FILMATION: the much maligned staple of 70's Kids TV!

Growing up watching a lot of TV, especially Saturday morning cartoons (and old reruns on weekdays); one particular group of cartoons, while not a majority, and not something I would then think much about, really stood out. A rotating producer credit in the closing, and later opening sequences. A director's large diagonally written signature always beginning the closing credits. Many of the closing credits being done in what looked like a well handwritten serif font. On more comedic shows, different pitched horn blasts indicating an ascending level of slapstick funniness in the jokes. In the more serious adventure shows, you had nicely orchestrated background music, the cues being very memorable to me. There was just nothing else like this in the kids TV shows of the 70's.

I had never paid much attention to credits; thinking they were an annoying waste of time. I was familiar with the name "Hanna-Barbera Productions", as they were the number one TV animation studio, and had many series in syndication by that time, such as the all familar Flintstones, Jetsons, and Magilla. On Saturdays, you had the still new Scooby series, and plenty others. But that was all I really noticed. Eventually I notice "DFE" (DePatie-Freleng Enterprises) because of all the Pink Panther shows airing. They also did a few other shows I watched, and Freleng's name could be found on old Looney Tunes as well. But it was this other company that really stood out from them all.
About age 11, I see that it was now the new Batman cartoon that had some of those same score cues I had remembered years earlier from Lassie and Star Trek. Still a year after that; I begin chronicling who made what on the new Saturday shows. The Batman show was now apart of a 90 minute package on CBS called "Tarzan and the Super 7". The Tarzans also used some of those same cues, but both series had also added newer cues with more synthesizers, and it was not quite as good as the old Lassie and Star Trek, and also the Brady Kids. (The rich orchestration was dropped, and the new music consisted of mostly bass and horns with the synths). Next, was Fat Albert, which had it's own stock of score different from the other shows; and I had watched for years thinking it was probably Hanna Barbera (it has the same basic sound effects as the original Scooby Doo Where Are You), but I find is by the same company.
Finally, at 1 in the afternoon, the lineup ended with Ark II, a live action show I found rather depressing, as it was about trying to start over on a devastated Earth.

The company's name: Filmways. Uh, no; I got it mixed up; that was the name of the owner of another animation company, the new Ruby Spears studio on ABC, a network for some reason having no cartoons by this other studio with a similar name-- FILMATION! The "O" being a smiling face with a boomerang shaped bracket (like a circumflex accent) above it. Newer shows having copies of the name logo mesh together from four different directions. I at some point heard that the smiling "O" face was supposed to represent a TV set (the angle thing being the antenna). That would make sense.
This was actually derived from a similar logo I used to see on early Chuck Jones Tom & Jerry's: The SIB logo, which had the circumflex bracket, as well as a larger upside down one, both pointing to the "I". It always reminded me of Filmation. I had no idea, until recent years, they were actually connected! Before Sib and producer Walter Bien worked with Jones at MGM (and the "Tower 12" was added to the name), the company had hired the yet unincorporated "Filmation Associates" (Basically, head producer Lou Scheimer, director Hal Sutherland and background artist Erv Kaplan) to animate its "Rod Rocket" cartoon. Rod Rocket, credited by Lenburg's Cartoon Encyclopedia as "Filmation's first fully animated show", was widely credited elsewhere as being produced by "Ji-ro Enterprises", though that name is not credited on screen. (The designer of the Filmation logo was the studio background artist Ted Littlefield, and I assume he probably designed the SIB logo as well). Also, Filmation worked for a small firm called "True Line" at the time, receiving screen credit for "production designed by".
Then, in the past couple of years, screenshots of the cartoon's credits with the Sib logo suddenly appear on Toontracker's entry on the show. (And I quickly add the info to the Wikipedia article). There was also a Life of Christ series done by the Associates the same year, for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's Family Films. (Screenshots also included in link; along with, now, YouTube videos (!) of both shows!)
Sib was bought out by Paramount at some point, and that is probably what the lower bracket was about: the summit associated with the Paramount logo. So basically, this was a stylized way of representing a TV set sitting on top of a mountain. (The brackets remained when they went on to produce the theatrical Tom & Jerry's, which then were neither Paramount, nor made for TV!)

Filmation once had the lower bracket as well, though I didn't remember it appearing on any of its shows. The book shows it being used on Superman. In the Archie Show DVD, there is a reprint of an actual Archie Comic made to accompany the debut of the show, where the gang actually visits the studio and meets the staff. Both in the comic, and in a real life picture, we see the Filmation logo with both brackets on the sign on the roof of the studio! There is also a picture of a sign on a wall with it on the Star Trek Animated series DVD. (You can now see it on this video of the pilot of show show I've never heard of: Dick Digit -Rare Filmation Pilot 60's)

So I really began following Filmation. They would go on to do a new "sanitized" version of Mighty Mouse (I liked this one, as I never did like the old Mighty Mouse, the way he beats up on cats and all; see essay on "rooting for the bad guys"). The funniest moment was when someone fired a "liquidator ray" at Mighty Mouse; which then says "You can call me Ray — Or, you can call me liquidator..."; spoofing then popular TV commercial personality Ray J. Johnson (who we named a kitten born around this time, with a patch of black on his face resembling Johnson's "Einstein" mustache, after!)
Then, there were the New Fat Alberts, with the musical segment replaced by a "Brown Hornet" cartoon they watch, which pertains to the subject of the story. Then, a favorite of many other people, though I wasn't that into it: the Flash Gordon series.

The following year, the most unimagineable adaptation! Rival Hanna Barbera's premiere "golden age" theatrical characters, Tom and Jerry! I had been imagining what it would be like for Filmation to produce Tom and Jerry. The series had been through two other studios already, and the last adaptation had been by original creators Hanna Barbera, but they had been made almost completely friends! This fit to some extent, as they would at times team up under certain situations in the old series, but it was seen by many as a total departure from the old series.
Filmation would actually bring back the chase, and even some of the side characters like Droopy, Spike and Tyke, not used by any of the other productions after the end of original MGM run in 1958. Unfortunately, like the second series (the Czech one with the funny sound effects), Tom never "won" in this one. And as I'll discuss shortly, the music. You also had frequent remakes of such classic Tom & Jerry gags as Tom crashing back and forth into a rake and hoe on the ground. And Tom nodding "no" pleading to Jerry not to do something, while Jerry nods "yes" and proceeds to do it.
So they actually seemed to understand the characters, as you have classic T&J moments in an episode like "Spike's Birthday", where Tom foolishly teases some fish with Spike's steak, and later breaks the fourth wall laughing to us at Spike eating the phony steak he replaced the original one with. This and several episodes can be seen on You Tube, but often dubbed in foreign langages. Here is the opening and closing:

In 1979 and 1980, it seems the old "orchestrated" pieces I had liked were dropped completely. But Mighty Mouse and Brown Hornet reused old Groovie Goolies stock. Mighty Mouse and Tom and Jerry brought back the comedic horn blasts (like when someone gets hit with a pie or something). Occasionally, some of the shorter old cues would be thrown in, such as the familiar orchestral sforzando indicating "sudden danger", when Barney Bear falls behind a rotating bookcase in a haunted house in "Scared Bear". Or the Brady Kids "day in the park" type piece that Heckle or Jeckle briefly plays on a harmonica in a closing gag.
It was a couple of years later, that the mid season replacement Sport Billy finally brought back all of the old Lassie style pieces.

These were all composed by legendary musician Ray Ellis. I never knew this name, as for one thing, the credits would always flash by the music credit so fast; I never caught the actual name. All I could notice is the name of the publication company "Shermley Music". So that's what I knew it as. Even if I could see the name, it still wouldn't have been right. Ellis was credited on early shows like the original Archie's, but afterwards, began using pseudonyms (as many credits in this studio were!) First, it was "Marc Ellis" (his son). Then, the most common was "Yvette Blais [his wife] and Jeff Michael" [the first names of co-producer Norm Prescott's sons]. Inbetween, and on special movies such as Treasure Island, it was "George Blais" (Yvette's brother).
It seems his talent, or at least that of the studio's music editors sort of dried up after 1974, as everything became increasingly synthesized in a gaudy fashion, or simply reused stock. The low point was the Tom and Jerry series itself. The score consisted of nice chasing style tunes, but they were done with piercing, oddly toned or dissonant synth sounds, and basically the same three or so tunes reused over and over (though different versions set to different tempos). These episodes, when eventually mixed with other Tom & Jerry's in syndication or cable years later, really stood out, even moreso than the notably odd Czech ones.

So the old cues in Sport Billy were a nice reprieve, as after that, the studio changed for good. One of the producers, Norm Prescott, left, and the rotating credit (devised by Scheimer to not make one look superior by having one name first or on top like would usually be done), was replaced by Scheimer's signature. The old music was gone for good; Ellis leaving and replaced by Haim Saban, who also was DiC's musician. Ellis would that same season score the game show "Sale of the Century", and the opening theme clearly evoked some of his most familiar work at Filmation. Similar to the Shazam theme, and using whatever that percussion effect he always used was. Then, there was a completely new logo that spelled out the studio name, in a new font (by new owner Group W), to some descending xylophone or other reed notes. The first show to highlight all of this: the smash hit He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! The one show people would rave over and demand be brought to Cartoon Network, in the midst of all the criticism of everything else the studio did! I watched it, but was not really into it, and to me it was over. I called this "Neo-Filmation", and I was interested in the "hey day" of the 70's! Also that year, they were now completely off the networks (except for some reruns, and soon they were gone), and now entirely syndicated. In a few years, the studio dwindles down to about one new series per season, and finally disappears. When a new Archie and He-Man series were made by other studios, I knew they were gone!

Entering the Internet age, I begin seeing the utter disdain people had towards the studio. Over what they call its "limited animation" techniques, particularly reused sequences. I had noticed some of this, especially on the musical segments of many shows, which shows both scenes from the episode's story, as well as the same shots of the band playing. Bands such as Archies and Brady's also looked very similar, and were probably the same cells with the heads changed (as critics speculate). But this was really no worse than Hanna Barbera's famed "background loop" (where people pass the same objects over and over, and heavily parodied on Cartoon Network productions). As far as character movement, to me, the worse animation was the Total Television/Jay Ward stuff (Bullwinkle, etc) and Japanese stuff like Speed Racer. Looking at the Filmation animation now in comparison, I see what they're saying, but on shows such as Lassie, or the Brady's, it was the backgrounds that made up for this, and are part of what made the shows memorable. On Fat Albert and the Oliver Twist movie, you even have 3D perspective (rooftops on houses closer to you move faster than those further away), which you didn't really see anywhere else. Critics also make a big deal of laugh tracks; but I don't even notice this unless I am listening for it. Various copies of Scooby also had it, along with others. Eventually, the studio's name would be sometimes mimicked as "Phlegmation"; based on a spoof of it in an Animaniacs episode.

What was worse, is that since most of Filmation's productions were adaptations of other people's properties (almost NO completely original concepts!), they would be divided all over the place, and not have a solid base of airing in the cable age, like Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers would have on Turner's networks. Scheimer should have sold to someone interested in animation, instead of a cosmetic company that only wanted to reap the profits from the properties and then close the studio down. So while we would get our "retro" kick in the 90's to the present, with nearly the whole Hanna Barbera and Warner Bros. library (and others like Pink Panther turning up from time to time), this experience would be almost totally devoid of Filmation! The reliving of childhood Saturday morning was not complete with just HB and not Filmation! It was like a hole in the whole recollection! The only Filmation shows that would air on Cartoon Network would be franchises owned by Turner, or Warner Brothers. Namely, the Tom & Jerry's and Droopy's; relegated to the status as block fillers, and only occasionally at that; and the now WB-owned DC comics library, which were Filmation's first series in the 60's before HB took over with the Superfriends in the 70's. Also, the WB owned Treasure Island and Oliver Twist movies used to play on Cartoon Network's "Mr. Spim's theater", before disappearing for good in favor of endless Fievel and Balto runs for awhile. When Filmation series did air on other cable stations, such as Sci Fi channel, TVLand, and the Hallmark Channel/Odyssey (at that time, the owner of most of the library), by the time Time Warner Cable of NY got these stations, they were gone from the schedules! It was maddening!
I felt so sorry for the studio, ending its run like that, (along with the whole "Ghostbusters" debacle, discussed Entertainment essays) and being so hated. BTW, I eventually find out online that they were off of ABC for good, because of the colossal failure of the Uncle Crock's block show in 1975. I vaguely remembered that, and strongly remembered the Fraidy Cat and Wacky and Packy animated segments (an unusual occurrence of all new characters from the studio). They, along with the third segment, M-U-S-H (a canine spoof of M*A*S*H; they wanted to do a MASH cartoon, but were turned down. I think that would have been nice, like Lassie, and probably done them good, instead of this lame knockoff) all played on Groovie Goolies and Friends. By 1983, the other two networks would follow.

So they as well as the Hanna Barbera character Scrappy Doo would be the constant subject of berating in turn-of-the-millennium internet discussions. In both cases, however, tides turned, and fans like myself made our voices known. A company would get the rights to as much of the shows as they could, and produce DVD's of them, and a Yahoo group and other fansites keep us informed of which shows are coming out! (A person directly involved in the DVD production —and eventual Scheimer biography, Andy Mangels, would be a regular member in the group!) Viacom would also put out a "Star Trek TAS" box set, at a somewhat hefty price (and thus I got for Christmas). My very first Wikipedia edit, BTW, was on the Filmation article! You Tube also, has a lot of old Filmation stuff.
Despite all the detraction, Filmation's adaptations of third-party shows are what made it memorable. To me, Hanna Barbera had pretty much dried up by the 70's. Their strongest shows were the slapstick comedies in the early to mid 60's, followed by the "Super Adventures" shows of the mid to late 60's. These had memorable, and in the case of the Super Adventures, orchestrated score cues, like Filmation. (Except that the HB cues by Hoyt Curtin were more jazzy, while many of Ellis' cues were like classical compositions!)

After 1967, in reaction to cartoon violence, all of this was toned down, and HB scrambled to find a new winning formula. What they soon came up with, of course, was the highly successful Scooby format. This was very good, and is my favorite. But then what happens, is that almost everything else HB puts out copies the formula (and much of its score), due to rival networks ordering something similar. Even the spinoff studio Ruby-Spears (who actually are the creators of Scooby when they worked at HB) copied it. The few comedy shows left were lame compared to the 60's. It was always nice to see a fresh now HB show such as Hong Kong Phooey, but looking back on it, there is not much substance to it compared to the earlier comedies. A new "superadventure" formula was perfected in the Superfriends, and then, everything that was not Scooby-like or lame comedy, would copy the style of Superfriends. Most of Hoyt Curtin's score gradually mellowed down to just anonymous bland backgrounds, and the reuse of Scooby score (a lot of it already being reused from the previous season's shows) even disappeared eventually.

So Filmation moved in, with its unique score, richer backgrounds, and adaptations of popular shows like Star Trek and Gilligan, which as prepackaged concepts were more interesting than most new ideas. To me, this more than made up for any "limited animation".

What it seems like to me, is that someone out there with clout bore some resentment to the studio or its leaders. Both HB and DFE stemmed from golden age theatrical studio animation units, with the producers "graduating" from decades as directors, upon the old studios closing. Scheimer, Prescott, and their director, Hal Sutherland, seemed to come from out of nowhere, and suddenly, almost overnight rose up to give HB a run for their money on Saturday mornings, and far surpass DFE! (And also Rankin-Bass, which probably would have become the third major studio if not for Filmation; and is now known mostly for its holiday specials). I remember reading an interview with Freleng, where he was showing some sarcastic resentment of his animators leaving and working at Filmation. Virgil Ross was the primary one, who was there for years! Some others were, too, such as Fleischer/Famous studios veteran Lou Zukor.
I'm sure the stunt where they won their first major contract (Superman) by throwing together a phony production crew must have irked people as well; especially HB, whom some of the people came from on their lunch hour. Considering this is what propelled the company into its status as a big Saturday morning producer, which quickly took off from there through shows like Archie; people would then call it a "hack studio" because of that, whether their stuff was really that bad or not.
So knowing how people are about these things, people out there were probably miffed at these "upstarts" becoming so big so fast without "paying their dues" like they did. (Scheimer did get his start at UPA, and Sutherland was at Disney for awhile). So then, they begin picking on the animation, and this becomes the studio's "reputation", though somewhat unfairly, when looking at alot of the other made-for-TV stuff out there. It then becomes "cool" to put down Filmation (Just like Scrappy being remembered as being so "annoying", and then accused of destroying the entire Scooby series, to the point he was made the archvillain of the live action movie!) Then, entering the 90's, and the mainstream classic cartoons hit their golden anniversaries, sparking off a nostalgic kick in animation books, cable airings, and all; naturally, looking at Filmation's animation in comparison, it's like "Yeah, that really is bad! But it ignored that even the veteran animators' post-theatrical TV productions (HB Productions, DFE, Chuck Jones productions, or even of all people; Bob Clampett's "Beany and Cecil", etc) would not be as good as the golden age, with large movie studio budgets!

But even the much maligned "limited animation" is often put to good use, creating a stylized look! Like the way a character will zip out of a scene. Sometimes, they will jump up by rising vertically, leaning back stiffly, with nothing moving but their legs. Then, there's the way Tom or someone else often jumps up with their arms flailing wildly. Droopy's painting the entire background in one brush stroke in the wraparound segments. Tom's frantic attempt to put back together Spike's "birthday grub" after it has been ruined. Stylized limited animation is the reason anime has become such a rage! The most ironic slap in the face is that many of these animation critics, (as well as the rest of cartoon fandom), love it! Every anime show from the 60's up to the present looks like it was drawn and animated by the same person. (Actually, the design is based largely on the work of one person: Osamu Tezuka, creator of AstroBoy). Mouths are often just red holes in the face, and seem to go from completely open (and big) to completely closed (and tiny) in just two frames, along with other full movements doing the same. I was watching Hamitaro when it was on CN once, and the first thing that comes to mind is "how in the world could people be so hard on Filmation?" And the backgrounds on most do not help either.

And all the criticism ignores the fact that has been pointed out sometimes, that Filmation kept all the work in the US, where other studios increasingly outsourced the work off to Asia and a few other places. So they had a somewhat small staff, and did the best they could with what they had. They didn't do it just to mock the good name of animation; as you would think from listening to much of the criticism! As one person said on the Toonzone discussion following the BCI Eclise DVD licensing: "But really, just how many ways can Fat Albert walk down the street anyway? How many shots do you need of the Starship Enterprise flying through space? Did every Tarzan swinging through the jungle sequence require fresh animation? The answer is 'No'. Upper management knew that". In all, looking at many of the jokes and gags in the shows; you can see that they genuinely made an effort to try to entertain us! And for this they should be given credit.

While I missed out completely on a book entitled Animation By Filmation (didn't hear about it until well after I gained access to the Internet, and then it was nowhere to be found for purchase), another volume, the more biographical Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation (Raleigh; Two Morrows Publishing, 2012) was announced, by its co-author, Andy Mangels, on the Yahoo list and elsewhere, but was delayed for years, and after many months of hearing nothing about it, and figuring it had probably fallen by the wayside, it was suddenly announced, and then released in 2012. Struggling financially, I made it a priority to get this one. It was said to be better than the previous one.

Among the interesting things we learn:

•Scheimer worked at Warner Brothers, (p34) doing various storyboard and backgrounds jobs, such as a Bell Laboratory Science series, and ended up in the Chuck Jones unit, doing the backgrounds for the 1959 Merrie Melodie "The Mouse That Jack Built" (which was actually directed by the McKimson unit, and he doesn't say how that came to happen). The book includes a screenshot (Benny playing fiddle in his living room), and the backgrounds do look like something Filmation did. That "glossy" look. He did not receive screen credit for any of this, though.

•On his site years ago, he had his resumé, which included work at Hanna Barbera. I had never known about that, and wondered what he did there. This book discusses it. After leaving Warner's, he want to the newly opening HB, and worked on 125 episodes of their first show, Ruff and Reddy. (p.35) He didn't receive screen credit for that either. Joe Barbera kept rejecting Scheimer's drawings of a bad guy, even after Scheimer had Joe draw it himself, and then sent that drawing back to him as if he had done it. So then he left, and went to Larry Harmon pictures. (He mentions doing Bozo, but not the KFS Popeyes, which is what I used to see his, Sutherland's and Kaplan's names on).

•It was erroneously reported before that True Line was created by Scheimer and became Filmation. In actuality, small studios were contracting other studios (including crews like Scheimer's that had no permanent physical "studio" of their own yet, and were getting small jobs at bigger studios), and they eventually got a lawyer who incorporated them as Filmation (September, 1962. Earlier reports said 1963 when Rod Rocket was syndicated). Soon, Scheimer and his associates left True Line (because it was financed by "Japanese gangsters"; and Sib/Paramount, because Bien was supposedly trying to "screw [him] out of the studio" when approaching Jones for the Tom & Jerry's), and they continued doing small miscellaneous independent projects.
As it figures, because "we were working on film, and we were doing animation, so if we put them together..." (Scheimer did think the name was ugly, however). (p.38-9)

•Prescott was originally another instance of this subcontracting. He brought with him the Journey Back to Oz film he was already working on, as a "client" for Filmation, but when Scheimer tells him they couldn't do the picture, Prescott suggested making him a partner instead. Scheimer, figuring they were going down the tubes anyway, then gave him half of what he owned in the company (40% each, while Sutherland and the lawyer partner had 10% each). The studio management was thus complete, but would dwindle down to only the execs and nearly close, until they miraculously got the Superman contract. (p.39-41)

•Many pilots and proposals, including an animated Dick Van Dyke show, King Arthur, Buck Rogers (I used to hear something about that one, as if it had been produced), and stuff picked up by others, such as Plastic Man (to add to the other DC heroes), Prince Valiant, Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. Earlier bids for Lone Ranger, Star Trek and Fat Albert.
-(A followup to the non-Filmation produced 1969 NBC special was picked up by Filmation and released in 1973 under the title "Weird Harold", but on NBC, while the regular series was on CBS!)

•Other projects, both before Superman (such as Stanley Stoutheart/Yankee Doodle Dandy, and commercials and backgrounds), and afterwards.

•When they used Superman on the Brady Kids, they had hoped to revive the series (p.92), but NPP/DC then licensed him to HB (for the new Superfriends), so they chose Captain Marvel, because it was "the closest thing to Superman they had available".(p.110)

•Various specials and game shows for cable. This, because they were owned by cable company TelePrompTer.

•The smiling "O" wasn't supposed to be a TV set after all (as I, and apparently others, had assumed). Scheimer got the idea from an old Gillette billboard (p.48). The book's page numbers are encased in a TV set with antenna silhouette that does evoke the "O", however.

•Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies was part of a deal for up to 20 animated projects with Warner Brothers, including Treasure Island and Oliver Twist. Others included Huck Finn, Arabian Knights, and The Three Musketeers. (p.93) At one point, "the trades" announced an ABC series of the Road Runner! (p. 85. I imagine it would have probably been similar to the often despised Rudy Larriva shorts, and IIRC, he was working at Filmation some time, too!) But after the first two movies (and the Daffy/Porky special) were produced, WB dropped the "animated classics" line (p.113).

•We got information and even shots of Bugzburg and Bravo, the series' they were working on when shut down. BugzBurg was actually a spinoff of the Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night movie. (The main character was a wooden cricket!)
They planned something that sounded really cool, called "Kids' Network", which was a syndicated package that would add new series every season to a rotation of new and classic shows.
We saw other projects as well, such as "Seven Warriors, Seven Worlds".

•More information and shots from the post-Filmation projects of the 90's and 00's (Some of which could be found online a few years ago).

It was amazing to follow the story of a studio that rose up from such shaky beginnings; at on point down to two people, just the producer and director, and just by getting the Superman contract, blossom into such a fixture of kids' TV.

Filmation history

Early 60's "Pre-Filmation"; Larry Harmon Productions: Scheimer, Sutherland and Kaplan animate Bozo and Popeye
1963-66 "Proto-Filmation": unincorporated "Associates" animate Rod Rocket and Life of Christ series for others
•Incorporates and produces commercials. Co-producer Norm Prescott arrives
1966-8 "Old Filmation": Gets first TV contracts with DC Superheroes series and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Musician is Gordon Zahler and different sound effects are used. Producer credit is double-lined and static
•1968, Transition: Ray Ellis arrives (except for Batman), but not the familiar later cues; Horta Mahana begins providing "HannaBarbera-esque" sound effects. Studio propelled into big time status with first Archie show
1969-71 Early Prime: Rotating Producer credit and some familiar Ellis cues added, including the horn blasts. (And Ellis begins using pseudonyms).
1972-4 Golden Years: Richly orchestrated cues added, Fat Albert debuts (with it's own jazzy stock music); the hit Star Trek and several other TV series adaptations (Studio now on all three networks); theatrical movies Treasure Island, Oliver Twist, and Journey Back to Oz. Enters live action with Shazam; Producer credit moves to opening sequences
1975-8 End of golden period: Booted off ABC because of poorly performing Uncle Crock's Block; (mostly on CBS now) music talent begins waning as synths replace orchestation; Tarzan, new Batmans and Super Seven are the hits. Animated end logo added; several War of the Worlds sound effects added.
1979-82 Late Prime: Studio takes on classic animation adaptations (Mighty Mouse, Tom & Jerry), increasing reuse of older score on some comedy shows; all new, overly synthesized score on most of the rest of the shows; Biggest hit is Flash Gordon, also does new animated Shazam, new Lone Ranger, and Zorro.
1983-8 "Neo-Filmation": total change! All new logo in "Group W" font; Prescott leaves; rotating producer credit replaced by Scheimer's signature; Ellis leaves and is replaced by Haim Saban (Of DiC/Saban fame); completely off of networks (except for occasional mid-season reruns, like Fat Albert's stint on NBC). Biggest hit of all time is He-Man and She-Ra. Ghostbusters conflict with new animated adaptation. Closes in the midst of production of new series Bugzburg and a Bravestarr spinoff.
1990's to present "Post-Filmation": DiC picks up both Archie and He-Man for new series; the latter distributed by "Parafrance Communications", which also twice releases Happily Ever After movie. Lou Scheimer Productions briefly attempts to continue the legacy, but is eventually closed down due to ailing health.

The Daffy/Porky—Groovie Goolies pairup

see also Battle of the GHOSTBUSTERS! (original vs Real); (Moved to blog)

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