Famous Classic Tales

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Famous Classic Tales
Genre Anthology
Television special
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 40
Running time 30–60 minutes
Original network CBS
Original release November 1, 1970 – June 15, 1992
Related shows Family Classic Tales
ABC Afterschool Special
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie

Famous Classic Tales is an American anthology series on CBS which aired animated television specials based on classic children's stories from production companies such as Hanna-Barbera Australia, Air Programs International (API), Southern Star Group and Golden Films.


Famous Classic Tales was broadcast on CBS and distributed by Kids Klassics Home Video and Storybook World. It had cartoons from API's Family Classic Tales. Featured cartoons included adaptions of classic literature such as Gulliver's Travels, Treasure Island, Black Beauty, Moby-Dick, and many others.

The creation of a series of animated features based on classic children's stories was conceived by Jack Thinnes, Media Director at Sive Advertising in Cincinnati, Ohio. The series was created for a Sive client, Kenner Products, and each program was fully sponsored by Kenner on CBS Television Network on Sunday, late afternoon or early evening, during the prime toy selling season before Christmas. The idea to use classic children's books sprang from Thinnes' viewing of a two-minute demo of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which was produced by Walter Hucker's studio, API (Air Programs International), of Sydney, Australia. API was purchased later by Hanna-Barbera Studios after Thinnes introduced the owners of the studios to one another. After the series ran on CBS for nearly ten years, it was moved into local syndication by Sive's syndication department. However, their adaptation of A Christmas Carol was such a favorite that it continued to run on the network for fifteen years.[1]

It is very similar to ABC Afterschool Special, ABC Weekend Special and The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie.

Cartoons associated with this series are Aesop's Fables (Manga Aesop Monogatari), Charlotte's Web, Puss in Boots, Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family, The Velveteen Rabbit and Jack and the Beanstalk. Both these and the Famous Classic Tales were released on VHS by GoodTimes Entertainment, Fox/Lorber and Kids Klassics. Several other stories made it to DVD afterwards, including a 2006 release from Southern Star by KOCH Vision. All of these are now out of print.

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