Rock Odyssey (partially lost Hanna-Barbera animated film; 1987)
In 1981 Hanna Barbera had come up with the idea of an animated TV special for ABC titled Rock Odyssey. The film would be shelved (most likely due to its violent and graphic imagery) until the mid-1980s, where the project would resume production. The film would feature many popular songs at that time by such artists as Jerry Lewis, The Beatles, and Wham!, which were all being covered by their own singers. The film takes the viewer through a tour into the history of rock, with a jukebox voiced by Scatman Crothers as the host. The special was directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Rock Odyssey was co-directed by Robert Taylor (though he wasn't credited), known for the co-directing the 1972 R-rated animated film, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat.
Many songs are highly recognizable; some are by artists like The Beatles, Elvis Presley etc. There was a small argument over whether or not the film should use the original songs. In the end, Robert Taylor decided to do something "fresh" and record covers of the songs himself with a hired band. The film received “negative” reviews and has never released on VHS or DVD. It was never aired on television in the US again; it was rebroadcasted in other countries with the last being on Boomerang Southeast Asia in 2010.
There is a copy of this film available for viewing in the Library of Congress, but there is no place to buy or watch it publically. There are copies of the movie on YouTube and Dailymotion, but they are both in low quality, split into pieces, and dubbed into Spanish (due to them being recorded from a TV airing, although the songs are still in it’s original English audio.) However, on August 25, 2018, LMW user EL_PRESIDENTE found the movie in a higher quality (but still in Spanish). The full 90 minute English version remains lost, though there is a low-quality English version available, made from various sources by LMW user Ziggy Stardust. It is made from as many available online scenes as possible but was edited together before the Spanish dub's discovery, so the quality is less than satisfactory. It is highly unlikely that Rock Odyssey will ever see an official release.
On October 16th, 2018, LMW user Notelu had finished working on a serious restoration/remaster of Rock Odyssey and uploaded it to Archive.org. Notelu's cut of the film uses a combination of the high-quality Spanish VHS tape and a low-quality English cell phone recording of the film. He did this by splicing in the Spanish VHS tape for the music and visuals and the cell phone recording for the dialogue (as well as improving the quality). Right now it's the closest anyone has gotten to a high-quality English cut of the film.
- Link to the Spanish dub of the movie. Retrieved 27 Aug '18
- Link to the Ziggy Stardust cut (dead link). Retrieved 27 Aug '18
- Link to the superior Notelu cut. Retrieved 16 Oct '18
- The Wikipedia page on Rock Odyssey. Retrieved 24 Aug '18
- The IMDb page on Rock Odyssey. Retrieved 24 Aug '18
- A Blogspot page that includes art from Rock Odyssey. Retrieved 24 Aug '18
- A Google Books listing for "Iwao Takamoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters". Retrieved 24 Aug '18