Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Flash Gordon & Dr Snuggles

Maybe you're a Count Chocula kind of person. Or maybe Lucky Charms or S'Mores Crunch are more your style. Me, I'm going for Pac-Man. But whatever your over-sugared marshmallow cereal of choice is, grab yourself a big bowl and find a spot in the middle of the living room floor, and get ready for another instalment of Saturday morning cartoons!

First up, one of the greatest swashbuckling science fiction shows of the late 70s and early 80s: The New Adventures of Flash Gordon. Follow the adventures of Flash, Dale Arden, and Dr. Hans Zarkov as they battle strange alien monsters, and try to rally the diverse races of the planet Mongo to overthrow the tyrant Ming The Merciless. (full episode)

Now to switch gears and indulge in some lighter fare for a younger audience (although, on Saturday mornings, all bets were off — cartoons for kids of different ages were all aired at more or less the same time, and the cartoon time slot was, at some point, followed by a music video slot where kids fresh off the 'toons could get the shit scared out of them by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video): the Dutch/English masterpiece known as Dr Snuggles. The incomparable Sir Peter Ustinov supplied the voice for the titular Edwardian inventor who — along with his animal, robotic, and structural friends (some of which were also voiced by Ustinov) — goes on adventures ranging from the rescue of wayward flying trees from the depths of space, to a global quest to recharge the fading colours of the rainbow. It's a gentle, kinda steampunky, magical, wildly imaginative series that crams a lot into each episode without ever feeling rushed or shallow. Absolutely wonderful storytelling for kids, and entertaining for adults too. (full episode)

Tune in next week, for another instalment of Saturday morning cartoons!

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