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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $26.98
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 352 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
Featurettes
Bonus Cartoon







The Pitch

Warner Brothers tries previous marketing strategy on Generation X. 

The Humans

Daws Butler, Mel Blanc, Adam West, Burt Ward, Don Messick and Casey Kasem

The Nutshell

Warner Brothers puts together a rather bizarre pairing of animated shows from the 1970s. There’s the highlights such as Josie and the Pussycats, Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons. But, there’s a hell of a lot of copycat shows such as The Roman Holidays and The Funky Phantom. The decade marked this weird period where original programming was dying off, as the cheap fix shows came to pass. It was a dark time before the rise of cable and discovery of shows that slipped under the radar.


Rotoscoped Asians.


The Lowdown

Saturday Morning Cartoons – 1970s Volume 1 starts with a classic episode from The Jetsons. There’s some debate as to whether or not The Jetsons should be included in a 1970s volume. The show debuted in the 1960s, but didn’t find an audience until syndication during the 1970s. But, how does that qualify it for inclusion here? Was it because the powers that be at Warner Brothers saw how weak this decade was for them?



Yogi wants to Jellystone your Park. See, it’s sexual innuendo. You are supposed to laugh. Why aren’t you laughing? You laugh at other shit. Why not this? This cartoon bear wants to sexually assault. It’s funny! IT’S FUNNY!


The shows on this disc tend to run the gamut. You get the obvious crappy animation from Filmation’s Tarzan and Batman series. Plus, you get rather sharp shows such as Yogi’s Gang, The New Scooby-Doo Movies and Josie and the Pussycats. In regards to the Filmation stuff, there’s a reason why it looks so bad. Warner Brothers might own the characters, but the animation and other leg work was done at Filmation. Filmation would go on to greater prominence in the 1980s with Masters of the Universe and She-Ra using techniques they perfected here. Such techniques as using only three character positions and recycling a shot over and over again until visible damage is shown on the animation cel.


The Dark Knight.


Yogi’s Gang also comes up, as we see the start of the age of spin-offs. This is the point in the late 1970s around ’77 where Hanna/Barbara knew that they had up their game. There were Wacky Races, Laff-A-Lympics, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt and Yogi’s Space Race that would soon follow the same formula. Basically, if one Hanna/Barbara series couldn’t cut it against the newest batch of cartoons, they would cram 64 characters into a show to appeal the rising tide of ADD in American youth. It’s also a rather crappy show that stretches 10 minutes of plot to fit a show that can’t accompany the sheer glut of classic cartoon characters stuffed into the mix. Naturally, children will enjoy it.



ZUR-EN-ARRH!


The fan-favorites will be obvious, but therer’s a lot of special cult shows that should attract some attention. Hell, listen to The Funky Phantom and find out what Mickey Dolenz was doing after The Monkees fell apart. You can even play a drinking game while watching The Roman Holidays. Everytime you spot a recycled animation cel from The Flintstones, you can take a drink. Don’t worry, people. It’s only a twenty-two minute show, so you’ll just pass out. A full season release might kill you, though.


When the rope comes off, the collective pants hit the floor.


The
DVD has decent A/V Quality for a classic release. Naturally, Warner
Brothers puts a disclaimer before the start of the program that
explains how the best materials were salvaged to make the disc and that
the quality might shift. But, there’s only a minimal amount of dirt on
the various cartoons. Hell, it looks a lot better than some of the
recent animation that WB put out on DVD. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a
problem.


The Package

The
DVD
release
is surprisingly strong for what amounts to a classic cartoon sampler. There’s a handful of featurettes on the release that cover Charlie Chan and the Chan Clan plus some material on The Funky Phantom. Basically, they are two featurettes that take about thirty minutes to explain away how much Hanna/Barbara loved to steal from prior successes. If you don’t know that by now, you haven’t paid attention to the last several decades of Saturday Morning animation fare. To round out the package, there’s a quick recap of the shows narrated by Casey Kasem.

8 out of 10