'Jackson 5ive' Cartoon Dances to Blu-ray7 Dec, 2012 By: John Latchem
In addition to entertaining millions of fans with their legendary songs, music superstars The Jackson 5ive expanded their brand by starring in their own Saturday morning cartoon show. Originally airing on ABC from Sept. 11, 1971, to Oct. 14, 1972, the series is officially coming to home video for the first time via DreamWorks Classics.
“This for us is pretty special — an iconic, classic TV show that has never been out before,” said Robert Mayo, SVP and GM of home entertainment for DreamWorks Classics. “This is a very big release for the historical nature of it, and we wanted to give fans of the Jackson 5ive and Michael Jackson something to enjoy.”
Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series arrives Jan. 15 as a two-DVD set at $32.99 and a four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at $39.99. The set includes all 23 episodes and 46 digitally remastered original Jackson 5ive songs.
“We got new masters of the audio recordings of the songs from the record labels and dropped those into the footage,” Mayo said. “We wanted to make sure consumers were getting the best song quality available.”
Mayo said it took 18 months to clear all the music rights due to the songs being owned by several different record labels. But the results paid off, and the episodes are presented complete and unedited, as they originally aired.
“No one has really seen these since the ’70s,” Mayo said.
The show, produced by Rankin/Bass and Motown Productions, is loosely based on the life of band members Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, and their manager, Berry Gordy. Each episode featured two Jackson 5ive songs and a moral storyline in which the band must overcome adversity. The show was also defined by its tongue-in-cheek humor.
“They would animate three-minute song segments. They’re like pre-music-video music videos,” Mayo said. “It’s very cool looking.”