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As a child, watching cartoons was a beloved pastime that provided us with entertainment, laughter, and even life lessons. While some of us may remember the classic cartoons that are still popular today, there are plenty of lesser-known retro cartoons that we may have forgotten about, but once loved as kids. From imaginative worlds and unique characters to catchy theme songs and engaging storylines, these retro cartoons offer a nostalgic trip down memory lane. We're take a look back at some of the forgotten retro cartoons that you used to watch as a kid, and reminisce on the joy they once brought us.
Here are our top retro cartoons that you may have forgotten about in no particular order, keep reading below for a reminder of what they are about and to see some of their best moments.
- The Flintstones
- Top Cat
- Cattanooga Cats
- Wacky Races
- Winsome Witch
- The Animals Of Farthing Wood
- Spider In The Bath
- Funny Bones
- The Pink Panther
- The Huckleberry Hound Show
- The Smurfs
- Dexter's Laboratory
- The Jetsons
- The Powerpuff Girls
The Flintstones is an animated TV show that follows the lives of a prehistoric family, the Flintstones, who live in the town of Bedrock. The show explores themes like family, friendship, and work-life balance, in a fun and light-hearted way. People enjoyed watching The Flintstones because it was a ground-breaking show that paved the way for future animated sitcoms, while also providing clever humour and relatable characters.
The Flintstones is an American animated sitcom that aired on ABC from 1960 to 1966. It was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who were also responsible for many other popular cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, and Scooby-Doo.
The idea for The Flintstones came to Hanna-Barbera after they were approached by the advertising agency of the American TV network, ABC, which was looking for a prime-time cartoon show that would appeal to both children and adults. The Flintstones was the first prime-time animated TV show, and it quickly became a huge success.
The show is set in the prehistoric town of Bedrock and follows the lives of Fred Flintstone, his wife Wilma, and their best friends and neighbours, Barney and Betty Rubble. The show is known for its clever puns, visual gags, and cultural references, as well as its use of prehistoric animals and technologies as substitutes for modern-day equivalents.
The Flintstones became a cultural phenomenon, inspiring a movie adaptation, several spin-offs, and countless merchandise and product tie-ins. It also helped establish Hanna-Barbera as one of the leading animation studios of the time.
The Flintstones is a beloved TV show that has had a significant impact on American pop culture and paved the way for future prime-time animated sitcoms.
Top Cat is an animated TV show (1961-62) that follows the adventures of a street-smart cat named Top Cat and his gang of alley cats as they try to outsmart the local police officer, Officer Dibble. The show features clever humour and engaging storylines, while also exploring themes like friendship and loyalty. People enjoyed watching Top Cat because it provided a unique and light-hearted look into the world of alley cats and their misadventures.
The concept for Top Cat was inspired by the hit television show "The Phil Silvers Show", which starred Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko. Top Cat, or T.C., is a smooth-talking alley cat who leads a gang of street cats in a never-ending quest to scam their way to the top of the heap.
The show was originally titled "Boss Cat," but it was changed to "Top Cat" to avoid confusion with an unrelated cartoon of the same name. The show was broadcast on ABC and was an instant hit, becoming one of the most popular animated shows of its time.
The characters were designed to reflect various aspects of American culture, with Top Cat and his gang being the embodiment of the hustler spirit of the 1960s. The show was noted for its witty dialogue, colourful animation, and jazzy music score, which was composed by Hoyt Curtin.
Despite its popularity, Top Cat only ran for one season, but it has remained a cult classic over the years. The show has been syndicated and released on home video, and the character of Top Cat has been featured in various merchandise, including comic books and video games. Its popularity led to the creation of other cat-themed cartoons, such as "The Pink Panther Show" and "Josie and the Pussycats."
Wacky Races is an animated TV show that features a group of characters who race each other in various vehicles around the world. Each character has their own unique vehicle and personality, making for engaging storylines and clever humour. People enjoyed watching Wacky Races because it provided fun and imaginative races, while also featuring unique and lovable characters.
The concept for Wacky Races was inspired by the popular movie "The Great Race," and the show features 11 different race cars and their drivers competing in absurd, exaggerated races around the world. Each car is unique and has a gimmick designed to help its driver win the race. The cars range from the sleek and speedy "Turbo Terrific" to the quirky and unconventional "Compact Pussycat."
The show was noted for its colourful characters, zany sound effects, and fast-paced animation, which captured the spirit of the 1960s. The show's narrator, a British-accented character named "The Announcer," was voiced by veteran actor Dave Willock.
Wacky Races ran for only one season but was popular enough to spawn a spin-off series, "Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines." The show has remained a cult classic over the years, and the characters have been featured in various merchandise, including video games and comic books.
In 2017, a reboot of Wacky Races titled "Wacky Races Forever" was released, featuring updated versions of the classic cars and drivers. The reboot was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and aired on Boomerang.
Winsome Witch is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of a friendly witch named Winsome, who tries to use her magical powers to solve everyday problems. Despite her good intentions, Winsome often finds herself in humorous misadventures. People enjoyed watching Winsome Witch because it provided clever humor and engaging storylines, while also featuring a unique and lovable character.
The concept for Winsome Witch was simple: the show follows the misadventures of a young and charming witch named Winsome as she tries to master her magical powers. Despite her best efforts, Winsome often ends up causing more trouble than she solves, much to the frustration of her cat companion, Broomhilda.
The show was notable for being one of the few animated series of the time to feature a female lead character. The voice of Winsome was provided by veteran voice actress Jean Vander Pyl, who also voiced Wilma Flintstone in The Flintstones and Rosie the Robot in The Jetsons.
Winsome Witch ran for only one season but remained popular in reruns throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The show has been released on home video and has remained a cult favorite among fans of classic animation.
The Animals of Farthing Wood
The Animals of Farthing Wood is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of a group of woodland animals who are forced to flee their home due to human encroachment. Together, they navigate the challenges of finding a new home and surviving in the wild. People enjoyed watching The Animals of Farthing Wood because it provided engaging and emotional storylines, while also exploring important themes like environmentalism and animal rights.
"The Animals of Farthing Wood" is a British animated television series that aired from 1993 to 1995. The show was based on the children's book series of the same name by Colin Dann.
The show follows the adventures of a group of animals who are forced to leave their home in Farthing Wood due to human encroachment on their habitat. The animals embark on a perilous journey to a new home in White Deer Park, facing many dangers along the way.
The series was produced by Telemagination and was notable for its realistic portrayal of animal behavior and the challenges of survival in the wild. The show also featured an all-star voice cast, including actors such as Jeremy Barrett, Rupert Farley, and Sally Grace.
The Animals of Farthing Wood was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards and spawning a spin-off series titled "The Adventures of the Fox." The show has been released on home video and has remained a cult classic among fans of children's animation.
Cattanooga Cats is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of a group of anthropomorphic cats who travel around the world in their musical bus, playing music and solving mysteries. People enjoyed watching Cattanooga Cats because it provided catchy music, engaging storylines, and fun characters.
The show features a group of musically talented cats who travel around the world in their bus, performing concerts and solving mysteries along the way. The main characters include lead singer Kitty Jo, guitarist Country, drummer Groove, and keyboardist Motormouse.
The show's format was a mix of comedy, music, and adventure, and the characters were known for their catchy tunes and humorous antics. The show also featured segments such as "It's the Wolf!" and "Autocat and Motormouse," which were spin-offs of other Hanna-Barbera shows.
Despite its popularity, Cattanooga Cats ran for only one season but remained a favorite in reruns throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The show has been released on home video and has remained a cult classic among fans of classic animation.
Spider in the Bath is a stop-motion animated TV show that follows the adventures of a spider who lives in a family's bathtub. Each episode features the spider trying to navigate the challenges of everyday life while avoiding the family's attempts to get rid of him. People enjoyed watching Spider in the Bath because it provided clever humour and relatable characters.
Spider is a children's musical television mini-series produced by Hibbert Ralph Entertainment for the BBC. Originally aired on BBC One from September 26 to December 30, 1991, the show features a spider as the main character, accompanied by a young boy (although the boy only appears in eleven out of the thirteen episodes) on their adventures.
The tales in Spider were narrated through musical numbers, sung by Jeff Stevenson while his children, Casey and Holly, provided backing vocals. Since its initial run on BBC One, the show has been rebroadcasted on various children's channels in the UK, including CBeebies and Nick Jr.
Spider received positive reviews from both critics and audiences, who appreciated its straightforward animation, catchy songs, humor, and ability to appeal to viewers of all ages. The show has since garnered a cult following and can be found on older children's videos and DVDs.
Funny Bones is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of three skeletons, Big, Little, and Dog, as they explore a haunted mansion and learn about the world around them. People enjoyed watching Funny Bones because it provided clever humour and engaging storylines, while also exploring important themes like friendship and problem-solving.
Funny Bones is a British children's television series that originally aired from 1992 to 1998. The show was produced by the BBC and was created by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles, who were also responsible for the creation of Sesame Street.
The show features two comedic skeletons, Big and Little, who live in a dark and spooky mansion and entertain each other with jokes and humorous anecdotes. The show's format is a mix of live-action and animation, with the skeletons interacting with various characters and objects in their surroundings.
The show was notable for its quirky humour and offbeat style, and it featured guest appearances from well-known British actors and comedians such as Lenny Henry, Rik Mayall, and Victoria Wood. The show also spawned a spin-off book series and a stage show.
Funny Bones was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards and becoming a cult favourite among fans of children's television. The show has been released on home video and has remained popular in reruns and on streaming platforms.
The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of the titular pink panther, a mischievous and clever feline who often finds himself in hilarious misadventures. People enjoyed watching The Pink Panther because it provided clever humour, engaging storylines, and a unique and lovable character.
The Pink Panther is a classic animated TV show that originated from the opening sequence of the 1963 comedy film of the same name, which starred the popular comedian Peter Sellers. The opening credits featured an animated pink panther character, which proved to be so popular with audiences that it spawned its own TV show.
The Pink Panther TV show first aired in 1964 and was produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, with Friz Freleng serving as the show's main creative force. The show centered around the character of the Pink Panther, a cool, suave, and silent feline who gets into various comical situations, often involving his nemesis, the bumbling Inspector Clouseau.
The show's format was a combination of animated shorts and skits, and it featured memorable characters such as the Ant and the Aardvark, the Tijuana Toads, and the Inspector himself. The show's catchy theme song, composed by Henry Mancini, also became a cultural phenomenon and remains one of the most recognizable TV show themes of all time.
Over the years, The Pink Panther has spawned numerous spin-offs, movies, and merchandise, and the character has become an iconic part of popular culture. The original TV show has been released on home video and has remained a favourite among fans of classic animation.
The Huckleberry Hound Show
The Huckleberry Hound Show is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of Huckleberry Hound, a blue dog with a southern accent, and his various friends. The show features a variety of different segments, each with their own unique characters and storylines. People enjoyed watching The Huckleberry Hound Show because it provided engaging entertainment, while also featuring relatable and lovable characters.
The show featured Huckleberry Hound, a blue dog with a Southern drawl, as the main character. Huckleberry was known for his calm demeanour and his willingness to help others, but he also had a mischievous side that often got him into trouble. The show also featured several other segments, including "Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks" and "Yogi Bear."
The Huckleberry Hound Show was the first animated television series to win an Emmy Award and became a massive hit with audiences of all ages. It helped establish Hanna-Barbera as a leading animation studio and paved the way for other popular shows, including "The Flintstones," "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!," and "The Jetsons."
The show's success led to a range of merchandise, including toys, comic books, and clothing. Huckleberry Hound himself became an iconic character and was even used as a mascot for Post Cereal's Sugar Crisp.
The Smurfs is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of a group of small blue creatures who live in a village in the forest. The show explores themes like friendship, community, and problem-solving, in a fun and light-hearted way. People enjoyed watching The Smurfs because it provided relatable and lovable characters, engaging storylines, and a unique and imaginative world.
It was based on the Belgian comic book series "Les Schtroumpfs" created by Peyo. The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in association with SEPP International S.A. and aired on NBC in the United States.
The show followed the adventures of the small, blue-skinned creatures known as Smurfs, who lived in a village hidden deep in a forest. The Smurfs were led by their wise and powerful leader, Papa Smurf, and were constantly under threat from the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael, who were always trying to capture them.
"The Smurfs" quickly became a massive hit with audiences of all ages and spawned numerous spin-off shows, merchandise, and even a feature film. The show's popularity led to a surge of interest in the original comics, which had been published in Europe since the 1950s.
The show's success can be attributed to its endearing characters, charming stories, and catchy theme song, "La La Song." The Smurfs also stood out for their unique language, which consisted of adding the word "smurf" to nearly every sentence. This created a sense of community and belonging among the characters and made them instantly recognizable to fans.
Dexter's Laboratory is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of a boy genius named Dexter, who has a secret laboratory hidden behind his bedroom bookshelf. The show features clever humour, engaging storylines, and a unique and imaginative world. People enjoyed watching Dexter's Laboratory because it provided relatable and lovable characters, while also exploring themes like science and creativity.
Dexter's Laboratory is an American animated television series that first premiered in 1996 on Cartoon Network. The show was created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who also worked on other popular animated shows like "Samurai Jack" and "Star Wars: Clone Wars."
The show centred around the character Dexter, a young boy genius who had a secret laboratory hidden inside his bedroom. Dexter used his laboratory to create inventions and conduct experiments, often leading to humorous mishaps and chaos.
The show was a hit with audiences, particularly with children and young adults, due to its unique blend of humor and science fiction. It also featured a range of memorable characters, including Dexter's annoying sister Dee Dee, his arch-nemesis Mandark, and his computer assistant, the sarcastic and snarky "Computer."
Throughout its six-season run, "Dexter's Laboratory" won numerous awards, including four Primetime Emmy Awards. The show was also known for its distinctive visual style, which incorporated bold colours, exaggerated character designs, and fast-paced animation.
In addition to its television success, "Dexter's Laboratory" also spawned several comic book adaptations, video games, and even a made-for-TV movie. The show's popularity helped cement Cartoon Network as a leading animation network and paved the way for other successful shows, such as "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Johnny Bravo."
The Jetsons is an animated TV show that explores what life might be like in the future, following the adventures of the Jetson family as they navigate their high-tech world. The show features clever humour, engaging storylines, and a unique and imaginative world. People enjoyed watching The Jetsons because it provided a fun and light-hearted look into the future, while also featuring relatable and lovable characters.
The Jetsons is an American animated television series that premiered in 1962 on ABC. The show was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who were also responsible for other popular animated shows like "The Flintstones" and "Scooby-Doo."
The show was set in a futuristic world and centred around the Jetson family, who lived in a high-tech apartment complex in the sky. The family consisted of George Jetson, his wife Jane, their teenage daughter Judy, their young son Elroy, and their robotic maid Rosie.
The Jetsons was notable for its futuristic setting and imaginative depictions of technology, which included flying cars, holographic televisions, and robotic housemaids. The show also featured a range of memorable characters, including George's boss, Mr. Spacely, and his dog, Astro.
Although The Jetsons was cancelled after only one season, it continued to be popular in reruns and was eventually revived in the 1980s. The show's success led to the production of a feature film, "Jetsons: The Movie," in 1990.
The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls is an animated TV show that follows the adventures of three young girls with superpowers, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, as they fight to protect their city from evil villains. The show explores themes like girl power, teamwork, and friendship, in a fun and light-hearted way. People enjoyed watching The Powerpuff Girls because it provided relatable and lovable characters, engaging storylines, and a unique and imaginative world.
"The Powerpuff Girls" is an American animated television series that premiered in 1998 on Cartoon Network. The show was created by animator Craig McCracken and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions (later known as Cartoon Network Studios).
The show centered around three kindergarten-aged girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, who were created by a scientist named Professor Utonium using a mixture of sugar, spice, everything nice, and Chemical X. The girls possessed superpowers and used them to fight crime and protect their city from villains like Mojo Jojo and Fuzzy Lumpkins.
The Powerpuff Girls was a critical and commercial success, appealing to audiences of all ages with its blend of humour, action, and heart-warming moments. The show's colourful and distinctive visual style, which incorporated elements of both anime and traditional Western animation, also contributed to its popularity.
Throughout its six-season run, The Powerpuff Girls won numerous awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards. The show was also known for its catchy theme song, which became a pop culture phenomenon in its own right.
While some of these shows may have been overshadowed by more popular and long-lasting cartoons of the time, they still hold a special place in the hearts of those who grew up watching them. From the classic Hannah Barbera to the lesser-known but still British shows like Spider In The Bath and The Animals Of Farthing Wood, these cartoons have left an indelible mark on our childhoods. Whether we revisit them for the memories or to introduce them to a new generation, these retro cartoons continue to bring joy and entertainment to audiences of all ages.
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