Saturday, May 23, 2009

Top Ten Saturday Morning Cartoons of All Time

I have completed my season by season review of Saturday Morning Cartoon history (from the 1960's to the mid 1980's) so now it's time for me to pick my top ten Saturday morning cartoons of all time. The biggest question that I had to ask myself when picking these cartoons was if I should apply how I feel about them as an adult or should I rely on my childhood memories. The childhood memories won out because I actually probably couldn't pick ten good ones as an adult if I based my decision solely on artistic merit and compelling storylines. So the rules for my list are as follow:

1. It must have aired during my tv watching childhood (approximately 1972-1983)

2. It must have been primarily a Saturday morning cartoon. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show counts - I know, it's somewhat of a cheat but it ran far longer on Saturday morning than the cartoons that it contained ever ran. Shazam does not because it is not a cartoon.

3. And finally - My brothers don't get a vote! Back in 'the day' we almost always fought over what we got to watch on our ONE TELEVISION on the ONE DAY OF THE WEEK in which we could watch cartoons. I didn't always get to watch what I wanted but now, after thirty plus years, I can watch/pick whatever I want to watch/pick Mark & Brian!

So with that being said, here we go:

#10 - Richie Rich/Devlin/Speed Buggy/Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
I couldn't decide which one to leave off the list so I opted for somewhat of a 'cheat' and included them all.

#9 - Plastic Man
This one didn't have a very long run on Saturday morning tv but I loved the humor that was mixed in with the superhero goodness.

#8 - Fat Albert
This is another one that I am not sure I would have watched if it wasn't for the fact that it was the only cartoon that was on this late in the morning! The show did grow on me and as I got older I could more easily appreciate the show as a whole. I did find it annoying that Bill Cosby did most of the voices though! I love that opening Filmation roll too!

#7 - The Flintstones Comedy Hour
I loved the Flintstone, probably related to the incessant reruns being shown on afternoon UHF tv and I loved watching the teenaged adventures of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and the rest of the Bedrock characters (including Schmoo and, I am not sure how he fit in Bedrock, Captain Caveman).

#6 - Scooby Doo (and Scrappy)
I know that Scrappy is perhaps the most reviled character in Saturday morning history but I loved him. So there! I include all iterations of this show in my selection for the number six spot, including the original Scooby Doo run which seemed to air for twenty or more years on Saturday morning tv.

#5 - The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour
I am going to speak a little cartoon blasphemy here so be prepared! I don't remember if I actually liked watching this show or if I just watched it a lot because it was the only show that was on but I do remember enjoying most of the characters. My selection of this cartoon includes all iterations from the 1970's to the 1980's.

#4 - The Smurfs
I think that our local drug store had a big box of Smurfs long before this show aired but I don't remember buying any until after I saw the show, at which point I bought probably a hundred different figures. This show aired shortly before I entered high school but I do remember watching it longer than any other Saturday morning cartoon.

#3 - Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Another superhero cartoon featuring more than one hero. I was a huge spider-man fan when this was announced and this one came out as the quality of the Superfriends was waning so it was an easy transition for me.

#2 - Scooby's All Star Laffalympics
I loved this one because it was a chance to see all of my favorite Hanna-Barbera characters all in one show, and it was a spoof of one of my favorite prime-time specials from the era - CELEBRITY NETWORK BATTLE OF THE STARS.

#1. The Superfriends
This show was THE EVENT during most of our childhood years and we never missed it, no matter how silly it may seem today. I mean, really, how can you make a superhero show that includes no violence?

Did I miss your favorite? The following cartoons received consideration but just couldn't make the cut (for one reason or another):

Space Stars - Star Trek - Godzilla - The Jackson 5ive/The Brady Kids - The New Adventures of Gilligan - Josie and the Pussycats - Drac Pack - Hong Kong Phooey - The Great Grape Ape - Dynomutt - Harlem Globetrotters - Tarzan - New Adventures of Batman - Muppet Babies - Pee Wee's Playhouse - Spider-Man (1967)

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