Even more bizarre is Yogi’s Gang. Another first episode, “Mr. Bigot” is possibly the strangest Hanna-Barbera cartoon I have ever seen. Yogi has built an ark, like Noah’s I guess, but it flies. Yup, it has a propeller that is powered by Magilla Gorilla running on a treadmill. A very PC touch.
Populating the ark are all the '60s H-B gang: Atom Ant, Ricochet Rabbit, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss and the rest. This episode is titled “Mr. Bigot.” Yes, there is a villain out there with a “Bigot-Gun” set to turn all of mankind into hate-mongers. When the formerly friendly Mr. Cheerful gets zapped, and turns on the gang, Yogi springs into action. Good guys that they are, the animals turn the other cheek and bake him a cake.
As Snagglepuss should have said: “Heavens to Mergatroyd!” What kind of a lesson is this? It took a quick trip to the menu bar and an episode of the always reliable Bugs Bunny/ Road Runner Hour to cleanse my mental palette after this travesty.
Then there is The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. This is a glorious mess of live action, cartoons, and music. For some reason The Splits’ antics still crack me up. The live action Danger Island serial cliff-hanger is a little odd, as it is just literally cut with scissors in the middle of a scene. There is no method to it at all. Just snip, and no word about tuning in for the next episode or anything.
The Banana Splits song “Soul” is the best part. Filmed in that super-cheesy Hollywood version of psychedelia, the video for “Soul” is great. The singer even gets in name-checks of Otis Redding and Ray Charles, for the hip kindergartner in the crowd.
The only bonus feature included is titled “The Power Of Shazzan.” This is a five-minute documentary on the short-lived Hanna-Barbera show, mainly featuring interviews with people associated with its production.
Watching Saturday Morning Cartoons 1970s Volume 2 is fun. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder of what a truly bent decade those years really were.