The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie

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The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie
Also known as The New Saturday Superstar Movie
Genre Movie of the week
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20
Running time 45–48 minutes
Original network ABC
Original release September 9, 1972 (1972-09-09) – November 17, 1973 (1973-11-17)

The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie — renamed The New Saturday Superstar Movie in its second season — is a series of one-hour animated TV-movies (some of which also contained live action), broadcast on the ABC television network on Saturday mornings from September 9, 1972, to November 17, 1973.

Intended as a "Movie of the Week" for kids, this series was produced by several production companies — including Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, and Rankin/Bass — and mostly contained features based on popular cartoon characters and TV shows of the time, such as Yogi Bear, The Brady Bunch, and Lost in Space. Some of the features served as pilots for new TV shows.

List of movies[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Title Produced by: Air date
1 "The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island" Filmation,
Paramount Television
September 9, 1972
Based on the characters from The Brady Bunch, this was the pilot for The Brady Kids. The Brady kids enter a balloon race but they end up accidentally going on a mysterious island. They meet some strange people there along with a magical Myna Bird named Marlon and twin pandas named Ping and Pong, and even though they have a fun time with them, they have to find out a way to get home.
2 "Yogi's Ark Lark" Hanna-Barbera September 16, 1972
In this ecologically-minded feature, dozens of Hanna-Barbera animal characters — led by Yogi Bear —and a park custodian named Noah travel around the world, and even into outer space, in a flying version of Noah's Ark in search of "the perfect place" (i.e., a land free of pollution, deforestation, and other forms of mankind's despoilment). Pilot for Yogi's Gang.
3 "Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters" Rankin/Bass September 23, 1972
An animated feature in the same vein as Mad Monster Party.
4 "Nanny and the Professor" Fred Calvert Productions,
20th Century Fox Television
September 30, 1972
In this animated feature, the cast of Nanny and the Professor get caught up in a mystery involving a microdot.
5 "Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter" Hal Seeger Productions,
King Features
October 7, 1972
Fourteen years before Defenders of the Earth, this feature united a wide range of newspaper comic strip characters — including Popeye, Blondie, Hi and Lois, Snuffy Smith, Beetle Bailey, Jiggs and Maggie, Steve Canyon, The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, The Little King, and The Katzenjammer Kids — against a common enemy.
6 "Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid" Rankin/Bass October 14, 1972
This animated feature stars the famous San Francisco Giants baseball player Willie Mays, who voices his own character. A guardian angel named Casey (named after legendary Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, New York Yankees & New York Mets, baseball manager Casey Stengel) (voiced by Paul Frees) agrees to help Willie win the National League Pennant if he agrees to be the godfather of an orphan girl named Veronica.
7 "Oliver and the Artful Dodger: Part 1" Hanna-Barbera October 21, 1972
An animated sequel to the story of "Oliver Twist". Oliver is adopted by Mr. Brownlow. When Mr. Brownlow dies, his will cannot be found so his nephew Sniperly tries to just take the money. Oliver has to stop him. Meanwhile, Artful Dodger now helps children escape from workhouses.
8 "Oliver and the Artful Dodger: Part 2" Hanna-Barbera October 28, 1972
Continuation; see Part 1 above.
9 "The Adventures of Robin Hoodnik" Hanna-Barbera November 4, 1972
A retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, with a cast of all animal characters. Broadcast one year before the release of Disney's Robin Hood.
10 "Lassie and the Spirit of Thunder Mountain" Filmation November 11, 1972
Based on the tremendously popular Lassie character, this was the pilot for the animated series Lassie's Rescue Rangers. Someone tries to frighten the people of Thunder Mountain away, and Lassie has to get to the bottom of it.
11 "Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection (aka The Odd Squad)" Hanna-Barbera,
Screen Gems
November 18, 1972
Animated feature in which the characters from Gidget run afoul of seagoing gold smugglers.
12 "The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park" Hanna-Barbera November 25, 1972
An animated/live-action special starring The Banana Splits. The Splits give Susie, a little girl, a tour of an amusement park. They follow a balloon that goes into a billboard and they chase after it. In there is a witch that kidnaps Susie and the Splits have to save her.
13 "Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family" Hanna-Barbera,
Screen Gems
December 2, 1972
Animated feature in which the children from Bewitched (depicted as teenagers) use their magical powers to save a circus; intended pilot for a series that never materialized.
14 "The Red Baron" Rankin/Bass December 9, 1972
This animated feature casts the Red Baron as a hero, in a world of heroic anthropomorphic dogs and villainous cats.
15 "Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies" Filmation,
Warner Bros.
December 16, 1972
In this unusual cartoon crossover, for which Filmation obtained the right to use Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes characters, the Groovie Goolies help Daffy, Porky, and the other Looneys to solve a spooky mystery (in the style of Scooby-Doo). Mostly animated, but includes a live-action segment, which can be seen here.
16 "Luvcast U.S.A." DePatie-Freleng Enterprises January 6, 1973
A mini-anthology, loosely based on Love, American Style.
17 "That Girl in Wonderland" Rankin/Bass January 13, 1973
In this animated feature, the main character from That Girl imagines herself in the stories "Alice in Wonderland", "Goldilocks", "The Wizard of Oz", and "Cinderella".

Season 2[edit]

For the second season, the series was retitled The New Saturday Superstar Movie.

Title Produced by: Air date
18 "Lost in Space" Hanna-Barbera,
20th Century Fox Television
September 8, 1973
Based on the series Lost in Space, this was meant to be the pilot for an animated version of the show, but it didn't take off.
19 "The Mini-Munsters" Fred Calvert Productions,
Universal Television
October 27, 1973
Animated feature based on The Munsters, involving a car that's "fueled" by music.
20 "Nanny and the Professor and the Phantom of the Circus" Fred Calvert Productions,
20th Century Fox Television
November 17, 1973
Animated feature in which the cast of Nanny and the Professor get involved in a mystery about a traveling circus.


Only three of the above movies have been released on VHS videocassette:

  1. The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters
  2. Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid
  3. Oliver and the Artful Dodger
  4. The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park

Only "The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters" and "Yogi's Ark Lark" have been released on DVD.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]