Super Friends (1980 TV series)
Superfriends 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 Super Friends and The World's Greatest Super Friends.
With Super Friends, 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 of seven-minute shorts. Each hour long episode of Super Friends would feature a half hour rerun from one of the previous six years along with three of new shorts. Meanwhile, the second season from 1981–1982 was a shorter season due to a writers' strike.
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. A 1981 episode titled "Evil From Krypton" depicted the Superman's Fortress of Solitude with a somewhat crystalline exterior and without the giant key, reminiscent of its film appearances.
There were also guest appearances from members previously depicted in Challenge of the Super Friends as well as the original Hanna Barbera created hero El Dorado (debuting in the second season), who was added to the show to make the Super Friends more culturally diverse. In El Dorado's debut episode "Alien Mummy" it is revealed that he is of Mexican descent. The narrator sets the scene by describing the location as 'ancient Aztec ruins in the Mexican wilderness'. One of El Dorado's lines is "these are the mysterious ruins of my people". Black Vulcan is able to spot-weld microelectronics as demonstrated in the episode "Dive to Disaster".
Guest characters and villains
Queen Hippolyta as well as Paradise Island appear in the 1980 episode "Return of Atlantis." In her first two appearances, Hippolyta was a brunette however in her last appearance, she was blonde and wore a blue toga.
Gorilla Grodd appeared in the short episodes "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One" and "Revenge of Doom" again voiced by Stanley Ralph Ross. In "Two Gleeks are Deadlier Than One", he and Giganta (again voiced by Ruth Forman) capture Gleek and replace him with a robot duplicate in order to infiltrate the Super Friends and learn what they are planning. In "Revenge of Doom", Gorilla Grodd was seen with the Legion of Doom when they got back together (after salvaging the Legion of Doom headquarters from the swamp). While all 13 LOD members appear in "Revenge of Doom", only Lex Luthor, Sinestro and Solomon Grundy (again voiced by Jimmy Weldon) speak.
The three Phantom Zone villains, who first appeared in the 1978 episode "Terror from the Phantom Zone", later return in a "lost season" episode from 1983 titled "Return of the Phantoms". In it which they hijack an alien's time-space conveyor and go back in time to Smallville and attack Superboy (voiced by Jerry Dexter) to prevent him from becoming Superman. Fortunately, the pilot of that craft went to warn the Super Friends about what the trio would be attempting and guided Superman and Green Lantern to the proper time period to help the boy. The Super Friends version of the Phantom Zone is described as, "Far beyond the boundaries of the Milky Way. In the uncharted void of deep space. An incredible 5th dimension of space and time, lies parallel to the universe that we know. This interesting interstellar warp which holds the most sinister and ruthless criminals in the galaxy is the infamous Phantom Zone." The molecular structure of any person exiled in the Zone appears white and black. Batman's devices and the Wonder Twins' Exxor Powers are useless within the Phantom Zone.
- Jack Angel - Hawkman, Samurai
- Marlene Aragon -
- Jered Barclay -
- Michael Bell - Zan, Riddler, Gleek, Bobby (in "Cycle Gang"), Exorian Monkey Leader (in "Invasion of the Gleeks")
- Wally Burr - Atom
- Bill Callaway - Aquaman, Bizarro
- Philip Lewis Clarke -
- Peter Cullen -
- Danny Dark - Superman
- Jerry Dexter -
- Jeff Doucette -
- Fernando Escandon - El Dorado
- Shannon Farnon - Wonder Woman
- Brian Fuld -
- Joanie Gerber -
- Nicholas Guest -
- John Hostetter -
- Erv Immerman -
- David Jolliffe -
- Buster Jones - Black Vulcan
- Stanley Jones - Lex Luthor
- Casey Kasem - Robin
- Zale Kessler -
- Bill Martin -
- Pat Parris -
- Victor Perrin - Sinestro
- Patrick Pinney -
- Tony Pope -
- William Ratner -
- Stanley Ralph Ross - Brainiac, Gorilla Grodd
- Michael Rye - Apache Chief, Green Lantern
- Olan Soule - Batman
- Andre Stojka -
- Robert Strom -
- Matthew Tobin -
- Janis Ward -
- Jimmy Welden - Solomon Grundy
- Frank Welker - Mister Mxyzptlk, Dr. Wells (in "Elevator to Nowhere")
- Louise Williams - Jayna
- Jeff Winkless -
- William Woodson - Narrator, Volti Guard (in "Day of the Dinosaurs")
- Marian Zajac -
Reruns, cancellation, and lost episodes
For the 1982-1983 television season, ABC continued to run a half-hour of reruns from the previous seasons called The Best of the Super Friends. It also should be noted that none of the seven minute shorts were rebroadcast. By 1983, Hanna-Barbera had created a syndication package (that was distributed by LBS Communications and ran from 1983-1986) of the earlier Super Friends series. These episodes were picked up by various stations across the United States and were typically broadcast on weekday afternoons.
Not wishing to compete with the syndicated programming, ABC dropped the series from the 1983-1984 Saturday morning television line-up, and for the second time in its run, Super Friends was canceled. However, during this period of time, Hanna-Barbera continued to produce new episodes of Super Friends.
In total, 8 episodes (24 cartoons) of the so-called "Lost Episodes" were animated but not aired in the United States that season. The series did appear in Australia uninterrupted. One of these episodes were aired when Super Friends returned to Saturday morning ABC television the following year. The remainder of the episodes finally aired in syndication in 1995 as part of the Superman/Batman Adventures show on the USA Network. The series also aired on Cartoon Network.
In April 2009, Warner Home Video announced their plans to release the lost episodes of this series in August of that year. They were released as a DVD set, titled Super Friends: The Lost Episodes, on August 11, 2009. In April 2013, Warner Home Video announced Season one episodes will be released on DVD as "Super Friends - Season 5: A Dangerous Fate", on July 23, 2013. Warner Home Video also announced that "Super Friends: Legacy of Super Powers - Season 6" will be released on DVD on October 8, 2013. With the release of Season 6 its makes the entire Super Friends series is on DVD.
- Fan discussion of season one.
- Super Friends: The Shorts Part Two: 1981
- World's Greatest Superfriends Episode: Dive to Disaster, Pt. 3, YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JmiBJWoykw 1:24
- Super Friends: The Shorts Part Three: (The Lost Episodes) 1983