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TOM OF T.H.U.M.B.

tom_of_thumb
 
Full Name: Tom of T.H.U.M.B.
Nationality: American
Organization: T.H.U.M.B.
Occupation Agent

Creator: John Burton Davis
Time Span: 0001 - 1000

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Tom of T.H.U.M.B. is an agent of, well, T.H.U.M.B.
       We never learn Tom's last name so the only way to specifically single him out is to add the acronym for the agency he works for.
       'Works for' is itself saying a bit much since he is the only agent in the organization with the exception of his sidekick, Swinging Jack.
       "Tom, an average member of U.S. Intelligence maintenance department. Wounded in the line of duty, Tom and his faithful assistant, Swinging Jack, ran afoul of the shrinking laser beam ray gun. They gave their height for their country, thus creating the Tiny Human Underground Military Bureau. When the plan calls for small thinking, it's a job for Tom of T.H.U.M.B."
       The above is the introduction we get on each of the televised animated adventures which exist of Tom and Jack's missions. The 'wounded in the line of duty' makes it sound more impressive that it really is. Tom was sweeping at the top of the stairs, fell down those steps, and landed near a large machine. When his assistant, Smiling Jack, helps him stand, Tom's arm accidentally hits a lever on that device, moving in to the on position which opened a compartment on the wall from where a laser cannon slid out and hit both in its light.
       That beam shrunk the two to around 3" tall. I say around because one reference has it 4" and another implied 2". The miniaturization is apparently permanent because after the event, Tom moved his domicile into a middle drawer of a file cabinet, said drawer labeled with the new 'agency' acronym. The compartment holds a tiny bed and an easy chair and lamp and little else, each of these items apparently also resized with the ray. [No mention is made of where Swinging Jack resides.]
       Other items which likely were reduced to Tom's dimensions include a two-man helicopter and a jet fighter plane, as well as smaller items like his weapons.
       To say that Tom was a particularly bad agent who succeeds more out of just plain dumb luck is putting it mildly. He has the best of intentions but things always seem to go wrong yet he gets good results eventually. One of the reasons things misfire is the truly inept way Swinging Jack goes about, well, everything. So, whether Tom is really bad or just has bad help is debatable.
       All good agents need a good nemesis and Tom has that in the evil scientists of M.A.D. which stands for "Maladjusted, Anti-social, and Darn mean". These fellows and their henchmen, inevitably donned in black hats and black trenchcoats, are "bent on destroying the world for their own gains". [What they gain when they blow up the world, which they try to do a couple of times, is never explained.]
       The hefty, thick-mustached man who has the dubious joy of being Tom's boss at U.S.Intelligence is Chief Homer J. Chief. It is hard to say whether this man is grumpy all the time because he has a lousy disposition or because he really hates having to call in Tom for the occasional assignment is never revealed. The fact that his last name is 'Chief' and his title is 'Chief' may add to his mood.
       If Tom ever noticed anything, though, he never shows it. Tom is the most eager go-getter you could want in an agent and never shows fear or doubt. Intrepid seems to be Tom's motto.

       Tom has a couple of catch-phrases he uses on occasion:
"Can't win them all, Chief Chief"
"On the ball and ready for action!"

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:24
First Appearance:0001
Last Appearance:1000
Network:ABC

REGULAR CAST

       An animated cartoon show geared towards small children and starring King Kong (a nice version, of course) was the work of a production company named Videocraft. This is the same company who had already come out with the still-shown today Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and would later produce Frosty the Snowman. That company would work with Toei Animation of Japan for the actual artwork used.
       According to my source, Videocraft came up with the design, the storyboards, and the scripts while Toei provided the animation artwork. In America, the voice dubbing was done by Videocraft to give us Tom and in Japan it would be done by Toei to create its version, 001/7 Oyayubi Tom.
       Each of the 30-minute presentations would consist of a couple of short adventures with the giant ape. The first and last of the 26 episodes would deal only with Kong. The 24 in between would also have sandwiched between the Kong stories the five-minute adventures of Tom of T.H.U.M.B.


1 For the Last Time, Feller... I'm Not Bait!
Episode 1-01, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. have sunk a U.S. vessel. In the safe in the captain's cabin are plans for a secret weapon that Tom must get before enemy agents do.

2 Hey, That Was a Close One World!
Episode 1-02, first aired 01/01/0001

A device from M.A.D. is buried two miles underground, so powerful it will blow the world to smithereens unless Tom can go to into the 1" hole to reach it.

3 I Was a 9 1/2 oz. Weakling Till One Day...
Episode 1-03, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. have built a miniature city and kidnapped Tom and Jack, placing them in the city to make them think they have grown to be giants and going mad as a result.

4 I Was a Starling for the USA!
Episode 1-04, first aired 01/01/0001

The best aircraft in the U.S. military have been dropping like flies and Tom is sent to find out why.

5 Cool Nerves and... Steady Hands
Episode 1-05, first aired 01/01/0001

The baddies from M.A.D. have filled the municipal swimming pool with nitroglicerin. A can of nitro-neutralizaer must be dropped into it and normal size people are out. Tom is the man.

6 All Guys From Outer Space Are Creeps
Episode 1-06, first aired 01/01/0001

A alien craft is spotted and M.A.D. agents head to meet them to get them on its side. The U.S. has no normal-sized rocket ready so Tom and Jack are picked to go up in a tin can tied to a firecracker.

7 Mechanical Granma
Episode 1-07, first aired 01/01/0001

U.S. Intelligence has decided M.A.D. are bad guys because they do not have enough love so it has created a robotic grandma to make them nicer. Inside its head is the control panel that Tom will fit in to sneak into its HQ.

8 The Day We Almost Had It
Episode 1-08, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. has placed a bomb in the city which they claim no normal size person can get near to or boom! Tom is thus the man to defuse it.

9 Tom Makes History
Episode 1-09, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

10 Tom Scores Again
Episode 1-10, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

11 Blow, Jack, Blow!
Episode 1-11, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

12 Tom and the TV Pirates
Episode 1-12, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

13 The Girl From M.A.D.
Episode 1-13, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

14 Just One of Those Nights
Episode 1-14, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

15 Runt of 1,000 Faces
Episode 1-15, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

16 Hello, Dollies!
Episode 1-16, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

17 Pardner
Episode 1-17, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

18 Beans is Beans
Episode 1-18, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

19 What Goes Up...
Episode 1-19, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. scientists have figured out reverse polarization and floated away America's landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Tom must get them back.

20 Our Man, the Monster
Episode 1-20, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. has managed to sneak into Tom's bedtime milk the same formula used by Dr. Jekyll to turn into Mr. Hyde.

21 Never Trust a Clam
Episode 1-21, first aired 01/01/0001

[plot unknown]

22 Drop That Ocean, Feller
Episode 1-22, first aired 01/01/0001

M.A.D. scientists have managed to steal all the water in the Pacific and will go after the other oceans unless Tom can stop them.

23 Plug That Leak
Episode 1-23, first aired 01/01/0001

The greatest dam in the world, Mammoth Dam, is in danger from M.A.D. and Tom is the man for the job.

24 The Scooby
Episode 1-24, first aired 01/01/0001

The terrible Scooby dance which people all over the country are dropping work to do is caused by a mechanical virus by M.A.D. Tom is the only person small enough to fight the virus on its own level.

MY COMMENTS

       The adventures of Tom of T.H.U.M.B. are a silly take on the fairy tale about Tom Thumb as well as a spoof of all spy shows. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. had been out for two years and Get Smart one year when Tom came around. Of those two, the latter was more what the creators were going for. Silly mishaps, inept everybody's, and pithy catch-phrases had Tom fitting the mold of Agent 86 quite nicely.
       The shows were indeed silly but since each episode only lasted about 5 minutes and because they were geared to small kids, silly worked well enough. As an adult watching them...not so much.

GRADE

My Grade: C-

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