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OldHorseman

OldHorseman

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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Before we got sidetracked with all the holiday festivities, I'd been using the Saturday slot to look back at the many animated incarnations of DC Comics' JUSTICE LEAGUE characters on TV, starting with the Filmation 'toons of the 1960s, progressing to Hanna-Barbera's SUPER FRIENDS of the '70s and '80s. That show went through multiple formats and titles, as we've covered here on the channel.

This final version was the SUPER POWERS TEAM: GALACTIC GUARDIANS. It actually boasted some better writing and animation than we'd become accustomed-to from the series. I usually feature the first episode of each season, but this time I skipped-ahead to get us to the one and only appearance of the Joker in any of the Super Friends programs. It also introduces the Royal Flush Gang in their first animated appearance.

From October 1985.

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Well, Twenty-twenty-too is upon us. The year that served as setting for this lovely story of overcrowding, police state power, and cannibalism.

Fortunately, sci-fi has a poor track record at predicting these things. And we know there's certainly no way the Powers That Be would try to trick us into consuming human flesh, right. RIGHT?!?!

From 1973.

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Merry Christmas to all...

HAPPY DAYS started-out as a series of fairly realistic, slice-of-life films about coming of-age in 1950s Middle-America. Then a rival network put GOOD TIMES up against it and initially crushed its ratings. Happy Days was retooled as a more conventional sitcom, and drove the "urban" show right off Tuesday nights the following year.

A big part of that revamping was moving the Fonz from a background character to the spotlight. Eventually this made him into a veritable self-parody, cartoon superhero... But way back in the second season, he was still a believable teenage dropout on his own, trying to maintain his cool image despite the hardness of his reality.

This is the last appearance of Chuck Cunningham, who was pretty-much retconned right out of existence to let Fonzie become Richie's de facto older brother.

From 1974.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Christmas-style, even!

Okay... The MONKEES aren't technically a cartoon, but they're about as close as live action can be, and they were rerun in the network Saturday Morning block way back when. And since we just lost Michael Nesmith, I thought we'd slip them in as a Christmas entry.

Y'see children, back in the '60s, the most successful band of all time, the BEATLES, exploded onto popular culture, dominating the music charts, filling stadiums at concerts, and making some weird movies... So naturally, TV producers got the idea of creating a knock-off group to be featured in a sitcom. Hired four actors to play the band members on screen, planned to have them ape performances over music recorded by professional musicians. But the boys actually gelled as a group, had substantially more talent than expected, released a bunch of hit songs in the real world. Many of which are still popular today.

The sitcom... If you can call it that... Was a glorious mess. Full of 4th Wall breaking utter nonsense and plain goofing-off. This particular episode features none other than Butch Patrick (Eddie from the MUNSTERS) as a joyless rich kid the band has to get into the holiday spirit.

Instead of their usual pop-rock video segments, the episode finishes with an impressive, uncut performance of a very old, archaic Spanish carol "Ríu Chíu". Then the whole production crew comes onscreen in lieu of the usual closing credit screens.

Now somebody check on CIRCUS BOY... He's the only Monkee we've got left!!!

From 1967
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The wake of WWII was a heck of a time for Christmas themed movies. This one was supposed to be directed by Frank Capra, but he did IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE instead. It was nominated for a Best Story Oscar, but lost out to MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.

5th Ave never got the TV airplay that made the others universally recognized elements of the holiday season, but it is a well-liked film with a cult following. Look for Mr. B (from HAZEL) and the Skipper (from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND) a couple decades before their best-known television gigs.

From 1947.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Christmas-style, even!

Last week, we covered Rankin/Bass' origin story for the Big Guy with SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN from 1970. Later Rankin/Bass specials seemed to stay in continuity with that version. But this time they went with something quite different.

L. Frank Baum, best known known for creating the WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ and related stories, included Santa in his extended fantasy world-building. He put the rising Claus in a faerie forest that was more NARNIA or MIDDLE EARTH than we were used to seeing for our jolly sleigh jockey.

Though the two Animagic Santa origin specials were made 15 years apart, the first one was repeated every year and was heart-canon for kids. This contradictory backstory went over like a lead balloon. Even though it does have more satisfying (albeit mostly implied) badassery on the part of Santa's pagan allies.

This 1985 telefilm was the final Animagic stop-action production. Rankin/Bass would hang on a while longer with flat animation, including the THUNDERCATS and SILVERHAWKS of all things.

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Y'all remember in FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, where lame/evil magician Professor Hinkle discards his old, silk hat? When the kids were able to use it to bring their snowman to life, he saw that it had magic he might be able to exploit after-all, and tried to take it back from them.

A similar thing happened with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. In its 1946 release, the film kinda' flopped, lost money, derailed a studio and careers. So it's not too surprising that the eventual owners of the thing didn't bother to renew its copyright in the '70s. Basically discarded it into the Public Domain.

This happened at an opportune time, as there were a bunch of independent TV stations popping-up on the UHF dial (some of which would later become cornerstones of Basic Cable), home video cassettes were becoming a thing, and even network affiliate TV stations were beginning to fill more hours with off-feed content. Everyone was looking for cheap/free programming to broadcast, especially during the holiday season. And this kinda-corny, but sweet old flick featuring well-liked stars in a Christmas story was just what the doctor ordered...

By the 1980s Johnny Carson was joking about the (near) fact that you could find IAWL running on one channel or another 24/7 from Thanksgiving through New Years in most TV markets. Many shows were using it as the template for their Christmas episodes. A gender-flip remake had been done (long before SJWs were pushing that sort of thing). The movie had become a staple of the American Christmas scene.

So naturally the corporate suits decided they wanted the long-lapsed copyright reinstated and sent lawyers and lobbyists enough to make the legal impossibility happen. Helping to trash the very concept of Public Domain, and unintentionally that of Intellectual Property with it.

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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Christmas-style, even!

I'm a little torn by this one... On the one hand, a pimptastically-dressed, strapping young man struts into town and starts bribing children to sit on his lap and kiss him? Seems like he'd fit right in with Brandon and the other pedos. Except that his interaction with minors is always in public, and he sparks-up a romance with the very first full-grown, age-appropriate woman he meets. (Rankin/Bass and their curvy redheads... See MAD MONSTER PARTY from a few weeks ago.)

On the other hand, Kris Kringle's story is all about non-compliance with arbitrary authority. That's a lesson a lot of Americans need to revisit these days. Better to be declared an outlaw and a rebel than to let pathetic Little Tin Gods run your life!

This one tends to get butchered quite a bit on TV. Not for the cringe of children exchanging kisses with strange adults for toys... Mostly so they can squeeze-in a few more commercials, avoid traumatizing wee snowflakes with the burning toy pile, and minimize the rebel message.

Note the quick Rudolph cameo. Unlike Santa, the elves, and the eight original reindeer, who were all public domain, Rudy was the property of Robert L. May, who created the character for Montgomery Ward in 1939, so they had to brush him off as "another story", though the producers had licensed him before, and would do so again.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN came in 1970, when Rankin/Bass Animagic was at it's peak... They'd do a rather different origin story for Santa 15 years later as the form's swan song.

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Hope my fellow Americans had a fine Thanksgiving holiday. Now, before we plunge headlong into things Yuletide, let's take a moment to wrap-up Season One of KING OF THE HILL.

Little Bobby has been invited to his first coed party, and his nervousness drives him to some... Unconventional "practice" for the event.

From May 1997.

Happy Holiday, fellow Americans!

This one is hard to find online due to diligent patrol bots, but fans will get the thumbnail reference.
I found this one speed-altered, chopped-up to stay under radar. Have mostly reassembled it for you here.

Rockin' at you from 1978.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Holiday-style, even!

LI'L FOLKS comic strip (albeit with a different name that creator Sparky S. was never too fond of) had a half-century run in the funny pages, and spawned a long list of popular TV animated specials. Best remembered of these are the holiday installments, starting with Christmas, then Halloween, and then Thanksgiving.

This one is from 1973.
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The BEVERLY HILLBILLIES did several holiday episodes over its long run, as well as cross-over episodes with fellow Paul Henning series PETTICOAT JUNCTION and GREEN ACRES. This is the one episode that included the main characters from all three shows. (Although some have no lines.)

Elly May, who inspired me to learn to cook for myself lest I have to pass up a babe like her to avoid starvation, is even hotter than usual. Dolled-up for the holiday in a nice form-fitting number.

Bit of meta-weirdness here. In earlier episodes of GREEN ACRES, the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES existed as a TV show from the characters' POV. They all seemed to forget about that when the Clampett clan showed-up in Hooterville.

From 1968.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

After getting Filmation Studios off the ground with TV cartoons in the '60s, the DC superheroes (mostly) transitioned to Hanna-Barbera for the Super Friends dynasty of the '70s and '80s. We've covered SUPER FRIENDS, The ALL-NEW SUPER FRIENDS HOUR, CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER FRIENDS, The WORLD'S GREATEST SUPERFRIENDS, and started the '80s with SUPERFRIENDS.

By this point, HB had enough episodes from the assorted series to package a show for syndication. ABC wasn't crazy about filling a Saturday Morning slot with a franchise that was on every day in key markets, so they dropped the Super Friends from the '83-'84 lineup.

They were back on the network the following year. FCC rules regarding use of children's programming as long-form toy commercials, which had been enacted back in the late sixties, were being relaxed (as demonstrated by HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE as well as G.I. JOE, etc.) and DC / Kenner has a new line of action figures to sell. So I presume ABC got the cartoon on the cheap.

SUPER FRIENDS: THE LEGENDARY SUPER POWERS SHOW added Firestorm to the line-up, and pitted the Justice League against the New God Darkseid, his minions, and accomplices. (Not only was the rock-faced Big Boss badly nerfed here, but rendered mighty thirsty for Wonder Woman. Not that I blame him, but seems rather out of character.)

Adam West, star of the live-action BATMAN series from the '60s as well as Filmation's NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN animated series from the '70s (previously covered on this channel) takes over voicing the Caped Crusader in this program. Olan Soule, who had done the character starting for Filmation in the '60s and carried-on through all the Hanna-Barbera versions to this point, became the voice of Firestorm's brainier half.

From 1984.
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When neighbor Khan's lawn outshines the Hills', Peggy realizes it's Dale Gribble's constant spraying of harsh chemicals that is countering Hank's near-obsessive efforts to achieve mown perfection. Hank chooses green grass over friendship and fires Dale as his exterminator. Dale, being Dale, does not handle this well...

Meanwhile Bobby demonstrates that he still ain't right by falling under the thrall of a fire ant queen.

From May 1997.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

When Hanna-Barbera took over the animation license for DC Justice League comic book superheroes, they stirred-in a big dollop of SCOOBY-DOO to appease the killjoy parent groups. But the Meddling Kids and semi-anthropomorphic mutt didn't last long. The SUPER FRIENDS series was revamped, and they were replaced with actual superhero teens... Sort-of.

The Wonder Twins were aliens, wore costumes, had a blue space-monkey, and had what should have been awesome powers. Jayna could transform into any animal. Zan could shape-shift into any condition of water in any shape. Neither seemed limited my Conservation of Mass, and could take forms from ounces to tons as needed.

Problem was that they sucked at using their powers effectively. This was parodied in these Adult Swim interstitial segments... But they didn't have to work too hard. The Twins really were almost this idiotic on the actual Super Friends shows.

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Hope y'all enjoyed Hallowe'en. Now back to our regular programming for a little while...

When Bobby gets caught trying his very first cigarette, Hank tries the old "MAKE the kid smoke until he's sick as a dog" punishment. Things don't go well.

From April 1997.
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Hallowe'en Bonus Round!

Sure... Lycanthropy may periodically turn you into a hairy, bloodthirsty animal prone to murdering the innocent. But it's really nasty side effect appears to be making you into a whiny, insufferable, pain in the arse!

Much as Victor Frankenstein enjoys killing Lawrence (the werewolf), he knows it won't take because he hates the guy and the curse can only be broken by someone who loves the accursed person. Can '60s sex symbol Elke Sommer help?

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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Hallowe'en style, even!

Why should Christmas get all the Rankin/Bass Animagic? Here's their nod to classic horror characters. Voices include the real Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller, and Adam Swift's impressions of a dozen others.

From 1967.
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Happy Hallowe'en, folks!

In 1974, Mel Brooks made the ultimate spoof of the classic horror movies in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. He tried going back to that well in 1995 with the drastically inferior (and less successful) DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT. He needn't have bothered, as a far better DRACULA spoof had been made in 1979...

While LAFB doesn't have anything like the scope or hilarity of Brooks' 1974 masterpiece, placing a Lugosi style Prince of All Vampires (played almost completely straight by George Hamilton) into the contemporary New York City setting as he tries to win the latest reincarnation of his true love while coping with attacks from the most recent descendant of Van Helsing makes for an amusing romp.

Arguably the best scene in the movie, the one they built all the trailers around, featured the song "I Love The Night Life". Licensing issues resulted in the syndicated, VHS, and DVD versions of the film (and thus most Internet distribution) to have that perfect music replaced with a rather generic, disco version of a 1920s show tune. Naturally, your Old Horseman has patched that up for you here. (I understand the BluRay release also put it right.)

Observations: This version of Renfield is a remarkably competent minion, despite being a creepy lunatic. When you've had like ten lifetimes to get your moves down, I reckon you ought to own the dance floor like this Drac does!

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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Hallowe'en style, even!

This week's combo starts with a legendary cartoon cutie and her questionable choice of attire going to explore the depths of Hell in a pre-code short. Then Witch Hazel's first appearance ends with Bugs ticking off the PC crowd sufficiently to be censored on TV for a while. Finally, something a bit more modern as we see what happens when the Grim Reaper gets bored and kinda' accomplishes the opposite of his job.
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'Tis the season! So here's well over an hour of witches, monsters, ghosts, devils, zombies, and general spooky stuff from the Eagles, Blue Oyster Cult, Warren Zevon, CDB, CCR, Johnny Cash, Heart, Vincent Price and many others.

Just in time for your Hallowe'en parties. Get your Thriller choreography down-pat!

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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Hallowe'en style, even!

The comically nearsighted yet impossibly lucky Mr. Magoo started off at the end of the '40s in UPA / Columbia theatrical cartoon shorts. He made an early transition to television with the MISTER MAGOO show at the start of the '60s... In 1962 he starred in the first major animated TV Christmas special, serving as pathfinder for The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, and the rest!

MISTER MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL depicted Magoo as a surprisingly competent stage actor starring in a production based on the Dickens classic tale. The actual play was presented straight, with Magoo's trademark half-blind misadventures being mostly limited to the backstage segments. This convention was carried-over onto Magoo's mid '60s series, the FAMOUS ADVENTURES OF MR. MAGOO. There he portrayed various characters from literature, fairy tales, and popular fiction in straight adaptations.

For this season, I've selected his version of FRANKENSTEIN. A rather unique interpretation of the story which combines elements from the original novel with the later movies.

From 1965.
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'Tis the Season... Hallowe'en, that is!
The coolest guy in Spooksville is joined by fellow horror movie stars in a good-natured reflection on the genre.

From 1974.
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Hey kids (of all ages), it's Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
Hallowe'en style, even!

Can the coolest cat in 'toondom keep it together when faced with vampires, witches, ghosts, and ghouls? Check out this trio of Pink Panther shorts to see for yourself!

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Why should the Yuletide get the lion's share of the stop-action fun?

Continuing Hallowe'en month with the Grim Reaper feelin' dissed by Doc Frankenstein, while a thinly veiled Davey and Goliath break out the Necronomicon and zombie things up a bit.
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Created 5 years, 10 months ago.

336 videos

Category Anime & Animation

This channel is just for stuff I dig and think could use a little more exposure... And to test the BitChute platform for an original content channel later.

If I post something that belongs to you and you've got a problem with it, just be cool and let me know. Not trying to step on anyone's toes here.

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