons, gave “The Dukes” animated series a whimsical, comedic flair on an international platform. The premise was a worldwide race with the farm at stake, with, you guessed it, The Dukes against Boss and Rosco.
Dirty tricks? You bet. Cheating? Absolutely. But only on Boss and Rosco’s part. The Dukes, for themselves, played fair and square, and helped other people along the way.
In fact, it’s the very “Duke” nature of the cartoon that makes it work so well. No matter how much trouble the Dukes had of their own, they never turned down a chance to help somebody else.
Far from being preachy, this cartoon delivered plenty of action, slapstick humor, wit and down-home charm. Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg) and James Best (Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane) outdid themselves in applying their vocal talents to their animated characters. Left to their own devices, not only would they have won the race by cheating, but they would have stolen the show in the process.
The Duke family was fully represented throughout the 20 episode run. Just so you know what you’re getting, the first 13 episodes featured Coy, Vance and Daisy on the international adventures. Amazingly, the vocal contributions of Bryon Cherry ( Coy Duke) and Christopher Mayer (Vance Duke) reveal more personality in the animated series than they achieved during their stint on the original Dukes of Hazzard.
This cartoon began production during the infamous “Bo and Luke” strike against Warner Bros, but fear not. John “Bo” Scheider and Tom “Luke” Wopat take the wheel in the Dukes animated series for a full 7 episodes. It’s good to hear their Yeehaas again, even if they do seem a little surprised to find themselves in the middle of a cartoon. What, your agent didn’t mention the cartoon? Welcome back, boys!
Daisy, voiced by the lovely Catherine Bach, remains Daisy. Is she truly that sweet in real life, or just drawn that way? Both, of course.
During the international adventures, Uncle Jesse stays at home on the farm. He keeps in the loop by reading the letters Daisy sends home. His character, along with Denver Pyle’s voice, add a sense of continuity with the Hazzard County we know, while the adventures themselves span the globe.
With releasing The Dukes animated series, Warner Bros is answering a long-running demand for this fondly-remembered rarity. As of this writing, pre-orders have begun and the first 400 DVD’s are autographed by James Best, famously known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Because of the anticipated high demand for the autographed product, pre-orders are currently limited to 1 DVD per customer. You can order yours today right here.
The release of The Dukes DVD is very appropriate for the holidays. Not only because it makes a great gift, but because episode #17, “A Dickens of a Christmas” is a heartwarming, thoughtful story featuring Bo, Luke, Daisy, Boss Hogg, Rosco, and Flash as they face being away from home for the holidays. James Best again outdoes himself with his vocal characterizations of Rosco in this episode, and if this was the only episode on the entire DVD, you’d still have your money’s worth.