Saturday, October 19, 2013

Obit: Lou Scheimer R.I.P.

Sad news - Lou Scheimer, the man who (with his partners Norm Prescott and Hal Sutherland) brought 70s Star Kids such Saturday morning favorites as the Emmy Award-winning Star Trek - The Animated Series, Ark II, Space Academy, Jason Of Star Command, Shazam!, Isis, Blackstar, and the best screen adaptation of Flash Gordon ever, has passed away at age 84.

I can't begin to express how much those Filmation shows impacted me as a kid and influenced the person I've become. It was clear that Scheimer personally loved science fiction and fantasy, and his studio seemed to always have a genre show on the air on one network or another throughout the 70s.

Not only did he produce the shows, but he provided narration and character voices to almost every show he made. Sure, it was partly a cost-saving measure (Filmation was notorious for their low budgets), but there was clearly a lot of enthusiasm in his voice work. You can't listen to his vocal performance as Ark II's chimpanzee Adam, for instance, without hearing the fun he's having in his voice.

One of these days, I'm going to have to write up a Hall Of Fame post for the guy - he was that influential. 

Rest in peace, Lou.


  1. Lou Scheimer's Filmation series made my Saturday mornings as a boy in the '70s extremely memorable. I enjoyed Star Trek:The Animated Series, Ark II, Space Academy, Jason Of Star Command and Flash Gordon very much.


  2. As a kid, I never paid much attention to which studio made what show. As an adult looking back, I have a vast appreciation for Filmation's body of work. I find most of my favorite Saturday morning fare was produced by Filmation. They may have had to cut corners on the animation itself, but they always seemed to have compensated (and then some) in the character designs and creative plots, and I always loved the music in their shows. All studios had to cut corners to produce TV for Saturday morning, but I think Filmation handled the low budgets the best, especially in the live-action shows. I admire Lou's dedication to turning out the best shows he could on the budgets they had to work with, and to keeping the work here in America instead of farming it out overseas. I agree that Lou Scheimer would be a great inductee into your Hall of Fame.

  3. Their cost-cutting techniques proved to have a style all their own..

    Jus look at Trek TAS. To paint such luxurious planetscapes, they cut corners by blackening the principals, a huge savings yet inventing a great style of visual story-telling. TAS is still a huge favorite of mine.

    Sleep well sir, and thank you for entertaining the world.

  4. I enjoyed many of the shows that he did in the 70's, but Filmation was always hit and miss. Flash Gordon was just incredible in it's first full run (a bit weaker later on). But the "Tom and Jerry Comedy Hour" (1980-82) was one of the worst things ever made.

  5. Damn. A close friend of mine interviewed Scheimer not too long ago. While I wasn't too keen on some of Filmation's work, when it was good, it was damned good--like STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES, FLASH GORDON, or BLACKSTAR. Also, even though the animation at times was not up to snuff, Filmation also was the place where many now-popular animators and writers got started, including Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, who would later go on to create BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

  6. Based on what I've seen in those pretty darn good documentaries on the dvds, Lou Scheimer seems to have been a terrifically nice man. It's always sad when a good guy passes.

    The 60's Superman and Aquaman cartoons were huge in my finding the comic book hobby. They are a treat.

    I just got hold of Shazam! a few weeks ago and Space Sentinels I found just a few days back. I see some Filmation watching in my future.

    Rip Off

  7. Thanks for making my childhood fun.