August 28, 2008

Reproduceable Violence

Pulpjunkie links to these two interesting Hanna Barbara Terrytoon pilots from the late 60s. Both were created by the late Iwao Takamoto.

(how does one FORGET about the Chasm of Doom?)

By far the more interesting of the two is Sally Sargent, the tale of a High school girl who moonlights as a government agent . According to the comments at You Tube, the show was to be the  flagship show for an adventure programming block.

While there were no horrible deaths ala' Johnny Quest in either episode, there was a great deal of violence and peril. Both shows, but particularly Sally Sargent, ran afoul of the public outcry against violence in kids shows which hit the US in the late 60s as a response to the social unrest of the time. In '68-'69 people were twitchy about pipe bombs. The silly supposition was that the violence was happening because kids were mindlessly repeating what they saw on the TV...and know...because Bill Ayers is just an evil bastard. 

This trend against any reproduceable violence only got worse as time went on and led to the generally insipid mess that was the US Animation scene from about 1969 until the late 80s. Particularly ironic given that Tatsuo Yoshida (the creator of Gatchaman Speed Racer and other shows that really started the anime industry) claimed both Marvel Comics and Johnny Quest among his inspirations.

Given the talent available at the time, one can only speculate where US TV animation would be today if standards and practices had not strangled it just as the Japanese animation industry was coming into its own.

UPDATE: Pulpjunkie corrects me in the comments. These were not Hanna-Barberra shows, but rather the last gasp of Terrytoons. More here.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:18 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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