Shirt Tales

Shirt Tales
Created by Janet Elizabeth Manco (original characters)
Directed by
Theme music composer Hoyt Curtin
Opening theme "Shirt Tales"
Ending theme "Shirt Tales" (Instrumental)
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 23 (46 segments)
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s) Kay Wright
Editor(s) Gil Iverson
Running time 22 minutes (whole)
12 minutes (separate)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions (Warner Bros. Television)
Original network NBC
Original release September 18, 1982 (1982-09-18) – January 30, 1984 (1984-01-30)

Shirt Tales are characters that were created in 1980 by greeting card designer Janet Elizabeth Manco, and were featured on Hallmark Cards greeting cards. The characters were adapted into an animated series for television by Hanna-Barbera Productions, which first aired in 1982 on NBC.


Hallmark Cards released the homonymous line of greeting cards with animal characters wearing T-shirts upon which was a message. Those cards were among Hallmark's best sellers at that time, which led the company to team with Hanna-Barbera Productions to adapt the Shirt Tales into a Saturday morning cartoon, which premiered on NBC on September 18, 1982. The card line remained, but faded shortly after the show left broadcast television in 1985.

TV series

The animated Shirt Tales cartoon featured Tyg Tiger (in orange), Pammy Panda (in pink), Digger Mole (in light blue), Rick Raccoon (in red), and Bogey Orangutan (in green, so called because he spoke using a Humphrey Bogart-style voice). They lived in Oak Tree Park and wore shirts which flashed various brightly lit messages reflecting the characters' thoughts. They spent their time teasing the park custodian, Mr. Dinkel, and battling crime in and out of their hometown of Mid City. They zipped around the world in a vehicle known as the STSST (Shirt Tales' SuperSonic Transport) which could operate as a car, jet, boat, submarine, and other forms of transportation. Though most law enforcement agencies knew of the Shirt Tales as crime fighters by reputation, few people seemed aware that they were talking animals—including Mr. Dinkel, whom the group often had to trick to keep their secret safe.

Each episode was divided into two 11–minute segments. After the success of the thirteen episodes in Season 1, ten episodes were created for Season 2. However, the show was semi-rebooted and Kip Kangaroo (in yellow) was added to the cast of characters without context for her joining the Shirt Tales. There is also a difference in leadership among the Shirt Tales, in which for the first season Rick appeared to be the de facto leader, but in the second season is instead Tyg. Also several stories in Season 2 either omit Rick altogether or give him a minor role in the story. The second season also added some superhero elements to the dynamic of the group as well, most notably the color of all their T-Shirts changing to a Bright Red Color when "Shirt Tale Time" is called for.

Buck Beaver (in whitish blue) helped the Shirt Tales use a tree as a bridge in "The Big Foot Incident" and helped them build an ark in "Dinkel's Ark". In "Moving Time", four cousins from out west were introduced for this episode only: Prairie Dog Pete (in red with black vest), Fillmore Fox (in green), Violett Skunk (in yellow), and Hoozitz Owl (in lavender). In "Back to Nature", Cubby Bear (in red) helped the Shirt Tales when a wild bear had Mr. Dinkel chased up a tree.

Following the initial run on NBC, Shirt Tales aired on CBS during the 1984–1985 Saturday morning season, replacing The Biskitts in their time slot. CBS aired selected episodes from its two-season NBC run until March 23, 1985, when The Biskitts were returned to the time slot for the rest of the 1984–1985 season.

On March 23, 1985, Shirt Tales was pulled from broadcast television for good ("Shirt Tales" was airing on CBS at the time), and the Hallmark franchise faded not long after as well. The show continued for a number of years as part of USA Network's "Cartoon Express" and on Cartoon Network, but also continues to be broadcast in selected countries around the world, including Boomerang.

Voice cast




Season 1 (1982–83)

No. in
No. in
Title Story by Original air date
11"The Case of the Golden Armor / Crumbling's Circus Caper"The Case of the Golden Armor: Bob Ogle
Crumbling's Circus Caper: Tom Dagenais
September 18, 1982 (1982-09-18)
22"The Game Masters / Shirt Napped"Shirt Napped: Jim Ryan
The Game Masters: Tom Dagenais
September 25, 1982 (1982-09-25)
33"The Big Foot Incident / Elephant on the Loose"Elephant on the Loose: Bob Ogle
The Big Foot Incident: Tom Dagenais
October 2, 1982 (1982-10-02)
44"Horsin' Around / Mission Mutt"Horsin' Around: Bob Ogle
Mission Mutt: Jim Ryan
October 9, 1982 (1982-10-09)
55"Vacation for Dinkel / Wingman"Wingman: Jim Ryan
Vacation for Dinkel: Tedd Anasti
October 16, 1982 (1982-10-16)
66"The Humboldt Ghost / Figby, the Spoiled Brat Cat"The Humboldt Ghost: Bob Ogle
Figby, the Spoiled Brat Cat: Hank Saroyan
October 23, 1982 (1982-10-23)
77"Digger Runs Away / The Commissioner Is Missing"Digger Runs Away: Tedd Anasti
The Commissioner Is Missing: Misty Stewart
October 30, 1982 (1982-10-30)
88"Raiders of the Lost Shark / The Terrible Termites"The Terrible Termites: Jim Ryan
Raiders of the Lost Shark: Tedd Anasti
November 6, 1982 (1982-11-06)
99"Moving Time / Back to Nature"Moving Time: Tom Ruegger
Back to Nature: Gary Stamm
November 13, 1982 (1982-11-13)
1010"Save the Park / Pam-dora's Box"Save the Park: Tom Dagenais
Pam-dora's Box: William Hasley
November 20, 1982 (1982-11-20)
1111"Hapless Hound / The Very Buried Treasure"Hapless Hound: John Graham
The Very Buried Treasure: Janis Diamond and Allan Heldfond
November 27, 1982 (1982-11-27)
1212"Nearsighted Bear / The Magical Musical Caper"The Magical Musical Caper: Janis Diamond and Allan Heldfond
Nearsighted Bear: Jim Ryan
December 4, 1982 (1982-12-04)
1313"Dinkel's Ark / The Duke of Dinkel"Dinkel's Ark: Tom Dagenais
The Duke of Dinkel: Tom Ruegger
December 11, 1982 (1982-12-11)

Season 2 (1983–84)

No. in
No. in
Title Story by Original air date
141"Bogey Goes Ape / The Rain, the Park and the Robot"Bogey Goes Ape: Glenn Leopold
The Rain, the Park and the Robot: Glenn Leopold and Cliff Roberts
September 17, 1983 (1983-09-17)
152"Digger's Three Wishes / Digger's Double"Digger's Three Wishes: Bob Ogle
Digger's Double: Bob Ogle
September 24, 1983 (1983-09-24)
163"Kip's Dragon / Double Exposure"Kip's Dragon: David Detiege
Double Exposure: Jim Ryan
October 1, 1983 (1983-10-01)
174"Taj Mahal Tyg / Brass Bogey"Taj Mahal Tyg: Glenn Leopold and Cliff Roberts
Brass Bogey: Bob Ogle
October 8, 1983 (1983-10-08)
185"The Outer Space Connection / The Forbidden Island"The Outer Space Connection: Janis Diamond
The Forbidden Island: John Bates
October 15, 1983 (1983-10-15)
196"Saturday Night Shirt Tales / Dinkel's Buddy"Saturday Night Shirt Tales: Cynthia Friedlob and John Semper
Dinkel's Buddy: Alan Burnett and Jeff Segal
October 22, 1983 (1983-10-22)
207"Pleasure Valley / The Ghost Out West"Pleasure Valley: Dan DiStefano
The Ghost Out West: David Detiege
October 29, 1983 (1983-10-29)
218"T.J.'s Visit / The Big Set-up"T.J.'s Visit: David Detiege
The Big Set-up: Jim Ryan
November 5, 1983 (1983-11-05)
229"Kip's Toy Caper / Dinkel's Gift"Kip's Toy Caper: Cynthia Friedlob, Glenn Leopold,
Cliff Roberts, and John Semper
Dinkel's Gift: Alan Burnett and Jeff Segal
November 12, 1983 (1983-11-12)
2310"Mayhem on the Orient Express / The Cuckoo Count Caper"Mayhem on the Orient Express & The Cuckoo Count Caper
Cynthia Friedlob and John Semper
November 19, 1983 (1983-11-19)

Other media

There were also two musical book-and-record sets released by K-tel International under the "Castle Rock" imprint: A Song Saves the Park, and Sunrise Surprise. However, both sets use sound-alikes for the voices, and are presented differently from typical read-alongs.


DVD release

On September 16, 2014, Warner Archive released Shirt Tales: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection.[1]


  1. The Shirt Tales - 'The Complete Series' of the '80s Cartoon is Now on DVD!
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