The New Adventures of Zorro (1981 TV series)

The New Adventures of Zorro is an American animated television series produced by Filmation in 1981.[1] The series, which has 13 episodes, is based on the fictional character created by Johnston McCulley.[2] It aired as part of The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour.[3]

The New Adventures of Zorro (1981)
The New Adventures of Zorro (1981 TV series).jpg
DVD Cover
GenreAnimation
Created byJohnston McCulley (characters)
Written by
  • Arthur Browne Jr.
  • Robby London
  • Ron Schultz
  • Sam Schultz
  • Marty Warner
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • Ray Ellis
  • Norm Prescott
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Producers
Editors
  • Ron Fedele
  • Joe Gall
  • Hector C. Gika
Running time~20 minutes
Production companyFilmation
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 12 –
December 5, 1981 (1981-12-05)

This is the only series Filmation made in which they contracted an outside, third party animation studio (although the storyboards were created by Filmation themselves). The series was outsourced to Tokyo Movie Shinsha in Japan.[4] All other series afterwards were animated internally by Filmation themselves. It was producer Norm Prescott's final series with Filmation, bringing to an end the famous 'rotating producers' wheel that made Filmation a household name. From Gilligan's Planet onwards, Lou Scheimer would handle production duties on his own.

PlotEdit

Don Diego de la Vega is a young man of high social position from the town of Los Angeles, who fights against tyranny under a secret identity, Zorro. He is helped by Tempest (originally "Tornado"), his black horse, and Miguel, a young swordsman (replacing Zorro's mute manservant Bernardo). Miguel wears a disguise very similar to Zorro’s (but with different colors and without a cape) and rides a Palomino.

Ramón, the captain of the garrison, is Zorro’s main foe. Captain Ramón is helped in his task of capturing Zorro by González, a foolish sergeant who is friends with the De La Vega family. Sergeant González was a character from the original Zorro story 'The Curse of Capistrano'. He had been replaced by Sergeant Garcia on the Disney series. The actor who voiced González, Don Diamond, played Sergeant Garcia's companion Corporal Reyes.

Voice castEdit

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
1"Three Is a Crowd"Arthur Browne Jr.September 12, 1981 (1981-09-12)101
Zorro sets out to recover the people's tax money from a band of pirates before the government's men can get their hands on it. But when a gang of thieves hear about the money and go after it as well, Zorro has his hands full.
2"Flash Flood"Arthur Browne Jr.September 19, 1981 (1981-09-19)102
Zorro has his work cut out for him when a dam threatens to burst and flood the countryside. What doesn't help matters any is when a gang of crooks try to exploit the panic of the citizens.
3"The Blockade"Arthur Browne Jr.September 26, 1981 (1981-09-26)103
Zorro risks his life to attack an enemy French man-of-war that has blockaded the port of San Pedro. But what Zorro doesn't know is that the enemy has set various traps for him.
4"The Frame"Ron Schultz
Sam Schultz
October 3, 1981 (1981-10-03)104
Zorro fights to clear his name when he is accused of crimes he did not commit. But as all the evidence he finds keeps pointing to him, Zorro realizes there are higher powers involved.
5"Turnabout"Ron Schultz
Sam Schultz
October 10, 1981 (1981-10-10)105
The tide starts to turn against Zorro. Now he has to find his way back and get himself back to the Zorro he once was.
6"The Tyrant"Marty Warner
Arthur Browne Jr.
October 17, 1981 (1981-10-17)106
A corrupt military ruler steals from the rich and taxes the poor, with no one but Zorro to stop him. But in order for Zorro to stop him he will have to go about it intelligently or risk being branded a traitor.
7"Terremoto"Arthur Browne Jr.October 24, 1981 (1981-10-24)107
Things get off to a shaky start when Zorro attempts to free the prisoners from the island of Santa Catalina. At first Zorro is considered a traitor but once officials see how the prisoners were being treated he is cleared.
8"The Trap"Arthur Browne Jr.October 31, 1981 (1981-10-31)108
En route to Santa Barbara, Zorro and Miguel fall victim to one of Captain Ramon's evil plans. Now they are at the mercy of the Captain, until Zorro comes up with an escape plan.
9"Fort Ramon"Robby LondonNovember 7, 1981 (1981-11-07)109
Zorro tries to break into Fort Ramon to free a prisoner.
10"The Take Over"Robby LondonNovember 14, 1981 (1981-11-14)110
Zorro must think fast when a bandit kidnaps the Governor General, and has himself declared ruler of California. But, unbeknownst to Zorro, the bandit is an old enemy.
11"Double Trouble"Arthur Browne Jr.November 21, 1981 (1981-11-21)111
Two of Zorro's enemies team up to try to take him down.
12"The Conspiracy"Arthur Browne Jr.November 28, 1981 (1981-11-28)112
Zorro gets wrapped up in a conspiracy and now the only way out is to solve it.
13"The Mysterious Traveler"Robby LondonDecember 5, 1981 (1981-12-05)113
Zorro tries to figure out if recent events have been caused by an unknown stranger.

Educational messagesEdit

Zorro showed the viewers information about California and the influence of Spanish language and culture in the region at the end of each episode. These kinds of educational messages were common in 1980's animated television series of Filmation. Other examples of this are the moral advice found in episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

MerchandisingEdit

In 1981, toy manufacturer Gabriel released a line of Zorro action figures that tied in with Filmation's animated series. The characters included in the toy line were Zorro, Miguel, Captain Ramon, Sergeant Gonzalez, Tempest (horse) and Picaro (horse).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 725. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 942–944. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ Pippins, Jan; Darrow, Henry (March 10, 2012). "Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle". BearManor Media – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Scheimer, Lou (2015). Creating the Filmation Generation (2nd ed.). TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-60549-044-1.

External linksEdit