Cartoon Corner: Super Friends (1973)

Show Name: Super Friends

Producer: Lewis Marshall and lwao Takamoto

Number of Seasons: 9 (over 13 years)

Production Company: Hanna-Barbera Productions and DC Comics

Voice Actors: Danny Dark, Olan Soule, Casey Kasem, Shannon Farnon, Norman Alden, Sherry Alberoni, Frank Welker, Ted Knight and Ted Cassidy

Release Dates: September 8, 1973 – September 6, 1986

 

Introduction

 

I remember watching this show with my brother back in the day. I used to love super hero cartoons. Spider-man, The Incredible Hulk and Super Friends were my fav early on. It would seem that the Super Friends that I remember is later on as I remember it with the Wonder Twins. The episodes from the first season were with Wonder Dog, Wendy and Marvin. Until I researched for this post, I did not even know about that. I vaguely remember Wonder Dog but not the others. 

 

Characters

 

The first iteration of the Super Friends were comprised of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Wonder Dog, Wendy and Marvin. In later seasons, the last 3 were replaced with a space monkey called Gleek and the Wonder Twins. 

 

This show was a precursor to the Justice League. Looking back and watching some episodes, it was definitely another era. Superman was really macho with lines like, "... this is not a job for Wonder Woman but for Superman." or something to that effect. Wonder Woman was the only female in the group and she would be a voice of reason force to everyone.

 

The Wonder Twins were always weird to me. Their superpower was that they could turn into anything they wanted. Zan could transform into water at any state (solid, liquid, gas) and Jayna can transform into any animal, whether real, mythological, indigenous to Earth or some other planet. They cannot activate their powers if they are not in contact with each other. Normally it would be a fist pump. 

 

Fun fact, the Wonder Twins were never in the comics until the mid 1990's, where they first appeared in the following issue Extreme Justice #9 (October 1995)

 

Super Friends Theme (1973)

 

The theme was not one of the more memorable ones but it did the job back in the 70's. There were various iterations of the theme as this show was reinvented almost every year. However below is the original opening sequence for the theme, followed by the theme that I remember the most. 

 

 The below is the theme that I remember more. 

 

Super Friends Theme (1977)

 

Storyline

 

There isn't really a real story line here. The shows are independent of each other. They were always pretty much the same format. The opening scene was usually at the Hall of Justice with something happening. Then usually there was a scene with the Hall of Doom with different villains planning or executing their next evil move. 

 

As a kid, I did not really care about the story. It was basically, Superheroes winning against Super villains. It was Good vs. Evil. It was also pretty cool to watch characters that I only saw in comics, come to life and move on the screen. It was pretty sweet. 

 

The animations have not aged well. They are similar to the animations found in the Original Spider-man cartoon series in the 1960's. Back in the day, I did not really care for that. My heroes were moving on screen. 

 

Most cartoons at the time were the same. They had a formula and they stuck with what worked. 

 

Super Friends (Sample Episode) - 1977 

 

Bottomline

 

The show has not aged very well. The animation is ok at best. People that loved the show, will always love it, It holds a special place in their heart as it has that nostalgia feeling.

 

The part that i loved and still love is the narration with the quotes, "Back at the Hall of Justice". My inner 8 year old comes out when i hear this.

 

Hall of Justice Narration

 

I do not think kids today would watch this and enjoy it. There have been some much better series' that have come out later on that would be a lot more interesting to watch. 

 

What do you think? Do you remember this show? Did you watch it when you were a kid? Let me know at the coordinates below.

 

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