The Addams Family has entertained audiences in print, on TV, and at the movies for decades. Created by Charles Addams in 1938, the macabre and satirical Addams Family cartoons were a commentary on the nuclear family and life in general. When they were translated to television in 1964 the darker elements were taken away, but the spirit of the Addams comics remained strong and enjoyed by millions.
And ever since their TV debut, the debate has raged over who should be considered the First Family of Fright: The Addams Family or The Munsters.
Most people primarily remember The Addams Family films from the 90s – The Addams Family and Addams Family Values – which breathed new life and darkness into the frightfully kooky clan. Since then there have been several TV movies, and a new Broadway musical starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, which premiered earlier this year. Yes, The Addams Family has a long track record of bringing joy and laughter to audiences of all generations.
But I never knew until recently that there was an Addams Family cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1973. The Addams Family cartoon was a short-lived, sixteen episode series that takes the Addams on a new adventure each week. Traveling in their Victorian-styled RV, Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Thing, and others travel America and leave their mark along the way.
If the character design looks familiar to you it may be because you’ve seen these versions – which are based on the original Charles Addams cartoons – when the Addams guest starred on The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972) a year before they got their own series. This time the Addams don’t need Scooby and the gang to create their own wacky shenanigans; they do just fine on their own.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy reprise their roles as Uncle Fester and Lurch, respectively. Both played the same characters on the 1964 series. I do wish they had gone with some other voice for Gomez, but it’s a bit late for that. And who’s that voicing Pugsley? Why, it’s Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster!
The Addams Family is classic Hanna-Barbera cartoonery (I just made up that word). There are tons of visual gags, puns, and laughs as the Addams travel the States and leave mayhem in their wake. If you are a fan of The Addams Family, I highly recommend you add this to your collection.
What is your favorite version of The Addams Family? Leave and comment and let us know!