Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top Black Cartoons Of All Time

News One has rated the Top Black Cartoons Of All Time. They have most of the gems except for the animal shows like Hong Kong Phooey and Panthro from the Thundercats. I can get over that but I do have other issues with the list. Maybe I'm old but I don't get how the Mister T show rates higher than the Harlem Globetrotters. And I love the Blokhedz but they were only on the Web and had about three episodes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mister T

Mr. T, the character originated from the A-Team live action show in the 1980's. He has been seen in numerous movies and TV shows. At the height of his fame on A-Team, Mr. T joined the rank of other action heroes such as Chuck Norris, and Rambo. Ruby-Spears created the Mister T television series (They spelled out the word "Mister"). The show aired on NBC for 2 seasons, a total of 30 episodes, from 1983 to 1984.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith has the distinction of being the first African-American female cartoon character on a regular animated television series. She is the third member of the music group Josie and the Pussycats. The group first started as a comic strip in the Archie universe. They weren't a band at first and Valerie wasn't one of the original characters but in 1969 when Josie and Melodie wanted to start a band, they hired Valerie to play the bass. The rest is history...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Muhammad Ali Was The Greatest

I Am The Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali starred the champ himself, animated of course, as an action hero. He and his crew would solve mysteries and bring bad people to justice not unlike most Saturday morning cartoon shows of that time. Muhammad Ali also had the additional challenge of getting his young wards out of trouble as well. The champ did his own voice work and so did his then real-life public relations agent, Frank Bannister.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cornelius Fillmore

Fillmore! was a Disney animated series that centered around African-American Middle School student Cornelius Filmore. The lead character was a reformed juvenile delinquent that was recruited into the school safety patrol and subsequently became it's lead detective. This particular school safety patrol was considerably more active than any real middle school counterpart. Filmore and his partner

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hong Kong Phooey

Penrod Pooch was a mild-mannered Police Station janitor but when injustice abounded, he became Hong Kong Phooey. He was voiced by Scatman Crouthers, who voiced many a cartoon Black man in his time. This Saturday Morning Cartoon ran from 1974 to 1976 for a total of 31 episodes. This cartoon was a comedy and included a laugh track like many Hanna Barbara cartoons. Here's the intro:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Agent J

The Men In Black animated series was based on the first Blockbuster film where the role of Agent J was played by Will Smith. The series continued the story that began in the movie with Agent J, while increasingly capable, still providing much of the comedy as he never quite measured up to Agent K and was often kept out of the loop.  Check out the intro:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Jackson 5ive

The Jackson 5ive was the Saturday morning cartoon series that provided a fictionalized story of the career of the Jackson 5: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. It's a bit of a shame that none of them were actually in it. In the shows opening the faces of the Jackson 5 are morphed into cartoons but they did not provide the voices of the characters or contribute to the show in any way. Their music was used as well as some concert footage but that was it. It didn't matter anyway because the show was a hit. It aired for two seasons from September 1971 to September 1973. Here's the intro:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Harlem Globetrotters

The first Harlem Globetrotters series called "Harlem Globe Trotters" debuted in September 1970 and ran through September 1972. It has the distinction of being the first Saturday morning cartoon that featured African-American male characters. The animated cast featured George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Freddie "Curly" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, J.C. "Gip" Gipson, Bobby Joe Mason, and Pablo Robertson. Also included in the show was Granny (who drove the bus and kept them in line), and Dribbles the dog. Check out the funky opening sequence: