Tom Terrific was an early animated series on American television, presented as part of the Captain Kangaroo children’s television show.
Created by Gene Deitch under the Terrytoons studio (which was a subsidiary of CBS, the network that broadcast Captain Kangaroo), Tom Terrific ran in a series of five-minute cartoons created specifically for the Captain Kangaroo show from 1957-1959, and was rerun on Kangaroo for years thereafter. For several years after 1962, Tom Terrific would be broadcast every other week, alternating with Lariat Sam, another Terrytoons creation.
All the voices were done by Lionel Wilson.
Drawn in a simple style, it featured a gee-whiz boy hero, Tom Terrific, who lived in a treehouse and could transform himself into anything he wanted thanks to his magic, funnel-shaped “thinking cap,” which also enhanced his intelligence. He had a comic lazybones of a sidekick, Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, and an arch-foe named Crabby Appleton, whose motto was, “I’m rotten to the core!” Other foes included Mr. Instant, the Instant Thing King, Captain Kidney Bean, Sweet Tooth Sam, the Candy Bandit and Isotope Feaney, The Meany.
Terrific was ranked number 32 by TV Guide magazine among its “50 Greatest TV Cartoon Characters.” There has never been an authorized VHS or DVD release of the series.
There were 26 stories produced, the first thirteen filmed in 1957, the remaining thirteen filmed in 1958. Each story was split into five parts for broadcast each weekday morning. During the years that Captain Kangaroo was also broadcast on Saturday mornings, the episodes would be re-edited into two parts (with cliffhangers and recaps from the daily versions eliminated), the first part broadcast during the first half-hour, the conclusion during the second half-hour.