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The Jackson 5ive was a cartoon show from Rankin/Bass Productions that starred (who else?) the Jackson 5. No, not the real ones. It only lasted two seasons on ABC (1971-1973), but who wouldn't love seeing Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and dear adorable little Michael, in Saturday Morning Cartoon form? The episodes employed plenty of Slapstick and clever one-liners, and you could be sure that you heard two Jackson 5 songs in every single episode. With a few exceptions, these songs usually had nothing to do with the plot, so it was like they were in a musical.
Most of the episodes starred all five Jackson brothers in silly situations, but other episodes centered on Michael as the main character having a dream based on fairy tales and popular stories, along the way making friends with characters who looked a lot like his brothers. When Michael wakes up from his dream, the others don't believe him when he tells them about it.
Other Recurring Characters include:
- Ray and Charles: Michael's pair of pet mice. Their names are obviously a reference to the great R & B musician Ray Charles. It's impossible to tell them apart. They are very helpful.
- Rosie: A pink snake who, as it turns out, is responsible for the Jackson 5 becoming famous. It's hard to tell whether Rosie is a girl or a boy, because in the episode "Cinder Jackson", Rosie is Bibbity-Boppity-Booed into Michael's male chauffeur. He/she is also a pet companion of Michael's. He/she is able to spell out cursive words with his/her body.
- Berry Gordy: The Jackson 5's producer. He isn't such an important character, but he's in at least 2 episodes.
- Hairy Godfather: This character only shows up in 2 episodes. His first notable role is in "Cinder Jackson", where he helps Michael get ready for the ball, and the second time he shows up is in "Hail to the Chief", where he grants Michael's wish of becoming Mayor. His catch-phrase is "Now hooooooooold on!"
The Jackson 5ive provides examples of:
- Band Toon
- Cloudcuckoolander: Michael, occasionally? He has the craziest imagination. Comes with being the youngest, I suppose.
- The Dark Age of Animation: Very much so.
- Ear Worm: I think it's safe to say that a lot of Jackson 5 songs were very catchy. Perhaps not ALL of them, since most are pretty obscure, but come on! It's the Jackson 5, people!
- Expy: Rankin/Bass Productions follow up cartoon The Osmonds that copied the formula of J5 right down to using the same standard dance cycle.
- Fable Remake: Popular tales such as "Cinderella", The Wizard of Oz, Treasure Island, "Snow White", Alice in Wonderland, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" are parodied quite successfully in this show. Michael is the central character while his brothers and pets play important secondary roles.
- Green Aesop: A couple of episodes have the Jacksons sympathizing with the environment.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: If you watch a few episodes, you'll notice that there's one voice that pops up in nearly every one. That voice is Paul Frees, a very prolific voice actor.
- Laugh Track
- Letters 2 Numbers
- Limited Wardrobe: Yes.
- Make a Wish: Often happens to Michael.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Jermaine. It's a shame he didn't have that strong a personality. Occasionally he dresses as a woman to help distract guards or something.
- Musical Episode: Every episode has two Jackson 5 songs.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The opening theme was "ABC". The closing theme was "Mama's Pearl."
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted with Rosie.
- Running Gag: You think the brakes stick a little?
- Team Pet: Ray, Charles, and Rosie.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: What happens twice in every episode.
- The Woobie: Michael. Come on, he's just so cute in this show, just as he was when he was that age in real life!
- You Have to Believe Me: Sadly, Michael's brothers don't take him seriously after he's had one of his crazy adventures.
- Youngest Child Wins: Michael.