Musical fantasy is a tour of the body
“The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical, Mystery Trip,” a highly-acclaimed presentation in the prize-winning “ABC Afterschool Specials” series will have an encore showing on the ABC Television Network.
A musical fantasy, the special combines live action and animation as it takes a brother and sister on an awesome trip through the over-fed, under-exercised body of their Uncle Carl. The children, Joey and Missey, are reading “Gulliver’s Travels” when they hear a mysterious voice coming from within the book.
As they search for a body to fit the ever-changing voice, they discover a flighty, colorful creature — Timer — keeper of body time, perched on the rim of their dozing Uncle Carl’s coffee cup. Before Joey and Missey know what has happened, they find themselves magically miniaturized and tumbling into their uncle’s mouth.
Led by Timer, the brother and sister meet both the good and bad inhabitants residing within Uncle Carl, among them General Antigen; Sadsack, a damaged lung cell; Admiral Plasma; Herbie the Hippie; and Colonel Von Neuron. The youngsters also see Uncle Carl’s fatty heart struggling to meet his body’s demands. They see a six-armed engineer helplessly try to cope with excessive amounts of food, and they hear the cry of his lungs for clean, fresh air, instead of cigarette and cigar smoke.
Throughout their awesome journey, Joey and Missey are entertained by the singing and antics of this mysterious world. But there is one problem: How will they get out?
“The message for the kids was of course, not to mistreat this mechanism they live in,” commented the Los Angeles Times, which also called the songs “sharply honed, both for the message and the fun…”
Bright ABC Show for Children
The American Broadcasting Company’s monthly “Afterschool” series for youngsters has another bright package today at 4:30 P.M. Here again is tasty; sturdy homeviewing for children. Adults could do much worse.
The hour-long program is titled “The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical Mystery Trip” — spelled fun, the imaginative kind. in animation, we see two youngsters climbing, trotting and boat-sailing through the human body, mouth to tummy and back, guided by a sassy little creature and a swarm of inner functional beings that picturesquely rail against health abuse.
The cleverly colored animation is inventive, the pacing is brisk, the tone is sassy and serious and the anatomical galaxy of Alice in Wonderland characters is perky to hilarious. Add a batch of lilting tunes. There’s just one catch. When the footage shifts “outside” to live action. the children’s uncle (it’s his body) seems a human caricature, with his incessant eating, smoking and grimacing.
Peter Broderick and Kathy Buck are disarming young explorers. This delectable hour was “created” by Guy Fraumeni. directed by Herbert Klynn, written by Larry Spiegel, produced by David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng, with songs by Edward Newmark. Nice, neat going, all. – Howard Thompson, New York Times (February 7, 1973)
Video of “The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical, Mystery Trip”
Starring Hal Smith (Uncle Carl), Kim Richards (Missey), Michael Link (Joey) and Len Maxwell (voice of Timer).