Black Character Revolution –
A Retrospective Of 1970’s Saturday Morning Animation Art Featuring Characters From The Jackson 5ive Cartoon
The Museum Of UnCut Funk offers an exhibition that features animation art from the Jackson 5ive cartoon, available in a 70 piece configuration. The Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Jackson 5ive animation exhibition includes Original Production Cels, Original Production Drawings, Storyboards and Model Sheets. The art showcased in this exhibition is featured below.
The Jackson 5ive cartoon was based upon the Motown group The Jackson Five. The Jackson 5ive cartoon featured the band in a series of comic misadventures, usually sandwiched around two songs per show. Young Michael was usually the focus, along with his pets mice Ray and Charles and snake Rosie.
Jackson 5ive Fun Facts:
- First positive Black cast Saturday morning cartoon featuring Black musicians, second positive Black cast cartoon to appear on Saturday Morning
- Prior to this, animators regularly used jazz musicians Cab Calloway, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson as archetypes for a host of animals and people in animated features. Many of these caricatures reinforced stereotypes about Blacks’ natural ability to dance and sing and their supposed animalistic nature
- First television series to be produced by Motown
- First time Black people like Berry Gordy led the development of animated television programming featuring Black characters, from concept through to art creation and production
- Motown executives had to “approve every aspect of the series” and they rejected a number of writers’ scripts before things met their approval
- Premiered on ABC on September 11, 1971 and ran through September 13, 1973.
- Produced by Rankin/Bass and was animated mainly in London at the studios of Halas and Batchelor.
- Some of the animation was done at Estudios Moro, Barcelona Spain.
- The director was Spanish American Robert Balser (Click here to see our interview with Robert Balser).
- The show featured all five Jackson brothers: Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie.
- Other than appearing in the introduction, the actual Jackson brothers themselves were unable to contribute to the show in any way due to scheduling conflicts. Only their music was used. During the music montages, a clipping of the Jackson 5 appearing in concert would air occasionally to blend in with the cartoon.
- The Jackson Five did not lend their voices to the cartoon. They were voiced by: Donald Fullilove (Michael), Edmund Sylvers (Marlon), Joel Cooper (Jermaine), Mike Martinez (Tito) and Craig Grandy (Jackie). While Diana Ross added her voice in the debut episode, Barry Gordy’s character was voiced by actor Paul Frees.
- A specially recorded medley of the groups three #1 hits – “I Want You Back”, “The Love You Save”, and “ABC” – served as the show’s theme song.
- There were 17 episodes that aired in 1971. In the second year, 6 original episodes aired and the rest of the season consisted of reruns.
- 40th anniversary – September 11, 2011
Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Jackson 5ive Exhibition Art
Our Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Black Animation Exhibition that showcases all Black characters featured in 1970’s Saturday Morning Cartoons is available in a 60 piece configuration.
The Museum Of UnCut Funk also offers an exhibition that features animation art from the Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon, available in a 60 piece configuration. Fat Albert is the longest running positive Black cast Saturday morning cartoon series.
To book the Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution – Jackson 5ive Exhibition, or book the Curator of the Museum Of UnCut Funk for a Curator’s Talk, Lecture or Expert Panel on the Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition please contact the Curator, Sista ToFunky.
© 2016 Classic Media Inc.: The Jackson 5ive