Kid Power

Kid Power

In 1965, cartoonist Morrie Turner introduced his popular newspaper comic strip, Wee Pals, which focused on a collection of multicultural kids called “The Rainbow Club.” And, although a portion of society was a wee bit uncomfortable with the socially conscious subject matter at the time, it was hard to deny that the cartoon was, above all, funny – funny enough, in fact, to lead ABC to base a Saturday morning animated series on the comic strip called Kid Power.

Debuting in 1972, Kid Power featured an assortment of multi-ethnic tykes known as the Wee Pals who were forced to deal with such weighty moral issues as prejudice and awareness of the environment, and by doing so, learned to get along in the world together despite their differences.

The memorable members of The Rainbow Club ran the spectrum of diversity. Oliver was the overweight, bespectacled nerd, Diz was African American and blind, Connie was the feminist of the group, Paul was Hispanic and Rocky was a Native-American. Other assorted characters included George, Wellington, Paul and the antagonist and bully of the group, Ralph. And, as no group such as this would be complete without an animal sidekick or two, there was the frisky dog General Lee and a parrot named Polly.

Considering the era, it is no surprise that the series employed a number of pseudo-psychedelic musical sequences ala Yellow Submarine – in essence, using the power of music as the unifying force that keeps everyone together.

Created by the team of Rankin/Bass, best known for their classic Christmas specials such as Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Kid Power would act as a precursor to other multicultural children’s programming such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and Sesame Street.

And, while the series would only produce a mere 17 episodes, lasting for two seasons, the culturally-colorful kids remained syndicated in over 100 newspapers until 2014, when Morrie Turner passed away at the age of 90. His message of diversity through his artistic medium never swayed, and Kid Power serves as a reminder of a man who did his part to remind us that, despite our perceived differences, we are really all the same.

If you remember watching Kid Power on television in the 70s, or are a fan of the Wee Pals comic strip, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your recollections within our comments section, as we tip our hats to the timeless work of a master cartoonist.

One Response to “Kid Power”

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  1. 12th Man says:

    It’s time that Kid Power was out on DVD. Furthermore, it’s time that the Wee Pals were given the Big Screen treatment in which they would be given a live action motion picture.

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