Gary Cahall (MovieFanFare.com) reminisces about some lesser-known Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. One of these is 1967’s Young Samson and Goliath, which, alas, was no Hong Kong Phooey:
Meanwhile, Young Samson was a bland–even by 1967 superhero cartoon standards–collection of adventures in which teen hero Samson–voiced by Jonny Quest’s Tim Matheson–would clang together a pair of wrist bracelets to turn into a more muscular, longer-haired version of himself (shades of Captain Marvel) to fight evil. His partner was his pet dog Goliath, who at a click of the wrist jewelry became a super-strong lion. Shouldn’t Goliath have either turned into a wolf or been a cat? And I’m no Biblical scholar, but wasn’t Goliath a bad guy?
Well, yes, Goliath was a bad guy in the Bible. But in the tradition of St. Christopher, Rabelais’ Giants, and Marvel Comics’ Black Goliath, those dastardly Giants keep getting transformed into big, lovable, slightly oafish or rascally but basically good Giants. Giants are very liminal creatures, you see, slipping back and forth between humanity and non-humanity – or, in this case, between a domestic dog and a fearful lion.