15 August 2006 | raysond
These Are The Days
Unlike the previous comment about this show,I do however agree that this critically acclaimed and highly respected series from the golden age of Hanna-Barbera hasn't been seen since it was first shown as part of Boomerrang's preview weekend marathon of classic cartoons that were presented on cable's Cartoon Network. And hasn't been seen it is entirely since. However,the short-lived Hanna-Barbera animated series "These Are The Days" was ahead of its time. When the series premiered as part of ABC-TV's Sunshine Saturday Morning Line-Up of cartoons in September of 1974,it was an immediate hit not only with children but with adults in mind. This series was basically inspired by two of the biggest family oriented hits of their day,since it was based on Earl Hamner's "The Waltons"(which was the top-rated show on television),and also "Little House On The Prairie". Only 16 episodes were produced of this series,and it only was shown on Saturday Mornings from September of 1974 until the final episode of the series in August of 1975. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions,the most trusted name in children's entertainment(creators of "The Flintstones","The Jetsons", "Scooby Doo",and etc.).
Like the other numerous Hanna-Barbera cartoons that came out of the 1970's,this animated series was just that:a breath of fresh air from the regular menu of superheroes,animal cartoon characters,teenage kids solving mysteries,weird characters and other things of interest. The show's premise was set in between the early 1900's or the 1930's during the depression-era and it was basically the same formula that was used on "The Waltons",but with a twist. The animated series centered around the daily goings on of The Day Family. Martha Day was a single widow(voiced by June Lockhart of Lassie and Lost In Space)raising her three kids(Danny,Jeff,and Benjamin)the best way she could during times of crisis of circumstances. And as always the family helps each other out in times of trouble and despair,but the main ingredient is that they cared for each other and stayed together as a family unit. Other voices that were featured in the series consisted of a cast of players including Frank Cady(of Petticoat Junction and Green Acres fame)as the friendly neighbor Homer;Mickey Dolenz(of The Monkees),Pamelyn Ferdin(of Lassie fame and was a child actor all over the place in the 70's including several voice characters for Hanna-Barbera cartoons),along with Dennis Duggan,Sam Edwards,Virginia Gregg, Allan Melvin(of Gomer Pyle,USMC and All In The Family fame as well as the voice of Hanna-Barbera characters including the voice of Magilla Gorilla),William Schallert,and so many more including H-B regulars Don Messick,Janet Waldo,June Foray,Henry Corden,and Joan Gerber.
The show was critically acclaimed for its portrayal of family values,but during the height of the series,it died a sudden and slow death,never to be heard from again. Even the ending credits,which are at the closing consisted of the background sketches of drawings(which are in black and white,but the rest of the series was in color),looks like the ending credits of "The Waltons",exactly the same premise. This series should be right up there with the rest of the Hanna-Barbera classics,but it is definitely worth taking a look at. You may like what you see it and it is a breath of fresh air.