GILLIGANS PLANETMedium: TV animation
Produced by: Filmation
First Appeared: 1982
Please contribute to its necessary financial support.
Amazon.com or PayPal
In the early-to-mid 1970s, there was a regular fad of doing animated versions of live-action TV shows. Star Trek, The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island are only a few examples. All three of these were produced by Filmation, which had become a reliably
inexpensive cartoon factory for pre-sold properties like these. It was undoubtedly connections made doing The New Adventures of Gilligan, as Gilligan's Island had been re-titled for Saturday morning, that led to their making a spun-off version, Gilligan's Planet, for CBS's 1982-83 season.
The obvious impetus for trading the island in for an entire planet was to "kick it up a notch", as Disney did in 2002 by adapting Treasure Island into its animated feature Treasure Planet. In neither case does it seem to have worked. The Disney film is seldom thought of in company with the studio's other 21st century works, such as Little Einsteins and Lilo & Stitch; and the Gilligan series lasted only 13 episodes.
The basic premise of Gilligan's Planet was that The Professor, one of the original islanders, who in all those years failed to devise a way to cross water (which people more stupid than himself have been doing for thousands of years), had no trouble at all crossing interstellar space. Using available flotsam found here and there on the island, he managed to build a rocket ship that not only succeeded in lifting itself off the ground — it even traveled to and landed on an Earth-like planet beyond the sight of the most powerful telescopes available to humans. The show debuted on September 18, 1982.
With the exception of Tina Louise (Ginger), all the actors from the original series were brought together to reprise their roles. Ginger was voiced by Dawn Wells, who did Mary Ann both here and in the original series. None were known for other cartoon work except Jim Backus (Mr. Howell), who was the voice of Mr. Magoo (tho Bob Denver (Gilligan) once played himself on The Simpsons). One cast member wasn't in the original show. No TV cartoon of the time would be complete without a cute dog, or, as in Real Ghostbusters and Defenders of the Earth, surrogate dog. The surrogate dog in Gilligan's Planet was Bumper, an inarticulate alien, the maker of whose voice-like sounds isn't recorded.
The show's 13 episodes were shown repeatedly over a year's time. There was spin-off merchandise, as usual, but not a great deal. It's been made available on home video, but isn't necessarily in print at any given time. It's seldom re-run on TV.