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 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!
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.
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.