[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

By 1984, ABC had realized that these new-fangled VEE-dee-oh Games were all the rage with kids and brought yet another popular game character to Saturday Mornings at 10:00, DRAGON'S LAIR.

One of only *three* video games stored for posterity at the Smithsonian Institute, Dragon's Lair was a revolutionary video game with rich, delightful animation courtesy of Ex-Disney Animator Don Bluth. Just compare the above opening credits of the TV show (produced by Ruby-Spears on the cheap) to the "Trailer" that played on the old Dragon's Lair Video Game and you'll begin to see why the show may not have performed so well...

The Video Game had been cinematic quality animation, and the Saturday Morning cartoon was... well, TV Animation. And then to further doom the show, it was scheduled at the dreaded TEN O'CLOCK TIME SLOT, the time in the morning when every other network was showing the second or third half-hour of some extremely popular show such as The Smurfs.

Despite all this, the show was *extremely* popular! One gimmick they used that really helped connect the show to the video game was to end on a cliffhanger at each commercial break, having the narrator ask viewers "What would YOU do?" to insure that the kids would stay tuned to find out what happened. Coming back from commercial break would have the narrator show one or two possible "Bad Choices", followed by the heroic option that saved the day :)
[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

At 10:00 on ABC in 1983, you'd find "Rubik The Amazing Cube" courtesy of the fine folks at Ruby-Spears. As is the case occasionally here at the SMHRS, once I started Googling to confirm or deny the information I knew about this show, I learned that I was WRONG. This is the second or third time I've had wrong information on something!

So first, let's start at the basics. The Early 80's were all about 3 things - Pac Man, MTV and The Rubik's Cube. The Rubik's Cube, for those who may not know for some weird reason, was a very popular cube-shaped puzzle with 36 squares of 6 different colors that could be rotated to create headaches and confusion.

So naturally, they made a cartoon about some Puerto Rican kids finding a magic one that could talk and help them with their daily conflicts while they helped the cube avoid being captured by the evil Gypsy Magician who would use the power of the cube to rule the world.

My INCORRECT INFORMATION on this cartoon was that the entire voice cast had been members of the popular Puerto Rican Boy Band "Menudo", along with Emanuel "Webster" Lewis as the voice of Rubik.


Ends up that Menudo only sang the theme song to the show, and the voice of Rubik was done by former Sweathog Ron "Horshack" Palillo from "Welcome Back Kotter" (a show that surprisingly holds up rather well after the passage of so much time).


One story about this show that I've always heard that made me feel warm-n-fuzzy on the inside is that the Puerto Rican kids on this show wasn't some affirmative action, racial equality, diversification mandate from higher up; the show was pitched as specifically Puerto Rican in order to capitalize on the momentum of the popular "Menudo On ABC" segments. Instead of being forced to rework a character or characters in to ethnic roles for diversification sakes (which is why cartoons are so full of multi-racial casts that all act as white as a bag of mayonnaise & marshmallows), this show was *natural*.

I love that :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(This video includes both versions of the opening credits, watch to see the differences and similarities - it's fun!)

Most of what needs to be said about The Dukes (the cartoon based on the popular "Dukes Of Hazzard" tv show) has already been said in the Speed Buggy post from 1982, but in summary...

Cartoon was nearly complete thanks to Hanna-Barbera, actors went on strike, replacement cartoon was late, Speed Buggy was aired instead, The Dukes debuted in the Spring of 1983 with "Coy and Vance" instead of "Bo and Luke".

Now, further fun stuff :)

This cartoon was doomed from the moment CBS decided to use it as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with the actors. Putting it on the air with two guys who WEREN'T the Duke Boys that everybody knew and loved drove away the viewers, and by the second season (once the real Duke Boys had returned) nobody was willing to give it a chance, probably because no one actually KNEW that the real Dukes were back on the show.

And speaking of that second season... the entire two-season run worth of 20 episodes ran in one year - Spring of 1983 till Spring 1984. Since H-B already had most of the second season (which had been intended to be the first season) completed, turnaround for getting these episodes on TV was no problem. Poor ratings were blamed for the quick cancellation.
[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

Goldie Gold and Action Jack was a Ruby-Spears cartoon from 1981 that aired for 13 episodes at 10:00 Saturday mornings on ABC. It also aired at 9:00 starting in the Spring of 1982 (the second half of the season), and that's kind of important... remember what was so weird about the 1980 Saturday Morning line-up? NO CARTOONS STARTED AT 10:00! This is the first time I've ever had to use the 10:00 tag in this community, and it feels WEIRD!

This show woulda/coulda/shoulda been a prime-time action/comedy along the lines of "Moonlighting" (the TV show that introduced the world to that old guy from the new GI Joe movie - kids, ask your parents).

Goldie Gold was a super-rich and super-beautiful (teenage?) owner of a newspaper, Action Jack was her ace reporter friend (boy friend?). Each episode had them being pulled in to some random action-adventure that lead them to uncovering some great front-page news story.


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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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