Journey to the Center of the Earth-The Animated Series produced by Filmation Associates
The first ever animated series based on a Jules Verne novel,since this was a loose adaption of the 1865 book,but it was more in tune to the 1959 motion picture of the same title that starred Pat Boone and James Mason. This was the animated version of the novel that was produced by Lou Scheimer and Norman Prescott for Filmation Associates in association with Twentieth Century-Fox Television(which went heavily by the studio's version of the same title)that was part of ABC-TV's Saturday Morning schedule from September 9,1967 until August 30,1969. This series premiered on ABC's Saturday Morning schedule as did another successful animated hit "The Adventures of Spider-Man",which was a major hit for ABC,which was the first animated series produced for Saturday Mornings based on the Marvel Comics Character.
The series really concentrated on the characters of the Oscar-winning 1959 film instead of the 1865 book of the same title written by Jules Verne. But the two go hand in hand. The series focus on Professor Lindenbrook took his niece Cindy and her classmate Alec on an expedition through caverns with the group's brawny blonde guide Lars. Calmity struck when the evil Count Saccnuson,a descendant of the explorer who found that the route they were traveling led to the middle of the world,sealed off the entrance in an effort to prevent them from returning to the surface. The Count's manservant Tors helped in trying to stop Lindenbrook's group in all of the 17 episodes that were produced in which all of them lead to having cliffhanger endings. Adding a lighter touch to the menacing chases through the caves was Cindy's pet duck Gertrude. Though producers Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer went by the studio's version of the same title,the series used writers from TV-shows like "Star Trek", "Daktari", "Lost In Space",and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea",there was little in the scripting that made this cartoon better than others seen at the time,especially for 1967,when this came out against the superiority of the Saturday Morning superhero shows that exploded during the late 1960's. And speaking of the supporting stock-players,the great Ted Knight voiced the characters of Professor Lindenbrook/Count Saccnuson,while regular Filmation stockplayer Jane Webb did the voice of Cindy,and the great Pat Harrington,Jr.(who did the voice of the Inspector in the DFE-United Artists produced "The Inspector" animated theatrical shorts,and later on was Schneider on the Norman Lear-produced series "One Day At A Time" during the mid-1970's)did voicework for the characters of Alec McEwen/ the professor's assistant Lars,and also voice the evil hencemen Torg.
"Journey to the Center of the Earth",was the first TV cartoon series based on Jules Verne's classic novel. Other works from Jules Verne would arrived later including "Around the World in 80 Days"(the first-ever Saturday Morning cartoon produced in Austraila for American Television in 1972),and also "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea"(the animated version produced by Hanna-Barbera would arrived in 1973).
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