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The Saturday Superstar Movie - DVD of 'The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters', Rankin-Bass Follow-up to 'Mad Monster Party' **UPDATED/CORRECTED**

This 3rd episode of ABC's 1972 Saturday Superstar Movie will be in stores this summer!

Posted by David Lambert
ABC's Saturday Superstar Movie, which aired for 2 seasons starting in 1972, was an ambitious idea for Saturday morning fare: the program was made up of hour-long animated episodes which were not produced by any single studio, but rather provided by many of the hottest studios of the day: Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, Rankin-Bass, King Features, and Screen Gems were among the many companies represented. Many episodes were one-time animated representations of popular primetime shows from that era: Gidget, Nanny and the Professor, That Girl, The Munsters, Lost in Space and we even saw an adventure starring the kids (Tabitha and Adam) from Bewitched. There was also a Brady Bunch-inspired episode, "The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island," which was the first one of the Saturday Superstar Movie and which later led to a separate spin-off animated Brady Kids series!

Other episodes also served as pilots for both Lassie's Rescue Rangers and Yogi's Gang (with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo leading a huge crowd of fan-favorite Hanna-Barbera characters). We also saw a story starring baseball legend Willie Mays (voicing himself). And a story with Popeye leading a huge range of characters that included Blondie and Dagwood and Beetle Bailey and Snuffy Smith plus all the characters who would later appear in Defenders of the Earth. And a story called "Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies" (which includes an infamous live-action scene with the Goolies!). Another episode which had some live-action sequences in it starred The Banana Splits. There was also an Oliver Twist-inspired tale, plus animal-ized versions of both "The Red Baron" and "Robin Hood."

The third episode of the program was a Rankin-Bass production titled "The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters," an installment which served as a sequel to the late '60s Halloween TV special Mad Monster Party (also from Rankin-Bass). This time, Baron Von Frankenstein decides to make a wife for Frankenstein's Monster, and with Igor's help they create the Bride of Frankenstein. We also see (or rather, don't see!) The Invisible Man, The Invisible Woman and The Invisible Boy. Additionally there are appearances in this hour-long tale from Dracula and his son, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Dr. Jekyll (and/or his alter-ego, Mr. Hyde), the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and even a vulture named "Rosebud."

Classic Media and their distributor, Vivendi Entertainment, have announced to retailers that The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters (which we'll list here on the site as "Saturday Superstar Movie - The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters") is coming to DVD for the first time ever, and will be available this July 12th. This single-disc release is priced to sell, with a list cost of just $6.95 SRP! Video is full-screen and audio is English mono. The studio desription to retailers says this item "Includes a Full 'Special' Episode - bonus 'Jackolantern' episode from the Rankin-Bass 1970‘s Saturday Morning animated series!" (we're honestly not certain what they're referring to there, however). Below is a link to pre-order this classic production from, followed by an early look at the package art (it's noticably unfinished, though, and could quite possibly be subject to change).

UPDATES/CORRECTIONS (5/3): In the week since this story was posted, several readers have provided us with additional information that expands on, or corrects, certain details posted in our original story above. Chuck Duncan, for example, told us this: "Hi guys! Not to be a nitpick, but I believe Mad Monster Party [the original production, not the follow-up which we're actually reporting on - DAVE] was a theatrical release, not a TV special as mentioned in the article about The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters. I remember wanting to see it when I was a kid, but we never made it to the theater while it was playing for some reason." Gord did a bunch of digging, and it looks like Chuck is right: it was a theatrical movie that got very poor distribution, and then aired on TV, where most people saw it. Thanks for pointing it out.

Scott Toschlog also pointed that out at well, but he and Dave from @Cartoons1980s identified that the extra on the upcoming DVD release, the "bonus 'Jackolantern' episode from the Rankin-Bass 1970‘s Saturday Morning animated series!," is from the syndicated RB program Festival of Family Classics, and aired on October 29, 1972. This episode of "Jack O'Lantern," obviously timed for its original broadcast to air near Halloween, ran approximately 23 minutes. Our thanks to Scott and Dave for that info.

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The Saturday Superstar Movie - The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters

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