5. The Smurfs (NBC, 1981-1989)
Say what you will of the recent live-action/animated hybrid movies, but The Smurfs Hanna-Barbera Productions television show was a staple of Saturday morning cartoon block in the 1980s. Based on a Belgian comic, the cartoon series followed a colony of small blue creatures that live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest in hiding from the evil wizard Gargamel, who along with his cat Azrael, wanted to capture the Smurfs to create a potion to turn base matter into gold.
4. Pac Man: The Animated Series (ABC, 1982-1983)
Pac Man was also the first cartoon based on a video game. The show follows the adventures of the title character, Pac-Man, his wife Pepper Pac-Man, their child Pac-Baby, their dog Chomp-Chomp and their cat Sour Puss. The family lives in Pac-Land, a place in which the geography and architecture seem to revolve primarily around spheres and sphere-like shapes.
3. Super Friends (ABC, 1973-1986)
Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America (JLA) and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. When animation company Hanna-Barbera acquired rights to the DC Comics characters and adapted the Justice League of America comic book for television it made several changes in the transition, including the change of name to Super Friends. Nevertheless, team members sometimes referred to themselves as the Justice League on the show. The violence common in superhero comics was toned down for a younger audience and to adhere to broadcast standards governing violence in 1970s children’s television.
2. Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (CBS, 1984-1991) Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies followed the adventures of preschool-age Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, Rowlf, Scooter and Skeeter (a new addition to the gang), as they played and dreamed together in a nursery overseen by a nanny. (Voiced by Leave It to Beaver’s Barbara Billingsley; the character was never seen from the waist up.)
1. The Bugs Bunny Show (CBS, 1968-2000)
This show is a classic, featuring characters that most everyone has seen at some point. While the show started out in primetime, after two seasons The Bugs Bunny Show moved to Saturday mornings, where it remained in various formats for nearly four decades. The cartoons inspired countless animators and storytellers and the episodes are still entertaining 45 years later.
Those were the days...