Josie and the Pussycats TV Poster Image

Josie and the Pussycats

Classic 'toon's tunes are fun, but it feels awfully dated.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn that working together pays off and that it doesn't pay off to be nasty.

Positive messages

Working together is the key to stopping villains and saving the world. Negative actions always beget negative consequences.

Positive role models

Although there's a little bit of stereotyping (Melody, the blonde, for example, is painfully ditsy), Valerie is the smartest of the bunch and was the first African-American female character to appear as a regular on a Saturday morning cartoon. Alexandra is an obvious villain, but her scheming never pays off.

Violence & scariness

In each episode, the band crosses paths with a new villain who's created a destructive creature or device. Some of them can look a little scary, but the violence is suggested rather than substantive.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

One character slings insults like "ding-a-ling," etc.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some of the villains and monsters in this classic 1970s cartoon series could scare sensitive kids, but in general, the show is packed with positive messages about teamwork and pulling together. The bad guys are always obvious, and they always get what's coming to them in the end.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Josie (voiced by Janet Waldo), Valerie (Barbara Pariot), and Melody (Jackie Joseph) are members of the all-girl rock act JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, a band known for its trademark costumes (long tails, ears for hats, etc.) and groovy tunes. But lately -- between tour stops with their roadie Alan (Jerry Dexter), manager Alexander (Casey Kasem), and Alexander's scheming sister, Alexandra (Sherry Alberoni) -- they've been rubbing elbows with dangerous villains bent on destroying the world. In each episode, the gang splits their time between rocking out and reeling in the bad guys.

Is it any good?


It's sad to say, but the dangerously catchy theme song is the best part about this classic slice of 1970s nostalgia -- which might succeed in thrilling parents and boring kids at the same time with its obviously dated material and random plots that seem a little ridiculous.

Although it's clear that Hanna-Barbera was trying to make Josie and the Pussycats as good as its other Saturday-morning hit, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (for one thing, Alan's and Fred's ascots were eerily similar), a hip concept and leopard-print leotards don't quite get the job done. Maybe that's why it only lasted for 16 episodes?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stereotypes and how this show's female characters stack up against the ones in today's cartoons. Who are your favorite animated heroines, and why?

  • How well does the gang work together as a group? Does anyone tend to take the lead? Would they be as successful at thwarting bad guys if they didn't rely on teamwork?

  • Parents: What did you think of this series when you were a kid? What do you think of it now? Kids: Do you like it, or do you think it's silly?

TV details

Premiere date:September 12, 1970
Cast:Casey Kasem, Janet Waldo, Jerry Dexter
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

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Adult Written byLowe's man April 30, 2014

A nice, nonviolent cartoon where women lead.

When I was a kid I only saw this twice, and my, did I think that the animation was ugly! When I saw it again years later I was converted! By then I saw the same messages you see about teamwork and pulling together. The plots are clever, and the villains always get what they deserve, all done without violence. Back then (in 1970) it was also rather rare to see women and girls as leaders. But the women lead on this show! As for the animation, when I saw this show again years after I saw it the first time, I thought that the animation was just fine. You and your children should give this show a chance. 11/27/15 There's one thing that I didn't think to say when I first wrote this review that I should say, as I'd be remiss if I didn't say it. Melody, at least in my opinion, has Asperger's Syndrome. She is quite possibly the second Asperger's character on tv (with the first being Tennessee Tuxedo). She shows, even if in a somewhat exaggerated, sappy, idealized and overly sweet sense, how Asperger's people functioned in the predisability rights era. The other characters, for their part, are accidental role models on how to treat someone with a disability. They were also unwitting poster children on how others treated (or should've treated) disabled people in the predisability rights era. Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were, at least here, ahead of their time. Just watch this if you want to know (or at least have a rough idea of) how Asperger's people functioned and fit in in earlier times.