In the 1970's Saturday morning cartoons changed. Some would say for the better some would say for the worse. I am one of those people that think it was a bad turn. There were more cartoons being produced and very little had a significant storyline. Many of the cartoons were the same exact outline every time with a different villain or character. The originality of cartoons had left. More people wanted to see adventure stories that humor. The animation department cut corners to save money. This was a strange time for cartoons.
After saying all of that, I want you to read through the list of the shows on this set and see how many you actually remember: Hair Bear Bunch, The New Adventures of Gilligan (that's right, there was a cartoon), Sealab 2020, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Shazzan, Yogi's Gang, The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Tom & Jerry Grape Ape Show, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Inch High Private Eye, and The New Adventures of Batman.
What in the world were they thinking with The Banana Splits Adventure Hour? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch this (oh, and listen for a familiar Winnie-the-Pooh character's voice):
One of the things that makes up for the issues is that they took all of our favorite animals from the 1960's and put them on one show, Yogi's Gang. The only issue I had is the laugh track. It seems that they were trying to make cartoons more like sitcoms. That is probably true since they started to have shows that featured Bob Denver and Charlie Chan.
Now before you say to yourself that I forgot to talk about Batman, I am just about to. The New Adventures of Batman was a very weird interpretation of Batman. Robin was there along with Batgirl, but Bat-Mite was also on the show. The villain featured in the episode in this set was Sweet Tooth. Yea, I know. I never heard of him either. Adam West and Burt Ward reprise their roles only in voice form this time. Hearing West's voice in a cartoon reminds me too much of Mayor West from Family Guy. I have nothing good to say about this portrayal of Batman.
The one special feature talks about how Shazzan was created. One interesting Batman note is that Paul Dini makes an appearance and criticizes the show.
Overall, I was not very impressed. I don't think of myself as a old-timer, especially since I am only in my twenties, but this was well beyond what I would have like as a child. If you grew up with these shows, leave a comment below letting me know why you liked them.
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1970s Volume 2:
You can buy this set on Amazon here. The set was released earlier this week. Check out this video from Valley of the Dinosaurs.
Posted by Dustin