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  #31  
Old 04-17-2016, 10:06 AM
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Specifically 1980. That was both the premier date of the Laverne and Shirley show AND the date of when those Private Olive Oyl started. According to wikipedia, it's inspired by Private Benjamin. Was it THAT much of a hit that cartoons were insistent on emulating it?
Before this thread existed, I thought the oddest, most I'll-advised premise of a cartoon in the 70s was when Casper the Friendly Ghost travelled to the far-future and helped Charlie's Angels solve space-crimes.

Now I realize that the well of stupid goes much deeper.
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2016, 10:16 AM
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Where does the Happy Days gang traveling through time rank?
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  #33  
Old 04-17-2016, 10:18 AM
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Holy shit, this one was buried deep, but as soon as it started I realized that I know it scene for scene. I must have had it on VHS or something, because I wouldn't be recognizing it like that if I hadn't watched it a bunch.
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2016, 12:07 PM
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Where does the Happy Days gang traveling through time rank?
Well, they already have the Fonz' hallucinatory alien pal his own spinoff, so not that high, honestly.
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  #35  
Old 04-17-2016, 12:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure this is the absolute nadir of Western Culture:



Cartoons would continue being super hacky for about another half a decade, but at least most them would be service of selling cool toys. I have no idea who this was for.
The sad thing is that it was a spinoff of an earlier horrible cartoon:

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  #36  
Old 04-17-2016, 01:09 PM
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The sad thing is that it was a spinoff of an earlier horrible cartoon:

Oh... Wow...

I remember that but not in a nostalgic way...
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  #37  
Old 04-17-2016, 04:41 PM
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I wasn't sure I was gonna follow this with another decade, but the 80's is looking real tempting right now. Also, how to guarantee you aren't cool: to be named Mr. Cool.

And I think I might have had the same or a similar VHS as JBear. It had that one and one where he fights Ali Baba (who is also basically Bluto). Great double bill. Best gift my grandmother ever gave me.
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2016, 04:49 PM
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The 1980s turned Compelling Cartoon Intros into an art form.

Like, real talk, Thundercats is pretty awful, but the intro captivates me. I have no dang idea about anything about Spiral Zone or Mighty Orbots, but if I see the opening I want to see more.
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  #39  
Old 04-17-2016, 04:55 PM
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BTW, thanks to Alex Scott for the Bluto/Brutus link. Lead to me finding this great panel.



I totally hear that last quote being said by Ralph Wiggum.
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2016, 05:26 PM
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And I think I might have had the same or a similar VHS as JBear. It had that one and one where he fights Ali Baba (who is also basically Bluto). Great double bill. Best gift my grandmother ever gave me.
That sounds familiar too. Must have been the same VHS.
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  #41  
Old 04-17-2016, 08:08 PM
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The goal of this thread is a punishment meted out by a cruel god rather than something I would imagine a person doing willingly. There were no good cartoons on TV until 1989.
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  #42  
Old 04-17-2016, 08:30 PM
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The goal of this thread is a punishment meted out by a cruel god rather than something I would imagine a person doing willingly. There were no good cartoons on TV until 1989.
Son, when were you born?
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  #43  
Old 04-17-2016, 10:28 PM
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Re: the mythical VHS. As a kid, I definitely had a couple of tapes of completely random stuff like Woody Woodpecker, Fleischer cartoons, and Gabby the Goat-era Looney Tunes. I'm guessing it was all either public domain, in rights limbo, or tape-mastering houses licensed them on the cheap before the rights-holders realized they could make a pretty penny by curating them for nerds and nostalgia fiends.

I have all sorts of hazy half-memories of really badly mastered gems like Fleischer Superman and Tubby the Tuba, and lots of deeply, deeply problematic stuff, like, well, Fleischer Superman*, and "Salami, salami, baloney".


*I recently ran across the Superman tape I had as a kid in a thrift store. The episodes were something like:

The Magnetic Menace (good, good)
The Mechanical Monsters (classic - Miyazaki, amirite?)
Jungle Drums (uh-oh)

Last edited by Peach; 04-17-2016 at 11:20 PM.
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  #44  
Old 04-17-2016, 11:19 PM
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Like, real talk, Thundercats is pretty awful, but the intro captivates me. I have no dang idea about anything about Spiral Zone or Mighty Orbots, but if I see the opening I want to see more.
Mighty Orbots, from what I've seen, is typical Saturday morning toy commercial fare, except that it was directed by Osamu Dezaki, and every episode is a TMS-animated tour-de-force.

The 80s were weird, though, in that circumstances allowed for Japanese-produced feature-quality full-frame animation on a toy pack-in VHS.
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  #45  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:09 AM
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Default The All-New Super Friends Hour

The All-New Super Friends Hour

Aw yeah. I'm glad there are a bunch of these. The various Super Friends series are largely the same but with cast rotations. I'm assuming this is one of the earlier ones (but not the first one) due to it's pared down cast. We have Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and whatever the wacky sidekick trio was in favour. This time, it's the Wonder Twins and Gleek. Though I was vaguely aware of the Super Friends before, internet writer Seanbaby brought them to my attention way back in the early 2000s. Like most Hanna Barbera, it is terrible, but it is the good, charming kind of terrible with ridiculous plots, weird animation choices and all around silliness that invites watching with friends in a mocking yet endearing way.

I think it also is one of the stronger Hanna Barbera openings we've seen so far. The theme itself is not necessarily hummable, but it is memorable and somewhat iconic. But let's get into the meat of the thing itself.




OK, we start with a pretty great shot. We have an evocative sunset (which we rarely see on this show), the silhouettes of our heroes looming larger than life over the Hall of Justice. From second one, things are off to a fantastic start. The sunset turns into a kind of off colour rainbow as triumphant music trumpets and Superman comes flying at the audience. As the background turns into a rainbow field, more heroes come flying out to the audience. Wonder Woman! Aquaman! Batman? Wait, when did he start flying?

See at this point, I believe (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) Superman is the only flying Super Friends member. Wonder Woman flying is pretty common now (does she fly in current continuity?) but I think that here she's a bit more traditional in that she doesn't. And Aquaman doesn't fly. But his flying pose is close to his swimming pose and it is like he's swimming through this weird rainbow space and seeing Wonder Woman fly seems normal. But seeing Batman fly feels weird. I know it's not supposed to be literal flight, but even a figurative flight seems wrong.

The titles come fast and furious at us, and then we see our cast again, in a scrolling line (against a pulsing red/orange background) as if to demonstrate their numbers. Interestingly, now we also see Robin, who didn't get the chance to fly. Come on, guys, he was one of the FLYING GRAYSONS! If Batman can fly, Robin can fly, though not as cool as Batman. Who shouldn't be flying. I'm going through a lot right now.

Anyway we see Batman, Robin, Superman and Aqu--oops, time to fade out. That doesn't seem fair. We fade to the Super Friends watching a big TV featuring a guy looking at some papers followed by some meteors. It could be a guy reporting on the meteors or it could be the images are unconnected and the Super Friends are just channel surfing.

Well, Superman starts punching the crap out of some meteors so probably the former. Batman, then swings from a zipline. Wonder Woman flies her Invisible Jet. Then Aquaman makes me wish seahorses worked like real horses by riding a big seahorse. It's all big brashy stuff. Limited animation aside, as much as I bag on HB, they are doing solid work within the confines of their weaknesses.

Superman gets his introduction and it looks like some of the animation frames went missing for some micro-seconds, replaced with Superman not moving. He then shoves a rocket into space, presumably because it has no fuel and he intends for the passengers to die.

Batman and Robin are introduced and they get to do more than ANYONE else. There's driving, swinging, lunging and pointing!

Then it's Wonder Woman. Batman and Robin may have got to do four things, but NONE of those things involved lassoing a fucking dragon and dragging behind an Invisible Jet in space (or somewhere weird). WW wins all the superheroing for this intro.

Not that it isn't a lack of trying on Aquaman's part, as he rides on the back of two dolphins like sentient self-propelled water skis (I was going to say jet skis until I remembered jet skis don't look like skis unless they are from the Acme Company), then summoning all the fish in the ocean.

Here's the thing, Aquaman gets ragged on a lot, but his powers are really great. The problem is always context: Aquaman really depends on water being a factor on adventures. In his own element, he is kick-ass. Guess what, if you are fighting in the ocean and you can call all the sharks in the ocean to help you, you can win the fight. If you are fighting an alien tyrant on planet Bleep Blorp, well, you'll certainly do a better job than most probably due to you being stronger than most people, but you kind of start to look like an also-ran (at best) when you are with the rest of the Super Friends).

Then the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, who are given no time to do anything, which is sad because while they are losers, there powers aren't that bad. OK, the bucket bullshit is stupid since Zan can always cheat and just say "form of an Ice Noun!" Why doesn't he always just turn into an ice dune buggy. All the time. Like, just for fun.

Then we get Gleek, who I think might have gotten more screen time, time enough to show you that he was a character you were going to hate. Someone ring some sort of bell when we hit a Hanna Barbera show (I'm not counting Filmation in this) that doesn't have an animal (or robot) sidekick. Keep in mind, this applies to the show were everyone is an animal but there is still somehow a "less than" entity to take on the pet/mascot role.

Now we get the Super Friends flying in space and... wait, where's Batman? Did you remember he can't fly now? If that's the case, why is Aquaman flying. I was able to let go when they were soaring through a nebulous rainbow unspace (this is so going to be my Flaming Lips cover band name) but now I'm starting to think any rhyme or reason is flimsy at best.

Finally, as the narration ends (I don't need to pick it apart, it's pretty standard superhero fare), we get our heroes standing on a title card. This time, the title is rainbowafied rather than the background. I prefer background rainbows, but that's just me.

So overall, aside from some silliness, one of Hanna Barbera's better intros.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Yep. Granted, I already have a bias, but as far as dumb superhero show go, this is pretty watchable.

Now I look on wikipedia to learn more about the show:

OK, I thought the line-up looked small, but this season of Super Friends (the second after a 3-4 year hiatus) was, as the title implies, an hour long with four adventures: first a team-up tale within the Friends between two of the heroes (Batman and Robin were considered "one hero", which seems insulting to both), then a Wonder Twins segment teaching a lesson about taking a shower or not chewing tobacco or some skippable bullshit, then the main adventure with the whole team, followed by another team up, this time with one of the main cast and another DC legend not in the main team. Or one of the characters they made up like Apache Chief, El Dorado, Samurai or Black Vu-- sorry, Super Volt.
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  #46  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:24 AM
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Superfriends was definitely the creme of the crop of HBs 1970s output.

Which is, like, such faint praise it's only a half-step removed from scathing ridicule, but it's hard not to love it.

Challenge of is still the better, though.
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  #47  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:25 AM
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This must be the season that I watched on Teletoon Retro, because this in the intro that I know. I didn't realize that there were a "bunch of these".

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Or one of the characters they made up like Apache Chief, El Dorado, Samurai or Black Vu-- sorry, Super Volt.
I mostly know those characters from Harvey Birdman, and I had no idea that they were made up for TV.
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  #48  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:53 AM
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"Gathered from the farthest reaches of the Cosmos!"


That's... really reaching. At this point Supes is more or less a citizen of earth. The wonder twins are aliens, true. But let's be honest, this is the home team all the way through.
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  #49  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:57 AM
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This must be the season that I watched on Teletoon Retro, because this in the intro that I know. I didn't realize that there were a "bunch of these".


I mostly know those characters from Harvey Birdman, and I had no idea that they were made up for TV.
It's why they could DO those episodes: because they are considered Hanna Barbera characters (you don't actually see the DC Characters name checked, except some of Wonder Woman's skin in the bath made of Zan). I'm not sure who gets ownership credit though, since some created for Super Friends characters appeared in DC Comics afterwards. It could be shared or it could just not matter since HB and DC is owned by WB.
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  #50  
Old 04-18-2016, 06:29 PM
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Superfriends was definitely the creme of the crop of HBs 1970s output.

Which is, like, such faint praise it's only a half-step removed from scathing ridicule, but it's hard not to love it.

Challenge of is still the better, though.
Is that the show where the villains and heroes run toward each other in the introduction? I remember that being such a dour show compared to other versions of the Superfriends. The heroes always seemed to be in some kind of trap and the endings always left a sense of uneasy closure. "We were victorious THIS TIME, but who knows what could happen the next?"

Personally, I have a soft spot for the last two seasons of the show, including the one where it wasn't even called Superfriends anymore. They introduced new teen heroes like Firestorm and Cyborg (and I liked them both) and explored the origins of the characters in a way the previous shows wouldn't. Batman stumbles into Crime Alley after a gas attack from the Scarecrow and cries, although the tears are disguised in a rain storm. Plus they introduced Darkseid, who was more of a boilerplate villain than the awful, all-powerful bastard he was in Justice League, but he was still a refreshing change of pace from Lex and his army of buffoons.

I know, I know, this all happened in the 1980s, but it has ties to the original Superfriends series and took the DC animated universe in a promising direction, which continued in Superman 1988 and was fully realized in Batman: The Animated Series. Super Powers Team wasn't anywhere near as good as BTAS, obviously, but it was the first timid step toward that ideal.
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  #51  
Old 04-18-2016, 07:06 PM
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Funny, I was going through the Super Friends entries on Wikipedia nad I was reading episode synopsis and the one where the Scarecrow tries to trap Batman in Crime Alley forever with his fear toxin struck me as a really fiendish plan and a really good story premise. The bare bones plot that would work great in the modern take on Batman. You could have Batman skulking for days around that area, confused and going through a recurring loop of a nightmare he is unable to break free of (until he finally does, of course) with Scarecrow watching in the background to study him (that was his original MO).
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  #52  
Old 04-18-2016, 07:17 PM
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Here's the thing, Aquaman gets ragged on a lot, but his powers are really great. The problem is always context: Aquaman really depends on water being a factor on adventures. In his own element, he is kick-ass.
He's Knightboat!


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Super Powers Team wasn't anywhere near as good as BTAS, obviously, but it was the first timid step toward that ideal.
It was the Atari 2600 that led to the Super NES.
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  #53  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:21 PM
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BTW, I will be taking a brief hiatus from these things (about two weeks) due to hosting on a Popularity Contest on another forum (the topic: top 50 cartoons of the 90's), so I want to give that my full attention.
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  #54  
Old 04-19-2016, 04:19 AM
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Aquaman's powers have always been awesome, it's just that writers had never dared to explore them fully. I can't believe it took until the 90s and Morrison to make him have useful powers on land (he can shut down the fish part of your brain, for example).

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BTW, I will be taking a brief hiatus from these things (about two weeks) due to hosting on a Popularity Contest on another forum (the topic: top 50 cartoons of the 90's), so I want to give that my full attention.
Are you cheating on us? ;_;
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  #55  
Old 04-19-2016, 04:27 AM
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To be fair, I'm cheating on them with you.
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  #56  
Old 04-19-2016, 04:45 AM
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Well, as long as we're the pretty ones.

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Is that the show where the villains and heroes run toward each other in the introduction? I remember that being such a dour show compared to other versions of the Superfriends. The heroes always seemed to be in some kind of trap and the endings always left a sense of uneasy closure. "We were victorious THIS TIME, but who knows what could happen the next?"
Out of all the many, many terms I would ever use, or have seen used, to describe Challenge of the Superfriends, "Dour" is, perhaps, the least likely.

Incidentally, this thread convinced me to run to my nearest... web browser opened up to Amazon... And buy CotSF. Which is mercifully inexpensive. Imma be watching me some dumb cartoons very soon!
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  #57  
Old 04-19-2016, 05:28 AM
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Star Trek style reviews PLEASE!
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  #58  
Old 04-19-2016, 06:56 AM
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Star Trek style reviews PLEASE!
What do you think I'm buying it for?
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  #59  
Old 04-19-2016, 07:42 AM
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Batman: The Animated Series... BTAS
Man, why couldn't that have been named Batman Animated: The Series?
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  #60  
Old 04-19-2016, 12:32 PM
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Batmanimated?
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