Harlem Globetrotters (called Harlem Globe Trotters in the opening titles) was a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera and CBS Productions, featuring animated versions of players from the basketball team, Harlem Globetrotters. Broadcast from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1972 on CBS for 22 episodes, and later re-run on NBC as The Go-Go Globetrotters, the show featured cartoon versions of George “Meadowlark” Lemon, Freddie “Curly” Neal, Hubert “Geese” Ausbie, J.C. “Gip” Gipson, Bobby Joe Mason, and Pablo Robertson, alongside their fictional bus driver and manager Granny, and Dribbles, their dog mascot.
The Harlem Globetrotters was the first positive Black cast Saturday morning cartoon series and the first positive Black cast Saturday morning cartoon series featuring Black athletes. This also marked the first time any sports team had its own network television series.
The cartoon series worked to a formula where the team travels somewhere and typically got involved in a local conflict that leads to one of the characters proposing a basketball game to settle the issue. To ensure the Globetrotters’ defeat, the villains rig the contest to ensure that their opponents lose; however, before the second half of the contest, the team always finds a way to even the score.
Meadowlark Lemon voiced by Scatman Crothers. Meadowlark Lemon was the only Globetrotter to contribute to the series.
Other character voices: Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (Bobby Joe Mason); Robert DoQui (Pablo Robertson); Richard Elkins (J.C. “Gip” Gipson); Stu Gilliam (Freddie “Curly” Neal); Johnny Williams (Hubert “Geese” Ausbie).
The Harlem Globetrotters animated characters also appeared three times in The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972 / 1973). Dribbles, who didn’t appear on the show was in the theme song sequence and several references were made to Granny, who also didn’t appear.
In April 1972, Gold Key Comics launched a comic book adaptation of the animated series. The first comic book appearance was in issue #8 of Gold Key’s Hanna-Barbera Fun-In, July, 1971. The comic series followed and lasted for 4 years and 12 issues through January, 1975. A board game, lunch box and record album, The Globetrotters, was also produced. The Globetrotters soundtrack album was produced by Jeff Barry and released in 1970 by Kirshner Records (distributed by then-CBS division Columbia Records), which featured tunes heard in episodes of the series (during the basketball game sequences). Globetrotter frontman Meadowlark Lemon was the only member of the team to be actually involved with the project, adding occasional background vocals to some tracks.
The 40th anniversary of The Harlem Globetrotters cartoon was September 12, 2010
Season 1 (1970-1971)
- The Great Geese Goof-Up (9/12/1970)
- Football Zeros (9/19/1970)
- Hold That Hillbilly (9/26/1970)
- Bad News Cruise (10/3/1970)
- Rodeo Duds (10/10/1970)
- Double Dribble Double (10/17/1970)
- Heir Loons (10/24/1970)
- From Scoop to Nuts (10/31/1970)
- What a Day For a Birthday (11/7/1970)
- It’s Snow Vacation (11/14/1970)
- The Great Ouch Doors (11/21/1970)
- Hooray For Hollywood (11/28/1970)
- Shook Up Sheriff (12/5/1970)
- Gone To The Dogs (12/12/1970)
- The Wild Blue Yonder (12/19/1970)
- Long Gone Gip (1/2/1971)
Season 2 (1971-1972)
- A Pearl Of A Game (9/11/1971)
- Nothing To Moon About (9/18/1971)
- Pardon My Magic (9/25/1971)
- Granny’s Royal Ruckus (10/2/1971)
- Soccer To Me (10/9/1971)
- Jungle Jitters (10/16/1971)
The Super Globetrotters
The Super Globetrotters was the third animated series based on the Harlem Globetrotters, the first team of Black superheroes to appear in a Saturday morning cartoon series.
Three of the team’s super-heroic identities and powers were taken from characters of the 1966 Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Impossibles.
Liquid Man was voiced by Scatman Crothers.
Other character voices: Stu Gilliam (Freddie “Curly” Neal); Buster Jones (Spaghetti Man); Adam Wade (Sweet Lou Dunbar); Johnny Williams (Herbert “Geese” Ausbie); Frank Welker (Crime Globe).
The 40th anniversary for the Super Globetrotters is September 22, 2019.
The Original Production Cels, Drawings and Model Sheets featured below are a part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk Black Animation Collection.
Harlem Globetrotters, Super Globetrotters © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.