Saturday morning cartoons are over

obeygiant

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It’s the end of an era. Vortexx, the last bastion of the Saturday morning cartoons on network television in America, signed off today. Vortexx’s contract with CW ended this morning, September 27, 2014. Saturday morning cartoons have ended.

Most networks had moved away from Saturday morning cartoons because kids were finding their entertainment elsewhere. The internet and cable channels had apparently become too much for the networks to compete with.

Were they really though? If you look at the lineup of Vortexx it was mostly Japanese style cartoons similar to Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Dragon Ball Z. While these cartoons are certainly strong franchises with lots of companion games and toys, they aren’t very accessible to younger kids or girls. I’m not saying a girl can’t love Pokemon, I’m just pointing out that the vast majority of the fans are boys.

The common ground cartoon, such as the Smurfs or Doug hasn’t had a presence on Saturday mornings in a long time. Cartoons like the Smurfs and Doug weren’t filled with high drama to be sure, but they were fun and could be enjoyed by a large range of kids.

I fell in love with animation by watching Saturday morning cartoons. I know that it’s easier to watch cartoons on Netflix, I mean there are no commercials and you can watch whenever you want. Still I will miss Saturday morning cartoons. RIP Bugs.
link

Here is the show schedule for 1979-1990 on Saturdays. Stroll down memory lane. :)
 

Jessica Lares

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Pretty much every network blew it with the anime. They totally forgot about the actual audience they were targeting. Those of us who were into Pokemon wanted none of that.

They missed a lot of deals that could have been made with the big studios because they continued to throw their money away into a genre that wasn't sustainable.

Watched a lot of cartoons back in the 90's too. Cartoon Network at 3AM was better than any other time of the day though (they used to show most of that on the list from 1AM to 10AM!). :D So were morning cartoons.
 

dXTC

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Ah, the halcyon days of Saturday morning kids' TV. Superfriends was my fave, followed closely by Bugs Bunny/Road Runner and just about any of the Krofft productions-- Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, anyone?



My entertainment options shifted towards video games and music right around 1980. By the time The Smurfs debuted, I had lost interest in the genre.

/Get off my lawn! :D

EDIT: I do remember enjoying Pee-Wee's Playhouse occasionally for the outlandish camp factor in my teen years.
 
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talmy

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The only reason for Saturday morning cartoons was so that Mom and Dad could "sleep in" in the morning. :)
 

Tomorrow

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obeygiant;19934828[url="http://www.inthe80s.com/saturdays.shtml" said:
Here[/url] is the show schedule for 1979-1990 on Saturdays. Stroll down memory lane. :)
Little bit after my time. Wish I could find one for the 70's.
 

rdowns

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Little bit after my time. Wish I could find one for the 70's.
I hear that. That's when cartoons were good. My brother and I would get up at 5 and watch cartoons until noon followed by an Abbott & Costello show and then a Bowery Boys movie. Of course that was during the winter. In warmer weather, we'd be outside after breakfast.
 

sodapop1

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Not surprising at all, back then broadcast TV on Saturday morning was really the only way to catch cartoons. Now you have dedicated 24 by 7 cartoon networks along with content on demand.
 

bradl

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Not surprising at all, back then broadcast TV on Saturday morning was really the only way to catch cartoons. Now you have dedicated 24 by 7 cartoon networks along with content on demand.
But even then, the content really isn't that good.

Anywho, with the Vortex leaving, that is it period. Everyone saw the writing on the wall when NBC dropped the Smurfs, and I want to say that it was from a 15 year deal for those (it was mid-90s when the Smurfs went off the air).

But what's sadder, is that out of everything on the 80s site, the only ones you can not find any where that isn't bootleg, is Mighty Orbots. Thanks to Tonka's lawsuit with the show's creators, it only lasted 13 episodes (serendipitous for that, as Tonka's GoBots fell to Transformers). I've been looking for those episodes everywhere, and can't find them.

Everything else from then, I can find, including Blackstar (one of Lou Scheimer's best work before He-Man/She-Ra).

Also note that they don't have any of the independent channels there (this only caught the major networks). The one where I grew up had GI Joe playing on Saturday morning prior to it going to daily rotation, Jem and the Holograms, Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Paw-Paws, Galtar and the Golden Lance),

As for the 70s, weren't Devlin and Jana of the Jungle on Saturdays? I may have been 5 or 6 when they were on USA, but I'll happily admit Jana was my second childhood crush, behind Firestar! :eek:

Back on Topic, I better complete my Yugioh DVD collection fast, as I already missed out on Cardcaptors.

BL.
 

obeygiant

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EDIT: I do remember enjoying Pee-Wee's Playhouse occasionally for the outlandish camp factor in my teen years.
I thought that show was hysterical! Especially the special word of the day, and they'd pick common words like "door" and everybody would scream. So absurd.
 

SactoGuy18

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Essentially, the days of over-air Saturday morning cartoons have come to an end.

But then, such cartoons have pretty moved over to Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney XD--all the newest cartoons are now shown there, often with new episodes shown Saturday mornings. Another factor is that Americans have discovered Japanese anime, where many the latest shows are now streamed legally to US viewers on their computers, tablet computers and even streaming video boxes through services such as Crunchyroll and Funimation's streaming service.
 

bradl

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Essentially, the days of over-air Saturday morning cartoons have come to an end.

But then, such cartoons have pretty moved over to Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney XD--all the newest cartoons are now shown there, often with new episodes shown Saturday mornings. Another factor is that Americans have discovered Japanese anime, where many the latest shows are now streamed legally to US viewers on their computers, tablet computers and even streaming video boxes through services such as Crunchyroll and Funimation's streaming service.
We discovered Japanese anime back in 1983/1984 with Robotech, Voltron, GaiKing, Tranzor-Z, and Mighty Orbots.

Though you are correct with cartoons moving to CN, Nick and Disney

At least PBS still keeps some of their educational cartoons on Sunday mornings, like Curious George, Peg + Cat, Wild Kratts, and Dinosaur Train.

In short, not all 'toons have to result in blowing stuff up. :)

BL.
 

Southern Dad

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The reason that the Saturday morning cartoons and shows were so successful was because they were only on, on Saturday. Now, we have how many channels of cartoons? I know in my house the television is usually on Nick, Disney or Cartoon Network (each having multiple channels). We had only 3 - 5 channels back then. Usually three on the VHF and a couple on the UHF that you could get when the weather was right.

Remember Shazam and Isis? (Not the ISIS in the news now, kids)
 

bradl

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The reason that the Saturday morning cartoons and shows were so successful was because they were only on, on Saturday. Now, we have how many channels of cartoons? I know in my house the television is usually on Nick, Disney or Cartoon Network (each having multiple channels). We had only 3 - 5 channels back then. Usually three on the VHF and a couple on the UHF that you could get when the weather was right.

Remember Shazam and Isis? (Not the ISIS in the news now, kids)
Of course. Those I believe were just put out by the Shout Factory on DVD, and I only caught Shazam when they coupled it with Hero high to call the show The Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam!. You could call it my introduction to superheroes, because Superfriends didn't do it for me, and I was convinced by a childhood friend to not turn it to Bugs Bunny/Road Runner one day, and caught SpiderMan and his Amazing Friends. That started that crush on Firestar. :p

BL.
 

bradl

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I feel old.
I feel young.

To be able to watch these again, and sit down and watch some of these with my children,then running outside and playing with them reminds me of exactly what I did back then: running outside and playing, imagining I was Shazam, Captain Marvel, or Sunfire.

Makes me feel youthful again, with a mind as free, clear, and innocent as a young child.

BL.
 

Liberty.

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I'll never have children, but I'm glad you're doing what you do. Many parents still park their kids in front of the TV and let them watch crap all day. You let them watch quality content and encourage them to outside-activities as well.
 

bradl

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I'll never have children, but I'm glad you're doing what you do. Many parents still park their kids in front of the TV and let them watch crap all day. You let them watch quality content and encourage them to outside-activities as well.
Thanks!

As much as I thought it was completely lame back then, I never can appreciate PBS enough. Now, granted that Nickelodeon was actually really good and educational back in the day (read: 1981-1986), it really fell off the boat around the 1988-1989 timeframe and never really regained what made it really great (and yes, that is despite Nick News, Rugrats, and Ren and Stimpy). They lost it when they lost it for kids and catered to the tweens.

Right now, the best thing I've seen on that channel (outside the fact that they bought the rights to Yu-Gi-Oh) is Team Umizoomi. At least they are teaching math skills on that show (patterns, shapes, pattern matching).

Other than that, sugar-coated ADHD fodder.

PBS however.. that's all I have to say. We grew up on Mr. Rogers; our children are growing up on his legacy show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Sesame Street is still going (and they're close to hitting episode 5000).

You want to feel old? here you go. From the late 1960s to today, the following cartoons have one thing in common: Scooby Doo, Jabberjaw, Dynomutt, Fangface, SuperFriends, Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Ducktales, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, The Garfield Show, Superfriends, and Curious George.

That link: Frank Welker. He voices Fred, Jabberjaw, Dynomutt, Fangface, Mister Mxyzptlk, Darkseid, Kalibak, Dr. Claw, Ray Stantz, Slimer, Ralph the Guard, Dr. Jeremiah Surd, Bubba the Caveduck, Garfield, and George himself...

But you'll know him as Megatron, Soundwave, Skywarp, Mixmaster, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, Ratbat, Mirage, Trailbreaker, Chromedome Sludge, Wheelie, and Galvatron from Transformers.

And he played those in the movies as well. So think about it.. 50 years of this guy's voice over how many shows you sat down glued to the TV for 30 minutes or more per day..

And don't even get me onto Peter Cullen. :D

BL.
 

dXTC

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That link: Frank Welker. He voices Fred, Jabberjaw, Dynomutt, Fangface, Mister Mxyzptlk, Darkseid, Kalibak, Dr. Claw, Ray Stantz, Slimer, Ralph the Guard, Dr. Jeremiah Surd, Bubba the Caveduck, Garfield, and George himself...
Good thing he didn't provide voices for Warner Bros. back in the day, or he'd probably be uncredited for much of that earlier work. There's no telling how much Looney Tunes material June Foray did incognito for WB (including my avatar's voice, coincidentally) thanks to Mel Blanc's contract.
 

bradl

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Good thing he didn't provide voices for Warner Bros. back in the day, or he'd probably be uncredited for much of that earlier work. There's no telling how much Looney Tunes material June Foray did incognito for WB (including my avatar's voice, coincidentally) thanks to Mel Blanc's contract.
Funny you should bring that up.

Netflix has a documentary in their catalog now, called I Know That Voice!. They talk in depth about voice-over actors, that it takes for them to do their job, how they actually look out for eachother (instead of typical Hollywood dog-eat-dog), and give eachother credit for the work they do. They interview Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, My Little Pony), Jess Harnell (Wakko Warner), John Dimaggio (Bender, and probably the funniest Black/White guy you'll ever hear), Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner), Rachel MacFarlane, and many others.

Anyway, they talk to one of the actresses who worked with Blanc back then, and how the accreditation she received from it (I believe she went on to play Judy Jetson). It's actually really cool, especially how DiMaggio does a live reading with 3 other guys as a group of old Black guys sitting around. It's hilarious!

Worth watching.

BL.
 

sodapop1

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Funny you should bring that up.

Netflix has a documentary in their catalog now, called I Know That Voice!. They talk in depth about voice-over actors, that it takes for them to do their job, how they actually look out for eachother (instead of typical Hollywood dog-eat-dog), and give eachother credit for the work they do. They interview Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, My Little Pony), Jess Harnell (Wakko Warner), John Dimaggio (Bender, and probably the funniest Black/White guy you'll ever hear), Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner), Rachel MacFarlane, and many others.

Anyway, they talk to one of the actresses who worked with Blanc back then, and how the accreditation she received from it (I believe she went on to play Judy Jetson). It's actually really cool, especially how DiMaggio does a live reading with 3 other guys as a group of old Black guys sitting around. It's hilarious!

Worth watching.

BL.
Yes, I rented that documentary on my Apple TV and had high expectations but I found it to be quite boring. I kept nodding off and I think I only got half way through it and never finished watching the rest of it. IMO, it would have been much better if they had focused more on the "voices" and less on what it takes for the people behind the voice to do the voice.
 

dXTC

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H.R. Pufnstuf forever!! "Can't do a little cause he can't do enough."
Sid & Marty Krofft were the "Kings of Saturday Morning" in the 70s, weren't they? H.R., Land of the Lost, Bugaloos, Banana Splits, Lidsville, and the aforementioned Electra Woman-- all Krofft productions. They later produced Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, a prime-time country music variety show that gave Hee Haw some friendly competition for rural viewers.
 
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