Cartoon Creeps: A Look Back at HORROR Cartoon Characters on TV From1960-1980

Cartoons are a part of every child’s life. From an early age one remembers his or her favorite cartoon show. This article will showcase only those classic cartoons that had a bit of horror in them. Read on for a list of cartoons you might have forgotten.

Cinema is mainly where one can find spooks and and specters or the supernatural. When these things started to be introduced in cartoons though, the whole damn game changed and now KIDS could enjoy those creepy crawlers. One of the first to do this was of course Casper The Friendly Ghost in 1963.  Spooky cartoons have since been a mainstay in North American TV,transfixing kids everywhere.

To honor these past Cartoons we have compiled a list of some that you should check out and watch.

1. Casper, The Friendly Ghost (The New Casper Cartoon Show, 1963)

casper_the_friendly_ghostABC’s “The New Casper Cartoon Show” was the first time that Casper cartoons were made specifically for TV.(Casper’s first actual appearance was in the Paramount short “A Friendly Ghost” in 1945.) These new cartoons were packaged with some of his earlier exploits. One really touching and heartbreaking moment for Casper was in the cartoon “There’s Good BOOS Tonight”. It dealt with Casper meeting a new friend, a fox, then the fox being torn apart by hounds. Casper berries his friend and later on in the cartoon, they are reunited as the fox is now a ghost. Casper didn’t have the scare appeal that some of our other creeps on this list but he is still one of the first. You can pick up the early cartoons on a dvd deluxe set. It highlights all of Casper cartoons from 1945 to 1969 when the TV show ended.

2. Milton The Monster(The Milton The Monster Show, 1965)

milton the monsterCasper may have been one of the first but Milton was one of the coolest. The Milton The Monster Show had awesome storylines, great puns, and awesome gags for kids in the 60’s to enjoy and giggle over. In the cartoon Professor Weirdo and Count Kook create their own Frankenstein by using “essence of terror, sinister sauce, and a tincture of tenderness.” Things don’t go as planned and the last ingredient is put in too much and Milton is created. He is a bit dim witted but is sweet. Other cartoon creeps are added to the show such as zombies, witches, and even a cyclops. This makes The Milton The Monster Show one of the monsterific shows of the 1960s.

 

 

3. The Gruesomes(The Flinstones 1964)

the gruesomesThe Gruesomes get overlooked a lot by many since they were only added to The Flinstones fifth season as a end thought. They consist of Weirdly, Creepella and their son Gobby(Short for Goblin).  The folks at Hanna Barberra wanted to do something edgy and ghoul related but couldn’t get much interested in The Gruesomes so they were thrown in with The Flinstones. Once added to the show, they were given “cave-man” like traits, jagged clothes, shaggy hair, and a stone hearse. They were first introduced when Wilma invites them over for dinner since they are new to Bedrock. Fred and Barney babysit Gobby at The Gruesomes , Tombstones Manor. The family was featured in only two more episodes of The Flinstones and later on in various Flinstone spinoff shows. One thing is for sure, this family has staying power and is fondly remembered by many.

 

 

4. Drac, Frankie and Wolfie(Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies 1970)

groovie_gooliesSaturday mornings would NEVER be the same when the first all-monster cartoon came along intoducing us to The Groovie Goolies. Filmation Studios were the creators and the original show had the goolies hanging with Sabrina the Teenage Witch(she later went on to have her own spinoff show). The show lasted in syndication till the 1980s. With 16 episodes produced, the show was fast paced and had various pop culture elements as well as playing off of the original Universal Monsters of the 1940s. The Goolies lived at Horrible Hall. Drac was clumsy and occasionally turned into a bat. Frankie, whose voice we could swear was Boris Karloff’s. Wolfie was the “cool” one of the group and even skateboarded. He was modeled after radio DJ Wolfman Jack. Groovie Goolies was supposed to be half “Laugh-In” half ” Scooby Doo”. Some other characters added to the show were The Mummy and Horrible Halls dispatcher Bella La Ghostly(She was based off of Horror Hostess Vampira). The Goolies weren’t just about puns and jokes, they were a band! Each member had their instrument (Drac played organ, Frankie played the xlophone, and Wolfie handled strings). They played original songs like “Creeper Crawler” and “Lights Out.” It was a must see show and walked a fine line of beeing too creepy for some. Either way, the Goolies rocked.

 

 

5.  The Addams Family(The Addams Family 1973)

the addams family cartoonThe Addams Family first appeared in The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972) then they graduated to their own show the following year. The show took out the live-action elements from it’s predecessor and found the family traveling around in a RV. The show featured original cast members from the live-action show. The show lasted only two seasons(the second being mainly re-runs of the first season). It remains important since the cartoon is the closest interpretation of Charles Addams original drawings found in the New Yorker from 1938 to 1988 when he died. The puns weren’t as apparent and the laughs were few and far between but the show still endures the test of time in our book.

 

 

We know that many of you will say “What about Scooby-Doo?” Well we wanted to showcase lesser known cartoons that are not still available or being redone at present. Scooby-Doo will always be an important part of horror cartoon history. Honorable mentions go to:

The Godzilla Power Hour(1978)

FangFace(1978)

The Funky Phantom(1971)

Goober and The Ghost Chasers(1973)

Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles(1966)

Drak Pack (1980)

 

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