312 min./13 episodes/2 DVDs
Rated: Not Rated
Available April 24
Grade: 2.5 stars (out of 4)
It’d be easy to say the title says it all. But it doesn’t. This short-lived bit of animated gumshoe fun debuted in 1973. After 13 episodes, Inch High Private Eye was canned. Following a half-life in reruns over the last few decades, the show fortunately has resurfaced as part of Warner Archive’s Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection.
The show features Inch High, the literally one-inch tall detective from the Finkerton Detective Agency. With his niece Lori, her big but not bright boyfriend Gator, and their sidekick St. Bernard named Braveheart, Inch High uses his height advantage to foil various bad-guy schemes. Inch High isn’t the smartest, most patient, nicest, or tallest of cartoon characters. He is, however, persistent. Despite repeatedly being fired from the detective agency, he continues to find ways to get the job done — even if his methods are sometimes ill-planned and his conclusions utterly wrong. The brains of the operation is Lori, though she never receives any credit beyond Gator occasionally noting the echo between what she says and ensuing ideas from her uncle.
TV fans will note the voicework of Jamie Farr and Ted Knight, as well as Lennie Weinrib as the title character and Don Messick as his faithful dog companion.
It’s an enjoyable but not memorable show. The nostalgia is there for the Gen Xers, but given the show’s brief run, it likely wasn’t a notable part of most people’s childhood. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, the show’s premise and delivery are perfect for the pre-adolescent demographic, who will find it great fun and will likely want to rewatch it again and again. For $25, finding six-plus hours of entertainment for kids is a very reasonable price.
He may be “The World’s Biggest Little Detective,” but the show has a lot of heart. For a good time with one of Hanna-Barbera’s ’70s cartoons, give Inch High Private Eye a try.
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month. You can read more Ray’s Reviews here.
(Image (c)2012 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)