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Saturday, May 2, 2009
Did You Know Of The Undersea Adventures Of...
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: TV Shows


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Did You Know Of The Undersea Adventures Of...

Captain Nemo?

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A Cartoon Series From 1975!

I ran across some DVD closeouts recently, and picked them up to view later... when my youngest child would be visiting with us.  I like to mix up genres of shows and films that we watch with him, and I was intrigued by the cover of the DVD, which didn't indicate where this cartoon was first shown.

After the three of us watched the episodes, which all appeared to be approximately five minutes long, including the 30 second intro, I had to find out more about the series, because I had never heard of it!  

After doing research I found that 'The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo' was a series of five minute cartoons produced in Canada in the mid-1970s. This cartoon series told the story of Captain Mark Nemo and his young assistants, Christine and Robbie, (who are pictured at the top right).  The cartoons would show the three characters in their nuclear powered submarine, which of course was named the Nautilus!

It appears that the cartoons were first introduced in the fall of 1975 on TV.  At first the series was only aired in the USA and Canada.

In the USA, Captain Nemo was actually introduced in the CBS kids show 'Captain Kangaroo'!  Whereas in Canada, a five minute Captain Nemo cartoon was aired during each episode of 'Peanuts and Popcorn' a popular show which was shown on the CBC network.

Okay, so I now knew where the show was initially aired at.  So how did it come about?

Well, it was actually created by Al Guest and Jean Mathieson.  Besides being the creators, they also wore the hats of being the producers, the directors and the writers of this cartoon series!  The name of their studio was Rainbow Animation which was based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For the actual storyline, this cartoon series of course was 'based' on the original Jules Verne character of Captain Nemo, from Verne's book 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea'.

But instead of a mysterious and probably dangerous to the whole world type of character,  this time Captain Nemo was actually depicted as a good guy!  This Captain Nemo was an ocean traveling researcher with the first name of 'Mark', which was used a lot more than 'Captain Nemo' in the series.

Of course being shown on TV, you had to have at least one kid sidekick!  There was actually two kids in this show, Christine and Robbie who actually didn't know that much about the ocean, and were learning from 'Mark' the ways of the Sea!

Okay, I realize that these shows were first created in the mid 1970's, and viewing them today wouldn't exactly translate the same today.  Which is why I had my youngest son view this with us.

The cartoons were meant to be 'educational',  but seen in today's times, the 'insight' into what kids were being shown about marine biology or oceanography doesn't come across as well.   I have to remember about the times that 'cartoon violence' caused a lot of adults to be against superheroes cartoons, or that too much sword and sorcery would rot the kids minds.  So what was wanted a nice easy going more educational type of cartoons to balance out kids programming during those times.

Well in this cartoon series we see a 'one world order' and kids that shouldn't have been on such an undersea machine due to their lack of knowledge of their surroundings.  This inexperience caused them to be in danger several times during the series.

The limited animation in the series does affect the storyline, and the re-using of some scenes when the episodes are viewed all at once on a DVD compilation is seen easily.  Of course when originally shown, a young viewer wouldn't have caught such cost saving devices.

Yes, I do realize that the lighthearted style does keep the over the top, (IMHO),  of the environmentalist movement portrayed in this 1970's cartoon from being too 'right on', but the show somehow comes over a little 'cheesy' to me, my wife, and even my 11 year old son when viewed today.

This cartoon series in time was broadcast world wide, and built a fan base in re-runs.  It's a shame I didn't find this sooner than 34 years later.  It could have a good thing for my other children to have watched when they were growing up and not having been exposed yet to Star Wars, etc.  As for today's kids, it would have to be for the really young set to truly enjoy this cartoon series on DVD...

And no, I'm not taking away from those that grew up with this show in the 1970's.  Heck, I too like a cartoon series, this one from the 1960's, which also had limited animation and would be considered 'cheesy' today, that of the Marvel Superheroes cartoons!  

Again, it would appear that each person's 'Golden Age' of cartoons, comics, or TV Shows would be from their own experience, usually around 12-13 years of age.  There are some things that time just doesn't take away from us personally, just that those same things don't always translate well for today's generation...

For those of you that are new to our blog today, my wife and I also have an ongoing online 'Comic Con and Pop Culture Convention'  here at "Make It So Marketing Inc.", what with our daily blog posts, and new listings of items for sale in our online eBay Featured Store

Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts!!

~ Michael  (and Tina)


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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 6:25 AM PDT
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