AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: The Groovie Goolies cartoon

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Okay, the Frankenstein theme begins in earnest this week.  All the entries from here on out will feature the giant, green skinned behemoth in some pop culture incarnation.  This week’s entries will look at Frankenstein cartoons.  Next week I’ll look at Frankenstein novels and the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest will be spent looking at Frankenstein movies.

So, like I said, this week is cartoons.  Frankenstein has been in a bunch of cartoons.  He’s headlined a few, been a part of a few.  Let’s take a look at one of the more fun ones.

Today’s entry is The Groovie Goolies

Groovie Goolies

This cartoon originally aired on TV between 1971 and 1972. The show was created by one of the best animation houses around, Filmation, who also created He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, Star Trek the animated series and many other of your favorite cartoons.

Frankie on piano Drac and Wolfie

The Groovie Goolies consisted of a group of characters who were said to be cousins of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the show originally aired as Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies). The Goolies reside in a haunted mansion called Horrible Hall.  Each Goolie character was based on the Universal Monsters of the 1930’s.  Drac (Dracula), Wolfie (Wolf man) and Frankie (Frankenstein’s monster) were the stars but other characters included Mummy (the Mummy), Dr Jeckyll & Hyde (Jeckyll & Hyde) and Bella La Ghostley (similar to Lily Munster).  The group formed a pop music group and would sing a song in each episode.  Here’s the opening theme which sounds a lot like the Monkees:

The network execs thought the Goolies were strong enough to receive their own show, which, they did, in 1971.  In 1972, the Goolies appeared in the film, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet The Groovie Goolies, which aired  as an ABC Saturday Superstar Movie.

When the Goolies were syndicated, their format became the now familiar “Laugh-In” variety program.  The Goolies would introduce other Filmation cartoons of the time.  The show was re-named The Groovie Goolies and Friends.  Below is the opening which also mentions the other Filmation cartoons featured on the show:

Wow, the cartoons they list get progressively worse.  If I had seen that promo as a kid, if I hadn’t changed the channel as soon as the Lassie cartoon popped up, I would have by the time they got to the dog version of MASH or The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty.  WTF, Filmation?!  When I watched the show in syndication in the late ’70s/early ’80s I remember My Favorite Martians, New Adventures of Gilligan as well as Gilligan’s Planet.  And they NEVER showed Gilligan’s Planet.  They always showed MUSH or one of the other boring cartoons.  Each time they had the promo for Gilligan’s Planet I got excited, then they’d show that damn dog cartoon.  It was like a fresh kick in the balls every Saturday morning.  Thanks, Filmation.  Thanks for kicking a 6 year old boy in the balls.

Regardless of the childhood scars, I really did enjoy the Groovie Goolies portions of the show.  I’m a sucker for monsters.  Especially ones that can play groovy tunes on a xylophone made of bones.

You can get the Goolies on DVD here. Or on Netflix.

Check back on Wednesday for a new Frankenstein cartoon!!


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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3 Responses to “AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: The Groovie Goolies cartoon”

  1. Never heard of The Groovie Goolies but this looks like such a cute show! I looked it up and though I haven’t seen the movie, I have seen the live action part of Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies.

    Thank you for such a great post!

  2. Loved the Groovy Goolies! I had completely forgotten about this but I’m sending my sister a link.

  3. I’ve never heard of the groovy ghoulies before. Great post!

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