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CBS Storybreak title card

CBS Storybreak is a Saturday-morning animated literary anthology series. It was a co-production between America's Hanna-Barbera Australia and Australia's Southern Star Entertainment for CBS Entertainment. It ran for a couple of seasons, premiering on CBS 30 March 1985.

Overview

Each half-hour episode was based on a different children's book, such as How to Eat Fried Worms, Dragon's Blood, and Ratha's Creature, essentially making them one-shots and the variety format of episodes featured an inconsistent, revolving cast of characters, with the exception of Raggedy Ann and Andy and The Camel with The Wrinkled Knees, as it was spun-off into The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy, airing on the same channel. The episodes would be shown between the wraparounds, in which the original host, Bob Keeshan (a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo), appeared at the beginning to introduce the books and episodes of the same titles. Afterward, he would reappear to close out the show and recommend other books by the U.S. Library of Congress, and/or the preview of the next episode was shown.

When the series returned to air for repeats during the mid- to late 1990s, Malcolm-Jamal Warner replaced Keeshan as the host. The program was similar to the ABC Weekend Special, but also different in its own right in that all the episodes were animated only, whereas the ABC Weekend Special featured both live-action and animated episodes. Furthermore, another difference is some of the specials were split into two or three parts, making them mini-series, which was never the case with any of the episodes of this. Another thing of note is that a few of the specials had sequels, unlike this series. Although those focused mainly on adaptations of books, there were exceptions. And like the ABC Weekend Special, the purpose of CBS Storybreak was to encourage children to get interested in literacy.

Unusual for an American TV series, CBS Storybreak featured open captions by the Caption Center for the Hearing Impaired. Not only was this beneficial to the hearing impaired, but the captions also allowed those who could hear to read along with the stories.

Episodes

  1. The Great Ringtail Garbage Caper
  2. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
  3. Robbut: A Tale of Tails
  4. How to Eat Fried Worms
  5. Zucchini
  6. Hank the Cowdog
  7. The Double Disappearance of Walter Fozbek
  8. Chocolate Fever
  9. Dragon's Blood
  10. Arnold of the Ducks
  11. C.L.U.T.Z.
  12. Witch-Cat
  13. The Pig Plantagenet
  14. Harry, the Fat Bear Spy
  15. Hugh Pine
  16. The Roquefort Gang
  17. Mama Don't Allow
  18. Ratha's Creature
  19. Jeffrey's Ghost
  20. Max and Me and the Time Machine
  21. The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek
  22. Grinny
  23. The Monster's Ring
  24. The Gammage Cup
  25. Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees
  26. What Happened in Hamelin

Trivia

  • CBS Storybreak was the first animated series produced in-house by CBS since the original Terrytoons.
  • It was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program during the 1985/86 season.
  • Crew member Sander Schwarz would be a future president of Warner Bros. Animation in 2002.
  • The Raggedy Ann and Andy episode is the only one that was spun-off into its own, separate series, The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy, which also aired on CBS.

Availability

In 1992, "Arnold of the Ducks", "C.L.U.T.Z.", "Chocolate Fever", and "How to Eat Fried Worms" were released on VHS. In 1998, "Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story" and "Robbut: A Tale of Tails" were released on VHS.

Hosts

Voice Cast

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External Links



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