bananasplits

The Banana Splits

Just about every former kid who grew up in the late 60s has fond recollections of The Banana Splits. With a format loosely based upon the popular prime-time show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Banana Splits combined live-action, psychedelic rock music and classic animation, all offered up with a generous helping of both short comedic sketches and lengthier episodic features. Continue reading...

ArkIIFinal

Ark II

When the Saturday morning series Ark II debuted in 1976, it bore little more than a slight resemblance to its biblical counterpart. Sure, there was a post-apocalyptic world and a small group of survivors determined to repopulate the earth. And yes, they had an Ark of sorts, alhtough this one was a tad more advanced than its gopher-wood constructed ancestor. It was more of a high-tech Land Rover on steroids. Missing, however, were the countless pairs of animals - although to their credit, they did have a monkey. Regardless, Ark II made enough of an impression on young tykes in the 70s to stick around for a few years on television, then live on in their collective memories for decades beyond. Continue reading...

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

After years of honing his skills on such characters as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Chuck Jones decided to turn his directorial skills towards his first feature film, The Phantom Tollbooth. Based on the popular 1961 children’s book, written by Norman Juster, the 1970 film combined live-action and animation to weave this fanciful tale, the first animated feature film ever released by Warner Brothers. Continue reading...

The Skatebirds

The Skatebirds

Roller-skating was all the rage in the 70s, and it didn’t take Saturday morning cartoons long to latch on to the fad. The result wasThe Skatebirds, a mixture of live action and animation produced by Hanna-Barbera and first broadcast on CBS in 1977. Continue reading...

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Forget the big-name actors in movies like Grand Hotel, Around the World in 80 Days, Murder on the Orient Express and Mars Attacks! Here's the real all-star cast: Mickey, Bugs, Donald, Daffy, Goofy, Yosemite Sam, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker, Droopy and more, along with a long-eared newcomer named Roger. Who Framed Roger Rabbit not only boasted the most impressive cartoon lineup in movie history, it was a groundbreaking achievement in mixing those toon actors with live-action stars like Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd. It also happened to be more fun than you could shake a portable hole at. Continue reading...

Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost

Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered live-action series to ever grace the Saturday morning airwaves, Land of the Lost stranded a family of modern humans in a prehistoric setting where they had to contend with underdeveloped technology, strange people and of course, a few hungry dinosaurs. The brainchild of iconic children’s show producers, Sid and Marty Krofft, Land of the Lost was far from being just typical campy and kooky Saturday morning fare; it was a well-written and ambitious offering and its continued popularity is a testament to its quality. Continue reading...

The Cat from Outer Space

The Cat from Outer Space

From the director who brought the world such classic Disney films as The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit and The Apple Dumpling Gang, came this cute 1978 comedy about a talking kitty from outer space - a premise not meant to be pondered, just enjoyed. While it didn't quite get (nor deserve) the acclaim of, say, a Mary Poppins, The Cat from Outer Space is still one of those entertaining live-action Disney movies that so many of us flocked to the theaters to see in the 70s. Continue reading...

Pete's Dragon

Pete’s Dragon

With the popularity of films like Mary Poppins and Song of the South, Disney proved that they could successfully mix live-action and animation. For their next such endeavor, they would once again meld the two mediums in 1977 for Pete’s Dragon, a comedic film about a boy and his invisible, fire-breathing friend. Continue reading...