Saturday

saturday_am_80s


Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment Society


1985 9:00 on ABC: EWOKS (AKA "STAR WARS: EWOKS", AKA "THE ALL-NEW EWOKS ADVENTURES")
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At 9:00 on Saturday morning in 1985 was a cartoon that lasted only 2 seasons but went by up to 4 different names and had no less than 2 different theme songs, "Ewoks" (which also aired as "Star Wars: Ewoks), "The All-New Ewoks Adventures" and "The Ewoks & Droids Adventure Hour"). Depending on your geographic location, you may have seen an opening for the show that looked more like this:

(This is the one I always saw, and I think it has something to do with having watched on a Canadian TV station).

Produced by Canadian animation studio Nelvana, there were 35 different half-hour episodes produced that were meant as a continuation/sequel to the wildly popular made-for-TV live-action movies "Caravan Of Courage" and "Battle For Endor". The first season seems to have been written for actual Star Wars fans with intricate relationships, cross-over storylines and recurring characters that actually added to the mythology and history of the Ewoks and their little moon of Endor. The second season, supposedly at the request of the network and against the wishes of Lucasfilm, was aimed more at younger kids.

Ewoks had three things going for it that really elevated it from the gutters of having been the "Jar Jar" of the pre-prequels Star Wars universe* - it had continuity, it had no laugh-track, and it had an actual Series Finale.

The final episode, "Battle For The Sun Star", was actually aired out-of-order on Saturday mornings and was then later re-aired as a stand-alone special that officially marked the end of the series. The plot, which depicts the Empire discovering the moon of Endor and deciding to build the new Death Star in the same orbit around Endor, firmly places the Ewoks cartoon in official Star Wars cannon right between Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi (which is pretty darned cool if you ask me).

So what do you think? Any memories regarding the Ewoks? Leave 'em in the comments below :)

*(I had always wondered if Jar-Jar Binks could have somehow been redeemed with a single season of a "The Gungans" cartoon series...)

Excuses & Returns Department
Saturday
captain_slinky


Two deaths, a solid two months of illness, The Holidays and a new part-time job have kept me from my maintainerly duties here at the 1980's Saturday Morning Historical Recreation Society... and I'm sorry. Also, to be completely honest, my personal viewing habits have been dipping further and further in to the 1970's end of Saturday Mornings and the early 90's end of Nickelodeon (most specifically, I'm digging Grape Ape and Clarissa Explains It All).

WHEN WE LAST LEFT OUR DAILY UPDATES, we were right in the middle of Saturday Morning 1985, the cusp of reaching the pinnacle of 1980's Saturday Mornings. We were also doing a weekly Friday Poll to try and determine the greatest of the great Saturday Mornings, and a weekend edition round-up of ABC Weekend Special reviews.

With luck, I will be ready to continue on my mission to catalog, review and share every main-stream Saturday Morning cartoon of the 1980's (FOR SCIENCE!) starting tomorrow morning!

All I ask of you is to read and comment a bit so I know somebody's out there and listening - I am a vain, insecure creature that thrives in an environment of adoration and attention :) Thanks!

Why Did That Cartoon Get Cancelled, Anyways?
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captain_slinky


Mark Evanier (70's and 80's cartoon/sit-com/comic book writer) answered the age-old question of "Why Did That Wildly Popular Cartoon Show Get Cancelled" (in this case, "Garfield & Friends"). That there's a link to the original post, or you can just read it here- it's an incredibly detailed account of just why long-running shows like Garfield & Friends, The Smurfs and others leave our lives. It's also a kind of back-door explanation of why some other long-running shows such as Super Friends stayed on the air by changing their title every other year or so - "Okay, so you won't pay more for Super Friends, but how about a NEW DEAL for 'Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show'?"

The whole story right behind this cutCollapse )

Realavant To Our Interests: Dungeons & Dragon DVD
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captain_slinky


GREETINGS 1980'S SATURDAY MORNING ENTHUSIASTS!!! I know, it's been a long time and I'm sorry for that, things are crazy in my life right now in a bad, time-consuming, life-changing, universe-spanning, Doctor-regenerating way and I just haven't had ANY tme to dedicate to our little group :(

HOWEVER! THIS NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION!!!

Perennial 1980's Saturday Morning Historical Recreation Society favorite DUNGEONS & DRAGONS THE COMPLETE SERIES is on sale at Amazon.com for just FIVE DOLLARS!!!

This is the "First Release" that the studio is trying to clear out - JUST THE EPISODES. All 27 original episodes, no extras, no bells, no whistles, no inserts, no D&D module to play at home, JUST CARTOONS.

Despite the lack of bonus features and extras, this is an excellent set to own that will soon have a bit of historical value - it's the only edition that has all the original music (CITATION NEEDED - have not confirmed this personally, but I know that several previous releases of the series have a different musical score because rights could not be obtained).

Go and buy a few copies while they're still available! FIVE BUCKS! That's like TWENTY CENTS PER EPISODE!!!

Time for me to finally upgrade from my VHS copies I guess :)

Lou Scheimer Tribute Post
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captain_slinky

As I'm sure you've all heard by now (mainly because of all your personal messages to me asking if I would post about it here in the 1980's Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment Society community), Filmation cartoon producer Lou Scheimer died earlier this week at the age of 84.

SHORT LIST OF WHAT YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Fat Albert, Star Trek The Animated Series, He-Man, Archie, The New Adventures of Batman, Gilligan's Planet... so many more.

Meeting Mr. Scheimer was one of the low points in my early days of animation fandom, one that I've tried to just block out and put behind me but I'll recount it here for all y'all as best as I remember.

It was the early 90's and i was living (temporarily) in Anaheim California with my Brother and his wife. I had just graduated high school so OF COURSE i knew EVERYTHING and my opinions were MUCH more valid and important than those of anyone else (I was SUCH an ASS). My Brother and his wife were very heavy in to the (then recent) hobby of "Animation Artwork Investment" - they bought a lot of animation cells and, as a result, were invited to all sorts of Gallery Events that I had no interest in because they were usually 1960's Warner Brothers stuff (Bugs Bunny and the likes), which I had NO interest in because I was much more sophisticated than that and only collected Super Hero things. One day they were invited to a Filmation Animation Sale preview gallery showing and I tagged along because I hoped to see some of those early DC Comics cels they had made back in the 60's.

We got there and I complained the whole time I was there. "Filmation cartoons are the WORST!" and "Ugh who would make stuff like this ON PURPOSE?" and other vitally important opinions of mine were expressed loudly and to anyone who would pause near me long enough for me to speak. One of the people I forced my opinions on to just shrugged at me and said "Hey, we did the best we could with the money we had" and then a large man in a very nice suit asked me to please leave. I tried to ignore him, the large man then put his hand on my shoulder and said "C'mon, buddy, let's go" and I was escorted out of the building.

The large man informed me that THAT was mister Scheimer and how he was a saint of a man and they didn't need this kind of grief at their Gallery Showing and a bunch of other stuff that I ignored and argued against because I was 18 and stupid and vain and ignorant and AAAAAARGH!!!! I HATE THIS STORY SO MUCH!!!

So over the years my appreciation for Animation History grew, and through all my research that ever crossed over in to Filmation History the facts remained the same - Filmation could - and WOULD - make cartoons cheaper than anybody else, and would keep the jobs (or at least the majority of them) here in the USA using all the master animators that had become unemployed thanks to the other animation studios shipping all their jobs overseas. He was a master of "Making it up on the back-end" - making the cartoon at a loss so he could get a piece of the merchandising action and then using those profits to pay all those animators who needed work.

So there's my story. Please feel free to leave your own remembrances, thoughts and whatnot in the comments below :)

1980's SMHRS Watch-Along 11:00 - World's Greatest Super Friends
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captain_slinky
superfriendscouch

Shhhhhhh... I think Batman had a pretty rough night. Let's just let him sleep while we watch, okay?

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!

1980's SMHRS Watch-Along 10:30 - MORE RICHIE-RICH AND SCOOBY-DOO!
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captain_slinky


A full hour, just like it was in the 80's!

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!

1980's SMHRS Watch-Along 10:00 - The Richie Rich Scooby Doo Show
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captain_slinky
richiescooby

The Richie Rich Scooby Doo Show was the first time Scooby-Doo was not the first-billed character in a show that featured him.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!

1980's SMHRS Watch-Along 9:30 - Gilligan's Planet
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captain_slinky
Gilligansplanetlogo

Gilligan's Planet was produced by the Filmation animation studio and MGM/UA Television which aired during the 1982-1983 season on CBS. It was the last cartoon series that Filmation produced specifically for Saturday mornings.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!

1980's SMHRS Watch-Along 9:00 - The Fonz & The Happy Days Gang
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captain_slinky
fonz
The Fonz and The Happy Days Gang was produced by Hanna-Barbera and Paramount Television, and debuted on November 8, 1980 running for two seasons till being retooled and folded in to the Laverne & Shirley In The Army cartoon.

Link to our live event can be found at https://new.livestream.com/accounts/4759302/events/2404607 for the next 6 hours! Our broadcast day began at 7am and will run till some time after noon, so see you there! If you're having any problems let me know via the comments here and we'll try to get things straightened out right quick for ya!

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