[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

Continuing our exploration in to the highly forgettable collective of cartoons known as The Super 7, this morning we start with one that even *I* don't remember - MANTA AND MORAY.

This Filmation cartoon ran for all of 7 episodes that got re-ran over and over again over the course of the early 80's and featured Manta (Monarch of the Deep) who was the last survivor of the ancient civilization of Mu. Mu was destroyed by a terrible explosion, but Manta was engulfed by a wave of unknown radiation, and placed into a form of suspended animation deep beneath the waves. He was discovered and awoken by Moray, a human woman, whom he subsequently married. He is amphibious, but cannot be away from water for too long or he will weaken and die. He is able to communicate with the creatures of sea and land.

Moray (voiced by Joan Van Arc) was raised by dolphins after the plane her parents had been flying in crashed into the sea, she learned to live in the ocean. She discovered Manta, whom she managed to revive. They got married and pledged themselves to protecting the seaworld from any who would threaten it. She is an excellent swimmer, able to hold her breath for incredibly long periods.

They also had their own "Scrappy-Doo", a sea lion named "Whiskers". But as with most of the Filmation Scrappy's that were created in the late 1970's, Whiskers was mercifully unable to speak.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Jason of Star Command (the only Filmation Live Action show of the "Super 7" line-up) was actually a spin-off of an earlier show called "Space Academy". If you love cheesy 1980's sci-fi that is themed firmly somewhere between Gil Gerard's "Buck Rogers" and Martin Landau's "Space: 1999", do yourself the favor of watching these two shows!!!

The original series, "Space Academy", featured Johnathan Harris ("Doctor Smith" of the 1960's sci-fi show "Lost In Space". The first season of Jason Of Star Command featured James Doohan ("Scotty" from "Star Trek").

But the season we're talking about here, the season that was a part of Batman And The Super 7, featured none of those. Just the outer-space adventures of a guy named Jason, his super-fast Space Ship, and his HAND-HELD COMPUTER NAMED WIKI That's right... this show was the origin of WIKIPEDIA!!!
[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

Kicking off our week of in-depth investigation of the Frankenstein Monster of Saturday Mornings known as "The Super 7",we have the earliest of the cartoons featured: TARZAN LORD OF THE JUNGLE.

Starting in 1976, this half-hour adventure offering from Filmation was by far the most faithful adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan, and featured a number of "lost cities" from the novels. The rotoscoped animation is based upon the work of Burrough's favorite Tarzan artist, Burne Hogarth. Tarzan is intelligent and well spoken, rather than the "Me Tarzan, You Jane" of many films. His sidekick is N’kima the monkey (since the chimpanzee "Cheeta" was an invention of the movies but kids were expecting to see a monkey dag-nabbit).

There were 6 seasons of this cartoon stretching from '76 to '82. First season was 16 episodes. Next year they added 6 more. Then 6 more. Then they said "Y'know what? Kids don't know the difference" and just kept shuffling the existing episodes in to shows like "Batman & The Super 7", "The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour", "Tarzan & The Super 7", "The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour" and for the final season, "The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour".

And so it begins...
[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

Through the late 1970's and early 80's, CBS filled up to TWO HOURS of their Saturday Morning line-up with what I like to call "The Filmation Fill-Ins". These were cartoons that had no real home. I have no idea where they came from, I have no idea what their original purpose was, all I know is that they didn't have enough of any one cartoon to make an entire season worth of cartoons, so they slapped them together in the most random ways to fill up that programming wasteland. In the video above I thionk you'll see The Super 7, Web Woman, Manta and Moray, Freedom Force and Super stretch & Micro Woman. But the headliners for these mash-up cartoon blocks were really Batman, Zorro and/or Tarzan.

I have some fond memories of this cartoon dump... I was a big fan of ACTION cartoons :) If this is one of your favorites too, then leave some comments and then head on over to our Best of 1981 Poll to vote for it :)


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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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