Saturday Morning Cartoons

August 11, 2020 · CLASSMATES FUN

When a lot of us were kids, our parents may not have always liked our Saturday morning plans, but the hours we spent watching our favorite weekend cartoons is what we looked forward to all week.

Although the morning time slot of children’s tv shows began sometime in the early 1950s, the popularity of these cartoons peaked in the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s, before it started to decline. Since then, networks airing weekend morning shows began to regulate the line-up and present more educational programming through mandates put in place by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Nonetheless, we look back fondly at our favorite childhood escape, even if we only had a few hours until our parents made us start our weekend chores.

Here are some of our favorite Saturday morning cartoons.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (Original Version: 1969-1970)

A group of teenagers (Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Shaggy Rogers) and their anthropomorphic Great Dane named Scooby Doo travel in their “Mystery Machine” (a decked-out van) solving mysteries. The show was originally produced by Hanna-Barbera for CBS.

1969 theme song.

Mighty Mouse Playhouse (Original Version: 1955-1967)/Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle (Remake: 1979-1980)

Created by Terrytoons, the Mighty Mouse character is an anthropomorphic superhero who gains power by eating a bite of cheese. He originally appeared in theatrical shorts in the 1940s until he debuted on his own television show in 1955 when Terrytoons sold the character to CBS.

1955 theme song.

The Gumby Show (Original Version: 1957-1969)/Gumby Adventures (Remake: 1987-1989)

Created by Art Clokey, Gumby is a humanoid made out of clay and is a popular example of stop-motion clay animation. He travels through different environments and various times in history with his sidekick Pokey, a talking red pony. The show originally aired on NBC.

1967 theme song.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Original Version: 1987-1996)

Although originally a comic book with a cult following, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (shortened to TMNJ) transitioned into a television show, which started a worldwide phenomenon of movies, toys, video games, and more. The story follows four turtles (Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael) who are accidentally dropped into a sewer system, causing them to become mutant humanoids, who then train in the art of ninjutsu.

1987 theme song.

The Bugs Bunny Show (Saturday Morning Version: 1962-1985)

There have been many iterations of Looney Tunes, but The Bugs Bunny Show is credited for maintaining the characters’ popularity by playing in syndication the original Warner Bros. cartoons that aired from 1948 and on. The show’s title, length, lineup, and cable channel (it’s aired on both CBS and ABC) have changed over the years, but when it moved to Saturday mornings in 1962, it remained there for nearly four decades.

1960 prime time theme song.

The Animaniacs (1993-1998)

The Animaniacs is a cartoon variety show much like Looney Tunes, except it’s a musical that features educational songs. Its main characters are the three Warner siblings (Yakko, Wakko, and Dot), who are locked in the water tower of the Warner Bros. studio lot in order to stay out of trouble. However, they always escape and wreak havoc around the movie studio, interacting with celebrities and other famous figures of the past and present. Some of the characters who appear in the short skits are the lab rats Pinky and the Brain (whose popularity spawned their own spin-off show), Slappy Squirrel, and Dr. Otto Scratchansniff.

Original theme song.

The Smurfs (1981-1989)

The Smurfs is an animated fantasy-comedy based on a Belgian comic series that originally was produced by Hanna-Barbera for NBC. The show became one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons in history and was a major success for the network, generating seven television specials and a series of computer animated movies. The characters include Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf, the evil Gargamel, his cat Azrael, and Johan and his friend Peewit.

Original theme song.


Below are even more cartoons to reminisce on. Which other ones would you add to this list?

Popeye the Sailor (1960-1963)/The All New Popeye Hour (1978-1983)

1978 theme song.

Tom and Jerry (Original Version: 1940-1967)/The Tom and Jerry Show (Remake: 1975)

1975 theme song.

The Yogi Bear Show (Original Version: 1961-1962)

1961 theme song.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

Original theme song.

Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983-1987)

1983 theme song.

 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1959-1964)

Original theme song.