[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
fonz
The Fonz and The Happy Days Gang was produced by Hanna-Barbera and Paramount Television, and debuted on November 8, 1980 running for two seasons till being retooled and folded in to the Laverne & Shirley In The Army cartoon.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
plasticmancoloring

It's an hour-long show, so enjoy!

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Plastic Man 1980

The Plastic Man Super Comedy Adventure Show was technically a spin-off of The Super Friends, debuting in 1979 and running for two seasons.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
pacman

Pac-Man ran for only two seasons from 1982 to 1983, and was the first Hanna-Barbera animated series based on a video game.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
HeathcliffAndDingbatShow

Heathcliff and Dingbat debuted on October 4, 1980 running for one season till the co-star and title billing were changed to include the popular comic strip canine "Marmaduke".

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day begins at 7am, see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
wuzzlescouch

HERE WE GO! Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day begins at 7am, see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
thundarr

This is it - the last post you'll see before the watch-along tomorrow morning! I'll post the link to our LiveStream channel bright-n-early, probably around 6 or 6:30, and then we'll see ya there!

According to The Poll I posted earlier today, there could be almost FIVE PEOPLE watching along with me and [livejournal.com profile] aurora77 tomorrow morning!

(I really hope it's actually more than that - don't make me cry, people)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Curious about what cartoons we're showing tomorrow morning? Well I'm not sayin' nuthin', all I'm sayin' is that if you click through here, you'll find a selection of vintage and non-vintage coloring pages that *just might* give you some clues about our line-up for the watch-along, in no particular order. Hey, it's better than nothing, right??? Feel free to print 'em, color 'em and hang 'em on your fridge :)

Be prepared for spoilers if you click beyond here! )

And don't forget - tomorrow morning! Starting at 7am! Make sure you've got your LiveStream.com account set up and ready to go, link will be posted her by 6:30 tomorrow morning!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


WELCOME TO THE 1980'S SATURDAY MORNING HISTORICAL REENACTMENT SOCIETY WATCH-ALONG-EVE! Tomorrow morning, bright-n-early (7am here in Seattle, 10am in New York) DOZENS of us will be tuning in to the Livestream channel and attempting to recreate an actual 1980's Saturday Morning! WOOOOO!!!

[livejournal.com profile] aurora77 (The DJ Jazzy Jeff of this whole shebang) has an incredible line-up planned for us that I'd really like to keep secret till the last possible minute, but I'll give you a hint - it's gonna go a little more "old-skool" than previous watch-alongs. This stuff is the cream of the crop! The GIANTS of Saturday Mornings on the shoulders of which our entire Society is riding upon! I am legit EXCITED about some of the titles she's told me about!

Today I'll be poppng in and out with tons of polls and videos to whet your collective appetites, so let's start with the simplest poll of all:
[Poll #1934822]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


Here's a link to Mark Evanier's blog where he reflects on his involvement with the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon and the Garfield & Friends Cartoon which marked their 30th and 25th anniversaries yesterday. It's a quick read and pretty informative!

Mark Evanier is the guy who wrote (among other things relevant to our interests) the pilot episode, another episode and the "Series Bible" for the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, as well as the vast majority of all the Garfield cartoons you've ever seen :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


YARRRRR, MATEYS! It be September 19th, International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day! And as a special treat, we'll take a look at what I consider to be the greatest tribute to 80's Saturday Mornings that the 90's ever created, THE PIRATES OF DARKWATER.

(Yes, I know that this cartoon didn't even start till '91, but it's relevant I swear!)

The water world of Mer is being devoured by a gloopy substance known as "Dark Water". Only Prince Ren can stop it by finding the lost Thirteen Treasures of Rule. His loyal crew of misfits that help in his journey are Tula the Ecomancer, Niddler the monkey-bird, and a treasure-hungry pirate named Ioz. The evil pirate lord, Bloth, will stop at nothing to get the treasures for himself and provides many obstacles for Ren and his crew.

Depending on who you talk to, there were either 21, 26 or 19 episodes of this show produced between 1989 and 1992. This was the last original show to be produced by Hannah-Barbera before being devoured by the Turner Broadcasting conglomerate, which I think gives it a bit of a special distinction.

So about the inconsistency of Episode count...

The original run was a simple 5-episode Toy Commercial, not unlike the original GI Joe, Transformers and other toy commercial TV shows of the 80's. Simply titled "Dark Water", the show was notable for the fact that legendary actor Roddy McDowell voiced the monkey-bird Niddler (after these 5 episodes it would be voiced by Frank Welker). At the time, Dark Water was seen as being a "Hail Mary Pass" of a cartoon that they put everything in to in order to avoid a buy-out - all they needed was one new, solid hit to keep the studio going.

...And then the multi-market merchandising deal fell through :( No extensive toy-line, no lunch boxes, no sheets, no board games (though most of these would come later, under different circumstances)... it just all kind of fizzled-out during a series of corporate buy-outs. The five BEAUTIFUL episodes, featuring some of the finest watercolor backgrounds and full figure animation the studio had ever produced, ended up being sold off to the lowest bidder, the fledgling FOX network.

Those first five episodes aired on FOX, while Turner Broadcasting was ironing out what to do with all the previous contracts and whatnot. The episodes were slightly retooled and condensed in order to make them fit in to a "Movie" format, which was then split in to individual half-hour episodes for a full series that was sold to ABC.

The show was abruptly cancelled at approximately 21 episodes, never reaching the promised conclusion :(
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Our last Hype Poll showed some pretty promising results! Despite our ages being ALL OVER THE PLACE, it was agreed that the "Golden Age" of 1980's cartoons was in fact the 1985 - 1986 season! That's awesome!

Today, in preparation for our next Watch-Along (which is THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 AT 7AM), let's talk about one of the hidden benefits of adolescent developmental television binging - The ability to Multitask!

It is my belief that our secondary viewing habits of our childhoods developed the enviable ability to perform multiple tasks at once.
[Poll #1934560]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
GETTING PSYCHED FOR OUR ALL-NEW 1980'S SATURDAY MORNING WATCH-ALONG HISTORICAL REENACTMENT THIS SATURDAY!!!

So about this poll (because everyone loves a good poll), this is building on a theory that I've heard bandied about at comic cons and the likes for YEARS now - that the "Golden Age" of most things you love happened when you were approximately 12 years old. And what exactly does "Golden Age" mean? It's when things were better than they had ever been before AND better than they ever will be again.

EXAMPLE: I think that the comic books of 1983-1986 were THE BEST ever made - not corny like they had been in the past, not grim-n-gritty like they became shortly after that. To me, the Golden Age of comics were right around 1985 which, coincidentally enough, was when I was right around 12 years old. EVERYTHING was better then - Happy Meal Toys were the best ever, Cartoons were the best ever, Toys were the best ever - it never was and never will be as good as it was in '85.

But if you ask my older brother, he'd swear that the stuff *I* loved was garbage because the TRUE golden age was right around 1976 (when HE was 12), and he'd have plenty of evidence to back up that claim. And as for my Dad? Well everything started going down-hill once they stopped publishing Captain Marvel comics in 1953 (you'll never guess how old he was then).

And so in regards to our Saturday Mornings of the 1980's, It's got me wondering...

[Poll #1934399]

Remember to please be as honest in your answers as possible... this is for SCIENCE!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


Saturday morning at 8:30 on NBC in 1985, Disney's Adventures of The Gummi Bears sparked a HUGE CHANGE in the way that Saturday Mornings and Television Cartoons would operate from this point on. But first, a summary:

Medieval bears cook Meth in the forest outside a kingdom, have to avoid being captured by the evil Duke Igthorn. It's basically a cartoon version of "Breaking Bad".

SO! The importance of this show! Last week I discussed the importance of The Wuzzles and how Disney was jumping in to television animation like never before. Whereas The Wuzzles was a standard Saturday Morning cartoon with standard 11-minute conflict-and-moral story lines, The Gummi Bears (pitched at the last minute by Michael Eisener because his kid asked for the candy and it made him think "Hey, THEY could be a cartoon character") was a semi-episodic, progressive story with character development.

This cartoon served as an example that was copied all through the rest of the 80's and in to the 90's. Ongoing story lines, plot threads that would weave through multiple episodes... other companies followed that mold from here on out.

After 3 years on NBC Saturday Morning, the show moved to ABC for one final season before becoming the established elder statesman of The Disney Afternoon, a collection of Disney animated half-hour shows that all followed the same template of character development and long, weaving plot threads.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
thundarr
Thundarr & Friends really enjoy a good watch-along

Remember how I lways told you folks that you'd know when the next 1980's Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment Society Live-Stream Watch-Along was coming because I'd give you a solid week of non-stop Spam Posts about how the next 1980's Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment Society Live-Stream Watch-Along was coming up?

Well guess what?

THE NEXT 1980'S SATURDAY MORNING HISTORICAL REENACTMENT SOCIETY LIVE-STREAM WATCH-ALONG IS THIS COMING SATURDAY!!! SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2013!!!

Starting at 7am (West Coast, 10am East Coast) and going till a bit past noon, it'll be an entire Saturday Morning Experience full of vintage cartoons, commercials and chatting with your fellow 1980's SMHRS members about your memories and observances! It'll also be an excellent excuse to stay in your jammies all day eating sugary cereal and playing with your Legos :)

We do this through Livestream.com so you should probably go set up an account there *now* for watching and chatting along with us; we'll post the link for our channel once we're closer to the actual day of the event. We chose Livestream.com because it allows us all to be at approximately the same spot in the broadcast (biggest lag between watchers we've seen so far was about 10 second), has an integrated chat client, is available Internationally and (supposedly) works on ios and Android devices WOO!!!

Now, regarding that super-cute image of Thundarr & Friends sitting on the couch watching Saturday Morning Cartoons together... anybody interested in having that on a T-Shirt? Weighing my options here, it would be somewhere around $25 per shirt if I did it through one of those Print-On-Demand websites like Cafe Press, but if I had an order for 50 or more I could get them made locally for around $15, keeping it under $20 shipped PLUS I would then have extra shirts to sell at conventions and/or give away in contests we hold in this community... what say you?
[Poll #1934191]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


The 1985 season of The ABC Weekend Special brought us another 9 new half-hour episodes, including the experimental live-action "The Adventures Of Teddy Ruxpin" (embedded above). WHAT?!?! LIVE-ACTION TEDDY RUXPIN? That's CRAZY!

Ken Forsse was the man who created Teddy Ruxpin, the first domesticated animatronic produce for childhood companionship. Ken had gotten his start at The Walt Disney Company and with Sid & Marty Krofft, and had helped to create a new kind of kids show that combined puppetry, animatronics and green-screen animation in to something completely new and different. See "Welcome To Pooh Corner" from the earliest days of The Disney Channel for a prime example.



Now that mister Forsse was striking out and making a name for himself with Teddy Ruxpin, he went ahead and made a "pilot episode" of sorts for a show featuring his creation, using the new show format that he had helped develop. It was AWESOME, but it quickly became apparent that without the deep pockets of a corporation like Disney behind it, a show like this was just too cost-prohibitive.

Lucky for us, too, because they scrapped the whole thing and gave us one of the most epic episodic animated programs of all time with the animated "Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin" that went directly in o syndication (but more on that another day, when I'm writing about non-network Saturday morning stuff).

Days Of Wonder (the company selling Teddy Ruxpin) recouped their losses by taking the live-action footage they had and selling it to ABC for use in their ABC Weekend Special.

The full line-up of new episodes included:
  • The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn (Part 1 and 2)
  • Jeeter Mason and the Magic Headset
  • Cap'n O.G. Readmore's Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Pippi Longstocking (Part 1 and 2)
  • Columbus Circle
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin (Part 1 and 2)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


In 1985, Disney was desperate to get back in to the Television Animation business. A series of underperforming animated movies since the death of Walt Disney in 1966 had left the once powerful House Of Mouse a slowly rotting corpse of a company being picked apart by corporate scavengers.

Then came Michael Eisner who said "Screw that, we're DISNEY!" and with that they pumped new money, new talent and, unfortunately, new 1980's greed-fueled corporate policies in to what had once been a tight-knit "Family" corporation of sorts.

Regardless of the greed-fueled motivations, though, Michael Eisner got the company back up and running for a whole new generation of kids, starting with Saturday Mornings in 1985 because Saturday Morning cartoons were cheap, easy to make, and could be turned out FAST to get the Disney name back in to homes that weren't tuning in to the Disney Sunday Night Movie every week out of habit for family-friendly viewing.

The first cartoon that was made ready was "The Wuzzles", with a concept that was created by Michael Eisner himself for his new Disney Television Animation Studio to create. Because Michael was such a good 80's businessman, he had the toy rights sold to Hasbro before they even had a storyline, full name, concept sketch or really anything beyond "It's a show about mixed-up animals, like part giraffe and part elephant". It had the Disney name behind it, so they bought it and BOOM! An 80's classic was born!

The Wuzzles only lasted one season (13 episodes), making it the shortest lived Disney Television Animated show ever, but the following year ABC bought the reruns of that first season as a part of an experiment which we will discuss next week when I tell you all about Disney's Adventures of The Gummi Bears :)

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