Fantastic Max
GenreAnimated
Adventure
Sci-fi
Comedy
Developed byJudy Rothman Rofé
Robin Lyons
Mike Young
Written byKristina Luckey
Judy Rothman Rofé
Directed by
Voices ofBen Ryan Ganger
Nancy Cartwright
Gregg Berger
Elisabeth Harnois
Paul Eiding
Gail Matthius
Don Messick
Benji Gregory
Theme music composerClark Glassman
Michael Tavera
ComposersMichael Tavera
Clark Glassman
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
Wales
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producersWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
ProducersCharles Grosvenor
Mike Young
John Parkinson
Jeff Segal (supervising producer)
Running time22 minutes (approx.)
Production companiesHanna-Barbera Productions
S4C
Kalisto Ltd.
Booker PLC
Tanaka Promotion Co.
Original release
NetworkBBC 1 (UK)
Syndication (USA)
ReleaseSeptember 17, 1988 (1988-09-17) –
January 21, 1990 (1990-01-21)

Fantastic Max is an animated cartoon series, originally aired from 1988 to 1990 created by Hanna-Barbera Productions, Kalisto Ltd., Booker PLC and Tanaka Promotion Co. and in association with S4C.[1] It centers on a boy named Maxwell "Fantastic Max" Young who has adventures in outer space with two of his toys: FX, a pull string alien doll from a planet called Twinkle-Twinkle,[2] and A.B. Sitter, a C-3PO-like android made of blocks.[3][4]

History

The show was developed by Judy Rothman and Robin Lyons from Siriol Animation as part of the creation of Kalisto Ltd. and the series was originally called Space Baby before being developed by Mike Young and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions further. In the United States, Fantastic Max ran in syndication for two years as part of the weekly Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera program block. The first episode aired on Sunday September 11, 1988, and the last first-run episode aired on January 21, 1990. Boomerang aired re-runs of the show until November 2013. In the United Kingdom, the series was broadcast on CBBC, but this time all the episodes were split into two parts and the original 1986 pilot episode of the series named Space Baby with the footage that matches the episode "From Here to Twinkle Twinkle" was first broadcast on BBC1 at 3:50pm on December 30, 1987.

Characters

Protagonists

Villains

Episodes

Pilot

The pilot episode of Fantastic Max, then known as Space Baby, was originally produced in the UK by Siriol Animation in 1986, and premiered on BBC1 in 1987.

Title Original broadcast date [UK] Plot of episode
"Space Baby" December 30, 1987 A strange and scary story about a baby known as Max, who got lost at Cape Canaveral, when his parents turned their backs, until he got lifted onto a rocket ship which suddenly blasted off and sent Max on a journey into space. Later on, FX cries with homesickness until Max and A.B. Sitter decide to send him home back to Twinkle Twinkle. The trouble is, the nasty garbage man Dumpin' Jack Trash is on their tail and Max's nosey sister, Zoe, doesn't know where Max is. Further on, after their time on Twinkle Twinkle, A.B. and Max decide to travel home to until FX changes his mind and decides to travel home with both of them at the last minute.

Season 1 (1988)

The first season of Fantastic Max was broadcast in the United States on Saturday mornings from September 17 to December 10, 1988, and in the United Kingdom on BBC1 from September 13 to November 28, 1989. In the UK, episodes were split into two parts and aired on successive days. Episodes 1-8 premiered on Wednesdays before moving to a Monday premier for the remainder of the season.

# Title Original broadcast date [US] Original broadcast date [UK. Episode 1] Original broadcast date [UK. Episode 2] Plot of episode
1 "The Loon in the Moon" September 17, 1988 September 13, 1989 September 14, 1989 A.B. is frustrated because Max never listens to him, so he suggests that Max create a new plastic parent – so he does.
2 "Toys Will Be Toys" September 24, 1988 September 20, 1989 September 21, 1989 A toy manufacturer named Sticky Wicket can't think of a new idea for a toy, so he steals FX and pretends to have invented him.
3 "All in a Babe's Work" October 1, 1988 October 4, 1989 October 5, 1989 Max is bored when he has to spend all day in a day care center, so he takes his baby friends into space.
4 "The Big Sleep" October 8, 1988 October 11, 1989 October 12, 1989 FX's cord gets pulled out of shape and ruins his voice, so the gang goes back to Twinkle Twinkle in search of his doctor to fix it. (NOTE: This episode contains guest appearances by George Jetson (from The Jetsons), Space Ghost and The Great Gazoo (from The Flintstones) in non-speaking cameos)
5 "Attack of the Cubic Rubes" October 15, 1988 September 27, 1989 September 28, 1989 Max takes A.B. and FX to colorless planets (literally) with crayons, but after they meet color lovers Alan and Neil, things get out of hand.
6 "Monkey See, Monkey Zoo" October 22, 1988 October 18, 1989 October 19, 1989 The gang visits an interplanetary circus and discovers that the ringmaster had kidnapped the animals and is making them perform against their will.
7 "Cooking Mother's Goose" October 29, 1988 October 25, 1989 October 26, 1989 Max is bored with fairy tales until the gang goes into storybook world. Things are fine until FX's mischievous cousin, XS, comes along and makes everyone dance to music—which distracts them from their duties.
8 "Journey to the Center of my Sister" November 5, 1988 November 1, 1989 November 2, 1989 Zoe gets plagued with Nasal Bathrobe, the virus from Osirus, on the day of her birthday party. By order of Agent Wally, Max and company have to capture the virus or else they'll never go into outer space again.
9 "Carrot Encounters of the Third Kind" November 12, 1988 November 6, 1989 November 7, 1989 Zoe grows a giant carrot for a vegetable competition, but the carrot, named Rooty, appears to be alive. He enlists Max's help to save him from a rabbit named Fatso, who wants to eat him.
10 "The Baby Who Fell to Earth" November 19, 1988 November 13, 1989 November 14, 1989 While on a mission, Max is thrown out of his rocket and is grabbed by astronauts who mistake him for an alien. Everyone on Earth thinks Max's baby talk are an alien language and that his clothes are alien as well.
11 "Beach Blanket Baby" November 26, 1988 November 20, 1989 November 21, 1989 Max and his friends enlist the help of Dumpin' Jack Trash to help find the plug of planet Beachball before it drifts fatally close to the sun.
12 "Stitches in Time" December 3, 1988 November 27, 1989 November 28, 1989 The gang takes Stitches through time via the rocket, but Stitches is a baby at heart, which gets him into trouble.
13 "From Here to Twinkle, Twinkle" December 10, 1988 FX is deeply homesick so he ponders going back home to Twinkle Twinkle, but Max is reluctant to let him go. (NOTE: This episode is a shortened version of the original Space Baby pilot where all the content is from. Also, this is the only series 1 episode that was only broadcast and never commercially released.)

Season 2 (1989-1990)

The second season of Fantastic Max was broadcast in the United States on Sunday mornings from October 29, 1989, to January 21, 1990, and in the United Kingdom on BBC1 as 13 single episodes split into two parts.

# Title Original broadcast date [US] Original broadcast date [UK. Episode 1] Original broadcast date [UK. Episode 2] Plot of episode
1 "Boo Who?" October 29, 1989 September 12, 1990 September 13, 1990 XS pays as a visit on Halloween, challenging FX's bravery on Halloween and it is up to Max and A.B. to help FX
2 "Ben, the Blackmailer" November 5, 1989 September 19, 1990 September 20, 1990 Ben videotapes Max's latest trip into space, and he blackmails Max into letting him come along on the next voyage in exchange for his silence.
3 "Cowboy Max" November 12, 1989 September 26, 1990 September 27, 1990 Max's latest babysitter turns out to be Hoo Jipson, a famous outer space rodeo star.
4 "Straight Flush" November 19, 1989 October 3, 1990 October 4, 1990 A.B.'s body is stolen by a plumber. When they go on an adventure, the plumber and Max trade, when the plumber finds a rare "hairball extractor". Then A.B. gets his body again. A.B. tells Max about being the baby, then Max says that FX and Max were born before him, so technically, Max says that A.B. is the baby, so they dress him as a baby. Max says that he and FX decide when A.B. sleeps.
5 "Rats Like Us" November 26, 1989 October 10, 1990 October 11, 1990 While visiting Buckyland theme park, Max and company encounter a friendly family of rats who are desperate for food, and they in turn do what they can to help.
6 "Grab Bag Rag" December 3, 1989 October 17, 1990 October 18, 1990 Max wishes that he had special powers like FX, so he decides to visit a place where he can learn all the best magic acts.
7 "Movie Star Max" December 10, 1989 October 24, 1990 October 25, 1990 Max attends a film festival with himself as the main attraction.
8 "To Tell the Tooth" December 17, 1989 October 31, 1990 November 1, 1990 The gang goes after the tooth fairy after s/he takes Max's tooth from under his pillow and doesn't leave him any money.
9 "Dr. Max & Baby Hyde" December 24, 1989 November 7, 1990 November 8, 1990 After being covered with a shimmering ray, Max develops a more selfish and cruel personality.
10 "Guess Who's Coming to Dinar?" December 31, 1989 November 14, 1990 November 15, 1990 A sultan mistakes Max for his long-lost son.
11 "A.B., Phone Home" January 7, 1990 November 21, 1990 November 22, 1990 Max's constant crank telephone calls result in a long bill, and he has to work at an interplanetary phone company to pay it off.
12 "Puzzle, Puzzle, Toil & Trouble" January 14, 1990 November 28, 1990 November 29, 1990 Max winds up on a fairground full of games. But he lets his winning streak get in the way of things.
13 "Blarney Fife" (an obvious reference to Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show) January 21, 1990 December 5, 1990 December 6, 1990 After an accident, A.B.'s foot squeaks, so the gang travels to Ireland to find a good cobbler. The cobbler they find is a leprechaun named Blarney Fife who is trying to keep the map to Leprechaun Land from a greedy sneak named Pete O'Moss.

Home media

Between 1989 and 1991 four videos were released by the BBC, whereas the three episodes of the British showings on each of the VHS tapes were made into 20 minute stories.

VHS Name Catalogue Number Release Year Episodes
Fantastic Max 1:
"The Loon in the Moon"
BBCV 4300 6 November 1989
  • "The Loon in the Moon"
  • "Toys Will Be Toys"

  • "All In A Babe's Work"
Fantastic Max 2:
"Attack of the Cubic Rubes"
BBCV 4315 2 April 1990
  • "Attack of the Cubic Rubes"
  • "Monkey See, Monkey Zoo"
  • "The Big Sleep"
Fantastic Max 3:
"Cooking Mother's Goose"
BBCV 4408 1 October 1990
  • "Cooking Mother's Goose"

  • "Journey to the Center of my Sister"

  • "Carrot Encounters of the Third Kind"
Fantastic Max 4:
"'The Baby Who Fell to Earth"
BBCV 4486 4 March 1991
  • "The Baby Who Fell to Earth"
  • "Beach Blanket Baby"
  • "Stitches in Time"

During 1991 Abbey Home Entertainment also released three separate VHS videos with two episodes on each one to which one of them ("Boo Who") which was exclusively released in the Children's Classics range at WHSmith. Also in June 1991, Tempo Kids Club released one single video with one episode on it called "Movie Star Max" (94932).

VHS Name Release Year Episodes
Fantastic Max: "Cowboy Max" (94692) 18 February 1991
  • "Cowboy Max"
  • "Straight Flush"
The New Adventures of Fantastic Max: "Movie Star Max" 3 June 1991
  • "Movie Star Max"
The New Adventures of Fantastic Max: "Rats Like Us" 1991
  • "Rats Like Us"
  • "Grab Bag Tag"
The New Adventures of Fantastic Max: "Boo Who?" 1991
  • "Boo Who?"
  • "Ben the Blackmailer"

No DVD releases have been made to date, in either the United Kingdom or the United States.

Cast

Additional voices

References

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 197. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ "Fantastic Max". TV.Com. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  3. ^ "Fantastic Max". 80's Cartoons. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 321. ISBN 978-1476665993.