Hanna-Barbera produced this, the first of three Saturday morning TV series featuring the famous basketball comedy troupe, in 1970 for CBS. It was the first animated TV show to have a mostly black cast.The Globetrotters traveled in a van with their elderly coach, Granny, and their canine Team Pet, Dribbles. Most episodes, set overseas, had them on the way to their next game when they encountered a criminal or other interference. Despite trailing badly in the first half of the game, the Globetrotters always managed to come from behind in the second half.Their two other shows were The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine, also on CBS, in 1975, and The Super Globetrotters on NBC in 1979. In the 1977-78 midseason, NBC replayed episodes as part of the two-hour Go-Go Globetrotters umbrella title (which included elements from that season's CB Bears, plus The Herculoids, Space Ghost and Motormouse and Autocat). They also appeared in 1979 on Fred & Barney Meet the Shmoo in a four-part story arc, The Harlem Globetrotters Meet Snow White.The entire show was later parodied in several episodes of Futurama.
This cartoon provides examples of:
- Babysitting Episode: In "The Great Ouch Doors", the Globetrotters were charged with minding a group of bratty half pints.
- Birthday Episode: In "What a Day for a Birthday", the Globetrotters have to raise $100 for Granny's birthday gift, an electric hair dryer.
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Appeared in Gold Key's Hanna-Barbera Fun-In issues #8 and 10, then got its own standalone series of 12 issues starting in January 1972. The Fun-In issues give it the Hanna-Barbera copyright while the standalone issues give it the CBS copyright.
- Composite Character: The Prince in the Snow White episode is also The Frog Prince, as the Queen transforms him into a frog in an attempt to stop him from reaching Snow White. With the Globetrotters' help, he reaches her and wakes her with his kiss, and her kiss changes him back to normal.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: The Globetrotters angrily stop the Prince from kissing Snow White the first time, not believing that he's an actual prince but rather just some punk trying to get fresh with an unconscious chick.
- Easily Forgiven: The Evil Queen gets off scot-free and is treated as a friend by the others after her scheme is foiled.
- Fairest of Them All: Just as in the original Snow White story, the Evil Queen tries to do away with Snow White for this reason. Later, after the Prince wakes her from her enchanted sleep, the Globetrotters point out that if Snow White leaves with the Prince to his home country, the Queen will regain her title as the land's most beautiful woman as Snow White will no longer be in it. The Queen agrees and allows them to leave. Later, the Queen consults her magic mirror, but it says Curly is the fairest of them all. As she storms off in a huff, it turns out that Curly and the others were just pulling a prank on her.
- Five-Man Band: Technically six, since there are six Globetrotters—plus Granny and their pet dog.
- Genre Savvy: In the Snow White episode, Snow White seems to not be a story in this world and its events are happening for the first time. The Globetrotters nonetheless know a lot of fairy tale tropes, like how Snow White needs to be woken by a prince because they have read other fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty.
- The Ghost: Snow White mentions that the Seven Dwarves are away in their mines. For this reason, they never appear in the episode and the Globetrotters pretty much take their place.
- Got Volunteered: Curly, whenever Meadowlark hatches a Zany Scheme.
- Ink-Suit Actor: A cartoon photo of actress Diahann Carroll, who starred in an NBC comedy-drama of the time, Julia, shows up in the debut episode, "The Great Geese Goof-Up".
- It's All My Fault: In "Long Gone Gip", Gip leaves the team, and the country, because he thinks he crushed Pablo during basketball practice.
- King Incognito: The Evil Queen disguises herself as an old woman to trick Snow White into eating a poisoned apple. The Prince is introduced pretending to be a traveling salesman in order to escape boring palace life and move freely amongst the people. Unfortunately, this means the Globetrotters don't believe he's really a prince, and they boot him out of the cottage when he tries to wake Snow White the first time.
- Leitmotif: "Sweet Georgia Brown"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Non-Fatal Explosions: The chemist in "Heir Loons" is prone to these.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Granny's real name is never revealed.
- Schizo Tech: The land that Snow White and the Evil Queen hail from (and its neighboring country that the Prince comes from) is one where everybody talks, dresses and acts like it's the Middle Ages and the buildings are either stone castles or thatched cottages. However, it also has a few motorized vehicles, electronic lights and gates, and even a modern basketball court, and the Queen's Magic Mirror seems to really be a computer. It is also clearly set in the late 1970s, as several of the characters are fans of the Globetrotters and the Queen invited them to come and put on an exhibition game.
- The Smurfette Principle: Granny's the only main character to be female, as all the others (all six of the Globetrotters and their dog, Dribbles) are male.
- Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: The Globetrotters cheat a lot in their games (including kicking and headbutting the ball and using foreign objects) but usually only after their opponents cheat. Neither side is ever penalized.
Meadowlark: What do you mean "Foul on Meadowlark"? I'm innocent. I demand a trial.Curly: (disguised as a court judge) Objection overruled. Three shots for Meadowlark! (bangs gavel)
- The referee has called a foul on Meadowlark on some occasions.
- Your Costume Needs Work: Snow White initially doesn't believe that the heroes are the real Harlem Globetrotters—at least not until they show off their basketball skills.