Jackson 5ive, the wonderful 1971 animated series starring the voice of a young Michael Jackson and his brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlin, is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download! Bob Balser, who co-directed The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" film, was the animation director.
"When I came in," Balser told CNN, "the series had been started. I was not happy with the approach they were doing because ... (this) was going to be the first series directed at young people that was about a black group, and I felt that it was really important that it be shown in a creative way, that they solved their problems with music and with intelligence and not with violence -- which had started out as the approach in the first episode."
"I got the best artists I could get and gave them complete freedom," Balser recalls. "I said, for example, 'This is a circus theme, so the graphics have to reflect that theme.' Other than that, they were completely free to do it however they wanted. We came up with some fun stuff, which was really one of the best parts and that was probably one of the things that made the 'Jackson 5ive' series so popular in terms of the reception that it received."