Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Birdman (1967)

Today's fans only know about Birdman as the ambulance-chasing Harvey Birdman, Attorney-At-Law, who appeared on Cartoon Network's [adult swim]. However, before he began wearing a 3-piece suit over his costume, Birdman soared into action on NBC in 1967, with the Galaxy Trio as a backup feature.

While his 21st century doppleganger was killed off several months back, now, I think, would be a good time to bring back the true Birdman. That is, assuming WB has enough stones to take a chance. Actor Keith Andes provided the voice of Birdman, seemingly his only cartoon credit.

Here's Birdman battling "X The Eliminator":

Birdman had only one season's worth of episodes, which played on until the end of 1968, at which point, the series was cancelled to make room for The Storybook Squares. From time to time, episodes will resurface on Boomerang, just to keep the Solar Sentinel in the public eye, and remind fans of what he was before the idiots at [adult swim] got their hands on him.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

Some toons don't age well and Birdan is one of them - if only because the stories are so corny when viewed by a grown up's eyes.

But ask my 7 year old self and he was right up there with Space Ghost and Batman as one of the greatest heroes TV had to offer!

While viewing clips recently, I fell in love with Birdman once more during the episode in which Avenger, his bird companion was being held for ransom. Birdman was ordered by the villian to steal top secret US intelligence documents. He pretends to do so, substituting fake documents for the real deal, saving his friend. After all is said and done, Birdman tells the generals at the Pentagon, that for all that Avenger means to him, he would never have gone through with betraying his own country.

Believe it or not, in a politically correct climate that we have been subjected to in recent years, it was so inspiring to hear this even in a kid's cartoon!

hobbyfan said...

You know, I am weighing my options about writing an essay blasting Cartoon Network for the lack of respect accorded to the classic characters. If that happens, it'll start with Birdman, whom I feel was totally miscast as a lawyer.....