[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

11:00 on ABC in 1984 was the tipping point for Scooby-Doo, namely with The Scary Scooby Funnies - which I like to think of as the '80 Page Giant Annual" of 1980's Saturday Morning Cartoons.

80 Pages of comics, 4 of which are all-new, the rest is reprints going as far back as the dawn of comicdom.

The current "New" Scooby-Doo cartoon in this season was the second season of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which brought the whole gang INCLUDING SCRAPPY-DOO together for the first time ever in a series of two 11-minute adventures, followed by The Scary Scooby Funnies which was a random repackaging of pretty much every Scooby-Doo series of "The ABC Years" that had featured just Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. Out of the full hour of Scoobcentric programming, you could end up with 45-minutes of "Vintage" Scooby-Doo and a single 11-minute "New" adventure.

This was the last season of Scooby Doo that would follow the traditional stand-alone mystery adventure story structure.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Where do you begin with this? In 1983 at 11:00, the folks at NBC brought us the adventures of Mister T as animated by the Ruby-Spears studio.

If you don't know who Mister T was/is, I have nothing but pity for you and think you somewhat akin to a Foole.

The premise of this show was the Mister T was the trainer/coach of a teenage gymnastics troupe who for some reason drove around the country solving mysteries. They also had a dog with a mohawk and a red-headed white boy who wanted to be Mister T.

Unlike other celebrities who got their own cartoon series (Chuck Norris, Hulk Hogan, Muhammad Ali, etc) Mister T was pretty heavily involved with the creative end of this cartoon series. Each episode opened with Mister T explaining the set-up of the episode, and ended with him explaining the moral of the story in a live-action segment. There was a big struggle between the story writers and T, where the story writers wanted Mister T to perform some super-human feat of strength each episode (the entire reason behind making a cartoon about a muscle-bound hero, after all), but T insisted that his role be more of a mentor and not doing things that kids would try to imitate at home. This is why many episodes end with The Bad Guy just SEEING Mister T and deciding to give up rather than fight.

The show ran for 30 episodes over the course of three seasons, but because of contractual negotiations that fell through at the last minute Season 3 ended up being 100% re-runs of episodes from the first two seasons; they never even made it to the plotting stage of Season 3 because at that time, Mister T was trying to develop his standing in the WWF Professional Wrestling Federation - distancing himself from his established "Good Guy" persona.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(I defy anyone to find full episodes of this show in English!)

On Saturday Morning in 1978, the ABC Weekend Special aired an animated adaptation of Jane Thayer's "The Puppy Who Wanted A Boy", the story of a puppy named "Petey" who becomes attached to a young orphan named Tommy. One of the most heavily repeated of all the ABC Weekend Special episodes, the next 4 years of ABC Weekend Specials included such titles as "The Puppy's Great Adventure", "The Puppy's Amazing Rescue" and "The Puppy Saves The Circus". In 1982, The Puppy got a co-starring title role in The Scooby And Scrappy Puppy Hour, and then finally in 1983 he got his own half-hour show at 11am on ABC. See? If you start at the bottom, you CAN work your way to the top!

This cartoon featured The Puppy and his friends searching all over the world for Tommy and his adoptive family, then in the second season opener they FOUND the boy and traveled all over the USA with them having adventures where they met and teamed-up with a flying puppy named "Glyder" (his ears were so large he could use them to fly like Dumbo the elephant).

No matter who I ask about it, nobody seems to know why there's such an embargo on this beloved Ruby-Spears classic other than "I dunno, I think it's something with the rights being tied-up?" This is really sad, because this was an incredible series of cartoons!

Reruns were later picked up and aired on CBS as "The Puppy's Great Adventures".
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Bneji, Zax & The Alien Prince was a live-action show that premiered at 11:00 Saturday morning in 1983 on CBS. Created by Benji's owner, Bob Camp, this show was one of Hanna-Barbera's infrequent attempts at a live-action TV show. Pretty much everything you need to know about every episode is right there in the opening credits - Space Prince and his Robot hide from an Evil Empire here on Earth with the help of the most famous dog of the 70's/80's, Benji.

For the longest time, I thought this show was some fevered dream or hallucination from my childhood; I think I tuned in to one or two episodes by accident, in the middle of the show, so I had no idea what was going on. FREQUENTLY preempted for College Football and/or Golf, the show had a very spotty record of actually making it to air in most time zones.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US LIVE RIGHT NOW!!! Remember, this is our first time using the LiveStream service, so be sure to give us plenty of feedback! You'll probably have to sign up for a LiveStream account, so be prepared. I did the "Log In Using Facebook" option and had no problems, so HOORAY there's a use for Facebook!

If you're having problems of any kind and can't get through to us on the LiveStream chat, feel free to leave a comment here or on any of today's watch-along posts, I'll be checking on a regular basis throughout the day.

See you there :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

1982 was the second season of the hit NBC cartoon Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends only NOW it was joined by a second popular Marvel Comic character, THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

The Incredible Hulk is basically the story of a careless scientist with rage issues.

But the COOL PART of this serie was the narrations by my close personal friend STAN (THE MAN) LEE!


They even had good ol' Stan go back and record word-for-word narrations of the first season episodes (which had been narrated by Dick Tufeld) so that the series seemed cohesive. These narrations (for the first and second season) are unfortunately not on the current masters. They have not aired since the NBC airings :(
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

In 1982 at 11am on ABC was a little slice of cult legend, misdirected ambition and same-old same-old in the form of the hour-long Scooby & Scrappy Puppy Hour. This show was the first (and I think only?) collaboration between the Saturday Morning Juggernauts, Ruby-Spears and Hanna-Barbera. The first half-hour of the show consisted of three 7-minute shorts, a mix of "Scooby and Scrappy-Doo" (the version where Scooby, Scrappy and Shaggy travel across the country as the "Fearless Detective Agency" and get involved in typical spy or criminal cases) and "Scrappy and Yabba-Doo" (Scrappy-Doo's adventures with his uncle Yabba-Doo and Deputy Dusty in the wild west), followed by a full 30-minute episode of "The Puppy's New Adventures" in the second half-hour. The Scooby/Scrappy-related shorts were written and voiced at Hanna-Barbera Productions, but animated and edited by Ruby-Spears Enterprises.

(Also aired at 10:00 starting in the Spring of 1983)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

At 11 in the morning on NBC in 1981 was a brilliant bit of cartoon recycling and pop-culture leaching that went by the name "Space Stars". Watch those opening credits and just try and figure out what super-popular movie franchise they were trying to ape (HINT: it wasn't "Battle Beyond The Stars").

This was, in my opinion, an excellent twist on the old Hanna-Barbera tradition of packaging a few reruns of different shows together and calling it "New". Here you had two classic HB cartoons - Space Ghost and The Herculoids - packaged with two new cartoons - Teen Force and Astro & The Space Mutts - for a full hour. But instead of just dipping in to the pre-existing back catalog of Space Ghost and Herculoids cartoons, they actually MADE NEW CARTOONS! And on top of that, they had the four cartoons actually do quite a bit of criss-crossing and guest-starring! I loved this concept A LOT, and if the first half-hour of it weren't up against The Super Friends, I would have been totally addicted to it!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

At 11 in the morning on CBS in 1981, you could find an... *interesting* little show that I can only assume was created by a committee of Time Traveling Marketing Executives at Filmation, BLACKSTAR.

Buck Rogers crash-lands on He-Man's planet (Eternia) and teams-up with characters from Thundarr and a small platoon of Smurfs so he can fight The Thundercats foe (Mum-Ra) for the other half of a magic sword, because there should always be a sword.

Or, in the words of the narration:
"John Blackstar, astronaut, is swept through a black hole, into an ancient alien universe. Trapped on the planet Sagar, Blackstar is rescued by the tiny Trobbit people. In turn, he joins their fight for freedom against the cruel Overlord, who rules by the might of the Powerstar. The Powerstar is split into the Powersword and the Starsword. And so with Starsword in hand, Blackstar, together with his allies, sets out to save the planet Sagar. This is his destiny".

In later years when I was watching this on VHS, every time the end of the narration came and he says "I am John Blackstar", I liked to follow it up with "...And I'm an alcoholic." HI, JOHN. "It's been one week since my last drink, the last time I saw a Trobbit, but I feel like I might lapse and..." and then the episode would start and it was all just hi drunken nightmare/fantasy, week after week.

Never had much use for this cartoon... sorry I don't know much more about it. It was on opposite two other shows that I liked a heck of a lot better, and it was on a channel that we didn't receive very well with our antenna :/

Although there were only 13 episodes produced (a single season), the reruns continued to air at 1:00 in 1982 and 1983.

Please leave your memories/opinions/thoughts in the comment below :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

At 11:00 on ABC in 1981, you would get to see a little how called "Super Friends" for the very first time.

Not "The Super Friends" as it had been when it debuted in 1973.

Not "The ALL NEW Super Friends hour which debuted in 1977.

Not "The Challenge Of The Super Friends" of 1978.

Not "The World's Greatest Super Friends" of the 1979/1980 season (which we have already covered in this community)

No... this is SUPER FRIENDS. So what's different about this series, other than the snappy new title sequence? The short answer is Length and El Dorado.

Up till this series, all the incarnations of the Super Friends had comprised of half-hour adventures, but the only new content for THIS serie were seven-minute shorts. Each episode of Super Friends would feature a rerun from one of the previous six years and three new shorts. These new adventures featured appearances by the 5 "Big Guns" (Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin) plus The Wonder Twins (Zan, Jayna and their space-monkey Gleek) and the occasional "Guest Star" roll by other heroes of th established DC Universe (Flash, Green Lantern, etc). Also heavily featured were past episodes that included "Ethnic" character such as Apache Chief, Black Vulcan and Super Samurai. The only NEW character introduced this year was the Hanna-Barbera-created hero El Dorado, who was added to the show to provide further cultural diversity. This would prove to be one of the longer-lived incarnations of the series (three years).

(Also aired at 8:00 in 1982 and 1983)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Starting at 10:30 Saturday morning on NBC in 1981, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends debuted. It followed the adventures of Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar as they fought crime in New York while also occasionally I don't think I've ever met a person over the age of 30 who hasn't seen this show and has at least one favorite episode :) What most people *don't* know is that it was the animated world's first (and possibly only?) *sequel*.

It all started in 1978, with the DePatie-Freleng Studios (founded by two Warner Bros. Cartoons alumni, director/producer Friz Freleng and executive David H. DePatie) producing a few higher-quality Marvel Comics cartoons such as The New Fantastic Four and Spider-Woman (previous incarnations of Marvel characters in cartoon form had been somewhat pathetic in their animation). In 1980 they made a single season of a new Spider-Man cartoon for syndication that was VERY well received. SO WELL RECEIVED, in fact, that it inspired the buy-out of the animation department of DePatie-Freleng and renaming it to MARVEL PRODUCTIONS (the folks who were behind dang near every beloved cartoon of the 80's.

Recognize any of these?
  • Muppet Babies
  • Transformers
  • GI Joe
  • Jem
  • My Little Pony
  • Inhumanoids
  • Fraggle Rock (animated)
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • RoboCop: The Animated Series
  • Dino Riders
  • Defenders Of The Earth

It all started right here, with Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends :) Often teaming with Sunbow Entertainment, these guys pretty much defined 1980's action/adventure animation!

So anywho, about it being a sequel. Unlike other cartoons that change the model sheets from season to season or from series to series in order to keep things unique (see the artistic and design evolution through animated Batman, Justice League, modern Spider-Man shows, etc) and copy-rightable as distinctly different properties, Marvel Productions used the existing model sheets and backgrounds from their syndicated Spider-Man cartoon and added just a few new characters.

This paid off BIG for Marvel Productions in 1984 when they decided to repackage the previous three seasons with the syndicated Spider-Man episodes, instead of making new episodes.

This show had many different incarnations over the course of the 80's, and each on will get their own entry in this community because they had a distinctly different opening title sequence for each one. In one way or another, Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends was on Saturday Morning TV all the way through 1986.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Okay, this one is difficult... bear with me as we travel all the way back to 1977 (again).

"The Young Sentinels" was a Filmation cartoon that debuted on Saturday mornings in 1977 and was quickly renamed "Space Sentinals" in the middle of their very short 13-episode first-and-only season. In this series, a racially-diverse assortment of Roman mythological figures Hercules (white as white could be) and Mercury (Asian) and Astrea (Black), a character created specifically for the series, to form a superhero team to protect mankind from their base on... the moon? I want to say the moon. Maybe it was a spaceship. Their main bad-guy was the "sinister" villain Morpheus, who is also an Earthling given powers in the same manner as Hercules, Mercury, and Astrea, but far earlier. However, those who had given Morpheus his powers had erred by giving him a variety of powers rather than one specific power; he had rebelled and turned to evil.

In 1978, they made 5 more episodes (so it could fit in to the "Super 7" line-up) and changed things up a bit. Same basic story, only they ditched Mercury and Astrea, and the team was now assembled by an animated version of the live-action super-heroine "Isis". Added to the team now were Merlin the Magician, Sinbad the Sailor and... SUPER SAMURAI!!!

I love the Super Samurai character :)

Super Samurai was a small Japanese boy who could become a giant steel (robotic?) suit of glowing, flying Samurai armor! HOW COOL IS THAT???

So when the "Freedom Force" segment and opening credits came up in the Super 7 line-up, you never knew if it was going to be Freedom Force or Space Sentinels...
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

In The New Adventures of Batman & Robin, the "Dynamic Duo" fights crime in Gotham City, encountering the classic Batman rogues gallery as well as some original villains. Complicating matters is Bat-Mite, a well-meaning imp from another dimension called Ergo, who considers himself Batman's biggest fan. As a result, he wears a variant of Batman’s costume and attempts to help him, only to often create more problems (although he is occasionally an asset). Missing is Alfred, the faithful butler of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne; also notable in this series are the inverted colors of the "R" on Robin's costume.

This was an excellent Filmation cartoon from 1977 featuring the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward (the live-action Batman & Robin from the 1960's Batman TV show). This cartoon stayed closer to the more serious Batman comics that were being published by DC Comics at the time, with the glaring exception of BAT-MITE (who is an honorary member of the Scrappy-Doo Club).

Only one season of this show was ever made, and it was then re-packaged over and over again till some undetermined year of the early 80's.

Once they figured that they could shuffle the episodes in to the Super 7, they kind of abused it and over-ran the show. Still awesome, though!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Batman & The Super 7, Saturday mornings at 11am on NBC in 1980. Sorry that the quality is so lame, but this is a kind of rare opening to find...

This show was like a Lego Set of re-runs that they just kept reconstructing over and over again.

It all started in 1976 with the Filmation animated series "Tarzan, Lord Of The Jungle" and 1977 with "The New Adventures of Batman & Robin".

In the short season between 1977 and 1978, they slapped reruns of those two shows together and called it "The Tarzan/Batman Adventure Hour". No new content, and they only ran for a fistful of episodes before becoming "Tarzan & The Super 7" in 1978. And then in 1980, by changing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT THE OPENING CREDITS by the SLIGHTEST BIT, the show became "Batman & The Super 7".

"The Super 7" where just seemingly random episodes of Tarzan and Batman, mixed in with some new cartoons that nobody had every heard of before or ever would hear from again except for in the future Lego Set incarnations of this show over the next few years (each of these other cartoons will be getting it's own entry in our archives this week).

This is going to be really fun to follow the genealogy of... it's all very exciting :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

The Heathcliff And Dingbat Show (1980 Saturday morning at 11am on ABC) was a Ruby-Spears show that mainly featured Heathcliff (or as he was known in our house, "Not Garfield") This season ran for 13 episodes and included backup segments with Dingbat and the Creeps, who were created for the show. "Dingbat and the Creeps" revolved around the adventures of three monstrous characters who were self-employed as "Odd Jobs, Inc." which consisted of Dingbat, a vampire dog who used a bat-shaped novelty straw to eat most foods, Sparerib, a strangely rotund skeleton with the ability to change himself into useful items (such as a floor lamp, which he did in the opening credits), and Nobody, a gravelly-voiced jack-o-lantern who led the team and often found them various work.

This show had no chance in my household. My Brother was a die-hard Garfield fan, and Batman was on another channel. Sure it had Thundarr as a lead-in, but it was easy to change the channel :)


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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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