Thursday, May 5, 2016

Hanna Barbera's "These Are the Days"

Hanna Barbera might be considered a classic creator of television animation these days, but much of their output was highly derivative and hoky. What was The Flintstones but an animated copy of The Honeymooners? The Jetsons was merely a futuristic version of the The Flintstones. Their only arguably unique idea was Scooby Doo and they copied that one over and over again. In 1974, Hanna Barbera decided that an unfunny animated rip-off of The Waltons was needed. That Fall they premiered These Are the Days because kids were dying for a dramatic cartoon on Saturday mornings.


The cartoon featured the Days, an off-brand Walton family whose serious adventures offered a jarring transition from the standard animated cartoons shown in the early morning and the show that signaled the end of the cartoons to children of a certain age- American Bandstand.


The show lasted just one season. It seemed that kids didn't really care for a dramatic cartoon version of The Waltons. And toy companies could find no takers for what little merchandise was made available.