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Monday, July 2, 2012

Disney's One Saturday Morning On ABC (Circa 1997)

Monday morning, wake up time, get to work and you stand in line. What would make you feel real fine? One Saturday Morning!

Coming up next is Tuesday's grind, the week is young, but I'm out of my mind! What would make you feel real fine? One Saturday Morning!

Wednesday, Thursday jammed in the middle, once again make you pose a riddle. What's strung real loose, but plays like a fiddle? One Saturday Morning!

Friday has an exit sign, but getting there still takes some time. What would make you feel real fine? One Saturday Morning!

(Illuminating Television!)

Five hours of Summer, once a week---One Saturday Morning! Yeah! Five hours of Summer is what we need---One Saturday Morning! Five hours of Summer, once a week---One Saturday Morning! Whoa! Five hours of Summer---One Saturday Morning!

That's the theme song (or something close to it) to Disney's One Saturday Morning, the block of shows that aired on ABC TV in the Fall of 1997. If I remember correctly, during summertime, the word "Summer" was changed to "Sunshine."

After enjoying that intro, real actor kids (some of whom I remember seeing on David E. Kelley's "Boston Public" TV show from 2000), often joined by the wacky costume character, Miss Moose or a live African elephant named Jellyroll (voiced by Brad Garrett as part of a segment called "How Much Stuff Could An Elephant Crush?") and the wild and wacky Manny the Uncanny (Paul Rugg, known for his writing and voice work on "Freakazoid" and "Animaniacs" for Warner Brothers) hosted live action and animated segments linking the cartoons of One Saturday Morning.

So after a week of school, what do kids get to watch on One Saturday Morning? Well, they get to watch cartoons about kids in school. Doug, Pepper Ann and Recess were the first shows to be part of the One Saturday Morning block. The one non-Disney show on the ABC Saturday morning schedule was The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show from Warner Brothers.

Warner Brothers would later make their own "Kids In School" cartoon for their Kids' WB lineup called "Detention" in 1999.

101 Dalmatians: The Series was produced by Disney TV and Jumbo Pictures, the same company that created the series "Doug" for Nickelodeon. We'll get to Doug in a minute.

101 Dalmatians followed the adventures of pups Lucky, Rolly and Cadpig, plus their chicken friend, Spot. Of course, there were a bunch of other Dalmatians in the series (but unlike "The Smurfs" we did not really get to know many of them), and they were always trying to avoid their neighbor, Cruella De Vil. This show also aired in syndication.

When Disney bought animation company Jumbo Pictures in 1996, Doug became a character somehow shared by Nickelodeon and Disney. For Nick, Doug Funnie was voiced by Billy West on the show "Doug" (1991-1994). For Disney's "Brand Spanking New! Doug" the character was voiced by Tom McHugh.

In 1999, Doug starred in "Doug's 1st Movie" and appeared a stage show called "Doug Live!" at Disney MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Disney's Recess, created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, somehow reminded me of the Jon Lovitz animated series "The Critic" (1994) in its character design and comic timing. The show had an impressive voice cast, including Dabney Coleman as Mr. Prickly.

This "Where's Waldo?" type game is interesting because it looks like the artist who created it never actually saw an episode of "Recess." All the "extras" seen playing with the Recess kids look like characters from old Dennis the Menace comic strips.

Recess was popular enough to get a McDonald's Happy Meal promotion, and I think it may have been the only One Saturday Morning show to get one.

Recess later hit the big screen with the movie "Recess: School's Out" in 2001. The characters also appeared on a few direct to DVD releases in 2003 and on an episode of "Lilo and Stitch: The Series."

Who's that girl? What's her name? Is she cool? Is she lame? Oh, you're talking about "what's-her-name"---Pepper Ann! Pepper Ann was created by Sue Rose, and originally appeared as a comic strip character. Sue Rose was responsible for another popular character named "Fido Dido" who appeared on all sorts of merchandise and on animated bumpers for CBS Saturday Morning cartoons in the 1990s.

Pepper Ann was voiced (and her theme song was sung) by actress Kathleen Wilhoite (who also voiced comic strip character Cathy in animated specials in the 1980s). P.A's pal, Milo, was voiced by Danny Cooksey, who starred on Diff'rent Strokes and Tiny Toon Adventures (as Montana Max). Pepper Ann and her Mom (April Winchell) were the only characters from One Saturday Morning to make a cameo appearance on Disney's House of Mouse TV series (2001) starring Mickey Mouse.

I think that the characters in the Pepper Ann "world" are the most fun to draw of all the One Saturday Morning shows.

Disney's Jungle Cubs was the second TV show to spin-off from Disney's 1967 animated feature, "The Jungle Book." The first was Disney's "TaleSpin" (1990). The two shows were totally different.

When Jungle Cubs debuted, Baloo (Pamela Segall Adlon), Bagheera (Elizabeth Daily), Hathi (Rob Paulsen), Shere Khan (Jason Marsden), Kaa (Jim Cummings) and Louie (Jason Marsden) were young friends with minor squabbles.

Jungle Cubs is a show that, as they say in "the biz" went through "re-tooling" in its second season. Characters were re-designed and the whole tone of the series changed as friendships faded away. Some voices were re-cast, including Louie (Cree Summer), Bagheera (Dee Bradley Baker) and Hathi (Stephen Furst).

The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh were hardly new by 1997.

The show had its Saturday Morning premiere on ABC way back in 1988.

Nobody has to tell animated TV stars that life isn't always fair. Since many of these shows are no longer seen, their characters risk being forgotten or totally unknown.

Jungle Cubs had not been seen on TV for many years, but it looks like it recently started airing again on Disney Junior. Maybe some more of these characters will return to TV so they can be introduced to a new generation.

Per regulations of movie theater chains, the trailer for any new possible One Saturday Morning spin-off movie made must include Tone-Loc's song, "Wild Thing."

Phineas and Ferb, start saving your money right now. You just never know what could happen to you in ten years.

Just ask Kim Possible. I know some people may be wondering, "Kim Who?"


  1. I'd never heard of the Jungle Cubs. Was the show any good?

    1. jungle cubs was awesome, but recess was by far my favorite. I never had cable so one saturday morning was something i looked forward to every week. During the week I was stuck on pbs watching arthur, which was a good show, just not as good as anything on one saturday morning

  2. Hey Snow White Sanctum! In my opinion, the season 1 opening intro song of Jungle Cubs (with "The Bare Necessities" sung by Lou Rawls and the animation done by the now-closed Walt Disney Animation Australia) was the best thing about the show. A new, "less good" animated intro (retaining the Lou Rawls song) was done for season 2, since many of the characters were re-designed.

  3. I feel old! This was all "after my time"!!!

  4. Don't worry, TokyoMagic! These shows are also unfamiliar to many young people because they were "before their time"!

  5. 101 Dalmatians: The Series also had a McDonald's tie-in. The toys from that turn up on eBay frequently.

  6. Hey S.P.! Yes, I have them in a post I did called Disney's 101 Dalmatians Unleashed at McDonald's: http://danalexanderdizmentia.blogspot.com/2012/09/disneys-101-dalmatians-unleashed-at.html