[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


I try not to go back to shows that ran for multiple seasons, preferring to focus only on the shows that premiered each year. But this... this deserves special mention. For this, the 985 season of The Smurfs, was the season that the Smurfs Jumped The Shark; the show started it's downward spiral here and never recovered.

The culprits, as is often the case with shows that Jump The Shark, was the inclusion of children and animals.

"The Smurflings" were a group of adult Smurfs who had been de-aged by Father Time's clock running backwards, and a little girl Smurf created the same way Smurfette had been made, only using less magical clay. Long story short - The Smurfs was now a show about dealing with these young Smurfs, rather than a show about the Smurfs themselves.

Also joining the cast this season was "Puppy", a thousand-year-old dog who remained young due to the magic locket he wears on his dog collar.
[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
Another year down! This list includes all the new 1984 cartoons as well as the returning ones from the previous seasons. It should be noted that my Master List posts are based on the line-up that premiered in the Fall of each year, and does not reflect any of the minor scheduling tweaks that may have happened in the Spring. Cartoons that debut in the Spring line-up (which are very rare) will be included in the following year's Master List.

So here's the hotlink-filled OFFICIAL SATURDAY MORNING MASTER LIST OF 1984:



[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


First, the description - A live-action show about a Monkey named Roxana Banana who is given super-powers by aliens and has wacky adventures. COULD ANYTHING POSSIBLY BE MORE PERFECT?!?!?

Folks, you know me. You know that I have a *fairly extensive knowledge* of 1980's Saturday Morning Programming, right? I mean, hey, I *did* start up a whole Preservation/Reenactment Society, after all... I know my way around a 1980's TV Guide and a 13-channel television dial (14 if you count the UHF).

So believe me when I say that I'm *pretty sure* this show didn't actually exist.

In 1984 i was *obsessed* with Oragutans, chimpanzees and "Monkeys" in general. I sold little baskets of fruit at our corner grocery store in order to reach my goal of buying myself a monkey that could drive me to school, wear pajamas, rollerskate and smoke cigars for my amusement. When i started seeing ads for this show in my comic books, I WENT NUTS! I HAD TO SEE IT!

I tuned in every Saturday at noon, only to find some stupid local educational show airing there instead, to be followed by an episode of Spider-Man & His Amazing Freinds before they moved on to Sportball programs. This is when I first learned about how Network Affiliates and Local Educational Programming quotas, and I was assured by the person who wrote me back from KING (the local NBC affiliate that I had written an 11-year-old letter of complaint to) that the show was airing in other cities but not the greater Seattle area.

HOWEVER! In the 30 years since it supposedly aired on Saturday mornings, I have not met a SINGLE PERSON who has actually SEEN, with their OWN EYES, a single episode of this show! Lots of people kind of think they maybe saw an episode, but ends up it was one of the many Orangutan-centric movies of the time ("Any Which Way But Loose", "Going Ape", "Canonball Run", etc).

To further my claim that this show never existed, I submit the fact that on ALL THE INTERNET, the only image you'll ever see of the show is the one I have posted at the top of this entry. No other pictures, no clips, no video, no theme song - NOTHING. Presumably produced by Hannah-Barbera, even the Wikipedia page doesn't seem to know anything about this show and/or if there's any proof to back up it's existence!

This makes me sad - I really want there to have been a show about a monkey given super-powers by aliens :(
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


Kidd Video (1984-1985 NBC) is a show I wish I knew more about - SHOULD know more about because of my "relationship" with Robbie Rist (the actor who played "Whiz")*, and yet here I am with relatively NO INFORMATION on the show :(

I can tell you that there were two seasons that aired on NBC for a total of 26 episodes that were then re-run as a third season before being sold to CBS as a "Filler" cartoon (no official spot on the schedule, used as a filler for whenever Saturday sporting events were delayed because of rain). I can tell you that you'll never see an official DVD release of the original videos because of copyright issues with the 80's music videos they played which they only had broadcast and rerun rights to. I can tell you it was one of the first collaborations between Saban Entertainment and DIC.

I can't tell you why the art and style of the show is so different from Season 1 to Season 2. I can't tell you who came up with the idea. I can't tell you ANY of the usual awesome behind-the-scenes fables and rumors that I usually have for 80's cartoons. When the subject of Kidd Video comes up, it seems that everyone says "Yeah that was a great show" and then they move on to other subjects :/

YMMV

*(In the early days of The Internet, I created a Religion based around the Robbie Rist character of "Cousin Oliver" from The Brady Bunch, and all the "incarnations" of Cousin Oliver which included "Whiz". I made the mistake of trying to qualify for Tax Exemption through the "Church", which lead to the website being mercilessly taken down by the free site it was hosted on).
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


"Pink Panther And Sons" was a cartoon that aired on NBC Saturday Mornings at 8:30 starting in 1984 for two seasons, then was traded to ABC for the final season in 1986. Who produced this cartoon? It's complicated, but in the end it was Hannah-Barbera that did all the work - The original Pink Panther cartoons (theatrical and Television) were produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, but in 1981 that studio was sold to Marvel Comics and renamed Marvel Productions. To further complicate things, the actual CHARACTER of The Pink Panther was owned by The Mirisch Company, producers of the Pink Panther (Inspector Clouseau) movies. David DePatie and Friz Freleng served as producers for this series, circumventing Marvel Productions completely, and creating some limited partnership *specifically* for this project with The Mirisch Company, then farmed the grunt-work out to Hannah-Barbera as a (alleged) "Screw You" to the new owners at Marvel Productions.

There is bitterness there.

The show features the adventures of The Pink Panther's two sons: Pinky (the older one) and his brother Panky (toddler), and their Cosby-Kids-esque friends in the Rainbow Panthers Crew (Chatta, Rocko, Murfel, Annie and Punkin, who can all be seen Moonwalking in the opening credits). Each episode was all about the Rainbow Panthers Crew coming together for friendship and fun as they learned all about growing up and caring each other as they take on the a group of lions called the Howl Angels.

(At the risk of getting more hate mail, I'd dare say that this show suffered from Get-Along-Gang Syndrome)

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE FOR ALL SATURDAY MORNING HISTORICAL RECREATION SOCIETY WATCH-ALONGERS!!!

The date of the next all-new watch-along, due to complications beyond our control, has been postponed till Saturday, September 21st! Mark your calendars accordingly, sorry for any inconvenience!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


Sheesh! Are there ANY new cartoons of 1984 that DON'T have some crazy story behind them?

In 1984, NBC kicked off their official broadcast Saturday morning with a half-hour of The Snorks at 8:00. The most successful of all the Smurfs knock-offs, The Snorks are the product of underhanded business dealings, Dutch pop-star negotiations and an honest-to-gosh 3-minute LOST TREASURE OF THE 80'S!

You can blame Freddy Monnickendam.

Freddy was a Belgian businessman, plain and simple, who negotiated the rights for Father Abraham (real name: Pierre Kartner, a well known and respected Dutch performer) to sing "The Smurf Song":

(YOU MUST WATCH THIS TO UNDERSTAND!)

This negotiation (which proved to be quite financially agreeable for all parties involved) lead to Freddy Monnickendam becoming THE GUY who negotiated all of the Smurfs merchandising beyond the comics. Freddy is the reason we have a Smurfs cartoon!

Freddy is also the reason we have a Trollkins cartoon :(

Remember back in the write-up of The Trollkins where I told the tale of Peyo seeing the finished committee-aproved version of The Smurfs (aka "Trollkins") and he reportedly said "That is a very nice cartoon, and I can hardly wait to see what you can do with a GOOD concept like my Smurfs"? FREDDY MONNICKENDAM WAS THE GUY ON PEYO'S SIDE OF THINGS WHO TOLD HANNAH-BARBERA THAT THE TROLLKINS VERSION WAS OKAY AND TO GO AHEAD WITH IT!!!

Freddy was the first executive producer of The Smurfs, but Peyo wanted the Smurf cartoons to be as faithful as possible to the world he had created in his comics, and Monnickendam preferred to make the cartoons more "mainstream" - (aka "Scrappy-Dooified"). This led to fast deterioration of relations between the two men, ending in court cases about the division of the rights and the money involved.

Freddy was pretty open about how he though Peyo was foolish to not allow these big, important American Marketing Executives to make The Smurfs in to something that would be a sure-fire hit (like "Trollkins"), and if HE owned The Smurfs, out-right, he could -

Hang on. A light bulb of villainous ingenuity appeared over Freddy's head, his eyes turned in to dollar signs, and he rubbed his hands together in sheer delight at the awesomeness of his evil plan...

He hired an artist/designer by the name of... crap. Can't remember his name. Freddy hired a guy who took the smurfs, replaced the heads and put them underwater. Freddy rushed this concept right along. Now that he had connections at Hannah-Barbera, he was able to push this concept through production and create a three-minute "Pilot" that, although it is on production schedules and notes and was paid for through billing and was well received by the test groups according to the reports, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN IT OR KNOWS WHERE IT IS.

Little tiny bit of it (about 15 seconds total) showed up on the NBC Saturday Morning Preview Show that year, but that's it. It's a bonafide lost treasure of The 80's :)

Freddy maneuvered quickly, buying up all the rights to The Snorks and just waiting for the Smurfs-like money to come rolling in.

So now you know the secret behind The Snorks; created out of spite by a Belgian businessman to try and teach a nice cartoonist a lesson :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
In our LAST Official Friday Poll, it was decided once again that the BEST thing on the CBS Saturday Morning Line-Up for 1981 was The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show. That show is UNSTOPPABLE!

This week, we turn our attention to the Saturday Morning line-up of 1981 as presented on your local NBC affiliate.

[Poll #1926077]
[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'd have to do too much googling to confirm or deny this so I'll just let all y'all correct me if I'm wrong; 1983, 10:30 on NBC brought us the first ever Saturday Morning "Reboot" of a cartoon*, Alvin & The Chipmunks.

Back in 1961, Alvin & The Chipmunks looked like this (please feel free to ignore the Nickelodeon branding):


Produced for prime-time television, this version of The Chipmunks was a fast-paced half-hour "Gag" show, with 2 musical segments, a "Clyde Crashcup" cartoon and a single, quick joke featuring The Chipmunks.

But here in 1983, the show was refined. The musical segments were gone, replaced by actual storylines and character development. The character of Dave Seville was finally established as an adoptive father rather than an ambiguously disassociated record producer with anger management issues. The artistic style of the 1983 show was smoothed out and standardized to fit in with all the other cartoons of 1980's Saturday Morning thanks to the involvement of Ruby-Spears, as opposed to the highly stylized 1961 version that had been crafted solely by Bagdasarian Productions.

This was a completely different cartoon.

From the very first episode of the 1983 version, they distanced themselves by having a guest appearance by Mister T and also by introducing "The Chippettes". Even the theme song (one of the best ever on Saturday Mornings) implied that this was an all-new, all different approach to the Chipmunks and it REALLY WORKED!

*(You may point out various Hanna-Barbera shows of the 70's such as "Yogi's Space-Race", "The New Scooby-Doo Movies", "Yogi's Ark" and/or "Laugh-A-Lympics" as previous reboots of cartoons, but those weren't reboots so much as sequels that just used the same characters in new situations. It's like the difference between "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock" and the more recent JJ Abrahms "Star Trek" movies)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
In our last Friday poll, it was decided that The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show was the absolute best thing on your Saturday morning TV in 1980. Shockingly, Thundarr The Barbarian came in second place while The Daffy Duck Show (which had ben voted as The Best Thing On NBC in 1980) recieved *zero votes*. Numbers are weird sometimes :/

And so we come to THE LAST 1980 POLL!

[Poll #1921386]

When voting, try to think of which one of these channels you would be okay with just leaving on ALL DAY LONG. Like, let' say your TV i broken and it only gets one of these channels - which channel do you hope you're tuned in to?
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


I figured I'd launch my listing of 1983 with a special mention of NBC's "One To Grow On", my own personal favorite of all the 1980's Saturday Morning Public Service spots!

Schoolhouse Rock over on ABC was good, don't get me wrong... but those were most assuredly a product of the 1970's.

In The News over on CBS... did anybody actually ever watch that on purpose? And once again, it was very much a product of the 70's.

But One To Grow On? That's ALL 80's, BABY! Beginning in 1983, these two-part, 1-minute commercials usually came at the end of some cartoon. Unlike the "The More You Know" campaign that replaced it in 1989 with its "Hi I'm a celebrity, Crack is Wack, stay off drugs" shooting star log and finish, One To Grow On had the celebrity in question watch the video, then comment on what we should learn from it, and then finish the video.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Another year down! This list includes all the new 1981 cartoons as well as the returning ones from the previous seasons. It should be noted that my Master List posts are based on the line-up that premiered in the Fall of each year, and does not reflect any of the minor scheduling tweaks that may have happened in the Spring. Cartoons that debut in the Spring line-up (which are very rare) will be included in the following year's Master List.

So here's the hotlink-filled OFFICIAL SATURDAY MORNING MASTER LIST OF 1982:

ABC
8:00 - Super Friends
8:30 - Pac-Man / Richie Rich / Little Racals
9:30 - Pac-Man
10:00 - Mork & Mindy / Laverne & Shirley / Fonz Hour
11:00 - The Scooby & Scrappy Puppy Hour
12:00 - The ABC Weekend Special

CBS
8:00 - Speed Buggy
8:30 - The Sylvester & Tweety, Daffy and Speedy Show
9:30 - The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show
10:30 - Gilligan's Planet
11:00 - Pandamonium!
11:30 - Meatballs & Spaghetti
12:00 - The Popeye & Olive Comedy Show
12:30 - Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids
1:00 - Blackstar

NBC
8:00 - Flintstone Funnies
8:30 - Shirt Tales
9:00 - The Smurfs
10:30 - The Gary Coleman Show
11:00 - The Incredible Hulk / Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends
11:30 - The Jetsons or Johnny Quest (re-runs with no new content or awesome stories so they have no official entry in this community)
12:00 - The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


You may notice that the title of this video is "The New Adventures of Flash Gordon 1979" and wonder why the heck it's being listed in 1982, ESPECIALLY since you probably don't remember seeing this cartoon on Saturday Morning in the 80's! Trust me, it belong here and it has one of my favorite Saturday Morning Behind-The-Scenes tales attached to it :)

Although the character and story of Flash Gordon has been around since 1934, our story begins in 1977 with the release of the movie STAR WARS. As soon as Star Wars made it's first million dollars, Filmation was on it making an animated movie for NBC. NBC *liked* it, but thought it would do better as a Saturday Morning cartoon so the movie was put on a shelf and work on the first season of The Adventures Of Flash Gordon cartoon were begun. Again, NBC *liked* it and even put it on Saturday mornings in 1979, but they hated the serialized "Episode 1, episode 2, etc" nature of the show because it didn't fit with their "Infinite Re-Runs" mode of Saturday Morning Programming (13 episodes, 52 Saturdays, you do the math) and so for the second season they asked for a few changes... changes that took 2 years.

During those two years, the big-screen "Flash Gordon" movie came to theaters, and the original Flash Gordon animated film (no called "Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure Of All" aired in prime-time on NBC the Friday before the new cartoons debuted in September 1982, along with a great "Be sure to watch the FURTHER adventures of Flash Gordon starting tomorrow morning and EVERY Saturday morning right here on NBC".

Unfortunately, NBC's requested changes had been put in to effect and made the previous series and the animated movie kind of a moot point. The serial format be dropped and the stories were more episodic. They also added a Scrappy-Doo pet dragon named Gremlin who made art with his mouth-smoke. The second season was not so well received (and was not seen in some areas, due to being scheduled in the 12:30 time slot and thus often being pre-empted for sportsball coverage) and the program was cancelled shortly after its completion.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Last week you all voted the first season of The Daffy Duck Show as the best thing in the NBC Saturday Morning Line-Up over a pretty impressive list of contenders such as The Flintstones, Godzilla and even BATMAN!

Today is an ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN to determine which cartoon of 1980 wa the BEST. To make things even more difficult and/or fair, I've also included the runner-up from each network so the votes can be more evenly spread. And please remember... this is for *SCIENCE*!
[Poll #1920224]
[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!


(CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND)

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, the world belonged to Gary Coleman, which is why he had his own cartoon every saturday morning at 10:30 on NBC. The fine folks at Hanna-Barbera made 13 episodes of this show, which featured Gary Coleman as the voice of apprentice angel Andy LeBeau, who was sent back to Earth to earn his wings by helping others. The half-hour series was based on Coleman's 1982 made-for-TV movie The Kid with the Broken Halo. Each episode, Andy helped some kid in need and fix his problem. The villain trying to stop Andy for some reason (I forget why) was Hornswoggle, who tried to make Andy's mission more difficult, usually by getting him to make the wrong choice or by otherwise complicating the mission. It was up to Andy to correct whatever mistakes he made and foil Hornswoggle's plans.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Last week it was overwhelmingly decided by the members of this community that The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show was the bet thing on CBS Saturday Morning in 1980, with Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids coming in a distant second. I was saddened to see that my beloved Drak Pack cam in at a three-way tie for third with the likes of The Tom & Jerry Comedy Show and The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckyl. There's something wrong with you people... terribly, terribly wrong :(

SO! ONWARD AND UPWARD! This week's Friday Poll:
[Poll #1919129]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


Saturday mornings in 1982, over on NBC at 8:30 in the morning you could find the adventures of The SHIRT TALES, although if you're younger than me you *probably* remember this show from somewhere else and are getting ready to hit "Leave Comment" to let me know that I've made a terrible mistake.

HOLD THAT BUTTON, and read on...

Much like other perennial 80's favorites Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears, The Shirt Tales were created for the Hallmark Greeting Card Company (by Janet Elizabeth Manco) with no real story or reason other than to look cute on greeting cards. The Hanna-Barbera came along and gave them a storyline! Tyg Tiger (in orange), Pammy Panda (in pink), Digger Mole (in light blue), Rick Raccoon (in red), and Bogey Orangutan (in green) lived in a big hollow tree in Oak Tree Park (as Tigers, Pandas, Raccoons, Moles and Orangutans often do in the wild) and wore shirts which flashed various brightly lit messages reflecting their thoughts. They spent their time teasing the park ranger (Mr. Dinkle) and FIGHTING CRIME AS SOME SORT OF SUPER-SECRET AGENTS (as Tigers, Pandas, Raccoons, Moles and Orangutans often do in the wild). They zipped around the world in a vehicle known as the STSST (Shirt Tales Super-Sonic Transport) which was a car, jet, boat, submarine, and pretty much anything else they wanted/needed it to be.

The show ran for two seasons on NBC Saturday Mornings, 10 episodes in the first season and 13 in the second season. In the second season things changed *slightly* with the addition of "Kip" (a young Kangaroo) and an apparent power-struggle between Rick and Tyg. Rick was rarely seen in that second season, which i weird since he had been the apparent leader of the group in season 1. Weird.

Anywho, you *MAY* remember seeing this cartoon on CBS rather than NBC, and with good reason; in the Fall of 1984, NBC dropped Shirt Tales from their schedule and it was immediately snapped-up by CBS, who were looking for a last-minute filler to replace the low-rated "The Biskitts" cartoon at the last minute. CBS showed a mix of re-runs from both seasons of Shirt Tales.

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