The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
Title card
Created byEarl Derr Biggers (character)
Written byDennis Marks
Directed by
Voices of(See article)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16
Running time30 min.
Production companyHanna-Barbera Productions
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 9 (1972-09-09) –
December 30, 1972 (1972-12-30)

The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (sometimes abbreviated as The Amazing Chan Clan) is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, animated by Eric Porter Studios in Australia and broadcast on CBS from September 9, 1972, to December 30, 1972, with reruns continuing through the summer of 1973 and in syndication from 1976 to 1982.[1] The show was loosely based on the Charlie Chan series of mystery novels and films, which began with the 1925 novel The House Without a Key.

Plot summary

Throughout the series, legendary Chinese sleuth Charlie Chan is both impeded and assisted by his brood of ten children and their dog Chu Chu, in the process of solving mysteries and catching wily master criminals.[2]

The family travels around the world in the Chan Van, a vehicle built by teenage genius Alan Chan, which can transform itself with the push of a button. While solving mysteries, the Chan kids break off into small groups with Henry and Stanley, the two oldest children, being paired together and driving the Chan Van. To ostensibly aid in their detective work, Stanley usually changes into some sort of goofy disguise much to the chagrin of his older brother Henry. As in other Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the period, the kids also have a music group, the Chan Clan, and they perform a song in each episode.

Voice cast

As the voice of the title character, Keye Luke is (to date) the only actor of Chinese ancestry to play the part in any screen adaptation.[3] Luke had previously portrayed "Number One Son" Lee Chan opposite Warner Oland whose characterization had a relatively limited vocabulary in the long-running Charlie Chan film series of the 1930s and 1940s by 20th Century Fox and later, Monogram Pictures.

Early on, it was decided that most of the children's accents were too thick for American audiences to understand, and all of the characters except Henry and Alan were recast. Once the new cast was in place, earlier episodes were re-dubbed.[4]

Voice Cast of The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan
Actor Role
Original Re-dubbed
Keye Luke Mr. Charlie Chan
Robert Ito Henry Chan
Stephen Wong Lennie Weinrib Stanley Chan
Virginia Ann Lee Cherylene Lee Suzie Chan
Brian Tochi Alan Chan
Leslie Kumamota Jodie Foster Anne Chan
Michael Takamoto John Gunn Tom Chan
Jay Jay Jue Gene Andrusco Flip Chan
Debbie Jue Beverly Kushida Nancy Chan
Leslie Juwai Cherylene Lee Mimi Chan
Robin Toma Michael Morgan Scooter Chan
Don Messick Chu Chu the Dog


No.TitleOriginal air date
1"The Crown Jewels Caper"September 9, 1972 (1972-09-09)

The Crown Jewels have disappeared from their case.

Villain: The Curator
2"To Catch a Pitcher"September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16)

A famous pitcher is missing and feared kidnapped.

Villains: Mr. Flynn, the secretary and two thugs
3"Will the Real Charlie Chan Please Stand Up?"September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30)
The Chan Clan must find the impostor who is framing Mr. Chan for the hotel robberies.
4"The Phantom Sea Thief"September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30)
A mysterious thief steals a painting during the Chan Clan's performance aboard a cruise ship.
5"Eye of the Idol"October 7, 1972 (1972-10-07)
A thief uses a smoke bomb to distract the Chan Clan and everyone in the room while he steals a jeweled idol's eye.
6"Fat Lady Caper"October 14, 1972 (1972-10-14)
Dimples the fat lady seems to disappear when a bank robber is on the loose.
7"Captain Kidd's Doubloons"October 21, 1972 (1972-10-21)
The Chan Clan must solve the theft of the doubloons.
8"Bronze Idol"October 28, 1972 (1972-10-28)
A con artist uses an idol statue to trick the villagers into giving it more pearls.
9"Double Trouble"November 4, 1972 (1972-11-04)
Prince Hareem, who plans to be in an auto race, is kidnapped and replaced with an impostor.
10"The Great Illusion Caper"November 11, 1972 (1972-11-11)
A magician's dog has been stolen, and the Chans must help find her.
11"The Mummy's Tomb"November 18, 1972 (1972-11-18)
A golden coffin of a famous pharaoh is stolen.
12"The Mardi Gras Caper"November 25, 1972 (1972-11-25)
A valuable ring is stolen while the Chan Clan is in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
13"The Gypsy Caper"December 2, 1972 (1972-12-02)
A mural has been stolen. While on the case, Stanley accidentally makes Henry swallow a clock.
14"The Greek Caper"December 9, 1972 (1972-12-09)
A statue of the winged goddess Athena is stolen and replaced by a plaster copy. Mr. Chan enlists Alan's help to find it.
15"White Elephant"December 16, 1972 (1972-12-16)
The Maharaja's white elephant Sing Ha disappears from the elephant enclosure when they are feeding it, and is feared stolen.
16"Scotland Yard"December 30, 1972 (1972-12-30)
A priceless stone called the Stone of Scone is stolen and the Chan Clan must help get it back.


The program was sharply criticized by Katheryn Fong, Community Coordinator of the Chinese Media Committee of Chinese for Affirmative Action, an advocacy group based in San Francisco, for continuing "to isolate generations of Chinese-Americans as being 'different'" and keeping the same "detective intoning stilted, fortune-cookie English spoken in proverbs". CBS President Robert D. Wood responded by calling the show "a lighthearted escapist program for youngsters", emphasizing the stereotypical Asian-American tropes of filial piety and intelligence as positive contributions with the hope "that CBS' Chan might begin to replace some of the abrasive imagery created by the old Charlie Chan character". Fong called this attitude a "great tragedy ... convincing many people that this kowtowing caricature is acceptable" and drew an analogy with a hypothetical cartoon about Adolf Hitler: "If CBS did a cartoon called 'Hitler's Haus' along the same lines of 'respect' and German pragmatism as your interpretation of Chan's wisdom, would that begin to replace some of the abrasive imagery created by the old Hitler and make him more acceptable to Jews?" Fong went on to testify about the program before the Federal Communications Commission in January 1973.[5]



Don Kirshner produced the songs for the show as he did for The Monkees and The Archie Show. Singer Ron Dante supplies the singing voice of Stanley as he did for Archie on The Archie Show.

Marketing and other media

A board game,[6] jigsaw puzzle,[7] lunch box[8] with thermos,[9] and comic book series were released as licensed merchandise alongside the animated series.

Comic book

At about the same time that the show came out, Gold Key Comics produced a comic book series based on the program, with artwork by Warren Tufts; it only lasted four issues. The first issue (an adaptation of the first episode) was written by Mark Evanier and was his first comic book printed in English.[14]

Home media

On June 19, 2012, Warner Archive released The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available through Warner's online store and[15]

Other media appearances

See also


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 15–17. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 21. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  5. ^ Fong, Katheryn M. (8 January 1973). "ERIC ED 071 442: FCC Oral Arguments of the Chinese Media Committee". Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  6. ^ "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Game". Board Game Geek.
  7. ^ "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Puzzle Illustration Original Art (Whitman, 1990)". Heritage Auctions. 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  8. ^ "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Lunch Box". National Museum of American History. 1973. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  9. ^ "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan Thermos". National Museum of American History. 1973. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Hanna-Barbera the Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #1". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Hanna-Barbera the Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #2". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Hanna-Barbera the Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #3". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Hanna-Barbera the Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #4". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  14. ^ Evanier, Mark (April 25, 2006). "Goodbye, Charlie!". News From ME.
  15. ^ "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan – 'The Complete Series' 2-DVD Set Released by The Warner Archive". Archived from the original on 2012-06-20.