Five 1970s Saturday Morning Cartoons Based On Classic 1960s Shows - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Five 1970s Saturday Morning Cartoons Based On Classic 1960s Shows

How many of these did you watch?

With on-demand streaming changing our viewing habits, children today do not get to experience the excitement of a dedicated block of programming made just for them. Depending on when we grew up, we all have our favourite Saturday morning cartoons; from Yogi Bear to Daffy Duck, Scooby Doo to SpongeBob SquarePants, DuckTales to Dexter's Laboratory, Arthur to Inspector Gadget. With decades of animated classics, the list is almost endless.

Occasionally a Saturday morning cartoon would be spun-off from a live action feature, creating all-new more-fantastical adventures for characters you may already know and love. And we've rounded-up five of them for you here. All premiering in the 1970s, all based on classic 1960s TV shows, and all featuring many of the original cast members voicing their animated characters.

How many of these Saturday morning cartoons did you watch?...

1. The New Adventures Of Batman
Premiering February 12th 1977, only 16 episodes of The New Adventures of Batman were ever produced but it notably included both Adam West and Burt Ward returning to their famous roles of Batman & Robin, the first time they had done so since the end of the live-action show in 1968.

The New Adventures Of Batman featured many of the classic Batman rogues gallery, including Joker and the Penguin, as well as some original villains, and the dynamic duo were assisted by Batgirl who was voice by Melendy Britt (who most famously voiced She-Ra a decade later). As we're in the realm of animation, Bat-Mite (who had first appeared in the Batman comics in 1969, before being retired 5 years later in a bid to quell the sillier aspects of the series), a well-meaning imp from another dimension called Ergo and also considers himself Batman's biggest fan, is on hand to assist in the crime-fighting, although often he'd make things worse.

Every episode ended with a short, moralistic "Bat Message". Think Jerry's Final Thoughts delivered by Adam West, which was probably very good practice for West as 15 years later he'd play a Springer-type character on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman!

2. Star Trek: The Animated Series
Premiering on September 8th 1973, Star Trek: The Animated Series reunited the original cast (except Walter Koenig) with creator Gene Roddenberry and script editor & writer of many classic episodes D. C. Fontana, in what many consider the fourth season of The Original Series.

Once again, like Bat-Mite, the animated format introduced characters to Star Trek that couldn't possibly have been included in live-action at the time, most notably that of Lieutenant Arex (an Edosian whose species had three arms and three legs) and Lieutenant M'Ress (a female Caitian). The Animated Series also featured many returning supporting characters, such as Sarek, Cyrano Jones and Harry Mudd, who were voiced by the original actors from The Original Series, and referenced or picked-up on several plots threads from the live-action show, for instance with the inclusion of the Tribbles, as seen above.

22 episodes of Star Trek: The animated Series were produced, split across two seasons, at a budget of $75,000 per episode, and along with the live-action show's continued popularity in syndication it kept Star Trek alive until the crew of the USS Enterprise continued their adventures in cinematic form, starting with the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

3. Lost In Space: The Animated Series
Premiering on the same day as Star Trek: The Animated Series, September 8th 1973, to title this as 'The Animated Series' is a bit of an exaggeration as it never made it past the pilot stage, so only this double length animated episode of Lost In Space was actually produced.

It was quite different to the original 1965 show, although did feature Jonathan Harris as the voice of Dr. Smith, who along with the Robot (who was named Robon and employed in flight control rather than a support activity), were the only characters from the original program to appear. Other differences include the spacecraft, which was now launched vertically by rocket, and Smith was a passenger rather than a saboteur.

The 43 minute pilot episode was broadcast under the banner of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie and gathered dust on a shelf somewhere until it was included in the 2015 Blu-ray release of the entire original television series.

4. The Brady Kids
In 1972, with the live action sitcom The Brady Bunch preparing for the start of its fourth season, show creator and executive producer Sherwood Schwartz approached Filmation about the creation of an animated series featuring the Brady Kids. Filmation agreed, and the show's six children (Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen) were contracted to voice their animated counterparts for The Brady Kids.

As the series' title implies, the parents and Alice the housekeeper characters were omitted from the show, but fear not as the animated series added some anamorphic animal characters instead (of course they did!). Marlon (voiced by Larry Storch) was an intelligent, red, talking mynah bird and Mop Top the dog (also voiced by Storch). There were also twin giant panda cubs, Ping and Pong (voiced by Jane Webb), named after the game ping-pong, who spoke in a Chinese-like gibberish. Because racial sensitivity was clearly not a thing.

After the first season of 18 episodes (running September 9th to December 30th 1972) several of the Brady kids decided not to continue voicing their animated counterparts, so they were replaced by the children of producer Lou Schiemer. The second series only ran for 5 installments before being cancelled, with the final episode of The Brady Kids broadcast October 6th 1973, six months before the live-action series also came to an end.

5. The Addams Family 1973
I don't know what it was about September 8th 1973 but NBC debuted Star Trek: The Animated Series, ABC broadcast the animated Lost In Space pilot, and NBC gave the world the first of 16 episodes of the new animated adventures of The Addams Family.

The Addams Family animated series came about after the Addamses were featured in the third episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family" (a.k.a. "Wednesday is Missing"), which first aired on CBS Saturday morning on September 23rd 1972. Acting as sort of an unintended back-door pilot, the episode details the Addams Family in a mystery with the Scooby-Doo gang. Once spun-off into their own animated adventures, the show took the Addamses on the road in a Victorian-style Recreational vehicle that resembles their house, stopping off at various locations and venues were they inadvertently cause mayhem and often get swept up in criminal schemes.

In what was likely a copyright issue but a clear misstep, the show's theme music was completely different and had no lyrics and no finger snapping, although it did retain a bit of the four-note score from the live-action show. Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy, who played Uncle Fester and Lurch respectively from the original 1960s television series, returned to voice their respective characters, and notably the cast also included an 11-year-old Jodie Foster, who rather surprisingly performed the voice of Pugsley Addams!

And there you go, five classic 1970s Saturday morning cartoons, all based on 1960s TV shows. How many of these did you watch? And which one was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below...

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