Remembering The Undersea Adventures Of Captain Nemo

  • PLEASE FOLLOW THE RETROIST

One year after I was born a cartoon that I would watch more times than I would like to admit swam its way to the airwaves. Originally airing as a 5 minute segment break on the popular children’s show Captain Kangaroo, The Undersea Adventures Of Captain Nemo surfaced. The show very loosely based on the Jules Vern story 20,000 leagues Under the Sea was brought to life by a Canadian Animation studio called Rainbow Animation based out of Ontario Canada. In my Canadian market it would not be until the early 80s before I saw the show. Honestly I struggle to understand why this show stuck hard in my memory banks. The 70s Viewers would get 5 minutes of Nemo where as on the Television network I watched most as a kid, NTV, we were honored to get a full half hour block of this show. 5 back to back episodes aired with the time slot constantly changing. So Nemo was a show that was almost omnipresent on Saturday mornings for us.

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The first thing that stands out for me looking back was the shows intro. The theme song for this show was actually mind numbingly decent. If the beginning of this show was any indication all signs pointed to this show being the second coming of Johnny Quest. Sadly it was not. But in its own environmentally friendly way, this show, in moderation, was fun and enjoyable.

The show was about the Submarine adventures of Captain Mark Nemo, and two overly educated children, Robbie and Christine. Born out of the 1970s ecological movements each show was a mini class in conservation of our oceans and the inhabitants there in. Nemo and the kids would rescue Sea creatures and explore Undersea environments while foiling the efforts of some bad guys along the way. The shows were so short in duration, Nemo and his submarine were the most efficient eco-rescue team ever. Saving the day in a short 4 and a half minutes can really add some work place pressures on a guy.

Lets find out more about the crew. First Captain Mark Nemo The blond haired researcher who has a knack for finding himself in the midst of some sort of ecological incident at every turn. He is also a mentor two his two student followers who travel with him all over the globe saving Sea life from certain doom. Mark himself more than slightly bared a likeness to DC comics Aquaman. He was a submarine expert and the captain of the gimmick laden Nautilus. The Sub itself was filled with plenty of attachments and gadgets that can get you out of any situation.

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(Captain Mark Nemo..Underwater Researcher Extrordinaire!)

Next was child researcher Robbie. Robbie was a highly educated boy who joined the crew of the Nautilus at a young age. Even though his age was never given it appeared Robbie was about 10 Years old. Robbie was interested in Nemo research and would from time to time find himself in some sort of underwater trouble and need to be rescued. Just where is this kids parents?

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(Robbie the Boy Wond…uhh..I mean Reasearcher.No last name needed.)

Next Teen researcher Christine. Seemingly the level headed one of the two children. Obviously the older of the two kids was a very astute student of Marks with a remarkable knowledge of the Undersea worlds they explored. It was never apparent if Robbie and Christine were brother and sister but the implication was there in many stories. Christine often controlled her own underwater vessel under Marks watch. Hmmm.

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(Christine. Teen researcher. Apparently orphaned as well as Robbie. No know parents mentioned or last names for these kids. Was Mark somehow their Father? We will never know.)

One interesting side note on this series was that all the voice work for the show for Mark, The Children, the scientists and bad guys were all done by two people, Len Carlson and Billie Mae Richards.

Where can I find this show now? It had been released on VHS for the hardcore collectors in the 80s and the video tape contained a big block of the series.

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The fine folks at F.H.E. always brought quality animation to their video cassettes. Some rare cartoons found a second life on the video market because of Family Home Entertainment.

In today’s market if you look hard enough you can find this series, or at least large chucks of it on value DVD collections, like the ones featured below.

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Here are a couple of the episodes that still exist around the web for your enjoyment (for now). If you are a Dolphin saving Ecologist, these shows are right up your alley! If not they are still an okay shot of retro fun. Enjoy!


5 Responses to Remembering The Undersea Adventures Of Captain Nemo

  1. Manny says:

    We actually feature an episode of this in our first episode of CARTOON LAGOON where we riff on cartoons ala Mystery Science Theater. Needless to say this show is perfect fodder for poking fun at.

    http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Cornelius-Cartoons-Cartoon-Lagoon/dp/B009G47AJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363288946&sr=8-1&keywords=cartoon+lagoon

  2. Charlton Hero says:

    Thx for the recommendation. Ill be sure to check it out. There is a good reason that this show appears on no ones favorite cartoon list.

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    I must’ve caught bits of this show, cuz the music sounds nostalgically-familiar.

    Reminds me of the low-quality, yet highly-enjoyable Rocket Robin Hood, which had 30 minute slots, yet featured episodes broken down into easy-to-digest 5 minute chapters.
    It also had lotsa repeated animation sequences, just about every other scene (if not more).

    I’m still crazy about it.

    That’s cuz shows like these often played every day and got into our minds, in ways that somehow bookmarks bits and pieces of childhood, just thinking about it.

    Very grateful for that.

    And truly enjoyed your article about this very retro show, Charleton!

  4. charltonhero says:

    Appreciate it. I was a fan of Rocket Robin Hood as well. Both shows had similar tyles. Nemo, Robin Hood and 60s Spiderman ran together in a block in my part of the universe.

    Rocket Robin Hood shared animation cells with the Spiderman cartoon. Spidey in the later seasons visited other dimensions and worlds and often traveled there by Rocket..Rocket Robin Hoods rocket! In some scenes in Spiderman you actually see two shadows in the cockpit while Spidey steers his craft due to the fact its the same reused cells and editors didnt pick up on or care about this snafu.

    Either way great fun.

  5. Jean Mathieson says:

    This will not be running on CARTOON LAGOON as it is not public domain but still under copyright.

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