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The New Teen Titans "Just Say No!" Anti-Drug PSA (Hanna-Barbera; 1983)

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Screencap from the available footage.

In 1983, the animation studio Hanna-Barbera was developing a pitch for an animated series of the popular DC Comics title The New Teen Titans. While this series was rejected by NBC and never went anywhere, Hanna-Barbera was also enlisted to utilize the Teen Titans for an anti-drug PSA in that same year[1], co-produced by DC Comics and the Keebler Company. DC would also market anti-drug awareness comics featuring these characters.

The complete commercial is approximately 60 seconds long, and seems to feature a young basketball player being offered drugs by another student. Before he can accept the drugs, the Teen Titans all arrive and explain to the group of children to just say no to drugs. There were also shortened versions of the PSA produced for other commercial air-time spots, in 30-second and 20-second variations.

The only existing footage that can currently be found of the PSA are about 18 seconds of muted animation depicted in a promotional video for anti-drug campaigns, screened by DC Comics' Marketing department in 1984. It is unknown if the full footage or audio has survived anywhere,  or who may have provided the voices of the Titans for the ad.

This ad was notable for also featuring "The Protector", a character who had been created to replace Robin in the anti-drug comics due to licensing issues (while the Titans were licensed to Keebler for the anti-drug PSA and comics, Robin had been licensed to Nabisco for a line of superhero-themed cookies). It is said, though, that this did drum of interest in the character Cyborg, who would appear in the final season of the cartoon SuperfriendsThe Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

The Titans (aside from Cyborg and Robin) would not make another appearance in animated form until 2003, when they starred on their own animated series Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! in 2013.

References

  1. Model sheet and screencaps of the PSA at TitansTower. Also includes concept art for the scrapped TV series proposal. Retrieved November 25, 2013.

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