There are millions of former kids who spent their entire Saturday mornings addicted to the TV shows that Lou Scheimer produced, scored, wrote (and occasionally performed voices for). We lost Lou at the age of 85 yesterday, the day before his birthday today.
Too many shows to mention, and too many to include in this cartoon (I wanted a Tarzan, an Aquaman, the Teen Titans, Isis and a few others included but there was only so much room and so much time), but thanks for all of them. Even the ones I didn’t like…because someone out there did.
I hope I leave one tenth that legacy.
Ty the Guy OUT!
Your bonus moment is my favorite Lou Scheimer Filmation production that WASN’T animated…
When I was a kid, this was the COOLEST thing I’d ever seen. I was a HUGE Captain Marvel fan, and thought I was alone on the Earth. Then Jackson Bostwick, Uncle Dudley and the Winnebago of Eternity arrived one weekend and made it all better.
Thanks again, Lou.
Bonus BONUS Moment:
When I had the chance to write a Star Trek Miniseries for IDW a while back, one of the first things I asked was if I could include Lt. Arex, a member of the cast used ONLY in the Filmation Star Trek Series. I pays my tributes when I can!
Brilliant tribute. When I learned a few years ago that the reason Filmation reused stock footage so much was so that they could keep American animators employed after the competition had already outsourced to other countries, I retroactively upgraded my rating of their work. By all accounts I’ve ever heard, Mr. Scheimer cared about Filmation; its product, producers, and viewers.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was my first real craze. Other kids just ripped off the bubble with the toy and started playing, but my mom had me study the back of the package card to see which figures were in that wave. I learned to write by making lists of the Mattel action figures that I had, and the ones that I wanted. From the cartoon, I started doing my first voice impressions of different characters.
She-Ra, Princess of Power was probably even more important to me because it was the one bit of entertainment in my youth that challenged gender norms by giving us an action show built around not just a woman, but women in general. I was pretty much destined to be a feminist from the beginning anyway, being raised by my divorced mom and all that, but She-Ra established for me the paradigm of feminine strength. Even in 2013, I can’t think of very many shows that even try to explore that kind of territory – and few of them are as well written as was She-Ra.
I didn’t get into Star Trek until 1991. I was mesmerized by the teaser poster for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and resolved to get caught up on the movies and shows by the time it opened. I did, and I was pretty much hooked from the beginning. Filmation’s animated show is terrific, and I don’t care what Gene Roddenberry said about its canonical status; it holds its own against the live action series.
A few months ago, I went back and re-watched the original and animated series on DVD, ranking each episode as I went. #10 was “Yesteryear” from the animated show, which I picked above 70 live action episodes. Despite what I’ve already said about admiring Filmation’s commitment to employing domestic animators as long as possible, I do kinda wish someone would produce new animation and music for that show (and bring in some more voice actors; three people voicing 85% of every character wears thin). But the stories themselves were far more sophisticated than anything else in animation from their era. Much like Batman: The Animated Series (and The Batman Adventures), there’s something endearing about an animated show trusting us with quality storytelling above generic action and catch phrases.
So, yeah, you can get a sense of the impact that Filmation has had on me throughout the years. Everyone always distills childhood animation debates into Disney vs. Warner, but truthfully, I would say Filmation and Sunbow were much more relevant to me. I tip my hat to Mr. Scheimer for overseeing such a terrific body of work, and also to you, Mr. Templeton, for this inspired tribute.
Tarzan, Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Blackstar, He-Man, She-Ra, Bravestar and of course who could forget the Freedom Force!!! Filmation was part of my childhood right up to my teens. R.I.P Lou and thank-you.
I’m just now realizing how many Filmation shows I loved. Also: ARK II. I loved that show like a house on fire. Like Shazam, it probably hasn’t aged as well as my memory would like, but when I was a kid, it was THE BOMB.
Ohmygosh, they made a Shazam tv series once, and I didn’t even know about it???
Chances are it never aired in Italy…. but I am totally going to look it up now!!
A year later: I grew up on Filmation, in all its stock footage, rotoscoped, Larry Storch and Howard Morris, Hal Sutherland, Norm Prescott, repetitive music glory. And that doesn’t even cover the live-action stuff! I can still hear the music cue when their logo would come on screen. I wonder how many people know that Scheimer was also the voice of Bat-Mite and Orko? And if you saw and incidental character give a flat, if slightly nasaly line delivery, it was probably Scheimer. We miss you Lou, and we certainly miss your cartoons.