Emphasizing The Importance And Fundamentals Of Reading.
This anthology program, like its rival, the ABC Weekend Specials, encouraged young viewers to take up reading. And it was and still is among my Saturday morning or early afternoon cartoon favorites. I saw this more often than the other show, so it's the one most familiar and memorable to me, in spite of their similarities. There is an assortment of televised animated adaptations of the stories and the ones that have since stuck in my mind include C.L.U.T.Z., Chocolate Fever, and How To Eat Fried Worms. Its purpose and intention to get the youth to read had an impact or influence on me, as the book I wanted to read first and was most interested in reading was C.L.U.T.Z. But unfortunately, I didn't get far, because I tried to order and borrow a copy from my local library, and it seemed to be unavailable, therefore I wasn't successful in checking out that. Later, I found out there were releases of the episodes under the title Video Storybreak. I would have loved to buy or at least rent those, or I wish I had recorded them.
In a decade when there were not as many great T.V. cartoon series as there were great ones, this was/is among the better ones and to me a breath of fresh air from others that fell into the groups of those based on toys, video games, etc. What I love most about this is the variety there is from episode to episode. Each of these has one-off characters, which is nice on one hand. But on the other, I wish all of them were spun-off into series of there own, which would've been nice too, so that we could've seen recurring characters that way, at least. The Raggedy Ann and Andy episode seems to be an exception, as it was the only episode spun-off and that expanded into its own series. All the episodes were co-produced by America's Hanna-Barbera Productions and Australia's Southern Star Entertainment, and it's one of the former animation studio's best efforts in my opinion. Unlike the ABC Weekend Specials, all the teleplay adaptations are cartoons only, so some might wish there were live-action adaptations of the stories in this show as well. The intro features a hard-rocking theme song, which is well-done. For me, this series was and still is one of the '80s cartoons that I find most appealing.
What else can I say about this other than that it's another love of mine? Although I never read any of the stories featured, I'm sure they're just as thrilling as the revisions inspired by them. As much as I love the adaptations, they just provide tastes of what the books have to offer. It's simply another great cartoon that's more than just fascinating. It's enchanting and on the same level as the ABC Weekend Specials. Full of imagination, so much so it's got to be among the most imaginative shows ever made.
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