As you are no doubt aware, the Abbott government is proposing funding cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), despite pre-election promises not to. Despite criticism of the ABC and calls for the national broadcaster to be privatised, GetUp! and The Australian Greens are leading a campaign to keep the national broadcaster in public hands.
As a child, watching the variety of Warner Bros, Disney and Hanna-Barbera cartoons on the commercial networks, I decided to switch to the ABC one morning, to see what they had to offer by way of morning cartoons. I also flicked the channel to the ABC in the afternoon to see what was on offer.
While my classmates were watching The Flintstones, Top Cat et al (and don’t get me wrong, I loved those cartoons too, but what I saw on the ABC was too good for me to switch back!), I found myself in a completely different dimension.
And I present to you, some choice cartoons that made my childhood, thanks to the ABC.
#5. The Berenstain Bears
This animated series, based on the books by Stan and Jan Berenstain, was first aired in 1979, but reruns were aired on the ABC. The Berenstain Bears features an anthropomorphic family of grizzly bears and their adventures in Bear Country.
I’ll never forget the episode where they consult a fortune teller, and Brother Bear knocks her crystal ball off the table.
#4. The World of David the Gnome
A Spanish production, The World of David the Gnome is centred around its title character and his adventures. What I loved the most about this cartoon was its focus on the natural world.
It also had the most soul-crushing final episode I had ever seen in animation history.
#3. Belle and Sebastian
Adapted from the novel by Cécile Aubry, Belle and Sebastian was a French TV show about a little boy named Sebastian, who travels across the Pyrenees Mountains to find his mother, a travelling gypsy. His companions are Belle, a pyrenean mountain dog, and his little dog Poochie.
A favourite among French children, this was also a favourite of mine.
#2. The Wizard of Oz
Produced by Californian production company DiC Entertainment, The Wizard of Oz was an animated series, adapted from the L. Frank Baum novel of the same name.
Produced in France by production company Belokapi, RoboStory is the tale of a little girl named Myrtille (also known as Blueberry in the English overdubs), who follows her dog Loufi into a space shuttle. The shuttle takes off with Myrtille and Loufi inside, taking them to the Green Planet, inhabited by robots.
I think the fact that Myrtille had red hair, was the deciding factor for me, and seeing redheads represented as the story’s protagonist was the winner for me. That, and she went on some crazy adventures with her robot friends.