Saturday morning cartoons are a rite of passage for most children, and anyone who’s anyone knows that Disney is the king of animation. Put the two together, and you’ve got One Saturday Morning. No, that’s not a sentence fragment. One Saturday Morning was the name of a programming block on ABC, and it was a subset of their ABC Kids line. Advertised as “five hours of summer, once a week,” One Saturday Morning lived up to the hype by providing kids with three full hours of quality programming along with a two hour supershow that interspersed the most popular cartoons with educational features and comedy skits. This was the sort of quality programming normally reserved for adults, and kids from 1997-2002 got to experience it every weekend.
The structure of One Saturday Morning helped make it a classic viewing experience, but it would have been nothing without fantastic content to fill out said structure. OSM definitely delivered with more memorable cartoons than any one programming block had the right to contain. In fact, One Saturday Morning had so many great shows, people are bound to have forgotten some of the very best.
Hercules: The Animated Series
Hercules remains one of Disney’s most underrated films. While a portion of the movie takes place in Hercules’s youth, it merely serves as brief exposition for the story as a whole. Hercules: The Animated Series expands on that introduction with an entire show based on Hercules’s bumbling and destructive childhood. Young Herc, still unaware he is actually the son of Zeus, clumsily explores his way through ancient Greece while trying not to wreck things with his misunderstood superstrength. It’s like the scene in the film where he destroys the market, but it happened every week.
The Legend Of Tarzan
Most of the adaptations of Disney films that appeared on One Saturday Morning were prequels, but not The Legend Of Tarzan. Instead, this animated series was a direct sequel to the 1999 theatrical production. It followed Tarzan as he got used to his role as king of the apes, developing his leadership skills and getting Jane acclimated to jungle life. The supporting cast was a mix of bumbling humans and friendly animals, and apes took up a predictable majority of the roles. There was much vine-swinging and bellowing to be had by all.
Lloyd In Space
It’s tough to stand out as a space adventurer when you share a programming block with Buzz Lightyear, but Lloyd managed to carve out a niche for himself. Set in the far flung future, Lloyd in Space starred Lloyd Nebulon, an ordinary teenage boy who just so happened to belong to a green-skinned alien race, the Verdigreans. Lloyd had a human friend, but most of his friends were bizarre aliens, like the giant brain with arms known as Douglas McNoggin. Their adventures were pretty standard fare, but the intergalactic setting helped make them memorable.
Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command
Basically, Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command is the cartoon that the Buzz Lightyear action figure would have been licensed from. It featured the space exploits of the “real” Buzz Lightyear who just so happened to behave almost exactly like his plastic counterpart. A brand new team of astronauts joined Buzz as he battled Emperor Zurg and other baddies to infinity and beyond. For a kid’s show, Star Command actually built up an impressively complex sci-fi universe. Speaking of stars, Buzz himself was voiced by the ever-popular Patrick Warburton, giving the show some real quality acting.