The Super Friends Hour

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The Super Friends Hour is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 1980 to 1982 on ABC. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics. It was the fifth incarnation of the Super Friends series following Super Friends (1973 TV series), The All-New Super Friends Hour, Challenge Of The SuperFriends and The World's Greatest Super Friends.

Contents

Format

With The Super Friends Hour, the series abandoned the production of half hour episodes (which was the case for the previous two Super Friends series), in favor of the production seven minute shorts. As the Super Friends entered the 1980's on Saturday mornings, their adventures were reduced down to 7 minutes a piece. So for the next couple of years, viewers would be treated to 3 new episodes weekly. In these shorts, we would gradually see almost every Super Hero who has appeared on the Super Friends between 1977 and the 80's appear in various team ups. Occasionally, a DC Villain, namely a couple of former members of the Legion of Doom would resurface to menace our heroes, but for the most part, our heroes would continue to deal with non comic villains and threats. Most of the time, the middle short would feature the Wonder Twins teamed up with one or two of their Super mentors. In addition, the three token heroes, Black Vulcan, Samaraui, and Apache Chief were promoted to starring status on the series short but new intro and at least one of them appeared every week. Another aspect of this season was that there were new health and safety tips as well as crafts that were made, this time being hosted by Black Vulcan, Samaraui, Apache Chief, and the Wonder Twins as well as the original five heroes. There were actually three seasons of these shorts. Each episode of The Super Friends Hour would feature a rerun from one of the previous six years along with three of these new shorts. To clarify, the first season ran for a full hour, combining three new stories with 30 minute reruns. Meanwhile, the second season from 1981-1982 was a shorter season due to a writer's strike. The year 1981 was a rather odd year for the SuperFriends. I read somewhere years ago that in 1981, an animator's strike occurred, which delayed many cartoon premieres. Oddly enough though, there were some new episodes of the Super Friends, but not as many as before. I remember that this was the first year that the Super Friends, which had always been an hour long show, suddenly was reduced down to a 30 minute show, only consisting of these new shorts, and eventually melting in with the reruns of the past. There was no special title and the quality of these shorts were the same as the previous ones. There was one new addition to the Super Friends. El Dorado, the Spanish Super Hero with a cool costume and a super cool red cape that almost puts Superman's cape to shame. Unfortunately, he only appeared in two episodes this season. Eventually, the strike cleared up and suddenly, the SuperFriends now faced some real animated Super Hero competition on Saturday mornings. Reruns of Thundarr the Barbarian were on the ABC lineup that year as well. NBC had three Super Hero hits. Space Stars featured 2 Hanna Barbera Super Hero shows back with new episodes: Space Ghost and the Herculoids in new episodes where they not only teamed up with each other, but also their new costars with their own episodes, the Teen Force and Astro and the Space Mutts. These shows used a lot of stock music heard on the SuperFriends. Filmation presented the Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam. A short lived variety show that featured an animated cartoon of Captain Marvel and the Marvel family. And DePatie Freleng became Marvel/Sunbow Productions and brought to life some real competition for the SuperFriends with a 3 season show called SpiderMan and His Amazing Friends. Over at CBS, Filmation presented the Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour and the fantasy themed cartoon series, Blackstar.

Main characters

These new adventures featured appearances by the core group of the five classic Super Friends (Aquaman, Batman, Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman) along with Zan, Jayna & Gleek. There were also guest appearances from members previously depicted in Challenge Of The SuperFriends as well as the original Hanna Barbera created hero El Dorado (debuting in the second season), who was added to the show to add even more culture to the Super Friends.

List of episodes

Season 1

  1. Bigfoot
  2. Ice Demon
  3. Makeup Monster
  4. Journey Into Blackness
  5. Cycle Gang
  6. Dive To Disaster
  7. Yuna The Terrible
  8. Rock and Roll Space Bandits
  9. Elevator to Nowhere
  10. One Small Step for Mars
  11. Haunted House
  12. The Incredible Crude Oil Monster
  13. The Voodoo Vampire
  14. Invasion of the Gleeks
  15. Mxyzptlk Strikes Again
  16. The Man in the Moon
  17. Circus of Horrors
  18. Around the World in 80 Riddles
  19. Termites from Venus
  20. Eruption
  21. Return of Atlantis
  22. The Killer Machines
  23. Garden of Doom
  24. Revenge of Bizarro

Season 2

  1. Outlaws of Orion
  2. Three Wishes
  3. Scorpio
  4. Mxyzptlk's Flick
  5. Sink Hole
  6. Alien Mummy
  7. Evil from Krypton
  8. The Creature from the Dump
  9. Aircraft Terror
  10. Lava Men
  11. Bazarowurld
  12. The Warlord's Amulet
  13. The Iron Cyclops
  14. Palette's Perils
  15. Colossuss
  16. Stowaways from Space
  17. The Scaraghosta Sea
  18. The Witch's Arcade
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