What’s the point of waking up on the weekend, turning on the TV and being forced to face the realities of the world or be educated? Isn’t that what Monday mornings are for? A brain needs to slowly warm up on a Saturday morning. If you barely survived Friday night you need assistance. Mindless fun cartoons are necessities for a proper recovery treatment along with orange juice and a box of Trix. Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 2 is the perfect remedy with a sampling of shows from the vaults of Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers.
Quick Draw McGraw Show combined the western law horse with two other short series. “Mine Your Manners” has Quick Draw and his burro sidekick Baba Looey hired to get a skunk out of a goldmine. They hire a dog to do the dirty work. “Person to Prison” Snooper and Blabber, a cat and mouse detective duo. They don’t try to eat each other. They get hired to go undercover in Sing-Song to bust a breakout artist. “Vacation Tripped” sends Augie Doggie and his dad to Mars for a hunting trip. Space Kidettes/Young Samson & Goliath is a mixed bag. Space Kidettes is an extremely annoying cartoon about a pack of little munckins floating around the universe. The brats torment a bearded space pirate called Captain Skyhook. Even as a small child, I rooted for the Captain to hack these cute kidettes up and feed them to intergalactic sharks. “Space Heroes” did not change my mind. Young Samson & Goliath lets a kid and his dog transform into the legendary Greek hero and a mighty lion. “The SSX-19″ has terrorists stealing a top secret plane.
Bugs Bunny Show gives the classic “Overture” introduction with Bugs and Daffy singing on stage. There’s three classic cartoons on the show: “Big House Bunny,” “Canned Feud” and “Home Tweet Home.” The Porky Pig Show also gives us more Looney Tunes action. “Scaredy Cat” has Porky and Sylvester in a haunted hotel. Porkey doesn’t notice while Sylvester loses a few lives. “Baton Bunny” features Bugs conducting an orchestra and fighting off distractions. “Feather Dusted” lets Foghorn Leghorn instruct Egghead Jr. how to play kiddie games. Adventures of Young Gulliver‘s “Dangerous Journey” launches the series. Turns out Gulliver’s son is looking for dad in the land of Lilliput. This is not based on the novel. Do not use it for a book report.
The Wally Gator Show was actually called The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series, but nobody will correct you for not remembering that generic title. Everybody loves Wally Gator. His “ Droopy Dragon” episode has him being chased by a rich millionaire who thinks he’s the mythical beast. “Whale of a Tale” enlists the cavalier Touche Turtle into the hunt for Moby Dick. This is also not part of the novel. Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har wash up on an island and get chased by a privacy pirate. The Jetsons‘ “Elroy’s Mob” has the son end up running with bank robbers. How could he go bad? A classmate scammed him and his family doesn’t believe it. That’s why he embraces a life of crime.
There’s another installment of Quick Draw McGraw Show. From Quick Draw comes his alter ego in “The Mark of El Kabong.” Snooper and Blabber get spooked in “Chilly Chiller.” This is a favorite since it features The Gruesomes before they were retooled for The Flintstones. Augie Doggie gets dumped in “Party Pooper Pop.” Peter Potamus Show opens with a visit to the Wild West in “Wagon Train Strain.” Can a Hippo make peace with Indians? The polar duo of Breezly and Sneezly distract the camp in “Missle Fizzle.” Yippie, Yappie, Yahooey are a dog three musketeers that sword fight with “Black Bart.”
The Road Runner Show is all about the chase. “Zip and Snort” The Jet Cage/The Wild Chase pits the Road Runner against Speedy Gonzales. But the Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester keep putting up deadly roadblocks. Atom Ant Show kicks up the action with “Atom Ant Meets Karate Ant.” Precious Pupp heads into the gutter in “Bowling Pinned.” Hillbilly Bears hang with other hillbilly bears in “Picnic Panicked.” Tom & Jerry Show packages up the theatrical cartoons “Saltwater Tabby,” “Mutts About Racing” and “Just Ducky.” The Magilla Gorilla Show includes the theme song that’s missing from the DVD set. The ape joins the army in “Private Magilla.” Punkin Puss and Mushmouse battle with heavy equipment in “Army Nervy Game.” Ricochet Rabbit goes Hollywood in “TV Show.” It predicts the cheapness of making reality shows.
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 2 gives more focus to the animal shorts than the violent action cartoons that caused parent groups to rebel. The selection of Looney Tunes is welcomed since none of the channels on the cable box care to show them. The inclusion of Space Kidettes reminds us that not everything from the ‘60s needs to be completely revived. This is a fine collection of cartoons that you can stick in the DVD player on those slow Saturdays mornings to let the day start at your pace.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers for various shows vary from sharp transfers made from 35mm prints, rough visions from 16mm and a few that appear lifted off ancient broadcast tapes. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels are good since it’s all recorded in the sound booth. The episodes have English subtitles.
Completely Bananas: The Magilla Gorilla Story (5:15) explores the tale of this ape that couldn’t be sold. Jerry Beck and other experts discuss the history of the series. It brings up the fact that Magilla never seemed to care that he couldn’t be sold and Mr. Peebles wanted to give him away. They show the vintage storyboards.
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 2 is perfect for just slipping into the DVD player when you need a shield yourself from the realities of the outside world. Adventures of Young Gulliver might give you nasty flashbacks to freshman English. There’s plenty of shorts so you won’t have to concentrate on storylines. This isn’t merely a time machine, but an animated brain rejuvenator.
Warner Home Video presents Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume 2. Starring: Bugs Bunny, Magilla Gorilla, Roadrunner and Quick Draw McGraw. Boxset contents: 12 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released on DVD: October 27, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Bugs Bunny, hanna-barbera, looney tunes, Saturday Morning Cartoons