Alien Dragons, Fighting Ghosts, Space Dinosaurs: The Forgotten Weirdness of ‘The Herculoids’ #SaturdayMorningCartoons
A prototypical Saturday Morning Cartoon from the 1960’s, The Herculoids featured a space dragon with laser eyes, a 10-legged dinosaur that shot hot rocks out of its horn, a creepy ape thing, and two transforming protoplasmic ghost blobs called Gloop and Gleep. Glorious, strange, and featured later on Space Ghost, this is one for the ages.
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Well, *I* haven’t forgotten this offbeat Edgar Rice Burroughs-ish fantasy world… space primitives! High tech invaders would attack, low tech brute force would defend. Of course the human good guys would prevail but not in the usual cartoon way, (e.g., Frankenstein Junior would always counter the bad guy’s hammer with a bigger one, figuratively). The Herculoids had the advantage of the teamwork dynamic. The creatures were not pets nor livestock nor a trained animal act. They were friends, treated with respect as equals. It left an impression on at least one young mind.