Review: ‘Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s’

Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger is best known to comics fans as the editor of Who's Who In The DC Universe, Suicide Squad, and Doom Patrol. He's written and edited several Star Trek novels and is the author of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. He's known for his work as an editor for Comics Scene, Starlog, and Weekly World News, as well as holding executive positions at both Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

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6 Responses

  1. Christopher Back says:

    What no, episodes of "Centurions", Alvin and Chipmunks", "Challenge of the Go-Bots" or "M.A.S.K."?

    • Chuck Williams says:

      Possibly due to licensing issues of one kind or another, especially with the toy-derived properties. Note that the three toy-related series you named were all syndicated series; the theme for these sets is spotlighting series that (at least originally) aired on broadcast networks in Saturday morning slots (hence the name).In the Chipmunks' case, I believe that Bagdasarian Productions currently licenses DVD rights for classic Chipmunks fare to Paramount. That, together with the CGI/live action film deal with 20th Century Fox, is probably what would keep the Chipmunk 'toon from the 80s out of contention for a Warner Bros. release.

  2. Andrew Collins says:

    I still struggle to figure out why and how Thundarr has never been given a proper DVD release. Especially when I see so much other crap get released on video from the same era. Is it a rights/licensing issue? Or does no one think there's enough interest? I share similar puzzlement over why Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends have never made it to DVD. At least with Muppet Babies, I know there are rights issues over the various movie and music clips they used on the show. (Doesn't make it any easier to accept, but I at least know the reasoning….)

    • Chuck Williams says:

      Amazing Friends (and its companion, the 80s Incredible Hulk 'toon) has been released on DVD….in the UK. Makes me wish I had a region-free DVD player.The hitch for both series getting released here in the states was due to the domestic rights to most of the old Marvel Productions catalog being split off from the rest of Marvel during the bankruptcy years. For a long time, Saban held the DVD rights to everything that wasn't licensed from other media (all the Hasbro toy 'toons that were joint Marvel/Sunbow productions, Muppet Babies, etc.) that was made by Marvel Productions, and Saban and Marvel couldn't agree on a deal to get the shows released stateside.Interestingly enough, the Disney purchase of Marvel has made it more likely that we could see Amazing Friends and The Incredible Hulk on DVD in the U.S. Saban merged with Fox's children's entertainment division, and eventually came under the Fox Family umbrella–which then became ABC Family when Fox sold the whole shebang to Disney. So now with Marvel Entertainment being part of the Disney family, they technically have access to the Marvel Productions catalog again. Maybe we should start a letter-writing campaign to get them released? (Or maybe just save our money for a region-free player and shipping costs to get copies of the UK sets send over here…)

      • Andrew Collins says:

        Sadly, that UK Amazing Friends set is reported to have been just awful. The video quality was suspect and one fansite I read pointed out that almost all of the Stan Lee voiceovers were missing as were the commercial bumpers and other incidental animation bits. I think it's OOP now too. I actually DO have a region-free player, but I decided to pass on the hopes we'd get a proper R1 release of the show. That's a good point about the Marvel/Disney merger. I'd heard that Marvel was anxious to get some of their old cartoons out on DVD, too. I think they've seen the success DC has had with their releases and would love to get some of the action. Hopefully Disney can help them get that wish!

  3. David Nicholson says:

    Can someone tell me a little about the cartoons that I watched in the late 70s that had a narrator telling a story about inventions. I can't remember if they were black and white or color, but the guy would talk in a fairly monotone voice and go through a series of things, for example there would be a toaster and hands would come out of the toaster, grab the toast and bring it in to cook and the guy would be talking about the invention. They would also have a ball that went through a series of things that would trigger something. Like a ball would roll down a tube and fall onto a board and when the ball hits the board, the board would activate sonething else to move. I know I'm not explaining this well, but from this, it should trigger someones memory to help my wife and I figure out what cartoons I'm talking about. They were crudely drawn, but we loved them. Thanks for anybody's help.