Milton the Monster

Tagged: TV

US animated series (1965-1968). Hal Seeger Productions. Created by Beverly Arnold. Produced and directed by Hal Seeger. Writers include Arnold, Kin Platt, and Harold King. Voice cast includes Dayton Allen, Arnold, Herb Duncan and Bob McFadden. 26 30-minute episodes. Colour.

A comic version of the Frankenstein Monster, Milton the Monster is one of three Monsters created by Professor Weirdo and his assistant Count Kook; however, because the Mad Scientist accidentally poured an excessive amount of "tincture of tenderness" into the liquid that gelled into his monster, Milton is too kind and friendly to function effectively as a menace. Typical plots involve Weirdo vying with his rival, Professor Fruitcake, while Milton interacts with various sorts of ghoulish beings, including Aliens, Robots, Vampires, witches and Zombies. Weakened by very limited animation, the series was also prone to lame attempts at Humour: in one episode, "Think Shrink", a talking shrunken head is kidnapped by the motorcycle-riding monster Fangenstein, who duly gets a "head start" on his pursuers; and after Milton saves him from drowning, the head comments, "I thought I was a dead head."

At the time that the series debuted, its macabre subject matter seemed out of place in the milieu of the Saturday-morning cartoon, and its brief run and failure to reappear in syndication may have been due to parental complaints. Today, when lovable monsters are commonplace in children's entertainment, the series now seems ahead of its time, and possibly influenced such contemporary productions as the animated film Hotel Transylvania (2012) and its sequels, and the animated series Vampirina (2017-current).

Milton the Monster also had segments featuring other characters, one of sf interest – Fearless Fly, an insect Superhero. Multiple episodes have been posted at YouTube, and the entire series has been released on DVD. [GW]

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