Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

The Cordillera Volcano

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

Filmation (the “We’re #2, so we try harder!” studio for classic TV animation) did mostly licensed properties, including TARZAN in 1976. (Which I covered a good while back.) Hanna-Barbera, the leading cartoon outfit, usually preferred to avoid licensing fees by going with ‘original’ characters. AKA: Knock-offs.

Possibly in response to the aforementioned Tarzan series, HB gave us JANA OF THE JUNGLE. Of course, half-naked white gals running around having adventures in jungles was a trope going back many decades in prose, comics, and film before this one was created to fill-out the GODZILLA POWER HOUR.

Jana’s show bore considerable resemblance to Tarzan’s. From the opening narration to the use of rotoscoping to give her more realistic movement. (Common practice by Filmation, but a rarity in HB productions.) One difference was placing Jana in a South American jungle, as opposed to Tarzan’s Africa. Natives were somewhat conspicuous by their absence in the Ape-Man’s stories, likely because there was no way to get away with depicting primitive black folks that wouldn’t be offensive in the ’70s. But you could still put spear-chucking Indians in loin cloths and feathers on the Jungle Girl’s program.

Jana’s big native fellow-traveler was voiced by Ted Cassidy (Lurch from the live-action and first animated ADDAMS FAMILY, as well as various voice roles including the HB Godzilla), who also guest-starred in the episode of Tarzan I uploaded. More from the OldHorseman.




 

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