The Space Kidettes
The Space Kidettes is a 1966 American sci-fi/space adventure, animated, television series. It was co-created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The episodes were originally a half-hour long (including commercials), but were later cut down to ten minutes to be paired with Total Television's Tennessee Tuxedo and the Go Go Gophers (both of which were sponsored by the cereal company, General Mills, as well as this show). Then it was paired with another Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Young Samson (a.k.a. Samson & Goliath), both of which originally aired on the same channel, as a syndication package. The initial master elements of both this and Young Samson have been lost since the edits and the syndicated cuts were made, and the latter versions of each are the only ones available.
Four, young, space travelers (Countdown, Scooter, Jenny, and Snoopy) and a dog (Pupstar) are constantly pursued by Captain Skyhook and his sidekick, Static, who have the goal in mind of obtaining their treasure map. Going from planet to planet, the kids and canine sometimes meet and help out others in need along the way.
Why It Rocks
- The concept of a group of kids spending time in space and having to outwit a couple of space pirates is a clever one. In fact, this might be one of the first (if not the first) things to feature a space pirate theme for television.
- Although the art style is good and especially with the backgrounds, which are nice to look at, this may have one of the better animations of the 1960s, namely in the latter half of the decade, by Hanna-Barbera or otherwise.
- The characters are fine. Although the kid heroes and the dog are alright, it's really the villains who provide most of the laughs and entertainment.
- With the studio still in its stylized art phase at the time, the character designs aren't too bad.
- The instrumental theme is catchy enough and grabs one's ears.
- Some funny lines, especially by Capt. Skyhook with the quote, "They're just itty, bitty kids", whenever Static suggests doing some kind of harm to the Space Kidettes.
- This is one of the Hanna-Barbera shows that has more creative writing of the episodes' storylines, such as " The Space Mermaid" and "The Laser Breathing Space Dragon".
- Well-sounded voice acting by the cast including the late Don Messick, late Janet Waldo, and late Lucille Bliss.
- The show's theme itself is appealing enough for kid viewers to become engrossed.
- "The Flight Before Christmas" is the only holiday-themed episode.