1970s animated cartoon about U.S. History (NOT schoolhouse rock)
November 27, 2012 7:21 PM   Subscribe

animated 1970s tv series about U.S. History? this is NOT the schoolhouse rock episodes. the one i am remembering was more serious, working through historical situations with animated scenes. the episode i remember most vividly was about the British burning the white house. does anyone else remember this series and what the name of it was?? might have been made around the bicentennial, but not sure.
posted by cmp4Meta to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hmmm, looks like "Spirit of Independence" aired in that time period. 1975? "The Spirit of Freedom." Also in the right ballpark: "The Spirit of '76." [I'd love to say I knew these off the bat, but they were found in the links here.]

Can you say whether the episodes were short, like "Schoolhouse Rock," or longer-format?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:39 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

working through historical situations with animated scenes.

Also, can you clarify whether this was all animation, or a mix of live-action and animated scenes?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:56 PM on November 27, 2012

It sounds like the films that the Eames did. You should be able to find it on the Tube. They did a few shorts for the bicentennial.
posted by JJ86 at 8:48 PM on November 27, 2012

There was a cartoon series called "Liberty's Kids" --- newer than the '70s, though. It was a 1/2 hour animated series focusing on several teenage characters in key Revolutionary War situations; Walter Cronkite voiced Benjamin Franklin.
posted by easily confused at 2:17 AM on November 28, 2012

Could it possibly have been the weird Archies-US History cartoon hybrid called The U.S. of Archie? I totally remember watching this on TV in the mid 70s, especially the "Fulton's Folly" episode about the steamship.
posted by mefireader at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2012

Response by poster: So far the closest seem to be something like the three mentioned by Monkey Toes - although from what I can see in terms of screen captures online these have a slightly different aesthetic than what I am remembering.

The one I recall had lots of white space in the screen, with small engravings and/or historical pictures collaged into the background with animated characters overlaid onto the top. It was a long time ago so my memory may be tricking me, but the way I recall there was very little motion -- most of the scenes were static with the voice of a narrator generating the action and cuts from view to view rather than motion shots.

It's not the Eames films, though. Considerably less highbrow, and with a definite cartoon aesthetic. It must have been a series because I remember it running on Saturday mornings, which was the only time I was allowed to watch TV. It never really held my interest to tell the truth, but I want to find it now because it seemed a particularly sophisticated interpretation of history for kids and one that I'd like to show my own young'uns!

Any other ideas?
posted by cmp4Meta at 6:44 AM on November 30, 2012

1975–1976 United States network television schedule (Saturday morning) (other years)

On a brief look-through, nothing stands out...but could it have been a segment of a show *not* devoted to U.S. history?
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2012

Response by poster: no it was definitely about u.s. history - it ran every weekend
posted by cmp4Meta at 6:17 AM on December 3, 2012

Oh, my -- have you seen this? Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:32 PM on December 3, 2012

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