Super Friends (1973 TV series)
The opening title screen for the first Super Friends series
|Also known as||Super Friends I|
|Genre||Animation / Action / Adventure / Science fiction|
|Created by||E. Nelson Bridwell
Julius Schwartz (consultants)
|Written by||Jack Cole
|Directed by||Charles A. Nichols|
|Creative director(s)||Iwao Takamoto|
(Warner Bros. Television)
|Voices of||Sherry Alberoni
|Narrated by||Ted Knight|
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Composer(s)||Hoyt S. Curtin
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna
|Running time||60 minutes (including commercials)|
National Periodical Publications
|Original release||September 8, 1973 – December 22, 1973|
|Followed by||The All-New Super Friends Hour|
Super Friends is a 1973 animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera and National Periodical Publications. It is based on the Justice League comic books, and is the first incarnation of the Super Friends series.
Super Friends first aired on ABC on September 8, 1973, featuring the well known DC characters Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Superman, Batman and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation, and voice talent from these prior programs was brought over to work on the new show. Shortly before the Super Friends series was developed, Superman and Wonder Woman also guest-starred in two episodes of The Brady Kids, while Batman and Robin appeared in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
In addition to the superheroes, a trio of sidekicks was introduced, each of whom were new characters not drawn from the comic books: Wendy Harris (voiced by Sherri Alberoni), Marvin White (voiced by Frank Welker), and Wonderdog, none of whom had any special abilities (save Wonderdog’s unexplained ability to reason and “talk”). Wendy and Marvin were depicted as detectives and/or superheroes in training. These characters were a nod of sorts to the JLA's human friend Snapper Carr from the Justice League Of America comic book, who was meant to be a viewpoint character the readers could relate to.
Format and episode formula
Each episode would begin with the heroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer that was situated within the Hall of Justice which served as the headquarters of the team. Colonel Wilcox, a U.S. Army official, was a recurring character who would work as a government liaison to the Super Friends during emergencies.
As such conflicts are often ultimately resolved with the antagonists persuaded to adapt more reasonable methods to achieve their aims with the assistance of the heroes. Natural disasters triggered by human (or alien) activity were often shown, and environmental themes featured strongly in the program.
Plastic Man made his animated debut in a cameo appearance in the episode "Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C." voiced by Norman Alden. Superman calls him in to extract a mouse from a computer system.
Green Arrow appeared in the episode "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof" and was voiced by Norman Alden. He was referred to as a "Staunch member of the Justice League of America."
- Sherry Alberoni - Wendy, Polly Lean (in "The Fantastic Frerps"), Museum Patron (in "The Planet-Splitter")
- Norman Alden - Aquaman, Green Arrow (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Plastic Man (in "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C"), Astronaut (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Pilot (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Guard (in "The Planet-Splitter")
- Danny Dark - Superman, Android Superman (in "The Androids")
- Shannon Farnon - Wonder Woman, Martha Kent (in "The Planet-Splitter"), Lara (in "The Planet-Splitter"), Mrs. Caldwalader (in "The Planet-Splitter")
- Casey Kasem - Robin, Jor-El (in "The Planet-Splitter"), Professor Goodfellow (in "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C."), Colonel (in "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C."), Professor Von Noalot (in "Too Hot to Handle"), Twisty (in "The Balloon People"), Mike Rosecope (in "The Fantastic Frerps"), Mac M (in "Menace of the White Dwarf"), Dr. Hiram Gulliver (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Pvt. Smith (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Wilbur (in "The Planet-Splitter"), Guard (in "The Planet-Splitter"), Young Alien (in "The Watermen")
- Ted Knight - Narrator, The Flash (in "Too Hot to Handle")
- Olan Soule - Batman, Jonathan Kent (in "The Planet-Splitter")
- John Stephenson - Colonel Wilcox, Sir Cedric Cedric (in "The Power Pirate"), Alien (in "The Power Pirate"), Mr. Huggins (in "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C"), Grunk (in "The Balloon People"), King Plasto (in "The Fantastic Frerps")
- Frank Welker - Marvin, Wonder Dog, Mr. Darby (in "The Baffles Puzzles"), Android Wonder Dog (in "The Androids"), Loco (in "The Androids"), Styro (in "The Fantastic Frerps"), Creature (in "The Mysterious Moles"), Igor (in "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof"), Holo (in "The Watermen")
This first run of Super Friends, consisting of sixteen one hour episodes that were rerun several times, concluded on August 24, 1974. At this point, the series was cancelled and did not appear on the fall lineup for 1974.
Warner Home Video released Super Friends: Season One, Volume One on DVD in Region 1 on January 5, 2010. Volume One was a 2 disc set of the first eight episodes of the series at a retail price of $26.99. On July 20, 2010 they released Volume Two which was also a 2 disc set and contained the remaining eight episodes of the series.
- Super Friends at Big Cartoon DataBase
- Super Friends at the Internet Movie Database
- Super Friends at TV.com