Josie and the Pussycats (TV Series 1970–1972) Poster

(1970–1972)

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Another winner from the sheer brilliance of Hanna-Barbera comes Josie and the Pussycats
rcj536515 July 2008
Based on the characters from Archie Comics,this show premiered in 1970 after the huge and critical success of "Scooby Doo,Where Are You",comes another winner from the team of Hanna-Barbera. This show was on the same ground as "Scooby Doo",but with a twist. You take an assortment of characters. The fearless redhead(Josie McCoy),the dingbatty not-so-very bright blonde(Melody Valentine),the ingenious and brains of the outfit sista(Valerie Brown,who was African-American),the hunky roadie(Alan Mayberry),the gutless and sometimes cowardly manager(Alexander Cabot,III),and his jealous catty raven sister who always get the group into trouble(Alexandra Cabot)along with her snickering shorttail feline companion Sebastian. Add to the mix a gallery of diabolical villains, some high adventure that puts the group into on situation after another. Along with a library of marvelous music and from there you have the perfect formula for a great cartoon series. One of the best from the Saturday Morning era of the early 1970's.

"Josie and the Pussycats" was just that...a group name of a trio of young female singers who performed in skin tight feline outfits which included adorable ears. Josie was the redhead lead singer of the band who played the tambourine,while Melody,the blonde was on the drums and Valerie played the guitar and other instruments and wrote all of the songs for the group. The girls along with their roadie Alan,and manager Alexander and his sister Alexandra were musicians who perform all around the world,and along the way in their adventures meet up with some diabolical villain set to take over the world(in some episodes the group is captured by the villain's hencemen or hencewomen and somehow escape or running away from certain dangers) while spending their spare time thwarting international schemes on those who may try to conquer the world and destroy mankind. It amazes me if Josie and her companions were part musicians or international agents working for a secret based underground organization. Could be. Some of the villains they faced were "The Countess", "Mr. X", "Evil Eye", "Midas", "Captain Nemo", and "The Scorpion".

Premiering on CBS-TV on September 12,1970, "Josie and the Pussycats",was a major hit Saturday Morning hit of the early 1970's,following in the comedy and bubblegum music mold of "The Archies". What made this animated cartoon so great was the casting of very well known Hanna-Barbera stockplayers who did the voices. One of them was actress Janet Waldo(who did the voice of Josie)who was also the voice-over for other H-B cartoon characters including the voice of Judy Jetson. Another Hanna-Barbera stockplayer was that of Casey Kasem (who did the voice of Alexander)who was also at the time did the voicework for Shaggy on "Scooby Doo",and other characters,while Jerry Dexter did the voice of Alan,and actress Sherry Alberoni did the voice-over for Alexandra. Regular H-B stockplayer Don Messick(who was legendary for several voiceovers for Hanna-Barbera)did the voice and animal sounds of Sebastian. Actress Barbara Pariot(who was the voice for Valerie,and one of the first minority characters to be featured as the lead in an animated series),and actress Jackie Joesph(did the voice of the dingy blonde Melody)were featured. The singing voices were done by Catherine Douglas,Patricia Holloway,and Cherie Moore(who later changed her professional name to Cheryl Ladd,and became an actress on the prime-time ABC 1970's hit Charlie's Angels in addition to having a short-lived singing career.) Out of the 17 episodes that were produced,the series ran for one season on CBS-TV from September 12,1970 until September 4,1971. CBS repeated these episodes from September 11,1971 until September 2,1972. Then after more than four years on CBS-TV,the series moved to NBC-TV where the episodes were repeated from September 6,1975-October 18,1975,and again from October 25,1975 until Spetember 4,1976. Only the original episodes from the first season aired during the 1970-1971 season,while repeated episodes aired during the 1971-1972/1972-1973 seasons on CBS,and were recycled when it moved to NBC for the 1975-1976 season. The original series and its sequel were recycled numerous times during the entire decade of the 1970's
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The Comic Book Was Better
Brian Washington8 July 2003
When I was a kid, I used to enjoy looking at this show. However a few years after the show went off the air, I read the cartoon series, which is radically different from the television version. For instance, the comic book plays as more of a collegiate version of Archie (coincidentally, the Josie and the Pussycats comic book is published by the same company as the Archie comics) in which they are just your average girls with a rock band and they do not go all over the world fighting the wild villains as they do in the animated version of the series. However, the characters personalities are more or less the same, except for Alex. In the cartoon he is a lily livered coward, while in the comic book he is an ego-maniacal weasel much like Reggie Mantel is in the Archie series. I think I would have preferred to see that version of the show rather than this show, which plays like a combination of Scooby Doo and a juvenile version of The Avengers.
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Didn't JATP Meet Scooby-Doo once?
btdroflet3820 January 2005
With all the talk about comparing Josie's bunch with that of Scooby-Doo, I seem to vaguely remember that both groups were featured in an episode of the New Scooby-Doo Movies back in 1973. Casey Kasem must have needed a rest after supplying dialog for both Shaggy and Alexander, nervous breakdowns and all...at one point they even both sounded alike!!!! Furthermore with an expanded cast of eleven teens plus the animal mascots, it must have been tough trying to get the personalities straight - particularly with Alexandra as the sarcastic sounding-board. Then again, the animation would have suffered with so many people to keep track of, including the supporting cast of ghosts and ghouls.
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8/10
Josie was "all that" and still is...
RealLiveClaude8 February 2003
I rediscovered the cartoon when the 2001 movie starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Tara Reid was almost released. The show was broadcasted in a Canadian Cable Network (YTV).

I have watched it in 1972-73 and re-watching it was going into the same fun I had when I was a kid. Stories that were funny, written the "Hanna Barbera" way and with such a sense of humor. I can say here the show distanced a bit from the Archie comic book itself. For example, Alex left his arrogant ego in the comic book and becomes a coward in this one (and that voice from Casey Kasem, I burst out, this is funny ). For the rest, Alexandra with her envys of stealing Alan from Josie and give the Pussycats a "music lesson" and Melody with her everlasting ditziness makes the show...

Noticeable thing here: since the original series started when "Scooby Doo" took a break, I found that Josie and the Pussycats were patterned the same way, with same music and expressions like "meddling kids". Otherwise, the rest is fun to watch and was also a great geography course because in each show, they were in a different country. And even one of the shows did feature a chase around the world (one of the best episodes called "The Great Pussycat Chase"...).

A fun classic to be enjoyed over and over again...
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6/10
OK...but what happened to Josie?
moonspinner556 May 2001
Sarcastic Alexandra is really the star of this cartoon series, with her cantankerous manner and continual put-downs (she even tells her cat Sebastian off, as with this caveat while unloading the van: "How would you like a suitcase sombrero?"). Josie gets completely lost in the woodwork, offering no solutions and no banter; blonde Alan is also a dullard (is that why they put them together?). I enjoy "Josie and the Pussycats" somewhat more than the similar "Scooby Doo" series simply because it's about musicians in danger and not a motley crew of teenage sleuths (and the music is actually pretty jazzy for bubblegum). Still, there isn't much direction at work here...and no driving force.
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The Cat's Me-WOW!
Gerald Brown10 November 2001
The fearless redhead. The dingbatty blonde. The ingenious African-American. The hunky roadie. The gutless manager. The catty raven. The snickering Shorttail. The gallery of brilliant villains. A library of marvelous music. The perfect formula for a great cartoon series named "Josie and The Pussycats". Yeah, yeah, dirty minds(and several little minds)would go nuts about a certain part of the title, but the rest of us think the title was really groovy. Based on Archie Comics' great comic book, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon showcases musicians Josie McCoy, Melody Valentine and Valerie Brown, their roadie Alan Mayberry, their manager Alexander Cabot III, his volatile sister Alexandra and her snickering cat Sebastian. They perform all around the world, spending their spare time thwarting international schemes to conquer the world. Troublemakers such as The Countess, Mr. X, Greenthumb, Evil Eye, Midas, Nemo, and the Scorpion make the band's lives a living HELP(a term Alexander never forgets to yell for in every episode)! Janet Waldo, Jackie Joseph, and Barbara Pariot are the terrific trio, Jerry Dexter and Scooby Doo Alumni Casey Kasem are the dudes, Sherry Alberoni is the 'tude and Scooby himself, Don Messick, is the cool cat. The girls who give us those cool tunes such as my favorite, "You still have a way to go" are really Catherine Dougherty, Patrice Halloway and Cheryl Ladd as Melody's singing voice. JATP's charm comes from Josie and her allies. Josie makes the perfect leader, a perfect combo of wisdom, strength and beauty. Melody is the giggling silly of the group, always smiling and laughing no matter what the situation. Valerie is one of the first influential Afro-American cartoon characters. A pre-Cleopatra Jones like super spy who's the brains of the outfit and the lyrics of Josie's songs. Alexandra's cattiness keeps Josie on her toes and Alexander's gutlessness makes for some fine comedy. Alan's hunky appearance makes Josie and Alexandra's conflicts even more juicier. I felt it was only fair for me to rave over this great cartoon series, because I dissed the movie. Mayhaps if the writers made the movie more closer to the cartoon and more family friendly, I would have loved it. But NOOOOOOO, those saps made it just another Hollywood PG-13 zombie. Phooey on them! Their spin-off, JATP IN OUTER SPACE, may not have all the songs, but it is equally entertaining. I suggest you all see both the cartoon versions . .. and the comics, too.
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8/10
a notch or 2 above Scooby Doo
r-c-s27 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
While I understandably loved this cartoon as a child decades ago, I find it still enjoyable today, unlike a few other H&B cartoons. It is indeed a re-cooked Scooby Doo thing, and both series have lots in common but I love this one much more. Unlike the "superfriends megapowers show", where non-white characters look more like "tokens" to appease politically correct minds, and in some instances like idiots, this (much earlier) show makes Valerie as one of the best actors with her A-team ability to assemble & disassemble anything electronic. Made in 1970, the songs are not that bad even today, considering this was a low-profile cartoon and not some billionaire operation. Plots are paper thin but hey, it was a show designed for children, as it delivers quality as such.
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Rediscovered after Thirty Years!
richard.fuller113 February 2004
It would be nearly three decades when I would see this cartoon again, having totally suppressed all my memories. As I watched a six episode marathon on Cartoon Network, when the song "Lie, Lie, Lie" began in "The Secret Six Secret", I was transformed to my childhood again. Since then I have collected comic books, recorded all the cartoons as well as various storybooks.

Josie began as a female Archie. Her creator, Dan DeCarlo, named her after his own wife. Alexander and Melody were there from the start, and yes, Alexander Cabot III was indeed very similar to Reggie Mantle in Archie.

Basically, Josie and Alexander were gender-reversed Archie and Veronica, to an extent.

When Alexandra appeared in the comic book, she was more of a soundboard for Alexander and would even befriend Josie.

Just before the Hanna Barbera cartoon would be launched six years later, Alan M. would be introduced as a folk-singer and an object of affection for Josie and Alexandra, bringing on what is one of the grandest rivalries this side of Betty & Veronica, totally devoid of any friendly terms.

Believe it or not, Sebastian would be introduced in the comic book as the reincarnation of an ancestor of Alexander and Alexandra. Rarely, if ever, would the comic book cat have the life of the cartoon version.

With the sudden creation of Valerie, the assortment would be complete for the cartoon, which was seeking to cash in on the success of the animated Archie and Scooby Doo.

Tho it would be on for only one year, it would end up a remarkable cartoon. All the other cartoons, Scooby Doo included, would have a group that would leave you wondering why they were there. Were Shaggy and Velma boyfriend and girlfriend, too? Did the Neptune band members in Jabber Jaw date as well, then in what order, since Clamhead and Shelly would run off together.

None of them would be as intertwined as the Josie group was, especially the interfering rivalry of Alexandra. She wanted to be leader of the Pussycats and she wanted Alan, both of which Josie possessed. Josie may have been totally devoid of character, but you had to have pity for the girl with Alexandra after her from both sides like that.

Sebastian's reincarnation would be totally dropped, much for the better. As an upright, anthropomorphic cat, Sebastian seemed more feline than he even might have as an ancestral Cabot wizard.

Alexander was clearly altered into Shaggy II, yes, to cash in on Casey Kasem's vocal talents. The only time this was damaging was in the Scooby Doo movie when Josie met the Scooby Doo gang and Shaggy and Alexander spoke at the same time. Alexander's voice changed.

Hands down, Alexander, Alexandra and Melody kept the cartoon moving. When the gang would split into groups (varying in order, unlike Scooby Doo, which nearly always sent Fred, Velma and Daphne out of the picture), for Alexander to go with Valerie and Melody and Alexandra with JOsie and Alan would be a delight, with character conflict on both ends. When Josie, Alan and Valerie were off together, the show would be uneven.

Alan would attempt a character with a "man of a thousand faces" bit in one episode, but that really bordered on insulting, with native American and oriental depictions. And the face change with pies to the kisser wasn't very entertaining either.

Song-wise, the show was smoother than Archie or Scooby Doo. Lie, Lie, Lie is undoubtably my favorite, but Road Runner, Voodoo, Beat of My Heart, Clock on the Wall are powerhouses unlike the songs in any other cartoon. The song in Midas Mix Up, played while the gang is fleeing down a snowy mountain on skis is truly wonderful.

The Josie gang would attempt to carry on as did Scooby Doo, but they would do the outrageous thing like going into outer space, which isn't regarded as anything near as good as the original show. They even got their own Scrappy Doo in the form of Bleep, a space cotton ball seal thing.

The Pussycats were a groundbreaker as an all-girl band, they were also original in that the female ratio outnumbered the male, unlike Scooby Doo or Archie, yet again, we could perceive why everyone was there.

And the band sequences were animation over real persons, much like Disney had done with Snow White thirty years earlier, another factor that makes the cartoon so endearing.

It would be nice to think that Josie and her gang got their big break some day, but the struggle was also a winner for the show.

The movie blew it by deciding Alan, Alexandra and Alexander were minor and trying to focus on the girl trio. The non-Pussycats would at least be prominently featured, but I would have just loved to see a black and white cat shown just once.

Was that too much to ask for?

Still, observing the transition from comic book to cartoon to movie is a fantastic journey.
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The funniest show I've ever seen!
The Haunter16 July 2001
"Josie And The Pussycats" is one of the funniest cartoon shows I've ever seen, it was released in the decade that appeared one of the most popular cartoon shows in that time - yes i'm talking 'bout Scooby-Doo -, the real star and show stealer is Alexandra Cabot (well known in Latin America as Alejandra Cabot), she is the funniest character of the TV and she makes the show funnier than his brother Alex. The show is now showed on Cartoon Network Latin america's new channel Boomerang.

Also other of the most funniest parts of the show is the wacky cat Sebastian.
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They've "Scoobified" Josie!!!
OWUbear24 February 2001
I enjoy this cartoon, but the comic series was different. They've changed it in several ways: Alan is now the love interest, not Josie; Alexander is now like Shaggy (maybe so they could get Casey Kasem to play him), and Alan is like Fred! I thought only movies could change the stories on which they were based! On top of everything else, Alexandra pursues Alan endlessly. This is weird!
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