Growing up in the 50s and 60s, one of the joys of the weekend after a grueling week of school, where some teachers seemed more like prison guards than mentors, was the Saturday morning cartoon marathon. These depictions from the hands of the animators flickered across the black and white screens with their mixture of comedy and seriousness.
Casper, The Friendly Ghost may not have been good theology, but it depicted a being in search of a friend and acceptance. Perhaps, the message was that we are all different and we all need friends and acceptance from society.
The Bullwinkle Show featured Rocky, a flying squirrel; Bullwinkle, a moose; Mr. Big, the villain; and the Russian agents Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, who were Mr. Big’s henchmen. This was during the Cold War, and the Russians were the badies, but always so incompetent against an American squirrel and moose.
Underdog was a take-off on Superman. Shoeshine Boy, the meek and mild canine, was stationed in Washington, DC. When he morphed into the mighty Underdog, he would fight the never-ending battle to preserve the American way against mad scientists like Simon Bar Sinister and the mafia-type Riff Raff with his henchmen.
Tennessee Tuxedo was a penguin who lived in the Megalopolis Zoo with his friends, starring his best friend Chumley the walrus. Tennessee Tuxedo was a social activist who wanted his community environment improved for all of its residents, even the ferocious ones. His main ally in this quest was Phineas J. Whoopie, the human educator at the zoo. Size did not matter if you tackled social issues and problems.
The Huckleberry Hound Show featured the Southern-blue hound dog Huckleberry. With his various stints covering different time periods Huckleberry always came out on top against the odds.
The Yogi Bear Show was a spin-off of The Huckleberry Hound Show. Yogi was a bear who roamed Jellystone Park with his sidekick Boo Boo, a small shy bear. Yogi was always hunting for food from the park visitors and Ranger John Smith always knew that when food went missing Yogi was involved. Friendship was the dominant theme.
Quick Draw McGraw was a horse who was a U S Marshall. His sidekick was Baba Looey, a Mexican burro. Baba Looey was the more intelligent one to Quick’s audacious impulsiveness. In addition Quick would don the El Kabong disguise, a comical Zorro with a guitar.
Each of these cartoons had their theme songs. The rousing lyrics added to the excitement just waiting to be watched.
These seven cartoons are just a few of the many which graced the television screens of the 50s and 60s. Many youngsters, who today live and work in the various enterprises of the USA, have fond memories of Saturday mornings when youthful innocence was on constant display.
In a future post, we will look at another seven cartoons from this era.
Question to ponder:
What childhood memories will your children have decades from now?
G. D. Williams © 2013