Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Animated World of DC Comics: Super Friends (1973)

Super Friends was the centerpiece of ABC's 1973-74 Saturday morning lineup, bumping the Saturday Superstar Movie down to 12 noon (ET). As we all know, the series would become an iconic franchise, even though the initial series was cancelled after 1 season.

Now, wait a minute, you're probably saying. It did last 13 years, didn't it? Yes, it did. After the initial cancellation, Super Friends was brought back again and again as a mid-season replacement the next three seasons. During that time, DC launched a companion comic book series, which lasted 47 issues before ending in 1981. It was in the comic book that Wendy (Sherry Alberoni, Josie & the Pussycats) and Marvin (Frank Welker), along with Wonder Dog (Welker again) were written out in favor of the Wonder Twins, whom you've already seen in a couple of shorts previously posted here. ABC & Hanna-Barbera relaunched the franchise in 1977 for a 9 year run.

Some of the episodes from the 1973 series, if not all of them, were produced in Australia, which might explain why the entire cast had to play multiple roles. Ted Knight (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was the narrator, the only time Knight was associated with the franchise, as Bill Woodson replaced him in 1977. Fans have their favorite series, be it the original or the 1978 Challenge series that introduced the Legion of Doom, or any other incarnation.

Here's the open everyone knows.

Too bad Cartoon Network & Boomerang don't have the rights to air the series anymore, but it is available on DVD.

Rating: B.

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