A hippo and a cat (and sometimes a pig and/or a dog) engage in a competition of sports…and that’s not the beginning of a bad joke. In the world of 1980s animation, it actually exists as Sports Cartoons!
And in the spirit of the Olympics, there was no way I could let this one get past me!
But Seriously, What Are Sports Cartoons?
Sports Cartoons are a series of short cartoon produced by Lamb-Perlman Productions in 1985, and resemble the National Film Board of Canada’s animation style. The shorts feature anthropomorphic animals as the participants of various sports.
The participants are:
And the Dog.
The concept is simple – the animals (usually the Hippo and the Cat) engage in various sporting events. By his own disastrous design, the antagonistic Cat never wins.
However, through pure dumb luck, the sweet Hippo (or the Pig) always succeeds.
Actually, there was that one time The Big Cats won…
That’s it, really. No dialogue, no voices (except for the screeching cat). The shorts range in running time – 40 seconds to two minutes in length.
Sports Cartoons As Filler Material
In the United States, Sports Cartoons filled commercial space between programs on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and until the mid-1990s. I have vivid memories of watching the animals duke it out frequently, and loved watching the Hippo come out on top. When one watched, one never rooted for the Cat. You rooted for the Hippo (or Pigs).
Besides, the Hippo was adorable.
All told, the entire series ran forty-five minutes (for forty-five episodes), and saw a home video release by Family Home Entertainment.
What Types of Sports Were Featured in Sports Cartoons?
That’s right – nestled with the “typical” sports, Hippo, Cat, and Friends also competed in Darts, Chess, Skydiving, Karate, Swimming, Pommel Horse, Gymnastics, Skeet Shooting, Hot Air Balloon, Javelin, Shot Put (this one was a two-parter), Fencing, and Table Tennis.
And that’s not even scratching the surface!
Would You Like To See Some Sports Cartoons?
Of course you would!
And thanks to You Tube…you can!
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(Her fiancee is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)