Harlem Globetrotters is a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios and CBS Productions, that features animated versions of players from the famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters.
The series was broadcast from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1972 on CBS, and later re-run on NBC as The Go-Go Globetrotters, the show featured cartoon versions of George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Freddie "Curly" Neal, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, J.C. "Gip" Gipson, Bobby Joe Mason, and Pablo Robertson, alongside their fictional bus driver and manager, Granny, and their dog mascot, Dribbles.
The series appeared in reruns on Cartoon Network from 1992-2000 and in 2000, the series began airing on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang. Reruns of this show also aired on Nick at Nite's TV Land in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
This series depicts the adventures of the famous basketball/comedy team as they toured around the world. The series followed a formula where the team travels somewhere and typically get involved in a local conflict that leads to one of the Globetrotters proposing a basketball game to settle the issue. To ensure the Globetrotters' defeat, the villains rig the contest; however, before the second half of the contest, the team always finds a way to even the odds and win the game.
Twenty-two episodes of Harlem Globetrotters were eventually produced: 16 for the 1970-71 season, and six more for the 1971-72 season. Harlem Globetrotters has a place in history as being the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature a predominately African-American cast; Filmation's The Hardy Boys had been the first to feature an African-American character the previous year. Another Hanna-Barbera series, Josie and the Pussycats, premiered 30 minutes earlier than Harlem Globetrotters on the same day and network, and was the first Saturday morning cartoon to feature an African-American female character. Like many other Saturday morning cartoons of the era, the first season episodes of the series featured a laugh track.
After the show was canceled, the animated Globetrotters made three appearances on Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972 and 1973. Oddly enough, Dribbles, who didn't appear on the show was in the theme song sequence and several references were made to Granny, who also didn't appear. Hanna-Barbera produced a second animated series starring the Globetrotters in 1979 called The Super Globetrotters, this time featuring the players as superheroes. In spring 1999, TV Land aired repeats of Harlem Globetrotters on Saturday mornings as part of its TV Land Super Retrovision Saturdaze lineup. The series has not been rerun since.
The series was a co-production of Hanna-Barbera Studios and CBS Productions (only one of few animated TV series that CBS directly produced). Syndication rights were originally held by Viacom Enterprises, formerly owned by CBS as its syndication arm. They are now held by CBS Television Distribution. CBS Home Entertainment currently does not plan on releasing the series on DVD (in any event, they would need approval from the Globetrotters themselves).
- Scatman Crothers - George "Meadowlark" Lemon
- Stu Gilliam - Freddie "Curly" Neal
- Johnny Williams - Hubert "Geese" Ausbie
- Richard Elkins - J.C. "Gip" Gipson
- Eddie "Rochester" Anderson - Bobby Joe Mason
- Robert DoQui - Pablo Robertson
- Nancy Wible - "Granny"
- Rudy Clark - Additional voices
- Ken Williams - Additional voices
- Daws Butler - Additional voices
- Henry Corden - Additional voices
- Don Messick - Additional voices
- John Stephenson - Additional voices
1. "The Great Geese Goof-Up"
2. "Football Zeros"
3. "Hold That Hillbilly"
4. "Bad News Cruise"
5. "Rodeo Duds"
6. "Double Dribble Double"
7. "Heir Loons"
8. "From Scoop to Nuts"
9. "What a Day for a Birthday"
10. "It's Snow Vacation"
11. "The Great Ouch Doors"
12. "Hooray for Hollywood"
13. "Shook-Up Sheriff"
14. "Gone to the Dogs"
15. "The Wild Blue Yonder"
16. "Long Gone Gip"
17. "A Pearl of a Game"
18. "Nothing to Moon About"
19. "Pardon My Magic"
20. "Granny's Royal Ruckus"
21. "Soccer to Me"
22. "Jungle Jitters"
In Other Media
- In April 1972, Gold Key Comics launched a comic adaptation of the Harlem Globetrotters animated series; their first comic book appearance was in issue #8 of Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In published in July 1971. Several stories in early issues were based on episodes of the TV show. The comic series lasted for 4 years and 12 issues through January 1975.
- the animated Globetrotters made three appearances on Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972 and 1973
- Hanna-Barbera produced a second animated series starring the Globetrotters in 1979 called The Super Globetrotters, this time featuring the players as superheroes.