Archive for PSAs

ABC’s Awesome Saturday Morning Cartoon PSAs

Posted in cartoons, commercials, pop culture, TV with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Paxton

Saturdays_on_ABC_smallMost of us remember waking up as kids on Saturday morning around 6am just to watch cartoons.  It was a ritual.  I did it, and I loved it.  There were so many good cartoons when I was a kid.  But it wasn’t just cartoons shows I remember from my early Saturday morning viewings, I remember fun and musical public service announcements that would air during commercial breaks.  We’ve all seen them.  They have colorful characters, clever songs and wind up teaching us about our government, good eating habits or proper hygeine.  The most remembered and visible of these public service announcements were the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. Airing on the ABC network, Schoolhouse Rock taught kids the Preamble to the Constitution, how your nervous system works and how a bill becomes a law. But ABC produced more than just the Schoolhouse Rock shorts. ABC produced scores of other cartoon PSAs with catchy tunes and fun mascots that taught kids about healthy eating and how to get a job. Many times these PSAs are lumped into Schoolhouse Rock when we think back on them, but they were separately produced with different voice actors.

Let’s look at some of the other awesome cartoon PSAs produced by ABC in the ’70s and ’80s.  You will probably remember most of these, if not, your welcome for putting songs about nutty snack mix into your head for the next 12 hours.

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Time for Timer – ABC starting producing these “Timer” commercials in the early ’70s. These are probably the most remembered shorts next to Schoolhouse Rock as they played well into the 1990s.  I actually didn’t realize this little guy’s name was Timer, even though I’ve seen the clips a thousand times and at the beginning of every one he says, “Time for Timer!”.  I’m not even sure I knew what that meant.  Now, I get it.  Timer was supposed to represent a person’s “biological clock”.  He carried around a giant stopwatch that went off whenever something was about to happen in the body (hunger, sleepiness, etc).  None of the Timer shorts have titles, they are known by their catchy songs.  His most famous is probably “Hanker for a Hunka Cheese!”.  Another favorite of mine is “Sunshine on a Stick” where Timer teaches us how to make ice pops using orange juice. I remember actually doing this several times.  I also love the “Eat Breakfast” short because the song is catchy (it actually reminds me of the songs in a Rankin-Bass Christmas Special).  There’s also “U Are What U Eat” which features cool animation of the “factory” in your body. Timer was so popular that he actually made an appearance on Family Guy.

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