Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s
When I was a lad, I recall seeing an episode of The Flintstones in which Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty reminisce about the first time they met, as college-aged bachelors at Bedrock's "Honeyrock Hotel." Imagine my frustration when the feature film The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas depicted an entirely different origin story for our prehistoric heroes. Now, on Warner's Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s collection, I have just been confronted by four episodes of Baby Flintstones that attempt to persuade me that these famous characters were, in fact, childhood friends all along. This, coupled with the fact that these baby Bedrockians have a token black friend, who for some reason wasn't there during the original cartoon's run, lead me to wonder what, exactly, can be considered official Flintstones canon? Is Baby Flintstones the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Flintstones universe? Other shows are similarly confusing: do you mean to tell me that Chuck Norris, in between his busy schedule as movie star, infomercial pitchman and national laughingstock, had time to head an elite crime fighting squad of (and I quote) "Karate Commandos"? Or that Mr. T would ever, even in his most vulnerable moment, have a lapse in judgement that would lead to a mohawked dog joining his crime fighting team? Suffice to say, the cartoons collected in Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s are almost universally poor: adventure series like Thundarr the Barbarian and Chuck Norris' Karate Commandos feature laughably stiff animation; comic shows like Baby Flintstones and Kwicky Koala (sadly, the great Tex Avery's final work) are pandering tripe; and some, like The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, are nothing more than poorly conceived brand extensions. These dated scraps of cultural flotsam won't have much appeal to kids today, but for nostalgic adults or kitsch enthusiasts Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s is worth a look. If nothing else, it offers ample proof why none of these shows were deemed worthy of their own DVD release. Extras include a documentary about Thundarr the Barbarian and a trailer for Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s, which will include cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny and Batman. I can hardly wait. (Warner)