Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Aardman Animations, DECODE Entertainment, Cartoon
Created and developed by Sergio Delfino,
Chop Socky Chooks was a comedic love-letter to the kung fu films of
yesteryear. The series was set in a city-sized shopping mall, Wasabi World, owned
and ruled by Dr. Wasabi (Paul
a piranha in a water-filed suit. He enforced his will on the citizenry of the
mall with the aid of his right-hand ape, Bubba (Rupert Degas), an army of ninja
chimps, and a variety of robots. Opposing him and standing up for the citizens
were the Chop Socky Chooks: three chickens who lived and worked in the mall
under Wasabi’s nose. Chick P (based on Lucy Liu,
voiced by Shelley
Longworth) was the team leader, who spent her days working on
the electrical system of Wasabi World when she wasn’t fighting with her razor
fans. Wasabi destroyed her home to construct the mall, making her battles
personal. K.O. Joe (based on Jim Kelly,
voiced by Paterson
Joseph) was the funky member of the team who often wore
70s-style clothing and used a grappling hook hair pick as a weapon. Rounding
them out was Chuckie Chan (named after Jackie Chan,
voiced by Rob
Rackstraw), a proverb-spouting martial arts instructor who
could weaponize his chi energy.
The Chooks: K.O. Joe, Chucki Chan and Chick P.
Chop Socky Chooks (a
combination of Asian slang for the martial arts film genre and Australian/New
Zealand slang for chicken) originally aired on Cartoon Network UK
from March 16 to September 4, 2008, before heading to Cartoon Network
in the United States and Teletoon
in Canada. The series’ theme was composed by The Eggplant Collective
while the rest of the music was composed by Lou Pomanti.
The series boasted the traditional Aardman design
and stop-motion style, rendered in a combination of 2D and CGI with full 3D
models rendered by C.O.R.E.
Digital Pictures. The series ultimately ran only a single
season of 26 episodes before it was cancelled and relegated to making the
rounds on reruns on affiliated Cartoon Network stations.
(CBS, October 14,
1956-September 24, 1960, September 25, 1965-September 3, 1966
NBC, September 6,
1969-September 4, 1971)
Heckle and Jeckle
(Sid Raymond, Ned Sparks, Dayton Allen and Roy Halee) were a pair of
mischievous talking magpies created by Paul Terry. Initially, the pair
began as a married couple meant to be antagonists for his farmer Al Falfa
character in the 1946 theatrical short The Talking Magpies. However, as
the birds became a hit with audiences, the pair left Al Falfa behind to become
the stars of their own shorts. They were retooled from a married couple into a
pair of best friends, named “Jeckle” after Robert Louis
Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and “Heckle” based on their frequent method of
antagonization. While the pair were often indistinguishable on sight and rarely
called each other by name, they became identifiable when Heckle was given a
Brooklyn accent and Jeckle an English one.
The mischievous magpies.
Jeckle would appear in numerous shorts over the next 20 years; being the most
popular Terrytoon series
next to Mighty
Mouse. The shorts would find the pair either messing with someone for
fun (typically one of two dogs, Dimwit and Clancy) or
serving as comedic heroes helping someone and giving a villain his comeuppance.
They were also self-aware, knowing full-well they were cartoon characters which
allowed them to pull off impossible feats.
Theatrical advertisement for the Terrytoon library.
In 1955, Terry retired and sold his
studio and characters to CBS. CBS began airing
Heckle and Jeckle shorts on television in 1956 as part of CBS Cartoon Theater,
hosted by Dick Van Dyke.
A month after the show’s cancellation, Heckle and Jeckle were spun off into The
Heckle and Jeckle Cartoon Show, which aired three Heckle and Jeckle shorts
with another starring a different Terrytoon character. The show aired until
1960 before returning to the network on Saturday morning for a year in 1965. It
would return one more time on NBC from
He was a producer best known for his long career making various productions based on the Peanuts
comic strip, including The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. He also worked
on Mother Goose and Grimm, Garfield and Friends, and served as a creative
consultant on episodes of Toonsylvania.
For the history of The Flintstones, check out the post here.
beginning life as The Flagstones, The Flintstones was meant to be
Hanna-Barbera’s answer to shrugging off its reputation as a producer of
strictly kiddie fare by airing as a primetime sitcom. Heavily influenced by The Honeymooners(to
the point that series creator and star Jackie Gleason considered suing
the company) and set in a modernized version of the Stone Age, the show focused
on overweight and overbearing caveman Fred Flintstone (Alan Reed) who would often drag his dim-witted best friend and
neighbor Barney Rubble (Mel Blanc, Daws Butler for several episodes and the pilot) into various
get-rich-quick schemes. Along for the ride were their long-suffering wives,
Wilma (Jean Vander Pyl) and Betty (Bea Benaderet through season 4, Gerry Johnson for the
remainder). Running gags in the series included names of people and places that
featured some kind of rock or mineral word, modern conveniences made out of
stone such as newspapers, chairs and furniture, animals acting as appliances
(and complaining about it to the audience), and cars driven via foot-power.
Flintstones debuted on ABC on September
30, 1960, and proved a hit; easily securing its desired adult demographic. As
the series went on, however, changes were made. In the third season, the Flintstones
and the Rubbles both gained children in the form of Pebbles (Pyl) and the
super-strong Bamm-Bamm (Don
Messick). The Rubbles also
got their own pet, a Hoppasaurus named Hoppy (Mesccik), to compliment the
Flintstones’ snorkasaurus, Dino (Blanc). The series also gained its memorable
theme, “Meet the
Flintstones”, performed by the
Skip-Jacks and a 22-piece
jazz band. For the final season, an alien named The Great Gazoo (Harvey Korman) came to the town
of Bedrock and used his magic to help Fred and Barney learn valuable moral
lessons. With these changes, the tone of the series softened and the writing
skewed more juvenile; becoming the antithesis of the reason Hanna-Barbera
created it. The show was quietly cancelled after 6 seasons and a theatrical film,
becoming the longest-running primetime animated series until The Simpsonssurpassed it in 1995.
The series would go on to be more popular and profitable in syndicated reruns, leading
to numerous spin-offs and revivals.
Created by puppeteers Hope and Morey Bunin, The Adventures
of Lucky Pup was a 15-minute show based around a cute dog (Hope) that
inherited $5 million from the estate of a circus queen. Pup’s fortune was under
constant threat from an evil magician named Foodini (Morey), and his dim-witted
associate, Pinhead (Hope).
Adventures of Lucky Pup debuted on CBS on
August 23, 1948, with Doris Brown
serving as hostess and the only on-air human character. The series aired live
on the east coast, with kinescopes recorded for later broadcast in markets
further west. While the series was successful, the audience’s interest began to
shift from the “goody goody” Pup towards the entertaining interactions of
Foodini and Pinhead. When Brown left the show after getting married, the show
was cancelled by CBS. ABC picked up a retooled
version that focused on Foodini and Pinhead and renamed Foodini, the Great. The
series ended its run in the summer of 1951, while kinescopes of the program
were shown on Saturday mornings through the winter.
November 19, 2004-June 27, 2006)
Cartoon Network Studios
PUFFY are a Japanese pop rock band comprised
of singers Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura. Both had ended up working for Sony Music Entertainment in different ways
and neither was progressing very far in the company on their own. A chance
encounter at an after-party found them hitting it off and requesting to be
paired together. Producer and American pop musician Andy Sturmer christened them “Puffy”
and they began to work on their first album, AmiYumi. Their debut
single, “Asia no Junshin”,
was a smash success and immediately launched the pair into stardom. When they
made their United States debut in 2000 at South
by Southwest, attorneys for performer Sean “Puffy”
Combs sent them a cease and desist letter because of their name. As a
result, they became Puffy AmiYumi for all things pertaining to the US; however,
they remain PUFFY outside of it.
The real-life Ami and Yumi.
Sam Register, a fan of the
band, wanted to help make more people aware of them by creating an animated
series centered around them. He pitched the series to the band and had Renegade Animation develop a test
short to help sell the idea to Cartoon
Network. The series was approved and developed further by Shakeh Haghnazarian. Although
Ami and Yumi appeared in short live-action segments filmed in Japan and the
show featured their music (the first to use licensed music), their animated
counterparts were voiced by Janice
Kawaye and Grey Griffin,
respectively. The series would focus on their traveling around the world in their
rather large tour bus with their greedy, but well-intentioned, manager, Kaz
Harada (Keone Young).
The animated Ami and Yumi.
Hi Hi Puffy
AmiYumi debuted on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004 and featured
episodes broken up into three story segments each. It was one of the few
cartoons produced entirely in the United States despite featuring Japanese
leads, using a combination of Flash and cel
animation done in an anime style. The show’s premiere received the highest
ratings ever, and the series performed strong throughout its run. Ultimately,
it was cancelled after three seasons primarily because Register left for Warner
Bros. Animation over a disagreement with an upcoming project he hated, and
because by that time Ben 10 and My Gym Partner’s a Monkeybegan to surpass AmiYumi in the ratings. Cartoon Network would
distance themselves from the show until the characters appeared on their 20th
anniversary poster in 2012 and reruns began making the rounds on the
network, as well as Yumi appearing in an episode of OK K.O.! Let’s Be
Created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, Fireball XL5was a British science fiction children’s show that made use of AP Films’ Supermarionation style
(a form of electronic marionette puppetry with lip movements synchronized to
pre-recorded dialogue). The series focused on the missions of Fireball XL5 (inspired
by motor oil Castrol XL, which Gerry
thought had an interesting sound), a ship that was part of the World Space
Patrol based out of Space City somewhere in the South Pacific. The ship’s crew
consisted of commanding officer Colonel Steve Zodiac (Paul Maxwell), medical officer Dr.
Venus (Sylvia), engineer Professor Matthew Matic (Walter Brennan), co-pilot
Robert the robot (an uncredited Gerry using an artificial larynx developed by Edinburgh University, and the only time he’d
voice a character on one of his shows), and Dr. Venus’ lazy, semi-telepathic
pet Zoonie the Lazoon (David
Graham). They answered to Commander Wilbur Zero (John Bluthal) at Space City,
who was assisted by Lieutenant Ninety (Graham). The series was set sometime in
the late 21st Century and would often featuring the crew traveling
to exotic planets and encountering various alien species.
The crew of the XL5: Robert, Matt, Steve and Venus.
XL5 debuted on Britain’s ATV on October
28, 1962. Running for 39 episodes over the course of a year, the series spawned
a wave of merchandise as well as a minor hit with the theme song composed by Barry Gray, written by Charles Blackwell, and performed
by Don Spencer. It would
also be the last AP Films production made in black and white. As the series was
wrapping up in the United Kingdom, it came to American airwaves in the fall of
1963 on NBC Saturday mornings. Although the
earlier AP Films production Supercarhad been
seen in syndication, this would be the first Supermarionation series shown on
US network television.
Best known for the role of shape-shifting Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine, he spent a lot of time loaning his voice to Saturday mornings. He was
the stranger in The Smurfs Christmas Special;Desaad in Super
Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team:
Galactic Guardians;a Poodle and Pierre in episodes of Pound Puppies (1986);
Boris Roquefort in an episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo; Dr.
Strangesnork and additional voices in Snorks; General Zod in an episode
of Superman (1988); Sensei in an episode of Darkwing Duck; Dr.
March in two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series; Kangent in The
Pirates of Dark Water; Chef Louie in both Marsupilami and The
Little Mermaid: The Animated Series; Jonathan in an episode of Rugrats;
Nefir Hasenuf in episodes of Aladdin; Horde in The Savage Dragon;
Quintoon in an episode of Men in Black: The Series; Scarab in episodes
of The Mummy; Master Fung and the narrator in Xiaolin Showdown;
McChirpy in an episode of Duck Dogers; Xyber 9 in Xyber 9: New Dawn;
Blockbuster in Young Justice; Saladin in Winx Club: Beyond Believix;
McLeish, Professor Schmierkankle and a cat narrator in Pound Puppies (2010);
and Azmuth and additional voices in Ben 10: Omniverse. He also provided
additional voices for The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, Punky Brewster, The
Smurfs and The Tom & Jerry Kids Show.
November 14, 2011-January 22, 2016)
Animation, DQ Entertainment, Technicolor Animation Productions
off out of the Mickey
Mouse Clubhouseepisode “Minnie’s Bow-Tique”, Minnie’s Bow-Toons followed
Minnie Mouse (Russi Taylor)
and Daisy Duck (Tress MacNeille)
as they ran Minnie’s Bow-tique; a specialty shop stocked with an assortment of
colorful bows and bowties. Helping them out was their clock-dwelling bird
assistant, Cuckoo Loca (Nika
Futterman). Also residing in the Bow-tique was Figaro (Frank Welker), the pet cat from Pinocchio.
Although the male Disney characters
weren’t stars in the series, they did make occasional guest appearances.
Minnie, Daisy and Cuckoo taking a break from the bow business for some kitchen adventures.
Bow-Toons debuted on Disney
Junior on November 14, 2011. Like Clubhouse, the series was
completely rendered in CGI. Episodes would typically start out with something
bow-related that would serve to help in a given situation; such as rubber bows
being used to stop leaky pipes, Figaro-shredded material helping a cheerleader
friend replace her lost pom-poms, or fluorescent paint on bows to light-up
Daisy’s birthday party when the fuses blow. Over the course of the series, the
focus expanded to include a new pet-grooming salon across from the Bow-tique,
as well as a world-spanning travel adventure. The series ran for 5 seasons,
spawning a variety of merchandise and video games.
The series would continue on in reruns on Disney Junior, eventually finding its
way onto the Saturday morning schedule.
Blondieis a comic strip created by Chic Young.
Beginning on September 8, 1930, it originally focused on young, blonde,
carefree flapper Blondie Boopadoop who spent her days in the dance halls with
her boyfriend, Dagwood Bumstead; a bit of a bumbling playboy and heir to a
fortune. When the Great
Depression hit, the strip’s relevancy began to wane and was steadily dropped
by various newspapers. Young decided to change things up in 1933 by having
Blondie and Dagwood become married, resulting in his being disinherited by his
father and forcing them to live like an average couple. Dagwood, who was
originally the straight man, became the primary comedic source as Blondie
assumed the sensible role as head of the family. Because of the strip’s
popularity, the marriage was a largely publicized event. Eventually, they
gained children, Alexander and Cookie, and a dog, Daisy. The strip features a
variety of running gags, including Dagwood colliding with the mailman as he
rushes out of the house, being always late for his ride to work, his impossibly
tall sandwiches and midnight snacks, his interrupted naps on the couch, and
more. While very little has changed about the strip as it continued under the
stewardship of Young’s son, Dean, newer
elements were gradually integrated in the form of current technologies and
The characters of the Blondie comic strip.
In 1938, Blondie was adapted into a long-running series of low-budget films
by Columbia Pictures.
Starring Penny Singleton and
Arthur Lake as the lead
characters, Columbia took great care in incorporating as many elements as
possible from the strip into the films, including the running gags, and to ensure
they followed a continuity with each other. When the series began to slip in
profits in 1943, Columbia released what was to be the last Blondie film as Footlight Glamour(removing
the Blondie name from the title to
try and lure in curious patrons) and Singleton and Lake moved on to other
projects. However, fan demand brought the series back until it was finally
ended with the 28th film, 1950’s Beware of Blondie. Singleton
and Lake also starred in a radio adaptation
that began in 1939 and was heard across all three major networks. It ran
concurrently with the films and ended in 1950 with them.
The cast of the television show.
In 1954, NBC commissioned a pilot episode for a proposed Blondie sitcom from Hal Roach Studios. Pamela Britton and Hal Le Roy assumed
the lead roles, however the series wasn’t picked up until 3 years later. For
the actual show, Le Roy was replaced by Lake. The Blondie television series was essentially a half-hour version of
the films, attempting to maintain the same faithfulness to the source material.
The series ran for a single season of 26 episodes, running from January 1957
until it was cancelled that July due to poor ratings.
Best known for her association and contributions to the Star Trek franchise,
she served as a script consultant, story editor, associate producer and even
wrote an episode for Star Trek: The Animated Series. She also provided
scripts for an episode of ReBoot and Silver Surfer.
of the Lost Nebula (later known as Jim Henson’s B.R.A.T.S. of the Lost
Nebula)was a combination puppet and computer animated sci-fi
series. The series was set in a universe that was being dominated by invading
force known as The Shock. Teenaged siblings Zadam (Kirby Morrow) and Triply
(Annick Obonsawin) were spared from the Shock attack on their home world when
their parents sent them to the Lost Nebula. There, on a living planetoid, they encountered
three other similar refugees: mechanically-inclined strongman Duncan (Glen
Cross), the fiercely competitive Ryle (originally named Gnash, voiced by Evan Sabba) and mystical fairy Lavana
(originally named Selene, voiced by Deborah Odell). Together, they decided to band together and form a resistance
movement against the Shock. Aiding them was a long-eared animal named Splock
who had a missile-laden suit of armor, and SMARTS, the smartest computer in the
The B.R.A.T.S.: Lavana, Zadam, Duncan, Splock, Triply and Ryle.
heavy marketing campaign leading up to the premiere of the series, B.R.A.T.S.
was taken off the air after just three weeks. The move came as a surprise
to everyone involved, as they weren’t aware of those plans until the week it
happened. Ironically, that was also the week that TV Guide had selected the series
as one of the Top Ten Children’s Series of the Year. The WB put out assurances
that the series would resume at some unspecified time, however the remainder of
the episodes would only be seen in Canada when the series was broadcast by YTV.
Puppetry of The Shock's leader.
While ratings for the series were
low, ultimately it fell victim to the overall low-ratings of Kids’ WB as a
whole. The programming block had fallen into third place behind FOX Kids and ABC’s One
Saturday Morning. In their attempts to turn their situation around, the
network chose to focus on programming it owned outright. Since B.R.A.T.S. was
a third-party production, it was cut from the network and quietly cancelled. For
various unspecified reasons, Disney, who has
come to own the Jim Henson Company and B.R.A.T.S.
by extension, has deemed it too expensive to release the series onto home
“What Mom Said” (10/10/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Total Bratification” (10/18/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Brain Drain” (10/25/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“A Lozian Necessity” (11/1/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Heart Hunters” (12/2/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Punk Chip” (11/12/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Runaways” (11/18/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Mutant Freak” (11/25/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Bite for a Day” (12/9/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“The Acceptors” (12/30/98) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Faith” (1/6/99) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Mom and Dad” (1/13/99) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.
“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (1/20/99) – NO SYNOPSIS
Space Nuts was the first of two programs developed by Sid & Marty Krofft Productions
exclusively for CBS (the other being Pryor’s
Place), and one of two space-themed shows they released in 1975 (the
other being The Lost Saucer). The show served as a last-minute replacement
for a scrapped cartoon.
Promo image of Barney, Junior and Honk by their ship.
the Kroffts, Joe Ruby, Ken Spears,
Chuck McCann and Earle
Doud, Space Nuts followed the adventures of dim-witted Junior (Bob
Denver) and the grumpy Barney (McCann), two NASA
maintenance workers who accidentally find themselves launched and lost in
space. There, they befriended a furry alien named Honk (Patty Maloney) who only
spoke via honking sounds from the horn on top of her head. The three of them travelled from planet to planet, typically having to
escape from hostile aliens to get back to their ship and continue their quest
to find a way home.
Junior getting his mind switched with a sinister computer.