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Home  USA  Series  L  Lone Ranger, The

Lone Ranger, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1966
Channel:
CBS
Prod. Co.:
Lone Ranger Productions
Genre:
Series
 

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Characters & Voices
Lone Ranger - Michael Rye
Tonto - Shepard Menken
 
“A fiery horse with the speed of light and a hearty hi-yo Silver!”

With that explosive announcement and the swelling of the powerfully energetic "William Tell Overture," The Lone Ranger rode onto the nation's airwaves. From his early days on radio (beginning in 1933) and on to live-action television for 8 years (on ABC from 1949 to 1957), that masked man continued his ride into Saturday morning animation. Through these many incarnations, The Lone Ranger has become one of television’s most popular western series of all time.

The Lone Ranger told the story of John Reid, a ranger in the Old West, who, after being ambushed by Butch Cavendish and his Hole in the Wall Gang, was left for dead. A Native American named Tonto (who also happened to be an old childhood friend) found John and saved his life by nursing the ranger back to health on his reservation.

Vowing to bring justice to the Old West and revenge upon the Hole in the Wall Gang, John Reid donned a mask and became... The Lone Ranger! After making short work of Butch and his gang, the Lone Ranger and Tonto rode throughout the west, battling injustice and answering the calls of anyone in distress. Forever aided by their horses, Silver and Scout, The Lone Ranger and Tonto became legendary heroes of the Old West.

Most fans remember Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels as the Lone Ranger and Tonto, but in the Filmation animated series their voices were performed by Michael Rye and Shep Menken, respectively. Some television historians consider the villains of this series a bit campier than they had been in earlier incarnations, most notably The Puppet Master and The Black Widow (voiced by Agnes Moorehead, most widely known as Endora on Bewitched). The stable of villains also included an endless parade of robots and space aliens.

The producers took advantage of the freedom they had in animating this show. Aside from the outrageous villains, what most viewers remember is the innovative animation used for backgrounds, some of which were made from torn paper (long before the days of South Park).

The Lone Ranger lasted three years in animated form, then returned over a decade later as part of The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, which became The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour one season later.
 
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