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Filmation Associates

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Filmation Associates
Founded 1963
Dissolved 1989
President Lou Scheimer
Norm Prescott
Notable Works Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
The New Adventures of Superman
Star Trek: The Animated Series

Filmation Associates (later known simply as Filmation) was a studio located in Reseda, California that produced animated cartoons for American television. It was founded in 1963 by Lou Schiemer and Hal Sutherland.


Lou Schiemer and the studio's main director Hal Sutherland had previously worked at Larry Harmon's animation studio making Bozo the Clown cartoons and a handful of the Al Brodax Popeye cartoons. After Norm Prescott joined the consortium, they created their own studio, True Line, which made the syndicated cartoon Rod Rocket and produced two theatrical features--Pinocchio In Outer Space and Journey Back To Oz (which featured the voice of Liza Minnelli as Dorothy but was not released to theaters till 1974).

True Line would rename itself Filmation Associates in 1963 after Rod Rocket became a syndicated series and they would spend the next three years making commercials. In 1966, CBS tapped them to make The New Adventures of Superman. At that point, they were the main competitor to Hanna-Barbera when it came to accomodating Saturday morning schedules.

Prescott, Schiemer and Sutherland would readily attest that drawing and animating Superman wasn't easy. In contrast to the Fleischer cartoons of 25 years before, the TV Superman cartoons were hopelessly wooden and repetitive. Regardless, it delivered big ratings. Filmation's main output consisted of licensed properties. They would animate DC heroes such as Aquaman, the Teen Titans, Batman and Justice League of America. In following years, they would make the numerous Archie shows as well as Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? (1970), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973, Emmy winner), Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972), The New Adventures of Flash Gordon (1979), The Ghost Busters (live action series, 1975), Ghostbusters (1986, based on the 1975 series, not the 1984 movie) and The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle (1979).

In the 1980s, Filmation released two theatrical features--Happily Ever After and Pinocchio And The Emperor of the Night--that not only fared poorly both critically and financially, but the Disney Corporation sought to have their releases halted citing intellectual property (in spite of the fact that the source stories are public domain).

In 1989, the L'Oreal cosmetics company bought the Filmation studio from Westinghouse (Group W) and closed the studio. Ownership of the Filmation library is varied, with CBS Television Distribution owning Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Brady Kids and The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle, Warner Bros. Television owning the DC Comics heroes line, The New Adventures of Gilligan, Gilligan's Planet and The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, and The Walt Disney Company (through 20th Television) and NBCUniversal (through DreamWorks Classics) owning other properties.

List of shows produced by Filmation Associates

Rod Rocket - Syndicated, 1963 (under True Line name)
The New Adventures of Superman - CBS, 1966
Journey to the Center of the Earth - ABC, 1967
The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure - CBS, 1967
Fantastic Voyage - ABC, 1968
The Archie Show - CBS, 1968
The Batman/Superman Hour - CBS, 1968
The Hardy Boys - ABC, 1969
The Archie Comedy Hour - CBS, 1969
Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies - CBS, 1970
Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? - ABC, 1970
Archie's Funhouse Starring the Giant Jukebox - CBS, 1970
Archie's TV Funnies - CBS, 1971
Sabrina the Teenage Witch - CBS, 1971
ABC Saturday Superstar Movie - ABC, 1972 (selected features)
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids - CBS, 1972
The Brady Kids - ABC, 1972
Lassie's Rescue Rangers - ABC, 1973
Mission: Magic - ABC, 1973
Star Trek: The Animated Series - NBC, 1973 (Emmy winner)
My Favorite Martians - CBS, 1973
The New Adventures of Gilligan - ABC, 1974
Shazam! - CBS, 1974 (live action)
Uncle Croc's Block - ABC, 1975
The Shazam!/Isis Hour - CBS, 1975 (live action)
The Ghost Busters - CBS, 1975 (live action)
The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty - 1975
Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle - CBS, 1976
Ark II - CBS, 1976 (live action)
Space Academy - CBS, 1977 (live action)
The Archie/Sabrina Hour - NBC, 1977 (split up as Super Witch and Bang Shang Lalapalooza at mid-season)
The Young Sentinels - NBC, 1977 (retitled The Space Sentinels at mid-season)
Tarzan and the Super 7 - CBS, 1977
Fabulous Funnies - NBC, 1978
The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle - CBS, 1979
The New Fat Albert Show - CBS, 1979
Jason of Star Command - CBS, 1979 (live action)
The New Adventures of Flash Gordon - NBC, 1979
The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show - CBS, 1980
Tarzan and the Lone Ranger - CBS, 1980
Sport Billy - NBC, 1980
Blackstar - CBS, 1981
Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro - CBS, 1981
Gilligan's Planet - CBS, 1982
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Syndicated, 1983
She-Ra: Princess of Power - Syndicated, 1985
Ghostbusters - Syndicated, 1986 (based on the 1975 CBS show)
Bravestarr - Syndicated, 1987

External links