One of the first cartoons with an all-female cast that had a minor feminist touch on it.
The birth of Blaxplotiation cartoons right there. The Cleveland Show owes deeply to this one.
It doesn't change the fact that they are awful clones of Scooby Doo. Just because they do something right in a certain area doesn't make them fun to watch, especially when the Pussycats went into space. WHY THE HELL DID THEY GO INTO SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACE?
And I'm not about the sing the quality of Fat Albert as entertainment though it was quite the progressive cartoon at the time, and presented a good message. That's all well and good, but if the show isn't entertaining, then jack all.
The only entertaining thing I found that came from Hannah-Barbera in that era was the Laff-A-Lympics. And that was probably thanks to it's mildly entertaining star power, and maybe the Popeye Hour, if it wasn't for the heavy restrictions placed on the show.
But that ain't fair, because we're facing one now and have done it the last decade.
Golden Age - Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat
Counter Culture Age - Fritz the Cat, Scooby Doo,
New Romantic Age - TRON, He-Man, TMNT, Don Bluth
Silver Age - Animanicas, Swat Kats, Beavis & Butthead, Sonic SatAM
Dark Age - Animé and Americ-Animé.
Bronze Age - FiM, ???.
That's how I put 'em anyways.
Oh it is quite fair. The 70s to us still remain the worst of the worst eras for television animation, however I feel it more fits your counter culture definition when it comes to theatrical animation.
Otherwise, this is how we list it.
Golden Age- 40s-Early 60s
Dark Age- Late 60s-70s
New Millenium- 2000-?
So you believe that the heavy emphasis on anime led a dark age this gen? Puh-lease! I'll admit that the beginning of this era was quite rough at times, and led to a small drop in quality compared to the Renaissance Era but nothing as drastic as the late 60s and 70s.
The reason for that drop of quality was mostly because after the creator driven era of the Renaissance things were starting to wind down, and anime and flash were becoming quite the influences on an industry filled with tired veterans who had little understanding of these new mediums.
But after a few years of being in an enigma of getting used to these new mediums (2000-'03). I feel animation really started to hit it's stride with the coming of the many great action cartoons of their era such as TMNT, Avatar, Teen Titans, Static Shock, Justice League.
I think the problem was mostly that there weren't enough cartoons during this era, because of the network decay around 2007-'09. However, the few cartoons that would come out (from America) were very good on their own such as Chowder, Flapjack and Adventure Time.
Then there was the problem with the Canadian imported shows on Cartoon , which were all very awful to say the least but acting as a stepping stone for the better animated shows that would follow them. Really, the only quality Canadian show I'd say came out in that part of the era was Total Drama Island.
Right now we're in a time where cartoons are starting to return in prominence, and creator driven animation has taken a root in both the market of flash, CGI, and traditional animation, taking inspiration from the land of the rising sun while still being new and fresh, and younger creators coming into play.