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Forgotten animated comic strip series

The AV Club takes a look at 15 comic strips/panels that made the leap to animation. List includes The Far Side, Garfield, Wizard of Id, Doonesbury, Blondie, Pogo, For Better or For Worse, Cathy, Marvin, Lil’ Abner, The Smurfs, Hagar the Horrible, The Phantom, Miss Peach Of The Kelly School and Peanuts.

They’ve posted video clips of each of the above named features and a description of the strip and animated series.

Community Comments

#1 Norm Feuti
@ 11:08 am

Interesting. There’s a couple in there I wasn’t aware of.

Although I don’t think one can fairly characterize the Peanuts, Garfield, and Smurf TV adaptations as “forgotten”.

#2 Kat Ruhl
@ 11:53 am

I didn’t realize that The Smurfs started out as a comic strip…all I remember from my childhood is the cartoon…and oh what a thing that was ><

#3 Joel Bader
@ 12:52 pm

Not a series, but what about the Family Circus animated specials which dealt with Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas? Would they be worth inclusion of this list of forgotten animated TV specials?

#4 David Jones
@ 1:06 pm

I remember watching Snuffy Smith cartoons as a kid.

Animation is REALLY hot now. I would love to pitch a few ideas at FOX right about now!!!!

#5 Jeff Parker
@ 1:13 pm

Also forgotten from the forgotten list, my buddy Mike Peters’ “Mother Goose and Grimm” saturday morning cartoons.

#6 Charles Brubaker
@ 2:11 pm

^ – Heh, I have a few animation cels of the “Mother Goose and Grimm” cartoon. It was made by the same producers that did “Garfield and Friends”.

There was a “Beetle Bailey” series back in the ’60s. Anyone remember those?

#7 Nathan Rackley
@ 2:36 pm

I agree with Norm. The Peanuts, Garfield, and Smurf shows were pretty popular.

I would say the Dilbert adaptation was more quickly forgotten than the others.

#8 Stephen Beals
@ 2:40 pm

Wow, the only one I was unaware of was Miss Peach. A lot of these were on VHS and laserdisc in the 80s.

I’m still disappointed that Mother Goose and Grimm didn’t take off like Garfield. If I remember correctly, Mark Evanier directed those as well and they were very good. Now I’ll have to track them down.

#9 Charles Brubaker
@ 3:34 pm

^ – I think a bunch of “Grimm” cartoons are on YouTube. Too bad it was short-lived. The show’s great!

#10 David Jones
@ 4:31 pm

Yes, I do remember the Beetle Bailey show. I seen them in reruns in the late seventies.

#11 Rick Kirkman
@ 5:58 pm

I can’t see how you can call a series of animated specials forgotten when they run every year. Some of the Peanuts specials that don’t get rerun may be forgotten, but a lot of them aren’t–they’re regulars on network TV.

Weird criteria for the list: no Dilbert, Family Circus or Mother Goose & Grimm…three extremely popular strips that made it into animation. Some on the list were specials, but Dilbert and Grimm were series. How do you leave those off? I really liked the animation in the Grimm series.

I see ours wasn’t on the list. The network crams it back in a shoebox for 10 months before dusting it off and showing it late at night on Adult Swim. I think ours would be classified as more of a vampire series.

#12 Randy Glasbergen
@ 6:05 pm

I remember watching Broom Hilda as a Saturday morning cartoon with The Dropouts and Emmy Lou. Early 70s.

#13 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:31 pm

Yeah, Filmation made those as part of “Archie’s TV Funnies” (Archie gang hosting segments starring comic strip characters). Broom Hilda was also shown in “Fabulous Funnies”, which also had Alley Oop, Nancy, and others.

In the 1960s there was a really weird “Krazy Kat” series, with Paul Frees voicing Ignatz and Offica’ Pup. June Foray voiced Krazy (yes, they made her a girl) in a couple of episodes, but subsequently they passed the role to Penny Phillips, who otherwise had no other voice credits.

“Dennis the Menace” was animated a few times, too. There was a Mother’s Day special produced by DePatie-Freleng (the last thing they did before the studio shut down), two TV series from DiC, and numerous commercials for Dairy Queen that aired in the ’70s.

Then there’s “B.C.”. Two TV specials plus numerous commercials.

#14 b.j. dewey
@ 10:59 pm

First time I’ve seen the Pogo animation and would agree with the review about its shortcomings despite the Kelly/Jones combo. Still, much fun to watch.

#15 Stacy Curtis
@ 12:08 am

Thanks, Charles for bringing up the “Fabulous Funnies.”
I couldn’t remember the name, but remembered the Broom Hilda and Alley Oop cartoons.

#16 Dan Thompson
@ 6:01 am

Heathcliff and Marmaduke…Ziggy’s Christmas was pretty awesome.

#17 Charles Brubaker
@ 7:15 am

With the release of “Tintin”, some people forget that it was animated a few times. The 1990s series from HBO is fairly well-known (and it’s being released on DVD now), but there was also a 1960s series produced in Belgium by a studio called Belvision. The original adventures were adapted as a series of five-minute cliffhangers, which aired every weekday.

It was dubbed to English and syndicated in US. In the US version Dal McKennon voiced Tintin and Professor Calculus. Paul Frees voiced Captain Haddock, Thom(p)son twins, and also narrated. Both men took turns voicing the villains and side characters.

#18 Jim Lavery
@ 8:28 am

I think Paul Frees did every cartoon voice in the 60’s (him and Paul Winchell)!! I believe he actually did the John Lennon voice in the Saturday morning Beatles cartoons, not even coming close to sounding like Lennon or Liverpudlian or even British in the least.

#19 Charles Brubaker
@ 8:47 am

Paul also voiced George Harrison in the Beatles cartoon.

Don’t forget Daws Butler! He did a ton of voices in the ’60s and ’70s.

#20 Gerry Mooney
@ 1:51 pm

There was a very lame attempt to animate The Phantom back in the 80’s I think, animated in Korea. Only three episodes that I know of, and better off forgotten.

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