Brian Pierce (captain_slinky) wrote in saturday_am_80s,
Brian Pierce
captain_slinky
saturday_am_80s

1984 8:30 on CBS: THE GET ALONG GANG



In 1984 at 8:30 in the morning, CBS ironically ran the most Orwellian of all 1980's cartoons, The Get Along Gang. Created by a committee of artists and marketing specialists at the American Greetings Toy Design & Marketing Division (trying to refine and recreate the powerhouse merchandising magic of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Shirt Tales and Smurfs) working in conjunction with the never-more-powerful Parental Watchdog Groups, The Get Along Gang was an experiment in just how much influence and control mass media had over the masses. Writer Mark Evanier summed it up very well:

"[Television watchgroups] all seek to make kidvid more enriching and redeeming, at least by their definitions, and at the time, they had enough clout to cause the networks to yield. Consultants were brought in and we, the folks who were writing cartoons, were ordered to include certain "pro-social" morals in our shows. At the time, the dominant "pro-social" moral was as follows: The group is always right...the complainer is always wrong.

This was the message of far too many eighties' cartoon shows. If all your friends want to go get pizza and you want a burger, you should bow to the will of the majority and go get pizza with them. There was even a show for one season on CBS called The Get-Along Gang, which was dedicated unabashedly to this principle. Each week, whichever member of the gang didn't get along with the others learned the error of his or her ways....

...I don't believe you should always go along with the group. What about thinking for yourself? What about developing your own personality and viewpoint? What about doing things because you decide they're the right thing to do, not because the majority ruled and you got outvoted?"

Thirteen mind-controlling episodes were produced, which American Greetings still refuses to release on DVD for some unknown reason. Like, not just a "Meh nobody would want a DVD of that show", but an actively negative stance towards any company approaching them regarding DVD release rights! The closest to a full season DVD release we've ever gotten is from Mill Creek Entertainment, who released a low-quality "Best Of" DVD that contained 10 of the 13 episodes(?!) and then the remaining 3 episodes were released as "Bonus Features" on other 80's cartoon DVD releases such as Heathcliff and the popular-but-oddly-mish-mashed TV Toons To Go DVD set. Weeeeeeird....
Tags: 1984, cbs, get along gang, nelvana
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