Daily Cartoon! JACKSON 5IVE E.3: “Pinestock, USA”

Welcome to another edition of the Daily Cartoon on Car JoeMez! Remember to check out the latest episode of The Car JoeMez Podcast about the music that shaped our adolescence and our reactions to The Ringer’s Top Fast Food Items list on iTunesSoundcloud and wherever else you listen to podcasts. It’s a good episode.

Today’s cartoon is something I chose out of my Box O’Toons. I have a bunch of stuff thrown on a list and randomly selected this. Cool? Very cool.

It’s called Jackson 5ive and, obviously, is about The Jackson Five who have adventures similar to those in Josie And The Pussycats & The Partridge Family. Why the 70s obsessed with musicians getting in the middle of criminal hijinks, we may never know, but whatever. We have a show to look back on and laugh at, I suppose.

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The show lasted 23 episodes over two seasons between 1971 and 1972 and got a second life in syndication during 1984-1985 when Michael Jackson was the biggest star on the planet as a solo performer.

I can safely say I’ve never seen an episode of this show, but – after reading a little background – am sure it’s just as terrible as the other shows of the time. Time to find out.

Let’s watch a cartoon.

Jackson 5ive E. 2: “Pinestock, USA”

Originally Aired: September 18, 1971

Plot:

We open with the J5 on their groovy private airplane. They’re flying into Pinestock to play a big outdoor music festival similar to Woodstock. But when they arrive, they see that the land isn’t cleared and open, but still heavily wooded. They don’t see how they’ll be able to perform in the forest, but are still sure that thousands of their fans will show up.

So they arrive and meet Mr. Carruthers, a fat, mean dude who owns the forest land and is promoting the concert. He informs the band that they’re a week early, but not to worry about the woods because he’s going to have the trees cleared out and a stadium built in time for the show. J5 has a big problem with this because they care about the trees and adorable woodland critters that call the woods home. Mr. Carruthers is tight because he’s cutting down the woods and no ecology-loving kooks are going to stop him.

We get a sweet music break where the J5 play “I’ll Be There” to woods. While the Jacksons didn’t provide voices for the show, the songs used are actual J5 recordings which is pretty cool. It also takes up a few minutes in some hippy-dippy video that means there’s nothing to recap which makes writing this review a bit easier. Thanks, guys!

As we come out of “I’ll Be There”, Mr. Carruthers’ lumberjacks have arrived and are going to start destroying the woods, but not until after they eat. This allows the J5 to replace the gasoline in the chainsaws with maple syrup. You’d think such a scheme would thwart all of Mr. Carruthers’ plans, but, oh no! He sends a carrier pigeon to the trading post with a message to send more chainsaws. This must be how Amazon started.

Again, the Jacksons are a step ahead. They use their unlikely friendship with the animals to get the carrier pigeon to return and swap in a different message for him to deliver. And this is probably how all those mail-order catalogs fucked up deliveries for all those years before Amazon.

A helicopter arrives and drops three crates that the lumberjacks assume is their new chainsaws. Of course, it’s not and in lieu of cutting tools, the workers get balloons, kites and bubble gum. No bullshit, there’s an entire crate of fucking bubble gum! It’s like a Halloween of nothing but Dubble Bubble. I would fucking love if that got dropped at my door. Who cares if I was expecting a chainsaw?! This is wayyyyyyy better!

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Mr. Carruthers doesn’t agree with my enthusiasm, however.

The lumberjacks capture the Jacksons and enclose them in a cave to stop them from interfering until it’s time for the concert. They’re able to escape pretty much immediately, though, thanks to the help of their woodland critter friends, though. They notice the lumberjacks listening to the radio so they build a transistor to override the signal so they can break in with a newscast about a rare pink snake that is actually just Michael’s pet. This causes a ruckus as the lumberjacks are chased off and Mr. Carruthers’ plans to destroy the forest are foiled.

The Jackson 5 do play their concert at Pinestock and they play us off the air with “The Young Folks”.

Final Thoughts:

Typical corniness expected from this type of fare. I do like that we get actual Jackson 5 songs so that was kind of fun, but other than that, there’s really not much depth here.

That being said, it’s a huge tribute to the J5 that they were popular enough at this time to necessitate a Saturday Morning Cartoon series. Seriously, that’s called being over as fuck.

Not the worst cartoon you’ll ever see as long as you go in knowing what you’re in for. I doubt I’ll ever go searching for another episode of this to watch, but if you’re interested, there’s a DVD out there with the full series floating around.

I wish I had that whole crate of bubble gum.

See you tomorrow.

❤ Joe

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