Hanna Barbera in the late 60s*... H-B never gave up on its funny shows, but it had found a new, profitable venue in super hero cartoons. The first wave of super hero cartoons were going strong (Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Mightor, etc.) on CBS, and the other two networks wanted to start spreading out... H-B's Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, and Young Samson and Goliath on NBC, H-B's Fantastic Four on ABC (who also commissioned a Spider-Man that went quite wrong, and the Marvel Super Heroes).
|Posted: 14 September 2019 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 9
Unfortunately, some few people who couldn't stand refraining from forcing their opinions on the public started ranting and raving about action-adventure cartoons. It evolved into Action for Children's Television, who railed to the point of violence against violence in children's TV**. Within one season, those cartoons were gone, and amidst reruns, H-B created "Who's S-s-scared?", which was renamed to "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" Great fun (well, sort of), and physical comedy as only Hanna and Barbera could do it... but NO violence. Guns, but absolutely no one could get hit. Take ALL the violence away.
The rationale, as I understand it, was that little tykes watching such horrid behavior would resort to same in their very own domiciles. Since children who had watched Superman (live and cartoon TV shows) were tying towels around their next and jumping off roofs and out of windows by the thousands***, and their parents were obviously doing nothing... SOMEONE had to force their will to protect the little snowflakes.
This overlooked not on the fact that westerns were making an incredible surge on TV shows, but no children every shot their brothers or sisters. They PLAYED western, sure, but couldn't follow them exactly - no horses and no guns. Ditto for space adventures, cops and robbers, etc.
Every for children's shows, there was violence prior to Jonny Quest. Huck and Yogi took and doled out punches, door slams, frying pan clouts, holes in floors, etc. Prior to those, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were PACKED with violence. Ditto for the Three Stooges and Popeye, and the first animated Paramont Superman adventures.
The issue was, as it has almost always been, a problem with parenting - not a problem with TV programs. There were alcohol, tobacco, and firearms available to the general public, in even easier access than today. But no reasonable person expected children to start smoking at 8, drinking at 10, and shooting up the school at 6.
The motivations were good intended, but we know what the road to Hell is paved in. However, to me (then and now), it spelled itself as censorship.
Then it continued when even children's shows had to be modified further. "Let's all be friends!" "Be nice to strangers!" "A new person is just a friend we haven't met yet!" Nice ideas, but again - ones to be tempered. If a stranger came to the door and rang the bell, my parents taught me to find out who it was BEFORE flinging open the door to valuables and even us.
"Don't criticize" and "Let's all follow the leader" and "Let's get along with everyone by not arguing" rather took away the idea of freedom of free thought and choice. There was a Dungeons and Dragons cartoon where everybody in the group always agreed on what to do... except Eric, the Cavalier****, who always thought to do something else. Of course, the show was written so that Eric was always wrong... but in reality, Eric probably would have been right more often than wrong.
So Scooby Doo was a symptom of what I saw as a much larger problem, and the after effects still echo down to day. And damnation, I still miss Mightor.
*Mind you, while I did some research after the fact, a lot of this is from the impressions of an eight-year-old at the time.
**Yeah, I know. It's supposed to be irony.
***More irony. I heard such stories, and I never believed a single one was true.
***Funny coincidence, that. Right? RIGHT???