Filmation's Cartoon Series of the 1970s
25 Fun Filmation Cartoon Series of the 70s
During its 25-plus years in existence, Filmation Studios produced a plethora of animated and live-action shows that populated Saturday morning television beginning in the 1960s and ending in the 1980s when Filmation finally closed its doors.
This article features a listing of Filmation's 1970s cartoon series, and I hope it is as much of a fun walk down memory lane for you as it has been for me.
- Aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 to September 4, 1971.
- Alternate title: Archie's Funhouse Featuring the Giant Jukebox.
- A reworking of The Archie Comedy Hour.
- Plot: Archie and his friends, assisted by a giant jukebox perform comedy sketches, sing songs (usually each episode had three songs performed by The Archies) and even mix in live-action footage.
- Many of the songs for the series were written by Neil Brian Goldberg.
- Voices were provided by Dallas McKennon, Howard Morris, Jane Webb, John Erwin, with the singing voices provided by Ron Dante (who provided the lead vocals for the number one Archie's song Sugar, Sugar in 1969) and Toni Wine.
- Former Rowan and Martin Laugh-In writers, Jim Mendelsohn and Jim Mulligan wrote some of the jokes and sketches for this series.
Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down
- Aired on ABC from September 12, 1970-September 2, 1972
- Jerry Lewis created the show and offered creative input.
- David L. Landers provided the voice of Lewis. Landers would go on to gain fame as Squiggy in the popular prime-time series Laverne & Shirley.
- Plot: Lewis worked for the Oddjob Employment Agency. Each week, his boss Mr. Blunderbuss, would send him out on an assignment which would end in disaster, Jerry-style.
- Many of the characters used in the series were taken from Lewis movies of the Sixties.
- In 1963, ABC brought Jerry Lewis to prime-time in the The Jerry Lewis Show which turned out to be a disaster. Because of this experience, is it said that Lewis vowed to never return to doing a TV series again. This could explain why he decided to limit his input to behind the scenes creative stuff like script consultant and writing for this Saturday morning venture.
- The show ran for two seasons, with the second season being reruns of the first season's episodes.
Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies
- Aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 to September 4, 1971
- A year after her debut on The Archie Comedy Hour, teenage witch Sabrina was teamed up with a group of funny monsters.
- A 60-minute venture with music and comedy.
- Proved so successful that she was given her own series, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, also on CBS.
The Groovie Goolies
- Aired on CBS from September 12, 1970 – September 4, 1971
- A spin-off from Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies Show.
- The format was similar in style to the prime-time show, Laugh-In, having riddles, slapstick comedy, sight gags and of course, music.
- Drac, Mummy, Frankie, Wolfie and various other monsters resided at Horrible Hall, a kind of hotel or boarding house for monsters.
- Each episode usually featured two songs, one by the Goolies and the other provided by one of the in-house bands like The Spirits of '76, The Mummies and the Puppies, The Bare Bones Band or the Rolling Head Stones.
- In 1971, the song Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It) which was a hit Top Ten for Daddy Dewdrop, was featured on one of the episodes, with lyrics slightly rewritten.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
- Aired on CBS from September 11, 1971 to August 31, 1974.
- Was a spin off from the The Archie Show (which would later be named The Archie Comedy Hour) that aired on CBS from September 14, 1968 – January 4, 1969.
- Aired on CBS from September 11, 1971 to September 1, 1973
- Plot: Archie Andrews and his friends ran a local TV stations which would feature animated adaptions of popular news paper comics: Dick Tracy, Nancy and Slugo, Captain and the Kids, Emmylou, Moon Mullins, Smokey Stover, Broom-Hilda, The Dropouts.
- This show moved away from the traditional Archie shows of the past in that it had no musical segments that featured The Archies musical group.
- It ran for two seasons with a total of 16 episodes.
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
- Aired on CBS from September 9, 1972 to September 1, 1979 as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Then from September 8, 1979 to August 25, 1984 as The New Fat Albert Show.
- Bill Cosby, during his stand up routines, would often relate stories about his childhood growing up in North Philadelphia. Those real-life stories were the basis for many of the cartoon storylines in the series.
- Cosby would open the show with a live-action introduction and do a wrap up at the end offering up insights.
- The series earned an Emmy nomination in 1974.
The Brady Kids
- Aired on ABC from September 16, 1972 to August 16, 1974.
- This animated spin-off from the popular prime-time show The Brady Bunch featured the Brady kids, Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, Jan and Cindy having adventures with their friends as well as their talking animal companions; pandas Ping and Pong, and Marlon their magical mynah bird. Like a lot of Filmation series, the Brady Kids also had musical numbers, too.
- The show's pilot was Jungle Bungle (which was renamed The Brady Bunch on Mysterious Island and shown as a feature-length cartoon on the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie (September 9, 1972 to August 31, 1974).
- The second season of the series had a bit of a cast change, Williams, McCormick, and Knight (Greg, Marcia, and Peter) did not reprise their voice roles and were replaced with voice actors Erika Scheimer, Lane Scheimer, and Keith Allen.
- The second season episode, Teacher's Pet, introduced audiences to the characters of Miss Tickle and her cat, Tut Tut who would star, along with Rick Springfield in the Filmation cartoon series, Mission: Magic!.
- Both The Brady Kids and Mission: Magic! are available on DVD.
Lassie's Rescue Rangers
- Aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to August 31, 1974. (Rebroadcast on ABC from September 8, 1974 to August 31, 1975)
- The pilot for this series was a feature length cartoon that aired in November of 1972 on the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie as Lassie and the Spirit of Thunder Mountain.
- Plot: Lassie lived with the Turner family near Thunder Mountain. Ben Turner (voiced by Ted Knight) was a forest ranger at the Thunder Mountain State Park and along with his wife Laura and their children Ben Jr, Susan, and Jackie they formed the Forest Force, a ranger rescue group whose job it was to protect the park but also keep visitors safe. Lassie headed up the Rescue Rangers, a group of forest animals, who often worked in conjunction with the Forest Force. Also working with the Turner family and Lassie was Native American, Gene Fox, whose vast knowledge of the forest was a great asset to the Turner's and Lassie.
Star Trek: The Animated Series
- Aired on NBC from September 8, 1973 to August 30, 1975.
- This animated version of the cult live-action show featured some of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise; Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Engineer Scott, Nurse Chaple, Lt.Uhura and Lt. Sulu who once again found themselves seeking out new worlds and civilizations to explore. Also, along for the adventures were two new characters, Arrex a three-legged alien and M'Ress a feline being.
- The series was budgeted at $75,000 per episode and had a total of 22 episodes to its credit.
- It earned an Emmy Award in 1975 for the episode "Yesteryear".
- Missing from the series was Walter Koenig's Pavel Chekov as the producers of the series simply didn't have enough money to include all cast members. But, Koenig wasn't forgotten as he was given the chance to write an episode for the series (The Infinite Vulcan) which made him the first Star Trek actor to do so. He was offered a chance to write a second, but he refused, some sources state that he disliked the number of rewrites necessary to get the script right, others state that he was still upset for not being cast in the series, maybe a little of both?
- This classic animated series is available on DVD.
My Favorite Martians
- Aired on CBS from September 8, 1973 to August 30, 1975.
- Plot: The further adventures of the characters from the live-action prime time sitcom, My Favorite Martian that starred Bill Bixby as Tim O'Hara and Ray Walston as Uncle Martin, the Martian. In this series, two new characters are added, a nephew for Uncle Martin named Andromeda (Andy for short) and Katy, a teenage niece for Tim.
- Neither Walston or Bixby provided voices for their characters, instead Jonathan Harris was Uncle Martin and O'Hara's voice was provided by Howard Morris.
- Aired on ABC from September 1973 to August 31, 1974.
- Teen idol Rick Springfield starred as himself in this 30-minute series. He lived in an alternate universe that high school teacher, Miss Tickle, was able to access by drawing a magic door on her blackboard in her classroom. She would then transport herself and the Adventurers Club made up of students, Vinnie, Harvey, Socks, Franklin, Kim and Carol into Springfield's world where they often solved mysteries.
- Each episode featured a song performed (and written) by Springfield. The song usually tied in, in some way, with the moral of the episode.
- Springfield also still had his wonderful Australian accent!
- The soundtrack to the series was released in 1974 and has since been released on CD under various titles.
Catch Me If You Can (Rick Springfield From Mission:Magic!)
The U.S. of Archie
- Aired on CBS from September 7, 1974 to September 5, 1976.
- In 1976, the USA was celebrating its bicentennial and Filmation created a new Archies show that had the characters recreating historical events from the USA's past.
- The show lacked comedy and music which was a staple of previous Archie ventures.
- It did poorly in the ratings and was moved from its Saturday morning time slot to Sunday where it finished out its run.
The New Adventures of Gilligan
The New Adventures of Gilligan
- Aired on ABC from September 7, 1974 – October 6, 1975 for two seasons.
- Some sources list the time frame as September 7, 1974 to September 7, 1977 with a "third" season being spent in syndication.
- Five of the original cast members (Alan Hale Jr., Bob Denver, Russell Johnson, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer) provided the voices. Dawn Wells and Tina Louse declined to participate.
- Plot: Much like the original series with the castaways trapped on a deserted island and Gilligan causing all kinds of havoc.
- Gilligan (given the name Willie in this series) adopted a pet monkey he called Snubby who was voiced by Lou Scheimer, the producer of the show as well as one of the founding members of Filmation.
The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty
- Aired on NBC from September 6, 1975 to September 4, 1976 with a total of thirteen episodes.
- Based on the James Thurber story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
- Thurber's widow sued Filmation for using the storyline to create this cartoon series without the permission of Thurber's estate. She won and the cartoon was titled The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty when shown in syndication.
- Plot: Waldo Kitty was a timid cat who who loved to imagine himself in all kinds of situations where he was the hero such as crime fighting Cat Man or the rough riding Lone Kitty who fought bully bull dog Tyrone to protect the honor of sweet Felicity.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
- Aired on CBS from September 11, 1976 go September 3, 1977.
- The Tarzan of this animated series was a soft spoken and intelligent man who battled to save the jungle from poachers, mad scientists, strange creatures and more.
- Tarzan was voiced by Robert Ridgely.
- The series lasted for four seasons and it went through several name changes as new segments and characters were added: The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour, Tarzan and the Super 7, The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour
The New Adventures of Batman
- Aired on CBS from February 10, 1977 to September 10, 1977.
- A series of brand new adventures for the Dynamic Duo who are joined in their efforts by Batgirl and Bat-Mite. Adam West and Burt Ward, TV's original Batman and Robin, from the campy classic live-action Batman series from the 1960's voiced their animated counterparts.
- These stories were later shown again in reruns on The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour, Tarzan and the Super 7, and Batman and the Super 7.
The Space Sentinels
- Aired on NBC from September 10, 1977 to September 2, 1978 with 13 episodes.
- Plot: Greek heroes, Hercules (who had super strength), Mercury (who was able to run an the speed of light) were joined by Astrea (a character created specifically for the show and who could transform into anything she desired), came together to form a group of superheroes who are assigned to protect the earth.
- Original title The Young Sentinels, but the series was given a new time slot mid way through the season and also received a title change to The Space Sentinels. As with many of Filmation's shows the cast was diverse, Hercules was blond and from a Norse background, Mercury was Asian and Astrea was African-American.
- Violence in all of Filmation's shows was kept to a minimum as producers worried that children would emulate what they saw on TV.
- The character of Hercules would show up again as a member of the Freedom Force on Tarzan and the Super 7.
- Released on (Region 1) DVD August 22, 2006. The complete series as well as the complete series of The Freedom Force.
The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour
- Aired on CBS from September 10, 1977 to September 2, 1978.
- This series combined reruns from The New Adventures of Batman with eight new episodes of Tarzan as well as reruns of episodes from the first season of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle series.
The New Archie And Sabrina Hour
- Aired on NBC from September 10, 1977 to November 5, 1977.
- Filmation combined previously aired episodes from The Archie Comedy Hour and reruns (some sources claim the segments were brand new) from the 1971 series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch with a new segment called "Surprise Package".
- This 60 minute show had poor ratings, so the network pulled it from its schedule created the Archie's Bang Shang Lalapalooza Show (some sources state the title was Superwitch and the Archie's Bang Shang Lalapalooza Show) but it fared no better in the ratings. (It was up against The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show on CBS).
Tarzan and the Super Seven
- Aired on CBS from September 9, 1978 to August 30, 1980
- Plot: This 90 minute series had eight brand new episodes featuring the vine-swinging hero as well as a few old episodes from his original series that aired in the 76-77 season.
- Also featured in this show were six new installments: Batman and Robin (new episodes), Web Woman, Isis (in cartoon form) and the Freedom Force, Microwoman and Superstretch, Manta and Moray and the live-action Jason of Star Command which ran during the first season before being spun off into it's own half hour stand alone series.
The Fabulous Funnies
- Aired on NBC from September 9, 1978 to September 1, 1979.
- Various comic strip characters (Nancy and Sluggo, Broom Hilda, Alley Oop and the Katzen-jammer Kids) were featured in new skits.
- Also mixed in were the little short cartoons that had been featured in the Archie's TV Funnies.
The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle
- Aired on CBS from September 8, 1979 to August 30, 1980.
- Two of Terry Toon's most famous characters, Heckle and Jeckle were featured in brand new adventures. Also included were segments with Mighty Mouse and Quackula.
- The show was a 60 minute venture for the first season and trimmed to a half-hour show for its second and final season.
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon
- Aired on NBC September 22, 1979 to September 20, 1980.
- Space hero Flash Gordon was back along with his friends Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov. They battled evil dictator Ming the Merciless and his equally evil daughter, Aura. This 16 episode series stayed fairly close to the story line of the original stories.
- When the series was cancelled in 1980, it was edited together into the feature film, Flash Gordon The Greatest Adventure of All and released in Europe. It was also shown as a special on NBC in 1982.
The New Fat Albert Show
- Aired on CBS from September 1, 1979 to August 25, 1984.
- This was Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids under a new title. A series of 50 new half hour episodes were combined with old episodes from the original series.
- Debuting in this series was a new superhero character, The Brown Hornet.
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