Memories Of Saturday Morning Cartoons

When did you grow up?

Ok let me rephrase that. What decade did you grow up? I understand there are some adults that never truly grew up and that’s ok….sometimes.

I’m a 70′s kid myself. The decade of bell bottoms, super short shorts, knee high socks, butterfly collars, paisleys, feathered hairdos, afros, shag carpet and disco. I’ll be the first to admit something went very very wrong with fashion and style in general starting somewhere in the late 60′s lasting to well into the mid 80′s. Personally I don’t miss the 70′s. Most of the music I could do without, the houses, cars, appliances, furniture, wallpaper it was a complete disaster. It’s simply best left forgotten and never remembered.

Unless we’re talking about Saturday mornings. Now THOSE I miss. One day a week every kid would get up early, tromp into the kitchen for a super sugary bowl of cereal then head to the living room, switch on the television and spend the next six hours of unadulterated bliss, lost in cartoons. Even the commercials were awesome!.

Kids of the last few decades will never appreciate cartoons the way we did. They’ll never look back fondly to that one special day of the week of cartoon memories. Today they have entire channels dedicated to nothing but cartoons 24 hours a day. They can even play toons on demand. Where is the magic in that? What does that leave them to look forward to?

I wish I could remember all of the cartoons and kids shows I loved to watch but I think with anything it’s those that I remember that mattered most. There are always certain ones that have found a special place in my memory and are easily recalled.

Rocky & Bullwinkle Show

That crazy moose Bullwinkle and his fearless flying sidekick Rocky were around before I was and I’m glad they stuck it out long enough to become part of my Saturday ritual. They were always finding ways to outwit Sasha and Boris even though I can’t remember from what?

I simply ADORED Fat Albert and his rag tag gang of Cosby Kids. They had fun, had madcap adventures and always taught a great lesson with each episode. With the help of a young Bill Cosby Fat Albert and the boys taught me lessons for life, dealing with friends, problems and people that. Lessons that stick with me today and even still make me laugh.
However, I never understood that funky pink beenie MushMouth always wore on his head.

Cavey had it made! Lived through the Ice Age, the black plaque, 10,000 years and ended up with three hot chicks. The Geico Cavemen have nothing on him. Captain Caveman was awesome. There was no mystery he and the Teen Angels couldn’t solve. Little did I know 20 years later I would have a kid that was very much like Cavey. Super smart and hyper as a super charged atom.

Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t know about “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons”? These two wacky cracky families were the first introduction to Yin Yang for kids of our generation. You started out with Fred & Wilma in the stone age and it was directly followed by George and Jane in the space age. And it stayed that way for decades. I never remember them playing the other way around.

I bet Fred has some seriously callused feet. The only time I didn’t really care for the Flintstones was when the voice actors changed. Do you remember that? Barney ended up going from a baratone to this wimpy high pitched tone and Betty went all nasally on us. Even Fred dorked out at some point. At least the producers learned and over the years found voice actors who could most closely replicate the original characters.

It simply amazes me how endearing these two shows were that it was inconceivable my own children would be watching them 30 years later.

You may not remember these super heroes. Personally my memory of the show is vague at best but I do remember how much I loved it. There was something that stuck with me so much so, I remember getting this….

Wow!! I remember this lunch box. I can actually recall the smell of my lunch meat sandwiches and chips as they permeated it over the years. Sure we washed it but every day my lunch would sit in there for hours waiting for me, the cool tin walls soaking up the familiar smells like a comfortable blanket. It’s crazy how this thing is seared into my memory. Sad to think it’s in a junk yard somewhere. I wonder if it remembers me?

Talking of heroes the ThunderCats and Transformers were the epitome of awesome! As a little girl I even had my own Transformers. I think at one point you could get them in cereal boxes.

That’s another thing today that doesn’t even come close to resembling the toys of yesterday. Cereal had the coolest toys in the world buried at the bottom of each box. I would dump whole boxes out just to find the treasure buried in the bottom. Everything from bubble-gum record albums to hot wheels. Ah the good old days.

Regardless of all the cartoons about heroes, in the end nothing, I mean nothing, matched the power and pull of  ”The Super Friends”. They were certainly Super! The Wonder Twins could turn into things made of the air and water, Flash was uncatchable, Aquaman could talk to the fishes and breathe underwater, Wonder Woman had an invisible plane and Superman, well he’s what every little girl dreamed of marrying and every little boy dreamed of growing up to be.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, tell me there’s not a parent today that wouldn’t kill to have her rope of truth.

Cartoons weren’t the only thing to watch on Saturday mornings. There were real people shows too. “Shazam” was a total favorite of mine. I just had this thing for Super Heroes.

Then there was “The Land of the Lost” which a lot of people remember. Kookie costumes were totally believable to an eight year old as was the idea of traveling back to the dinosaur age.

No less believable but not so remembered was “Dr. Shrinker”. Am I the only person who remembers this program? I’ve asked so many people over the years and no one recalls this show. I think it was my favorite of all the real shows. I’m surprised I don’t find more people who recall it.

Three teens crash land on the island of  a crazy scientist who has created a shrink ray. Of course he uses it on the kids taking them to six inches tall with the idea they will be his proof his ray works. But even at 1/2 foot tall those crafty kids were too clever for him and always managed to avoid him. Of course never enough to make their way back to the shrink ray to fix their stature problems.

Classic!

Another show I seem to be the only living person who remembers it is The Electric Company. It wasn’t just a Saturday morning cartoon though. I remember watching it right after Sesame Street every day after school in first grade. Sadly Sesame Street endured while the Electric Company faded away to become saved in the vaults of film and TV past. It wasn’t until several years ago that I learned my absolute favorite actor EVER, I mean EVER and still is today the BEST EVER actor, got his start in this show. You may recognize him, the tall one in the back. Yes that’s him…the great, incomparable

Morgan Freeman.

And now to my two most endearing shows of memory. One is a world icon that has managed to survive and live on in infamy for more than 40 years. Scooby-Doo is still on today and to be honest I never tire of watching the old shows with my kiddo or even on my own. There were several spin-offs like “Scooby & Scrappy Doo” and “Scooby Kids” but they couldn’t hold up to the classic. The best mystery solving teen-cats around. Can you remember all their names without searching the internet?

When all is said and done though, at the end of the day, when all the cereal is gone and the sun is high in the sky nothing, nothing, nothing is more dear to my heart than

Schoolhouse Rock. Not even a program but more like learning intermissions between cartoons. Catchy little tunes that taught you something in less that three minutes. Songs for grammar, punctuation, math, science, history, social, studies that were so cleverly written and animated kids didn’t even know they were learning.

Of all the things I watched as a kid, these little shorts are the single most memorable and endearing of them all. So much so I purchased the whole DVD set of them around the time WizKid was born and now he even gets to watch them.

I’m a voracious learner and there is a part of me that feels Schoolhouse Rock was a major reason for that. I don’t find it coincidental the two subjects I love the most also happen to the two subjects of these songs I remember most.
Do I remember the language arts and history songs because they were my favorite subjects or are they my favorite subjects because I remember those songs?

The world may never know.

I have a lot of friends around the globe and am curious if you watched cartoons on Saturdays? What are shows you loved the most as a kid?
What played on the television where you are?

Thanks for letting me reminisce with you. Before you leave I pulled one of my all time gems off YouTube to share with you.

Enjoy.

Thanks for being a noun in my life and a conjunction to my days.

Love Tara

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  • John

    Oh yes. My wife and I, both of whom grew up in the 70′s and 80′s, remember the cartoons, kids shows, commercials, and specials of that era. I truly feel sorry for the youngster these days who seem devoid of actual humor, at least humor that was neither crude or depraved. Cartoons like the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, the SuperFriends, Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, The Pink Panther, Space Ghost, Emergency + 4, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Tom & Jerry, George Of The Jungle, Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle, The Dukes, and so many others allowed for us kids to unwind from school or whatever was happening at the moment, being that they were a form of escapism. Other shows such as Land Of The Lost, Lidsville, Run Joe Run, Space Academy, The Secrets of Isis, The ABC Weekend Special, The CBS Children’s Film Festival, Time For Timer, Schoolhouse Rock, ABC’s Wide World Of Sports, American Bandstand, Soul Train, and In The News, offered us still more variety of entertainment during those Saturday afternoons. Even the commercials were more kid friendly then, from the latest toys, candies, cereals, fast foods, clothing items, to public service announcements, seemed to convey that being a kid was special. If only children today were not forced to grow up so fast, trying to emulate the kinds of perversions they see and hear on a daily basis, what with the extremely graphic talk shows, violent cop-killer rap music lyrics, and the stuff that these obnoxious 15-minutes-of-fame celebrities, tend to spout from their garbage-filled mouths, in a vain attempt to gain some sort of attention, just because they lack real talent. My wife and I both agree, that yes, it is nice to have some of the comforts of modern technology, such as cell phones, computers, smart TV’s, microwave ovens, and more…but that those things cannot compete with freedom from all those annoying calls at all hours of the night to your cell phone, or sifting through thousands of channels continuously on your cable television or satellite TV, simply because there’s nothing truly entertaining on at the moment, or because of the endless infomercials, hyping up the need to your children on the importance of Viagra. You may not have liked the way we dressed, how our hair looked then, or even the music of our generation, but you know that the times for being a kid, was far better then than they are these days. To all of you who missed out on the 70′s and 80′s, you have my sympathy, and for all of you who lived through those times like me and my wife did, all I can say is, stay hip to what’s happening, and keep groovin’ on.

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      Absolutely well said Sgt! The difference in our kids compared to how we grew up is noticeable from their manners and behavior to their physical appearance. As kids we were in better shape because we spent as much time as possible outside playing, our cheeks always flushed with a ruddy glow from either sun exposure or a nipping wind or just running mad from a game of tag. These days kids are over weight and sporting pale sallow complexions from spending so much time indoors glued to computers and video games. I truly truly regret ever buying my son a video game console and if there was a way to go back, undo it and prevent him even having been exposed to it I would have. The more technology advances our lives, the more I long for more simple times.
      Wonderful comment Sgt!

  • DH

    Totally remember Dr. Shrinker! I thought it was a little lame though because even as a pre-teen, the sets and props looked really cheesy. My favorite Saturday morning show was Land of the Lost, especially when they were fooling around in the pylons. And of course I had a huge crush on Billy Batson of Shazam! Such a cutey!!!!

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      LOL they did look cheesy. I think I liked the idea of being really small and hiding from chores.
      I TOTALLY had a crush on Billy too.

      And although it’s not a cartoon I had the biggest crush on Mark Shera from the tv show S.W.A.T. At 7 years old I knew he would be the man I would marry LOLOLOLOLOL

  • http://ravingsofaninsanegamermom.blogspot.com/ Sheila

    Oh, I so remember those wonderful Saturday mornings. That was heaven. It is a shame our kids won’t know that feeling. I remember most of those cartoons you talked about. Dr. Shrink… um.. no, I don’t remember that one. I also remember The Wonderful World of Disney that would come on one evening during the week.
    The Wonder Twins were AWESOME!! My sister and I (being twins) would go around yelling “Wonder twin powers activate!!” and slamming our fists together. We were ready to save the world! LOL
    Great post!!

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      Ok so which twin were you, the water or the one that turned into animals.

  • http://www.simplyreem.com Reem | Simply Reem

    Beautiful post Tara!!
    I still long for those saturday mornings…. So true my kids don’t know what fun it was to wait for a week for the heavenly cartoons….
    Life has now taken the fast lane, with technology everything has become easy but sometime I feel aren’t we going too fast….
    Love your post dear.

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      I couldn’t agree more Reem. It seems we hurry through one thing in order to get to the next and never really take the time to enjoy the moment we are in. I would love to get back to more simple times.

  • http://bethmichelle.com Beth Michelle

    Im an eighties baby myself and I remember many of those cartoons!! Ahh memories. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      Your welcome Beth. They just don’t make cartoons like they used to. Honestly most of the ones on now I don’t let my kids watch.

      Sad.

  • http://www.rockstardad.blog.com Rock Star Dad

    Loved this. I was a child of the eighties and loved GI Joe, He-Man, Transformers, and Thunder Cats. Even had the Thunder Cat’s sword.

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      I watched He-Man up until I graduated high school. LOLOL.

      “I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!”

  • http://cookiejartreats.blogspot.com Becca

    I miss cartoons so much it makes me want to cry at night, seriously! I was born in 1994, so I kinda got the tail end of all the good shows, but I remember them so clearly. I loved watching Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls, Gargoyles, Looney Toons, and so many others. Foster’s Home for Imaginary friends was pretty recent (early 2000s) but it was still an awesome show. But now, TV is filled with sh-junk. I hate all of the cartoon shows now. When I’m an adult with my kids, I’m never allowing them to watch the crap they show on TV; I’m going to buy the DVDs (if any are availible) and make them watch that, because they are classics for a reason!

  • http://www.snackingsquirrel.com Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel

    gahhh these are some of the best. the ones i remember that come to mind were The Power Rangers, Arthur, Rollie Pollie, and The Berenstein Bears <3

  • http://dineanddish.net Kristen

    Oh what a trip down memory lane this was! I miss those cartoon Saturday’s!

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      How about a day off and a box of Lucky Charms Kristen? :) I could use a good Saturday morning cartoon-fest.

  • http://monkeymunchhomeschool.blogspot.com/ Steph

    Great post! I remember those great Saturday mornings! :-) I really loved the Smurfs and I am glad to see that they are making a small comeback. I still have all my Smurf and Strawberry Shortcake (they still smell) figurines that my daughter now plays with.

    My lunchboxes were – Strawberry Shortcake (metal) and then Garfield (yellow plastic). Funny how I can remember the smell exactly!!

    • http://www.thebutterdish.net Tara

      Oh the Smurfs!!! That was a song that sticks in your brain forever! I did notice they were making a come back. They’re so cute and I always wanted one of those mushroom houses.

      My other lunch box was a pink Barbie one that wasn’t metal but this cardboard and soft material. It’s definitely strange how we remember the feel and smell of them Steph. :)