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Forgotten Cartoons We Loved as Kids [Part One]

John Bridges is a published author specializing in History, Geo-politics, and Politics. His Doctorate is in Criminal Justice.

Our Childhood Memories

Top Cat 1961

Top Cat 1961

It is normal to be nostalgic for things in our past. It is also normal to lose some of our memories in time. Music, foods, games and favorite cartoons help us retrigger memories of the simpler times of childhood. Whether hovering around a transistor radio in hopes your favorite song will play or running home from school to see the opening credits of your favorite show the anticipation made the moment and that moment made our memories.

There was a time that cartoons were made for children. A time before they were referred to as an animation series or before their content and language were made crude in an attempt to garner an adult audience while sacrificing the innocence that cartoons provided for children. While by today’s standards some of the content might not be considered to be politically correct, they were innocent in other ways. While many were produced in the 1960’s, these cartoons were staples for children into the 1990’s. Things today simply are not the same.

Tennessee Tuxedo

The cartoon series revolved around Tennessee Tuxedo the penguin (voiced by Don Adams, future star of Get Smart and later voice of Inspector Gadget) and his best friend Chumley the walrus. The two lived at a zoo under the care of zoo keeper, Stanley Livingston.

Tennessee and Chumley regularly escaped from the zoo, only to find trouble in the outside world. They often found themselves in greater trouble when they tried to fix the first problem and eventually turned to their wise friend Mr. Whoopee (voiced by future F Troop star Larry Storch), for help.

Magilla Gorilla

Magilla Gorilla spends his time languishing in the front display window of Mr. Peebles' pet shop, eating bananas. Peebles marked down Magilla's price considerably, but Magilla is never purchased for more than a short time. The customers always ended up returning Magilla, forcing Peebles to refund their money.

The only customer truly interested in obtaining the trouble-prone Magilla was a little girl named Ogee but she was never able to convince her parents to let her keep Magilla. The term Magilla was adopted into slang and remains today as a reference to anyone who is muscular and dim-witted.

Go-Go Gophers

The series is set in the late 19th century, as well as the early 20th century, in the American West. There the coyote leaders of a local United States Army fort, one Colonel Kit Coyote and his right-hand man Sergeant Okey Homa. They make attempts to secure the town of Gopher Gulch by wiping out the last two surviving Gopher Indians, Running Board and Ruffled Feathers. However, the Gophers prove to be very clever and always manage to foil the plan.

Feathers would break into gibberish as he tried to explain his plans and Running Board always understood what he was saying. They are also aided by Colonel Coyote's own incompetence and by his ignoring the advice of Sergeant Homa and relying instead on reading his book of army regulations, usually paying the price for it.

Lippy the Lion

Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har the hyena (voiced by Mel Blanc) first appeared in 1962. Mel Blanc used the same voice, personality and expressions for Hardy Har-Har that he used playing the postman on the Burns and Allen radio show.

Their cartoons revolved around ever-hopeful Lippy's attempts to get rich quick, with reluctant Hardy serving as a partner. Whatever the consequences of Lippy’s ill-conceived plans, Hardy always bore the worst of the brunt. The opening scene may suggest the cartoon took place in the jungle but most were actually located in a city environment.

Wally Gator

Wally Gator is a happy-go-lucky alligator who lives in the city zoo. Mr. Twiddle, the zookeeper keeps a close watch on Wally because Wally often escapes to see what things are like in the outside world.

The theme that drives the series is Wally's desire to escape the zoo. Wally successfully escapes in each episode, but by the end of the episode he returns to the zoo. The return is sometime his own choice and other times it is not. The underlying story is sad because despite his desire to live in the outside world, he is never fully accepted and returns to the safety of captivity in the zoo.

Underdog

Underdog is an American animated television series. Unlike other cartoons of the time, this was a serial, with each episode starting off where the last one ended off.

Underdog, Shoeshine Boy's heroic alter ego, appears whenever love interest Sweet Polly Purebred is in danger. Underdog nearly always speaks in rhymes as in "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!" His voice was supplied by Wally Cox

In the mid-1970s, all references to Underdog swallowing his Super Energy Pill were censored. This is likely out of fear that kids would see medication and swallow them. TV Guide lists Underdog as number 23 best cartoon characters.

Atom Ant

Atom Ant is a superhero ant who lives in an anthill, where he has a mainframe computer and exercise equipment. His powers were the ability to fly, super-speed, incredible strength, and invulnerability. The local police would often rely on his help to catch criminals. The cartoon often parodies the original Batman television show that was popular at the time.

What do you think?

Comments

lairdwallace1@gmail.com on October 10, 2018:

I LIKE OLDER CARTUNES.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 10, 2018:

My UK childhood was deprived of most of these apart from Top Cat. I 'm guessing that the present generation in the UK will have much greater access to cartoons from the USA.