Charlie Chan

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The Amazing Chan & The Chan Clan

Premiered In: 1972 Status: Ended
2 Seasons, 30 Minute Episodes


This children's series is loosely based on Charlie Chan. Charlie, who is never referred to by his name in the actual show, has 10 children. They travel the world in a van, with their family dog, solving mysteries. Sound familiar? Nearly every cartoon of this era was trying to rip-off the success of Scooby-Doo. Interestingly, Keye Luke who played Lee Chan, Charlie's son in many of the movies, plays Charlie in this series and one of his daughters is voiced by Jodie Foster.

The New Adventures Of Charlie Chan

Premiered In: 1957 Status: Wish-List
1 Seasons, 60 Minute Episodes


Charlie Chan was already a very successful franchise, with almost 50 films under its belt. It only made sense that the series eventually come to the small screen. In the incarnation, Charlie was played by J. Carrol Naish.


Charlie Chan At Treasure Island

Released In: 1939, 72 Minutes


Sidney Toler

Charlie Chan Carries On

Released In: 1931, 61 Minutes


This was once thought to be a lost film, but has since resurfaced.

Charlie Chan In Egypt

Released In: 1935, 73 Minutes


Warner Oland

Charlie Chan In Honolulu

Released In: 1938, 67 Minutes


Sidney Toler bought the film rights from Fox studios and released this as the first of more than 20 Charlie Chan films, featuring himself in the title role. Mr. Toler is actually an American of Scottish descent, so once again the title role of a Chinese character is played by a non-Asian character.

While these films continued to be successful, they were possibly even more racially offensive than those of Warner Oland's era, due to the inclusion of a character for the purpose of comic relief named Birmingham Brown, who as you can well imagine was an African American. So, between the Asian stereotypes and self-deprecating African American character, the Charlie Chan films continued to reinforce the social ineptitudes of the times.

In defense of Mr. Toler, he played the role of Charlie as a bolder, stronger character, who wasn't afraid to show contempt for others. The times were slowly changing and while having a non-Caucasian leading character was a bold step in the first place, allowing him to have pride, self-respect and not shrink in fear of Caucasians was something entirely new.

Charlie Chan In London

Released In: 1934, 79 Minutes


Warner Oland

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