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Western Animation: The Banana Splits
"One banana, two banana, three banana, four!
Four bananas make a bunch, and so do many more!
Over hill and highway the Banana Buggies go,
Coming on to bring you the Banana Splits show!"

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was a Saturday morning series from Hanna-Barbera shown on NBC in the late 1960s. Live actors in full-body costumes portrayed Fleegle the dog (voiced by Paul Winchell), Drooper the lion (voiced by Allan Melvin), Bingo the gorilla (voiced by Daws Butler) and Snorky the elephant, who didn't talk. Sid & Marty Krofft Productions designed the Banana Splits' character costumes.

The foursome did comedy sketches, performed songs and introduced the following action segments:

After the Banana Splits became popular, Hanna-Barbera tried to duplicate its success in 1977: Skatebirds on CBS. (Some sources had 1969's The Cattanooga Cats on ABC as live/animated with the Cats live costumes, but it was all animated.) When The Banana Splits was shown in broadcast syndication, and later on TBS, the following series were added to the package:
  • The Atom Ant Show, accompanied by Precious Pupp and The Hillbilly Bears
  • Secret Squirrel, accompanied by Squiddly Diddly and Winsome Witch
  • The Adventures of Gulliver
  • The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Interesting trivia: The Banana Splits title song (or rather, a high-speed cover version by The Dickies) puts in an appearance as Hit Girl's theme music in Kick-Ass.

The Banana Splits provides examples of:

  • Animated Adaptation: Hardly surprisingly, the band appeared both in live action and in animated form in a full-length feature, The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park (1972), on the animated anthology series The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie.
  • The Big Guy: Raseem from The Arabian Knights; Porthos from The Three Musketeers
  • City of Gold / Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Baghdad in The Arabian Knights seemed to be overflowing with sapphires and rubies the size of your fist.
  • Characterization Marches On: At least physically for Snorky, who originally started out as something of a wooly mammoth in Season One, and became a clean-shaven elephant in Season Two.
  • Comic Book Adaptation
  • Cool Car: C'mon, admit it—you always wanted one of those six-wheeled Banana Buggies.
  • Distressed Damsel: Leslie Hayden from Danger Island, who was captured by Captain Mu-Tan's band or native headhunters in practically every episode and tied up, although all the main characters get this treatment at one point or another, especially late in the serial.
  • Easy Amnesia: Fariek in the The Arabian Knights episode "The Coronation of Bakaar".
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Bingo
  • Fake Band
  • Flying Carpet: Often used on The Arabian Knights. Fariek could even create one out of Raseem's sash.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: In Arabian Knights, Ventriloquist Shari Lewis voiced Nida, Jay North voiced Prince Turhan, and Paul Frees voiced the villanous henchman Vangore.
  • Hollywood Torches: The Arabian Knights and Danger Island segments.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Micro Ventures
  • Inept Mage: Fariek in Arabian Knights.
  • Island of Mystery: Danger Island. Possibly home to the lost city of Tobanya. Contains castaways and comes with three different tribes of cannibalistic native.
  • King of Beasts: Averted. Drooper isn't the lead guy, Fleegle the dog is.
  • Laugh Track
  • Master of Disguise: Nida in The Arabian Knights.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: On Danger Island. Lions and leopards on an island, in the middle of the Pacific?
  • Missing Episode: The entire second season hasn't been seen since 1969. The reruns in syndication and on Cartoon Network only featured the first season.
  • Old Shame: The Danger Island segments were directed by Richard Donner; Jan-Michael Vincent (credited as simply "Michael Vincent") appeared in them as "Link".
  • Open Sesame: on The Arabian Knights.
  • People in Rubber Suits
  • The Red Stapler: Don't tell me you didn't want a six-wheeled amphibious vehicle of your own as a kid.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: In the New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn segments. Tom, Huck and Becky are live action and everyone & everything else is animated.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: Captain Mu-Tan and his rag-tag band of modern day pirates from Danger Island.
  • Super Breath: Raseem in The Arabian Knights.
  • Super Strength: Raseem again.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call:
    Flipping like a pancake, popping like a cork,
    Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork!
    • In one segment, Fleegle started their regular meeting, and insisted that they had to first call the roll. Cue the other three walking around crying "Here, roll!".
  • The Unintelligible: Snorky spoke entirely in honking noises. Also, Chongo from Danger Island.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: It's so sixties it hurts.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Bez from The Arabian Knights. Preceded by his catchphrase "Size of a <name of animal>!", which changed not only his size but his shape.

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alternative title(s): The Banana Splits
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