Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Lone Ranger (1966)

Last time, we presented to you an episode of the 1966 Lone Ranger animated series. Working backwards a wee bit this time, we present the long open, narrated by Marvin Miller (who would be the voice of Aquaman a year later), uploaded by superherocartoonsite to YouTube:

As was the custom in those days, there were three segments to each show, including a Tonto solo story in the middle. Those shorts, unfortunately, are no longer available on YouTube as of press time. As noted before, Michael Rye was the voice of the Ranger, with Shep Menkin (Clyde Crashcup on The Alvin Show) as Tonto. One season's worth of episodes was made, and replayed over the course of three seasons (1966-69).

In 1980, Filmation acquired the license to produce a new set of Lone Ranger cartoons, this time with radio & television veteran William Conrad, the narrator of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, serving as both the show's announcer and as the voice of the Ranger (billed as "J. Darnoc", Darnoc being Conrad spelled backwards). This incarnation lasted two seasons. Matiulita uploaded the open to this version:

The next season, when Zorro was shoehorned into a 1 hour block with the Ranger and Tarzan, the episodes were edited down due to time constraints. Oh, Filmation could've gotten Rye, who was over at Hanna-Barbera by then, working on Super Friends, but opted for some star power by hiring Conrad, who'd just finished a run in the prime-time drama, Cannon, some time before.

Rating: B for the 1966 series, A for the 1980 series.

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