Critics of 1960s cartoons such as the Flintstones and the Jetsons claimed that they were nothing more than a thinly veiled take off of the popular television show, the Honeymooners. According to Hollywood legend, Jackie Gleason threatened to sue but relented after a number of youngsters demanded to know why he was trying to take Fred Flintstone away from them. There were some undeniable parallels that could be drawn between the two, but when it came down to it, one was just a cartoon.
Some of the other popular cartoons of the day played up familiar themes as well. Underdog, the cartoon that featured a heroic dog, a smart female and some vile villains, drew its basis from Superman, Batman and other super hero shows of the time. Shoeshine, the weak dog, was just a mild mannered beagle, shining people’s shoes near the courthouse until there was trouble, usually in the form of Sweet Polly Purebred being captured by the bad guys. Then, he would dart into a phone booth and come out, cape and all, taking to the sky as Underdog.
Both the Flintstones and Underdog were later made into live action movies.
Other cartoons from the 1960s featured animals that interacted with humans in unique ways. Poor Magilla Gorilla, sitting in the window of Mr. Peebles pet store, waiting for a family to take him home. Mr. Peebles was often frustrated with Magilla, but still rescued him when things would inevitably go wrong. Top Cat and his alley cat gang worked with the local police man, keeping some of the characteristics of cats while acting fairly human at the same time. Yogi Bear and his best friend Boo Boo hibernated like bears but rarely acted like any bear in the world as they worked toward getting all of the picnic baskets that they could. They had to avoid the traps set for them by the Park Ranger who tried his best to stay in control of the situation.
Yogi got to make it to the big screen as well in a computer generated format that blended the CGI bears in with live people.
Other cartoons that ruled the Saturday morning lineups included Quick Draw McGraw and Huckleberry Hound. It was a simpler time when television was still limited. Saturday morning was the only time that kids got to see their favorite cartoon characters, and they would wait all week for the time to come. Kids can now watch cartoons whenever they want, day or night, any day of the week. They can even watch their mom and dad’s favorite 1960s cartoons.