Inch High, Private Eye was a 1970s animated cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which was resurrected in the 1980s to delight and entertain a brand new audience.
Inch High was the self-styled “world’s biggest little detective” who worked for the Finkerton Detective Agency and he was really quite tiny – about one inch high in fact!
Dressed in a green Sam Spade-type trench coat and trilby and aided by his niece Lori, her friend Gator and a massive St Bernard dog called Braveheart, Inch somehow managed to solve a host of crimes in his own inimitable clumsy fashion.
Being so small, Inch could conceal himself in the strangest of places to get close to the villains and make an arrest. On one occasion Inch dressed as an angel and was glued to the canvas of a highly valuable religious painting which was subsequently stolen from an art gallery. Of course his size also worked against him and he got into many a scrape due to his near invisibility.
The dozy but beefy Gator was a master of disguise and managed to fool both the good guys and the bad guys with his ingenious instant changes of costume but which were more of a hindrance than a help and were frowned upon by Inch High.
To get around, Inch and his friends travelled in the Hushmobile, which was a sort of elongated dodgem car which made hardly a sound – perfect for trailing criminals.
Inch’s boss, Mr Finkerton, was an angry individual who wasn’t on the best of terms with his miniature employee and was ever reluctant to send Inch out on a case. The resentful Mr Finkerton himself regularly got involved in Inch’s cases without Inch’s knowledge, concealing himself at the scene of the investigation, and somehow always ending up bumped and bruised and tied up as Inch and his pals mistook him for a crook. “Inch, you knucklehead!” was often the cry from Mr Finkerton as his identity was discovered by the surprised detective and his pals.
But in the end, and always accidentally, Inch High would solve the crime and apprehend the criminals…although never to the satisfaction of Mr Finkerton.
Incidentally, the voice artist who played Inch High – Lennie Weinrib – was also the original voice of Scrappy Doo.