[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


At 9:00 on Saturday morning in 1985 was a cartoon that lasted only 2 seasons but went by up to 4 different names and had no less than 2 different theme songs, "Ewoks" (which also aired as "Star Wars: Ewoks), "The All-New Ewoks Adventures" and "The Ewoks & Droids Adventure Hour"). Depending on your geographic location, you may have seen an opening for the show that looked more like this:

(This is the one I always saw, and I think it has something to do with having watched on a Canadian TV station).

Produced by Canadian animation studio Nelvana, there were 35 different half-hour episodes produced that were meant as a continuation/sequel to the wildly popular made-for-TV live-action movies "Caravan Of Courage" and "Battle For Endor". The first season seems to have been written for actual Star Wars fans with intricate relationships, cross-over storylines and recurring characters that actually added to the mythology and history of the Ewoks and their little moon of Endor. The second season, supposedly at the request of the network and against the wishes of Lucasfilm, was aimed more at younger kids.

Ewoks had three things going for it that really elevated it from the gutters of having been the "Jar Jar" of the pre-prequels Star Wars universe* - it had continuity, it had no laugh-track, and it had an actual Series Finale.

The final episode, "Battle For The Sun Star", was actually aired out-of-order on Saturday mornings and was then later re-aired as a stand-alone special that officially marked the end of the series. The plot, which depicts the Empire discovering the moon of Endor and deciding to build the new Death Star in the same orbit around Endor, firmly places the Ewoks cartoon in official Star Wars cannon right between Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi (which is pretty darned cool if you ask me).

So what do you think? Any memories regarding the Ewoks? Leave 'em in the comments below :)

*(I had always wondered if Jar-Jar Binks could have somehow been redeemed with a single season of a "The Gungans" cartoon series...)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com


In 1984 at 8:30 in the morning, CBS ironically ran the most Orwellian of all 1980's cartoons, The Get Along Gang. Created by a committee of artists and marketing specialists at the American Greetings Toy Design & Marketing Division (trying to refine and recreate the powerhouse merchandising magic of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Shirt Tales and Smurfs) working in conjunction with the never-more-powerful Parental Watchdog Groups, The Get Along Gang was an experiment in just how much influence and control mass media had over the masses. Writer Mark Evanier summed it up very well:

"[Television watchgroups] all seek to make kidvid more enriching and redeeming, at least by their definitions, and at the time, they had enough clout to cause the networks to yield. Consultants were brought in and we, the folks who were writing cartoons, were ordered to include certain "pro-social" morals in our shows. At the time, the dominant "pro-social" moral was as follows: The group is always right...the complainer is always wrong.

This was the message of far too many eighties' cartoon shows. If all your friends want to go get pizza and you want a burger, you should bow to the will of the majority and go get pizza with them. There was even a show for one season on CBS called The Get-Along Gang, which was dedicated unabashedly to this principle. Each week, whichever member of the gang didn't get along with the others learned the error of his or her ways....

...I don't believe you should always go along with the group. What about thinking for yourself? What about developing your own personality and viewpoint? What about doing things because you decide they're the right thing to do, not because the majority ruled and you got outvoted?"

Thirteen mind-controlling episodes were produced, which American Greetings still refuses to release on DVD for some unknown reason. Like, not just a "Meh nobody would want a DVD of that show", but an actively negative stance towards any company approaching them regarding DVD release rights! The closest to a full season DVD release we've ever gotten is from Mill Creek Entertainment, who released a low-quality "Best Of" DVD that contained 10 of the 13 episodes(?!) and then the remaining 3 episodes were released as "Bonus Features" on other 80's cartoon DVD releases such as Heathcliff and the popular-but-oddly-mish-mashed TV Toons To Go DVD set. Weeeeeeird....

Profile

saturday_am_80s: (Default)
1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
567 891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 08:38 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios