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Saturday Supercade - Could the '80s Coin-Op-Based Cartoons be Coming Home? Warner Says...

Not all segments can be represented, but the studio would like an MOD release of the portions they CAN put out!

Posted by David Lambert
Starting in 1983 Saturday Mornings on CBS included Saturday Supercade, an coin-op-inspired program of cartoons about various videogames, animated by Ruby-Spears Productions (whose shows are now part of the Hanna-Barbera collection). Segments in the series, as broadcast, included:
  • Q*Bert: 19 episodes; both seasons
  • Donkey Kong: 19 episodes, both seasons; voice cast included Soupy Sales as "Donkey Kong," Peter Cullen as "Mario," and Judy Strangis as "Pauline"
  • Donkey Kong Junior: 13 episodes, first season; voice cast included Frank Welker as "Donkey Kong Junior"
  • Frogger: 13 episodes, first season
  • Pitfall!: 7 episodes, first season
  • Kangaroo: 13 episodes, second season
  • Space Ace: 13 episodes, second season; voice cast included Nancy Cartwright as "Kimberly"
Like Hanna-Barbera's separate Pac-Man series, fans of the Saturday Supercade show have been wanting this program to come home on DVD for a long time. One fan, Nick Simmons, recently reached out to the Warner Archive Collection team on their Facebook wall, asking them straight out: "Any chance of getting Saturday Supercade, Galtar, or Dragon's Lair through Warner Archive in the near future?" While the studio's response didn't mention the other two shows, the reply gave some very hopeful news about the first one!
    "Most of the SUPERCADE favorites are coming your way from WAC next year. Some of the series that appeared under that umbrella have reverted to the owner of the specific game character. So, we are examining ways to put them together knowing that we can't exactly recreate the original broadcasts. We are on the lookout for some cool vintage footage to add as enhanced content!"
It's great to know that Warner will put out what they can, and spice it up with extra footage (which is certainly a rarity when it comes to the manufacture-on-demand releases of the Warner Archive program!). But which of the characters won't make it to a Warner release?

We asked a friend who's familiar with the videogame side of the entertainment business, and he believes that the Nintendo-owned characters of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior might have ended up at another studio (speculation is that it would be NBC/Universal, but that's not confirmed). It's also probable that Q*Bert rights be with another studio, too: Sony. That's because original coin-op producer Gottlieb was owned at the time by Columbia Pictures, which was later bought by Sony...and Sony released an iPhone app version of Q*Bert late last year! As far as the show's other videogame characters go, we're unsure what their status is; that was the best our friend could tell us, and we're grateful for that much!

Obviously this MOD release is still in the planning stages, and could be a long way off. Stay tuned and we'll update you further, as more information becomes available!

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