Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FEATURE: LoEB ''Saturday Morning Cartoons!''

Hey kids! What time is it?

League of Extraordinary Bloggers Time! YAAAAY!

This week's assignment comes to us from guest Poe Ghostal.

You’ve been hired to program the ultimate Saturday morning experience for kids across the nation–create your own ideal Saturday morning cartoon schedule. 

So set your alarms, run downstairs, turn on the TV and enjoy a bowl of Cap'n Crunch as you watch an assortment of toy ads interspersed with shows designed to sell you toys!

7:00 - 8:00 AM The Banana Splits Adventure Hour

I always thought the show was called The Banana Splits Show, but apparently it's officially titled The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Anyway, ignore the sub Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In comedy antics of Fleegle, Bingo, Frodo and... Gonzo (or whatever) and instead enjoy some of the most awesome cartoons ever made (probably) in the form of The Arabian Knights (''Size of a Mouse!'' ''Rozan Kobar!'' ''Don't pull his tail!'') and The Three Musketeers. Oh and let's not forget the live action Danger Island, as directed by Richard ''Lethal Weapon'' Donner.

And even if none of that is to your taste, admit it: you wanted to drive one of those buggy things in the opening credits.

8:00 - 8:30 AM Battle of the Planets

It may not have been the first Japanimation series to make it to Western shores (I'd think Marine Boy held that honor) but for many Battle of the Planets was our first introduction to the world of Anime. All the elements are there: transforming teenagers, combiner vehicles, fan service pantie shots and bonkers space aliens. Heavily edited from the original Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (which is the best title ever), the series cut most of the violence, transsexual aliens and deaths, with narrator 7-Zark-7 (not featured in the original) usually adding some line about ''it's a good job they were only robot planes and they managed to evacuate the city before that happened!'' to calm the sensitive children out there in a show so utterly mental even the edited version was edited in some States.

Still, it was great, thrilling space stuff, even if Mark and Princess looked totally wrong whenever they visited 7-Zark-7.

8:30 AM -  9:30 AM Thunderbirds

Probably the most popular and well-remembered of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation shows, Thunderbirds features the adventures of International Rescue, a secret organization dedicated to the task of rescuing people from natural disasters. What's so cool about the show is that each episode is essentially a mini-disaster movie and is shot as such. There are genuinely nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat moments of real tension and drama. And if none of that appeals, then watch it at least for the fantastic vehicle designs.

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Ulysses 31

A weird Japano-French production that updated Homer's Odyssey to the 31st Century and featured a lightsabre-wielding Space Jesus and his pet robot, animation Daft Punk were clearly influenced by and a surprisingly mature treatment of the source material, Ulysses 31 may not be the most popular of animated shows but it certainly deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Thundercats

Admit it, that gave you chills.

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Batman: The Animated Series

Another show that appeals to all ages, Batman: The Animated Series was THE Batman show fans of the Dark Knight had been waiting for. They may have taken some liberties with the characters in their adaptations to the screen but it worked. And the feature length Mask of the Phantasm is as good a Batman origin movie as Batman Begins.

Sadly I can't find a version of the intro I can embed, so you'll have to make do with the theme tune, although let's face it, you already know every accompanying image by heart.

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Gargoyles

Disney's unusually dark Gargoyles was a brilliant combination of character-driven stories, exciting action  sequences and ongoing plot arcs. Revisiting a variety of mythological sources, featuring half the cast of Star Trek and characters that grew and changed over the show's course, it's still hugely entertaining - even for an adult audience. It's a shame it never found its target viewership, as it's a superb example of how to make not just a good cartoon but good television.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM He-Man & The Masters of the Universe

If only to sell more Club Eternia subs, the morning rounds off with He-Man & The Masters of the Universe. I always found it horribly preachy (I was a very cynical post-punk teenager when the show aired) but as an adult I do now enjoy just how camp the whole thing is.

So that's my Saturday Morning picks! What about the rest of the League?

The Man Who Stares at Toys mixes fun AND adventure - adventufun!

See more at Cool and Collected.


  1. Finally, someone with Battle of the Planets on their list!

    1. Haha! I loved it as a kid (even if it was a bit rubbish!)


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