Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Getting Schooled: The Flying House (1982)

When one thinks of the Japanese anime imported to the US in the 80's, one thinks immediately of Voltron or Star Blazers, a pair of serialized action anime that redefined the action cartoon, and introduced the idea of continuity into the genre.

However, before either one of those series reached our shores, Tatsunoko Productions of Japan, which was responsible for Speed Racer in the 60's, created an anime for younger viewers that would serve as a teaching tool at, say, a Vacation Bible School.

The Flying House lasted just 1 year total, 52 weekly episodes, from 1982-3, and was imported to the US for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, coupled with Superbook, which we'll review another time. Today, the series' cable rights are held by Trinity Broadcasting and Smile of a Child, a children's network not as readily available as TBN is.

The plot sees three kids playing a game of hide and seek in a wooded area before a storm hits. They then encounter a scientist and his robot aide, whose house is really a time machine. The robot goes berserk, and the five are sent back to Biblical times. This series was rare in that it had both a beginning and an ending, as the kids were brought back to their own time in the series finale.

I never watched this show, so I cannot rate it fairly. Ion T provides a sample clip:


magicdog said...

I remember "Flying House" and "Superbook".

Just like the literary toons of old, there should be at least one studio looking to animate Biblical stories again. I remember Hanna Barbera did that back in the late 70s/early 80s although I think most of those ended up on tape and distributed to churches. I remember there was a round table discussion at the time claiming those cartoons were rather violent due to seeing scenes like Goliath being slain by David!

Kudos to the producers of Flying House to have a beginning and a definitive ending. The animation wasn't the greatest and the dubbing a little off but it was likeable and of course viewers got to see bits of the bible come to life.

hobbyfan said...

H-B did a direct-to-video series, The Greatest Adventure: Stories From the Bible, which was released between 1985-93. It was similar to Flying House, except that the kids on the show went through some portal that took them back to Biblical times.