by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Last Christmas I received a Punky Brewster DVD set. I haven't opened it, which is atypical of me. I generally spend a good chunk of January (and sometimes part of February) watching TV-on-DVD sets that I acquire of the holidays. And, while I did watch Punky Brewster a lot when I was in middle school, I'm not a giant fan of the live show. However, I always adored the animated show! It was a Saturday morning fixture when I was very young, and I had Punky Brewster sneakers when I was in kindergarten. In fact, I wasn't aware that the cartoon was a spin-off of the sitcom for a good decade. And, that's what sparked today's post... what other live-action shows have tried animated spin-offs... but more particularly, what strange ideas have there been?
In looking into this, I discovered that there have been a lot of primetime shows that tried to go the cartoon route. I found a lot that made some sense to me (The Addams Family or the Sabrina the Teenage Witch incarnations, for instance), but others seem so unlikely that I thought I'd share. I'm especially interested to find out if anyone has ever seen any of these wacky incarnations (which I haven't really ordered, though I do believe that I might have saved the best for last!)!
- I knew that ALF had ALF Tales. And I had a coloring book to reflect the latter. However, apparently that was the second animation attempt... the first was Alf: The Animated Series. Who knew? It looks kinda like your typical late 80s/early 90s cartoon, though.
- When you think of family shows, none really come to my mind as screaming for an animated trial. However, The Brady Kids is out there. Looks like they sang. and had sidekicks... two panda bears and a bird! here's a clip.
- I didn't know Gilligan's Island had any animated spin-offs, but apparently they had TWO! One in the 1970s (The New Adventures of Gilligan) and one in the 1980s (Gilligan's Planet). (Links give you the theme songs to each.)
- Bewitched had Tabitha & Adam and the Clown Family. really. Apparently, Darren's sister is a clown, and her whole family is in the circus. This cartoon has Tabitha & Adam hanging out with their cousins and stuff. I could only find a single clip, in which Tabitha and Adam do not seem to appear.
- Apparently The Dukes of Hazzard had The Dukes, not only is that really old, I also don't really care for that show. It amuses me particularly because I didn't feel that the original was aimed at children... so is the cartoon supposed to?
- Who here has heard of The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang? Not me, that's for sure. This one actually sounds particularly interesting because of the focus it places on the Fonz. But, as the theme song states, the premise is that they're in a spaceship traveling through time. o.O
- Speaking of the Fonz, apparently there was also a Laverne & Shirley with the Fonz. Um, what??!?!? Similarly, there's also a Laverne & Shirley in the Army, which was before the other cartoon. (Okay, upon a tiny bit of research, it appears that Laverne & Shirley was a spin-off from Happy Days to begin with, so now the Fonzie thing makes sense, LoL.) This proves it was real. LoL.
- Apparently, Lassie made a go of the animation world as well. No offense to the dog, but I think that Chip and Dale made better "Rescue Rangers" than Lassie.
- I Dream of Jeannie had Jeannie, which, although I didn't know about, completely makes sense, given the opening to the original. However, after I saw the opening, I'm not convinced that this was anything other than completely ridiculous!
- Um. This one makes me laugh. Partridge Family 2200 AD. hmmm... odd. that's the best word I have for that. And, it seems awfulllllllllly close to The Jetsons, LoL.
And, theoretically, Muppet Babies may have seemed like a strange direction for The Muppet Show to head toward, but I thought it was fabulous and not peculiar at all... so while it might deserve to be placed under the heading of "strange idea for an animated show," I am going to refrain from doing so. But what are your thoughts? Where would you place that cartoon spin-off, or others for that matter? And have you seen any episodes of the shows I mentioned above? Or are you just as shocked as I am to find out that they're out there?!?