A while back we brought you a list of cartoons that begun life as live-action movies. Sometimes however animation producers looked a little closer to home for inspiration, and made animated series which were spun-off of earlier live-action TV shows. These animated TV show Spin-offs have had mixed results- some adapted better to animation than others. Come and join us as we explore some of the highs and lows of the world of animated spin-offs. How many have you seen?
Star Trek: The Animated Series (1972-73)
Between the cancellation of the original series and the start of the movie franchise, the crew of the Enterprise Boldly Went into animation. Filmation devised the series as a more kiddified, dumbed-down version of the iconic series, but original creator Gene Rodenberry was having none of it. As a result this 70s series (which saw the original cast return to voice their characters) is considered by many to be a much loved part of Star Trek's history.
Supernatural: The Animation (2011)
A collaboration by Warner Bros and Japanese studio Madhouse led to this anime spin on the hit US series. The anime retold the original story of the Winchester brothers and their struggles against dark forces, but added extra story flourishes of it's own. The series was later translated into English and released as a Box-set in the US. With the original stars returning to reprise their charcters (for some epsisodes at least) the cycle was complete.
The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (1980-81)
Hanna-Barbera productions made this animated spin-off of the classic 50s-set sitcom, starring The Fonz and other well known Happy Days characters. The original series gave us the expression "jumping the shark" but the animated incarnation was much more outlandish from the start. The series sees Fonzie and pals travel through time and gave him a canine sidekick named Mr Cool.
Mr Bean (2002- )
Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis's simpleton starred in a hugely popular series of British TV specials and two movies. The almost complete lack of dialogue and universal visual humour has seen the character prove popular around the world, and made it very popular with younger audiences. It proved to be a natural fit for animation, with the spin-off racking up 104 episodes and counting.
Dr Who (various)
Some two years before the BBC sci-fi classic was brought back to TV screens, an official 6 part Flash animated series named Scream Of The Shalka appeared online. Made to commemorate the show's 40th anniversary, it saw the fantastic Richard E Grant voice The Doctor. Post Nu-Who revival, David Tennant's Tenth Doctor appeared in two animated adventures- The Infinite Quest and Dreamland in 2007 and 2009 respectively. There hasn't been any new Who animation since- but we wish this was real!
Stargate Infinity (1992-93)
Spun off from the TV series Stargate: SG1- which was itself spun off from the original Stargate movie, this was one of the less successful parts of the Stargate cannon. Set 30 years in the future, it follows commander Gus Bonner and crew as they travel from world to world. The series failed to make much of an impact, either with kids of SG1 fans and was cancelled after 26 episodes.
Fraggle Rock (1987)
Jim Henson's original live-action series followed the friendly fuzzy critters who lived in the titular underground locale. The animated version was essentially just the same as it's parent show- only without Henson and crew's puppetry genius. If even the theme music is the same, audiences were left to wonder- what's the point? Unlike the much more successful Muppet Babies, this spin-of never really found it's own identity, which probably explains why it ran for just 13 episodes.