Friday, March 21, 2014

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLYING HOUSE AND SUPER BOOK

If you're my age or older you may remember these two cartoon series. Both were very similar and it's no wonder, they were made by the same people. Both were pretty good but I found one to be better. Both were Japanese animation and in the early 80's I was no stranger to English dubbed cartoons from Japan.

Super Book was first. It was about a book, (a super version of the Bible) that sucked in our characters to a far off land, the land of the Old Testament of the Bible. The boy and girl characters, Chris and Joy, went through the stories of the Bible meeting famous people such as Adam and Eve, King David, and Joseph until they eventually make it back home and the series ended. They also had a toy robot named Gizmo that got sucked into the book as well. 

Super Book II came out shortly after and the story continues two years later, this time the book falls onto the keyboard of a computer, causing it to create an alternate virtual universe where the Bible is real and can be watched on the computer. Apparently that stuff happened with computers all the time in the early 80's. It also sucks in Chris' little cousin and his dog. Chris and his dog and their robot friend Gizmo go through the Old Testament as Chris and Joy watch the events unfold. They are able to communicate through the use of the computer inside Gizmo's chest. The series ended on the day I turned one year old, September 26 1983.

In between Super Book and Super Book II a new series began that appeared to be ridiculously similar. This time three children and their friend robot are in Bible times. Flying House is about 3 children that were playing outside and come upon a mysterious house, it was storming so they go inside. There they find a scientist (VERY much like Doc Brown from Back to the Future imo) and he explains that he has built a time machine out of a house. The idiot robot messes things up and they are sent flying back in time. This cartoon series takes place in the New Testament and the children actually meet Jesus and his disciples and are there for some famous stories of the Bible. Corky and Angie are brother and sister but Justin is just their friend. 

The problem is, they can't get home and each time the Flying House takes off they are hoping it lands back in the present day, however they continue to leap all over the Bible days. Sound familiar? A scientist that invents a way to travel back in time but can't control where he goes and has no idea where the next jump will be? I'm not saying this idea was stolen by the show Quantum Leap, but wait, yes I am. They made it for adults, made it live-action, dropped the Christian theme and there you have it! Also a good show btw but sorry Scott Bakula, it had already been done! 

The scientist in Flying House, Professor Bumble, was constantly trying to figure out a way to get back home again, but it always bothered me that there was no sense of urgency. It's like, dude, you're trapped 2,000 years in the past with 3 children that don't belong to you, you get your ass in there and you fix that stupid time machine! 

Both were good and both were made by the Christian Broadcasting Network and were usually aired back to back. This could be confusing to a small child, in this case me. Each show had a 52 episode run, which for a cartoon series is pretty impressive considering most people didn't watch these. 

It's pretty easy to admit that Chris and Justin look similar and Joy and Angie look similar and Corky and Uriah look similar but the fact they both have friendly robots? That's just Japan for you, obsessing over robots. 

S.I.R. "Solar Ion Robot"or Sir for short from Flying House seemed to be dumber but he was the more advanced robot. Gizmo from Super Book  had to be wound up to work and was referred to as a toy more than a robot. Gizmo also had a cross on his chest and a computer with a keyboard that he frequently used. Both were friendly and offered sound advice to the kids, often being the voice of reason when no adult was around. Oh and both had a very robotic voice, which is the way a robot should sound. 

Flying House also had a superior theme song that explained the entire plot of the series. Super Book's theme seemed to just be kids yelling out SUPER BOOK a lot. The Flying House theme was catchy and has a great bass slide to start off the lyrics. It still will get in my head to this day. 

Here are some odd things I found about these shows that I have always wondered....

1. Both had robots and no one in Bible times found a robot to be a strange thing. 
2. No one questioned where these kid's parents were the whole time. 
3. No one questioned why these kids were dressed so strange. 
4. Everyone spoke english in Bible times. 
5. Jesus never helped the kids get home. 
6. Whether it be Back to the Future, Flying House, Quantum Leap, Land of the Lost, Flight of the Navigator, and so on, how come time traveling always strands people from their own time???


Seriously why don't we have friendly robots like that yet? At age 3 I was gearing up to have a friend robot as a kid and here we are 30 years later and still no robots that advanced yet! Get with the program  scientists. Oh well, I can still enjoy these two shows but that's just my two cents. 

7 comments:

Joeleen A-OK said...

Love the post.... I had almost forgotten about the series(es?) I still really don't remember the difference between the two - don't think I did as a kid either. Just found out they re-made the series...have you reviewed yet?

Andrew said...

Thank you, i heard they remade it but never saw it, i'd like to though.

Forrest Mann said...

Thanks for writing an article about these two shows.I enjoyed them a lot when I was young and got me introduced to the Scriptures.Anyway,let me address the things that you found odd in the show.


1. Both had robots and no one in Bible times found a robot to be a strange thing. –Well, apparently you stated that Japan is obsessed with robots and they made these characters as acceptable normal life forms just both in the modern age and during Biblical times. LOL

2. No one questioned where these kid's parents were the whole time. – The characters noticeably can hold up in adult conversations and issues that the Biblical characters never treated them like kids. Besides, children were treated like adults during Biblical times considering that they were put into doing adult chores and worse, child slavery. Speaking of the robots like Gizmo and SIR, they acted like the “adult voice” for the characters.

3. No one questioned why these kids were dressed so strange. – The writers apparently did not attend to this issue or it would have been redundant if Biblical characters would question why they dressed differently every episode. They just proceeded with the story which was more important for the viewers.

4. Everyone spoke English in Bible times. - The writers did not attend to the language spoken or the characters would have not had anyway of conversing to the Biblical characters and would not be involved in the story being told whatsoever.


5. Jesus never helped the kids get home. – When the shows were being shown back in the 80’s, there were criticisms about the show particularly the character playing “major parts” in the Biblical stories unfolding. Remember when Chris and Joy tried to stop Abraham into killing Isaac? Or when Justin,Angie,Corkey and SIR were playing major roles as well during the time of Jesus in more ways than one?The critics voiced out that the characters playing major parts somehow these stories of the Bible less accurate and unknowingly become a fraud.Just imagine the criticism if would have suffered if Jesus helped these kids get home.Obviously,there was a change in Superbook II wherein Uri went back in time focused primarily to search for Ruffles rather than take part on the story being told.That was to address the criticisms made to these shows.

6. Whether it be Back to the Future, Flying House, Quantum Leap, Land of the Lost, Flight of the Navigator, and so on, how come time traveling always strands people from their own time??? – Obviously,if these people were stranded from not their own time,then there will no be story told. If the Flying House got stranded not during Jesus’ time but instead of there own time,then there would no sense for the characters to take part in the said Biblical story.

ravi said...

Please checkout the re-imagined superbook series at www.superbook.tv
You'd love it!

Yeshua Knows said...

Jesus can't save those kids because it's not in the bible.it is in the bible that changing or adding or deleting even a word from the Bible is a sin and no one should really do that.And if Jesus really did save thenergy characters, some children will think that that's also in the bible, out of confusion. ☺

Yeshua Knows said...

Jesus can't save those kids because it's not in the bible.it is in the bible that changing or adding or deleting even a word from the Bible is a sin and no one should really do that.And if Jesus really did save thenergy characters, some children will think that that's also in the bible, out of confusion. ☺

Victor Vasquez said...

@Yeshua Knows: *I was unsaved when I saw these shows growing up. They planted a seed in my life and I never looked at those kids as being in the Bible and/or those stories while I was watching the series and/or growing to know the Truth. I think these programs have a very effective response in planting a seed. When I came to know the Truth & gave my life to Yeshua I realized a lot of the Bible stories I was reading from the Bible I had actually heard about in "the Flying House" & "Super Book." This seed had given me a better understanding or visual to the Bible stories that I was reading about and now I am very grateful that the Lord had given me the opportunity to experience those shoes growing up.