22 Unforgettable Cartoons From 70’s You Have To Rewatch

Here is a comprehensive list of the best 1970s cartoons you must watch, from The Jetsons, Schoolhouse Rock to The Pink Panther Show.

1970s cartoons had it all – superheroes, rogue robots, aliens, and ghosts. Shows such as the Pink Panther Show, Josie, and the Pussycats, Fat Albert and the Cosby kids, Tarzan Lord of the Jungle, and Schoolhouse Rock made us get out of bed early every Saturday morning without being forced.

Many of these shows, such as Scooby Doo, impacted our lives growing up. They also shaped the characters and plotlines of many of the animated series that came after them.

Cartoons From the ’70s

This blog post is an exciting trip down memory lane. It aims at having those of us who grew up in the 70s drown in nostalgia and introduce the newer generation to the shows that made us.

Therefore, I will consider all shows running in the 70s, including those released earlier.

No matter what anyone says, 70s cartoons rule the barnyard! Let me tell you about some of my favorites growing up!

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

First episode: September 13, 1969

Networks: Cartoon Network, American Broadcasting Company, CBS

Scooby Doo is undeniably one of the most successful movie franchises. The Great Dane and his friends have been on the air for 35 of the 50 years since the movie’s introduction to our screens. In addition, the show has inspired the release of successful box-office movies over the years.

Scooby Doo is a story of a talking Great Dane called Scooby Doo, Its owner, Shaggy, intelligent girl Velma, the stylish Daphne, and the jock, Fred. The team of five owns a van called the Mystery Machine, which they use to travel in search of puzzles to solve. Sometimes the mysteries come to them instead when they go about their daily activities.

The group constantly uses humor to keep them motivated, and they have us laughing while they solve weird and hilarious phenomena. This witty banter is one of the factors that make the animated series and its movie adaptations impossible to resist.

The teenage mystery hunters also participate in typical adolescent activities like other people their age. They also navigate similar problems, and the mysteries just happen to find them even when they don’t go searching for them.

The Pink Panther Show

First episode: September 6, 1969
Final episode: August 30, 1980

No other 70s cartoon brings me as much nostalgia as The Pink Panther show and its memorable theme song. The music is so catchy that even people who have never watched the cartoon know it. Every Saturday morning, my siblings and I would sit in front of the TV with our cereals humming along to the classic Pink Panther tune.

The Pink Panther show is an exciting cartoon with little dialogue and characters. For most episodes, the only characters are Pink Panther and the Inspector, who use funny antics instead of dialogue to make us laugh. In a way, they prove silence is golden, or pink, in this case.

The show’s producers had Pink Panther living in different places and participating in new activities in every episode. From building and painting houses in one episode to showering and punishing the inspector for invading his privacy in another, the panther did everything.

Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

First episode: September 11, 1976
Created by: Edgar Rice Burroughs (characters)
Original network: CBS

It was an ambitious and innovative animated series in Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, and all its lost cities and civilizations. It was vastly different from the shows that were shown on TV every Saturday morning at the time. Therefore, it offered a change in pace and introduced us to a new world of adventure, wonder, and excitement.

I was skeptical about this Tarzan when it was first introduced to the screens because I thought it would be different from what I was used to. However, the producers gave it a familiar twist, like the rest of the animations that children liked.

Tarzan’s story was simple: He was born in the jungle but lost his parents when he was still an infant. A kind and motherly she-ape named Kala adopted him, protected him, and raised him to adapt to the ways of the jungle. He also befriended many other animals in the wild.

Super Friends

Original release: September 8, 1973 –; September 6, 1986

What’s better than one superhero? Multiple fan-favorite superheroes united against a common evil. This series assembled the popular DC heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, and Aquaman to form the Justice League long before the live-action version.

I couldn’t describe how exhilarating it was to watch that collaboration for the first time; you just had to be there. While the show was on TV, I couldn’t get away from the screen to do anything out of fear of missing something.

The team initially didn’t face their traditional foes but worked to stop mad scientists, robots, and aliens. However, the production team slowly introduced the superheroes’ conventional villains.

By 1978, the team was fighting against the Legion of Doom, led by Superman’s legendary nemesis, Lex Luther. They also faced Batman’s foes, including The Ridler and The Scarecrow.

The series became a massive hit immediately after its release because it allowed kids to watch all their favorite superheroes collaborate in a movie. However, this was a show better suited for younger audiences, in my opinion.

Fat Albert and the Cosby kids

Fat Albert and the Cosby kids

Final episode: August 10, 1985
First episode: September 9, 1972

Hey, hey, heeey! That catchphrase by Fat Albert remains an iconic one that could trigger nostalgic thoughts in anyone who grew up in the 70s. The cartoon was based on the early life of the comedian Bill Cosby and his gang growing up in North Philadelphia.

Fat Albert and the Cosby kids was one of the best shows aired on TV every Saturday. I would get up early and sit through the others, just waiting for them to start.

I always felt it had quite a unique edge and inner-city feel that we had not seen on TV before. The show starred a group of African American kids living their best adventurous lives, singing songs and picking up lessons from their adventures.

All these factors earned the cartoon the title of the best animation of the 1970s by TV Guide. Additionally, it was adapted as a live-action show in 2004, proving the versatility of its stories and lessons.

Josie and the Pussycats

Josie and the Pussycats

First episode: September 12, 1970

Josie and the Pussycats premiered in September 1970 and instantly became a massive hit. From the lovely leotards to touring the world singing and solving mysteries, these girls were living my dream as a pre-teen girl.

Josie and the Pussycats appeared to draw inspiration from their predecessors, Scooby-Doo and the Archies. The show’s characters and storyline were reminiscent of Scooby-Doo. There were so many people constantly comparing the two. It also followed the brilliant blend of bubblegum music and comedy of the Archies.

However, rather than being utterly derivative of the two shows, the animated series introduced fresh and exciting ideas, such as shooting the show’s entire second episode in space after the band and their entourage accidentally boarded a rocket ship.

The diverse characters made the show the epic entertainment piece it was. It included the fearless leader Josie McCoy, Melody, Valerie, Alan, the manager Alexander, his sister Alexandra, and Alexandra’s cat Sebastian.

Schoolhouse rock

First episode date: January 6, 1973
Number of episodes: 64
Number of seasons: 7

Before there was Cocomelon, we had Schoolhouse rock. Schoolhouse Rock is a childhood gem in every sense of the phrase. It was an educational tool developed by an advertising executive when he noticed his son found it difficult to remember the multiplication table but could easily remember the lyrics to popular music. It aired between other cartoons on Saturday mornings.

You’re probably thinking educational content equals boring but hold that thought because that couldn’t be further from the truth. This gem was as entertaining as the others on this list.

The cartoon’s focus was teaching school lessons in a musical format. Each episode had fresh content on different topics, such as Math, Civics, Economics, and grammar. The animated series featured so many popular songs that I am sure most people from the 70s still remember.

The Jetsons

The Jetsons

The Jetsons have been a staple in pop culture since their debut on television in 1962. The futuristic cartoon family gave us a glimpse into what life could be like with robots and flying cars.

While we may not have yet reached that level of technology, The Jetsons anticipated many advancements that have become realities today – video chatting, flat-screen TVs, and even drones.

The show may have taken place in 2062, but The Jetsons will always be a blast from the past. Maybe by 2062, we’ll all live like the Jetsons. One can dream.

 Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes

The Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1970’s were an essential staple in American childhood. Who could forget Bugs Bunny’s clever one-liners, Daffy Duck’s wild antics, or Sylvester and Tweety’s endless chase scenes? These Looney Tunes provided us with laughter and entertainment for years to come.

But did you know Looney Tunes also had a hand in shaping American history? In 1972, “Bundown at Mountee Ba” tackled the issue of environmentalism long before it became a widespread concern. And who could forget the iconic “I tawt I taw a puddy tat” line from Tweety and Sylvester’s “Gift Wrapped,” which was used in the Watergate scandal by White House officials?

Whether through comedy or making a statement, Looney Tunes left a lasting impact on both pop culture and history. So gather around, grab some carrots for Bugs, and enjoy the Looney Tunes of the 1970s.

Godzilla (1978–1980)

The Godzilla cartoons of the 1970s were a far cry from the destructive, terrifying monster we all know and love. In this iteration, Godzilla was a hero who defended Earth from alien invaders and other giant monsters. It’s almost enough to make you wonder if Godzilla should have its own merchandise line targeted at children.

But let’s be honest, Godzilla destroying cities is much more entertaining. And who can resist those signature Godzilla roars? So keep on terrorizing the world, Godzilla.

We’ll always be here to root for you. Just maybe lay off the destruction of Tokyo now and then, please? That city can’t handle it.

The Adventures of Gulliver (1968–1969)

The Adventures of Gulliver first aired in 1974 and followed the adventures of a ship’s doctor who becomes stranded on an island inhabited by tiny people called Lilliputians. The show satirized contemporary political and social issues, such as environmentalism, women’s liberation, and racial prejudice.

The cartoon featured voice acting from iconic stars like Mel Blanc and Casey Kasem and even had a crossover episode with The Jackson Five animated series.

While not as well-known as other 70s cartoons like The Flintstones or The Smurfs, The Adventures of Gulliver remains a cult classic for its clever writing and timely themes.

The All-New Popeye Hour (1978–1983)

The All-New Popeye Hour was a hit 70s cartoon that brought everyone’s favorite spinach-loving sailor back to the small screen. The show featured Popeye, Olive Oyl, and all the gang as they embarked on wacky adventures and faced off against their nemesis, Bluto.

The new incarnation of the popular cartoon did not disappoint, bringing the classic humor and charm of Popeye to a new generation of fans.

Cattanooga Cats (1969)

The Chattanooga Cats first hit the scene in 1969, and quickly became a household name thanks to their catchy tunes and energetic live performances.

But it was more than just their musical talents that made them stand out – each band member had a unique “personality,” from lead singer Tom Cat to bassist Samantha Mew. And let’s not forget about their infamous mascot, Cheezel the Cat.

Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies (1970)

Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies (1970)

The ’70s cartoon Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies follows Sabrina Spellman, a teenage witch, as she navigates her powers alongside her friends in the monster-filled town of Monster High.

Along with Sabrina are Frankie Stein, Drac (a vampire), Hauntley (a ghost), Wolfie (a werewolf), and more monsters and ghouls.

Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies is known for its spooky yet comedic tone, as Sabrina and her friends often find themselves in supernatural shenanigans.

Whether it’s accidentally turning someone into a frog or foiling a plot to steal Monster High’s famous Witch’s Brew, Sabrina and the Gang always manage to save the day.

The Hardy Boys (1969–1971)

The Hardy Boys (1969–1971)

The Hardy Boys, Frank, and Joe, were teenage detective brothers solving mysteries in the town of Bayport.

The show aired from 1969 to 1971 and featured the boys using their wits, skills, and perseverance to crack cases. Despite being just teenagers, they outsmart even the most seasoned criminals.

The show taught viewers not to underestimate young people and the power of teamwork.

The Hardy Boys inspire detective enthusiasts and show that age is just a number for solving crimes. So next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, remember to call on The Hardy Boys for help – or at least take a page out of their book.

The Funky Phantom (1971)

The Funky Phantom was a cartoon series that aired in 1971, following the adventures of three teens and their ghostly pal, Molly The Ghost. The group traveled through time, solving mysteries with the help of their ghost-detecting wristwatches.

The Funky Phantom may not have gained as much recognition as other cartoons from the same era, but it’s a hidden gem in classic cartoons.

Plus, who wouldn’t want a ghost as their BFF? The Funky Phantom may not be as well-known as Scooby Doo or The Flintstones, but it’s worth checking out for some good old-fashioned spookiness and fun.

The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1972)

The Flintstones spin-off, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show premiered in 1972 and followed the teenage adventures of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm as they navigated high school and dealt with various hijinks.

The show was a hit with viewers and ran for three seasons before its cancellation in 1976. The series also featured appearances from Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, and The Great Gazoo.

Inch High, Private Eye (1973)

Inch High, Private Eye (1973)

Inch High, Private Eye may have only been on TV for one season in 1973, but this pint-sized detective left a big impression.

In a world full of giants, Inch High used his small stature to his advantage as he solved cases with the help of his trusty magnifying glass and reliable sidekicks Gator and Spook.

Inch High may have been small in size, but he always managed to catch the bad guys and prove that it’s not the size of the detective but the size of their brain that matters.

So grab your magnifying glass and join Inch High, Private Eye, as he takes on cases and proves that good things come in small packages.

Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch (1974)

Wheelie and his trusty gang of motorcycles made Saturday mornings worth waking up for in the 1970s. These choppers went on wild adventures, foiling the evil plans of Wheelie’s nemesis, Rota Ree and her sidekick, Scrambles.

With Wheelie leading the pack with his “wheel-spinning” abilities, this bunch never had a dull moment. So rev up those engines and take a trip down memory lane with Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.

Road Runner (1966–1973)

Road Runner is the only speedy bird that could outrun any predator.

The Road Runner cartoon debuted in 1966 and ran until 1973, but this iconic character will forever be remembered for his legendary speed and clever tricks.

Road Runner’s famous catchphrase “meep meep” has been ingrained in pop culture as a playful way to say “I’m outta here!” So the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, channel your inner Road Runner and “meep meep” your way to safety.

Wile E. Coyote may have constantly pursued the Road Runner, but with his quick thinking and speedy legs, he always found a way to come out on top. Road Runner, you are indeed a legend.

Harlem Globe Trotters (1970–1973)

Harlem Globe Trotters (1970–1973)

The Harlem Globe Trotters were a professional basketball team known for their athletic talent and comedic routines.

In 1970, they were the stars of their animated series on CBS called “The Harlem Globe Trotters.” The show followed the team as they traveled the world using their basketball skills to solve problems and defeat villains.

The show featured guest appearances from sports legends such as Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar throughout its three-season run.

Despite its success, the show was ultimately canceled in 1973 due to declining viewership. However, the Harlem Globe Trotters continue to entertain audiences with their unique brand of basketball and comedy to this day.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1971–1974)

Sabrina Spellman may have been a teenage witch, but she also faced all the everyday challenges of being a teenager.

Sabrina navigated high school drama, family dynamics, and coming into her powers all while maintaining an iconic ’60s fashion sense.

Sabrina taught us that being different is wonderful and that friendship and love are worth fighting for.

Even though Sabrina’s spells didn’t always go as planned, she managed to save the day repeatedly. So grab your favorite (non-magical) snacks and settle in for a Sabrina the Teenage Witch marathon. You’ll be under her spell before you know it.

That’s it! Thanks for sticking around and taking a trip down memory lane with me. I hope you know that writing this made me go on a binge again. Maybe you can join me!

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