Tuesday, August 18, 2015


As a child of the 1980s, one of my favorite things to do was wake up early on a Saturday morning and watch cartoons. It is so sad that my children will never experience the ritual of the Saturday morning cartoons. Feeling sentimental to the days of yore, I wanted to sportlight my five favorite Saturday morning cartoons growing up...

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...

1 comment:

  1. I predate Sat. cartoons - they were on by the later 50s but not in the way they were in the 60s once TV got hold of Hanna Barbara. So if it helps that your kids won't have the experience of Sat AM cartoons - it really was a select few decades that had that - the really late Boomers born in late 50s-early 60s - the 70s kids and the early to mid 80s kids - that was it. BUT kids like me had things that never came back - the Sat AM kiddie matinees at the local movie theaters! We had not only contests where you won great prizes, but we had often live shows in-between the flickers like a puppet show or a guy who came out with his unicycle and monkey and did tricks! Kids of my generation enjoyed the dying days of kiddie vaudeville! We got a whole lot for our 15 cents to get in - a few cartoons - a feature film (appropriate for kids) and a short (like an old Laurel and Hardy or an Our Gang), the ever present newsreels, more cartoons and often a 15 min serial! Now that was a chock full Sat Am into early afternoons - and then you went home and rode bikes and roller-skated until when you went to bed that night, you still felt like you were peddling or on your skates!