TVShowsOnDVD.com has an interesting blurb up that I think will appeal to people like the real Sam Johnson hissownself, touting two DVD sets forthcoming from Warner Home Video May 19th. The collections are Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1960’s Volume 1 and Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1970’s Volume 1; both sets will contain a potpourri of favorites from those halcyon days of “Ferchrissake, it’s 6 in the a.m.! Don’t tell me that kid is up already…”
Of the two sets, the first is probably of the most interest (to myself anyway, your mileage may vary) even though much of the material has been previously released. Let’s take a gander at some of the content:
Top Cat – “Hawaii, Here We Come”
Atom Ant – “Up & Atom”
Quick Draw McGraw – “Scarie Prairie”
Wally Gator – “Droopy Dragon”
Secret Squirrel – “Sub Swiper”
The Porky Pig Show – “Often an Orphan”/”Mice Follies”/”The Super Snooper”
The Bugs Bunny Show – “Rabbit Every Monday”/”A Mouse Divided”/”Tree for Two”
The Jetsons – “Rosey the Robot”
Marine Boy – “The Green Monsters”
Space Ghost and Dino Boy – “The Heat Thing”/”The Worm People”/”Zorak”
Top Cat – “The Majarajah of Pookerjee”
Tom & Jerry Show – “No Way, Stowaways”/”The Ski Bunny”/”Stay Awake or Else…”
Quick Draw McGraw – “Bad Guys Disguise”
The Bugs Bunny Show – “Puddy Tat Trouble”/”Wise Quackers”/”Speedy Gonzales”
Magilla Gorilla – “Big Game”
Okay, the Top Cat episodes are already on DVD, as well as Magilla Gorilla, The Jetsons and Space Ghost/Dino Boy material. There was talk sometime back about releasing the Quick Draw McGraw and Wally Gator cartoons to disc but those projects were scotched because of copyright issues (there were also reports that the material they had to work with was not up to snuff). I’d consider a purchase of this set if I knew for certain they were going to include the opening title sequences (something they did not do for Magilla, which is why it’s the crappy box set it is); those people inside my inner circle of friends know that I’ll sing the Quick Draw McGraw theme song at the drop of a hat.
The Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel cartoons are new to DVD, and I have to be honest with you—I’ve never even heard of Marine Boy. But I’d really like to have the Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny shows—again, on the proviso that they give us the full Monty with regards to opening/closing credits (“Who’s our favorite TV star/Who comes on with a wham…”). Incidentally, the Tom & Jerry show that’s listed here is not the 1960s version but an episode of the 1970s revival series produced by Hanna-Barbera (a dismal affair, though it did give us the Great Grape Ape)…and to be honest, if they’re going to mislabel this as a 1960s program that doesn’t bode well for the previous “wishlist” items I’ve mentioned.
On to the 1970s set—which has the fact that a lot of its material is new-to-DVD going for it:
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour – “Bewitched Bunny”/”Robin Hood Daffy”/”Tweety and the Beanstalk”
Scooby’s All Star Laff-a-Lympics Hour – “Quebec & Baghdad”
The Jetsons – “The Space Car”/”The Coming of Astro”
The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour – “The Pest”/”Tarzan and the City of Gold”
The Jetsons – “The Good Little Scouts”
The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan – “Scotland Yard”
The Flintstones – “Hot Lips Hannigan”
Roman Holidays – “Double Date”
Josie & the Pussycats in Outer Space – “The Nemo’s a No-No Affair”
The Flintstones Comedy Hour – “The Suitor Computer”/”Yabba Dabba Doosie”/”It Should Always Be a Saturday”
Funky Phantom – “Don’t Fool With a Phantom”
The first two shows are listed as hours even though they’re only thirty minutes each (I’m old enough to remember when the Bugs/Road Runner program really was an hour) and the Jetsons/Flintstones material has been, as mentioned, previously released on other sets (with the exception of The Flintstones Comedy Hour segments). I’m not certain if they ever released the Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle cartoon series to DVD but I know the Batman episode of The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour has been; I never cared much for the Batman animated series but I thought Tarzan was surprisingly good…and unusually mature for its target audience.
I’d love for Warner Home Video to release all the Laff-a-Lympics shows on a DVD set (naturally, a person my age always rooted for the Yogi Yahooeys)—but as for the others here I don’t think there’s any pressing need (though we welcome all dissenters). The Chan series wasn’t bad (an awful lot like Scooby-Doo, though…and Jodie Foster voiced one of the characters) but Phantom was pretty dumb (Micky Dolenz participated, and Daws Butler got the opportunity to revise his Bert Lahr/Snagglepuss voice) and as far as Roman Holidays goes even the talented cast (Butler, Dave Willock, Stanley Livingston, Janet Waldo, Shirley Mitchell, Hal Smith and Pamelyn Ferdin) can’t make anything of that turkey.