Cartoons Based on Live Action Shows

Quote of the Day: "The same passengers that got shipwrecked in the TV series get space-ship-wrecked on distant planet." -- describing Gilligan's Planet

I've seen some trippy cartoons in my life, but the wackiest are probably the ones based on live action television shows or movies. Here are some of the most memorable (or the infamous, depending on your tastes.)

The original comedy Gilligan's Island was wacky enough, but the cartoon took things to extraterrestrial proportions, stranding the castaways on a distant planet. All the original cast members lend their voices to this cartoon except for Tina Louise who tried to distance herself from the series. (Instead, Dawn Wells, who played Maryanne, also provided the voice for Ginger!) A more faithful (but less imaginative) cartoon adaptation was New Adventures of Gilligan. Most of the original cast returned to voice this series too, except for Dawn Wells and (surprise, surprise) Tina Louise. They were replaced by Jane Edwards and Jane Webb respectively.

Don't be fooled by the live-action opening credits. This was a goofy cartoon version of the beloved Brady Bunch series, focusing on animated adventures of the children in the family (Mr. and Mrs. Brady and Alice nowhere to be seen, but the Brady family's cat Fluffy and dog Tiger take center stage instead).

One of my favorite sitcoms of all time is Happy Days, and this cartoon takes that show and throws the characters into space. I admit, I remember watching this as a kid on Saturday mornings and loving the alien girl (named Cupcake!). Fonzie was still cool and I loved the U.F.O. In hindsight, this is pretty laughable stuff (in a cheesy "what were they thinking" kind of way), but it was certainly better than the other cartoon adaptation (with the horrendous title) Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, and the Fonz Hour.

If you're looking for more dramatic adventures, check out this animated remake of the Planet of the Apes saga. All the episodes are currently available to watch on Hulu (although they're listed out of sequence -- be sure to watch them in the order of their Episode numbers). The animation isn't groundbreaking but there's some decent illustrations that should delight fans of the movie saga which also had a live-action television series spin-off. The writing is pretty weak, but if you can't get enough of seeing humans battle intelligent apes, this cartoon is for you.

Don't worry, there are lots of other silly cartoon adaptations of liveaction shows out there. I'll definitely return to this topic sometime in the future and share some more with you.