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All the cartoons I watched in my childhood (warning, very long read)

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If we're going to include The Muppets, and we absolutely should, then it's only fair to mention all of the Gerry Anderson stuff - Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet were all absolutely brilliant. I didn't catch them first time around, but they were always being repeated on TV.

Not sure I'll ever fully recover from watching Terrahawks though. Zelda was, and still is, terrifying.

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Part 2...

Need to back track a little bit because I forgot to talk about Sid & Marty Kroft. Was never a huge fan of their stuff. Most of the shows they made originally ran before I was born or when I was a baby.

However, I did love Land of the Lost! It played in reruns on Saturday mornings for most of my early childhood.

Also, another weekday afternoon program I used to watch in the days before deregulation (The section on that is coming) was Kroft Superstars. It was a repackaging of earlier Kroft programs so every weekday it was a different one. I was lukewarm towards most of them, H.R. Puffnstuff was ok, I liked the one with the witch, but I LOVED Far Out Space Nuts. I was so happy on the days that was the featured show!

I could be a pretty stupid kid at times though...One of the reasons I liked the show so much was the one guy looked so much like Gilligan from Gilligan's Island, and acted like him too. Of course it actually was Bob Denver, as a kid in didn't think it was because Gilligan had short dark brown hair and Junior, the guy on Space Nuts, had longish gray-blond hair. :dunce:  


A show that looked like it took inspiration from Kroft shows was The Great Space Coaster. This show was on weekday mornings. I liked it a lot but it always came on just before I had to leave for school, I could watch the opening theme and then I'd have to go. On snow days, days I stayed home sick, and vacation days, it was a great treat to be able to watch episodes in their entirety!


There are also some more stand out cartoon specials that I should have mentioned:

The Devil and Daniel Mouse - This cartoon is just amazing! It's just as good today as it was 40 years ago, if not, better. Amazing  animation, amazing music, amazing story! It was done by Nelvana kind of like a practice run before they did their full length animated feature Rock and Rule.

Faeries - Animated special based on the book by Brian Froud (who also worked with Jim Henson with concept art for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth). Another excellent special, highly recommended!

Gnomes - This was an hour-long special, kind of a proto version of David the Gnome but a bit darker and a little more grown up. I never watched David the Gnome, saw a little bit of it a couple times and decided it was too pre-school for me. I liked the Gnomes special though.

The Hobbit and The Return of the King - these are big ones! Both were two hour full length animated TV movie specials produced by Rankin/Bass. There is some confusion over whether ROTK was decided to be made after the sequel to Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings movie was cancelled so there would be some version of the finished story or if Rankin/Bass had always intended to make a sequel to their The Hobbit and only tweaked the story a little so it really didn't rehash any of the events in the Bakshi film and kind of picked up where that one left off.I

I saw ROTK first. This was my first introduction to the world of Tolkien and I was mesmerized by it. It was a movie I recorded in tape and watched many times over. I understand this movie has at best a mediocre critical reception but maybe because it was my first look into this world but I love it and still do!!! It wasn't until a couple years later that upon showing my taped version of this to a friend that she told me "On yeah, it's a follow up to The Hobbit, I've seen that on TV too" I was gobsmacked! There was more of this wonderful story?!! I then kept an eye out for the next time The Hobbit was shown on TV and when it was I watched and recorded that too. I also loved The Hobbit, but I still liked ROTK more.

It was even a few more years after that that I was browsing the movies in a Blockbuster video store and came across Bakshi's LOTR and was gobsmacked once again. I knew I had found my rental choice for that evening! After watching it I was disappointed it wasn't the same animation style and voice actors of the other two movies but I was very happy to get the rest of the story. The only thing left to do after that was get the books now and read those, which I eventually did.

Now some movie specials that were originally theatrical films.although I never knew that until some time later and thought they had all been made for TV:

Journey Back To Oz - This is not the Return To Oz Disney movie that came out in the mid 80's but a full length animated film that came out some time in the 70's. Liza Minnelli voiced Dorothy and she sounded just like her mother, Judy Garland, as that character. Margaret Hamilton was also back but instead of playing the Wicked Witch of the West she was voicing Aunt Em. Ethel Merman played the voice of the witch Mom and other voice actors included Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas, Paul Lynde, and Mel Blanc. Also, when this movie was to be shown on TV, they filmed additional live-action scenes with Bill Cosby as The Wizard accompanied by two munchkins (played by children). All their scenes were up in The Wizard's balloon as they flew overhead looking down on Dorothy and her companions giving a running commentary.

I should also mention that for many years it was tradition that the 1939 The Wizard of Oz was shown on TV every Thanksgiving on CBS. I also had that recorded so could watch it whenever I wanted. At some point the Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor movie The Wiz was also shown on TV and I recorded that movie too.


Watership Down - This movie was usually shown over two nights, an hour of it each night. Now I was a sensitive kid, I got scared at movies very easily! But when I saw Watership Down I don't know if it was because I was just starting to outgrow that stage of that I felt safer watching a movie like that on a small screen at home or a.combination thereof. But I was thrilled more than scared. Kind of like the difference in feeling between riding on a roller coaster and being on a plane during bad turbulence. Anyhow I loved Watership Down and still do. Wonderful movie!

The Phantom Tollbooth - Animated feature (with live-action bookends) based on the book by Norton Juster. Produced by Chuck Jones it's a very cute film.

The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas - Tommy Smothers voices Ted E. Bear for a very cute special.

Ziggy's Gift - Another character from the funnies getting a Christmas special. This one turned out about as sweet as it could get without turning saccharine. I usually watch it every Christmas.


Peanuts movies:

Again, didn't know at first that these had originally been theatrical movies, I just thought that they were 2 hour Peanuts specials only for TV.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown - My appreciation for this movie only grows as I get older. As does my melancholy every time I watch it.

Snoopy Come Home - Do you think the producers of this movie sat around a table and had a discussion about how hard they could make little kids cry?

Race For Your Life Charlie Brown - Fun movie but if none of these kids' parents showed up even for events in this movie then they are truly negligent. 

Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!) Ok, this one movie I knew was a theatical release because it was the only one I was old.enough to see come out in theaters. It's ok, maybe the most ambitious of the Charlie Brown movies yet the least good. However, the Peanuts special, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? that was a direct follow up to this movie is excellent!


Hanna Barbera Specials:

Casper's Halloween Special - Casper's back in the present day with Hairy Scary and another ghost buddy and a witch. Casper is keen on the treats for Halloween but the others are more info the tricks.

Casper's First Christmas - Yogi Bear and the gang's (Boo-boo, Huckleberry Hound, Quickdraw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Auggie Doggie and Daddy Doggie) car break down and they take shelter in an abandoned house, only it's not so abandoned because they meet Hairy Scary and Casper.

Yogi's First Christmas - This was a two-hour made for TV movie. It came out a year after Casper's First Christmas and features the same opening song so the two seem connected...only if this is Yogi's FIRST Christmas then this had to be before Casper's First Christmas because Yogi was in that too. Anyway, one of the better Hanna-Barbera productions.

Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper - Another special with a bus load of Hanna-Barbera characters. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble even have cameos (and Snagglepuss comments that they see kind of far away from Bedrock...3 million years, even).

The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones - This was a huge deal! The crossover event movie that brought together 2 of Hanna-Barbera 's biggest franchises.

After that there were other Hanna-barbara movies, Yogi Bear ones, Flintstones ones, but I didn't have much interest in them by then.


Looks like I need another break and there's going to be a part 3...

Does the saying "opening a can of worms" come to anyone else's mind?

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On 4/5/2021 at 9:29 AM, drawkcabi said:

The Real Ghostbusters...cartoon based on the 1984 movie. This was, and still is, a great cartoon!!! Until the network mandated it be less scary, the character of Janine to become less caustic and more matronly, Lorenzo Music (Garfield!) be let go as the voice of Venkman and Dave Coulier take over, and more Slimer...lots more Slimer. The show wasn't as good anymore.

I loved that show. The movies were such a disappointment to ~9 year old me. 

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1 hour ago, RumHam said:

I loved that show. The movies were such a disappointment to ~9 year old me. 

The original was a disappointment?

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21 minutes ago, dbunting said:

The original was a disappointment?

I started with the cartoon and suddenly hear comes this VHS tape telling ,e slmer is a bad guy. It was a disappointment to me. 

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I feel like 50% of any episode of Thundarr was that opening and closing theme music.  And that I kept waiting for the episode to begin for some reason it never really did.   Perhaps I was abducted by aliens between.  I don't remember actually seeing any story.


My favourite thing from the 80s cartoon era was Robotech, and you Macross fans can get the hell out of my way.

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And here I am, seen literally every Barbie movie and cartoon (three times at least) because I have 2 older sisters. Altough later that changed (my sisters grow up), I can still recall almost every Barbie movie and other cartoons orientated to girls. (Like 70-80% of the cartoons I watched before age 10 was because my sisters wanted it. Not gonna lie, I ended up enjoying a lot of them.)

Now imagine 6 yo me telling the boys about Barbie I saw yesterday. And I was wondering why they just don't care.B)

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My favorites as a kid were Bugs, and Bullwinkle... later, when my kids were small... Ren & Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life made me laugh... 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/6/2021 at 7:36 PM, drawkcabi said:


Casper's First Christmas - Yogi Bear and the gang's (Boo-boo, Huckleberry Hound, Quickdraw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Auggie Doggie and Daddy Doggie) car break down and they take shelter in an abandoned house, only it's not so abandoned because they meet Hairy Scary and Casper.


Ahem.  I beg to differ with you.   It was Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, not Daddy Doggie.

Please continue . . . 


ETA:  I can never think of He-Man again without getting the instant mental image someone on this site's icon .gif featuring none other pleasuring himself enthusiastically.

Edited by Tears of Lys
Thought of more stuff

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Posted (edited)

Cartoons were much different (as well as animation in general) when I was a kid.

Some of what I can remember were.


Jimminy Cricket, Pinochio, 101 Dalmations, Lady and the Tramp, Fantasia


Under Dog

Pink Panther ( probably my all-time fave )

Snoopy, Charlie and the Peanuts

The Grinch

Lotr, Hobbit animated Tolkien movies


Mr Magoo

Christmas North pole Rudolph specials

Fat Albert

The Globetrotters and Scooby Doo



Land of the Lost

Dahktari, Johnny Quest


Winnie the Pooh

Bernstein Bears

Jungle Book

Dennis the Menace

Quite a few actually, many of these were seasonal animated movies. Animationation was totally different looking before the modern computer generated and digitalized type images you see today.

I much prefer the older cartoons visually, by a wide, wide margin.


Eta: Also loved Daria, Simpson's, Beavis n Butthd and Southpark for more recent fare.





Edited by DireWolfSpirit

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Part 3...

Before the 1980's, the FCC regulated children's programming so it could not be used to sell things to kids. When Reagan became POTUS he deregulated everything he could and fucked things up big time! Hooray! Big business has less oversight! Now that they don't have to abide by as many standards of safety and quality comtrol! The corporation CEO's and share holders can make grossly obscene amounts of money instead of the only obscene amounts of money they were previously making! Hooray!!!

However, the deregulation of children's programming actually turned out great (for the most part) though more as an unintended result than trying to do anything really good for comsumers. It's ok if you disagree with me but a little further down I'm going to make the bulk of my argument.

It started with the relaunch of the new version of the G.I. Joe toyline. The incredible success of the Star Wars toyline had other toy companies thinking in new directions. Gone were the 12 inch G.I. Joe dolls, replaced with 3 and 3/4 inch *action figures* like the Star Wars line had, only with more articulation. New characters with new vehicles and playsets to go with them and the line was called G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero.

The FCC regulations were beginning to loosen, but the toy companies still weren't sure how far they could go, also, even if the government wasn't looking as closely over their shoulders they were still concerned over drawing the ire of parental watch groups and individual parents too.

Hasbro decided to test the waters by commissioning Marvel to make a G.I. Joe comic book based on their new line. In a sneaky move, Hasbro then advertised the comic books with 30 second animated commercials. Oh no, these weren't cartoons as toy commercials! They are commercials for a comic book...it just so happens that these comic books featured stories that incorporated all the new toys.

The comic book allowed Marvel, specifically writer/artist Larry Hama, to create much of what became canon for 1980's G.I. Joe. Hasbro originally had no bad guys for their new Joes to fight. Hama told them they had to have had guys, an he was the one who thought up the idea of the terrorist organization Cobra...actually his first idea was to have Hydra be the main enemy of G.I. Joe and Duke was going to be Nick Fury's son. Marvel was like "no, we're not going to do that" so Hama recycled much of his ideas for Hydra in Cobra. Hasbro loved it!I

The commercials for the comic books were wildly successful! This prompted Hasbro to go a step further and create a five part animated G.I. Joe mini-series to air in syndication, in most markets on weekdays after school for 1 week. It aired in 1982. This was the birth of the "30 minute toy commercial" era...or as kids thought of it back then: The most awesome thing ever!

The G.I.Joe mini series was also very successful and work was started on a sequel mini series for the next year.

During this time Mattel also had a new toyline...Masters of the Universe. They saw what G.I.Joe did and decided to do a full blown cartoon series. They were still wary of negative reactions from parental groups and such though. So they came up with an idea...at the end of each episode they could tack on a little "what lesson can we learn from today's story?" segment. The company they chose to make their cartoon, Filmation, already had experience doing something like this with an earlier series, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

So, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe premiered in 1983 and this was the first series proper aimed at selling toys to children. It was a massive hit!

In 1984 something huge happened. Hasbro/Marvel started a new comic book, The Transformers, in much the same way they started with G.I.Joe. Either through the comic books or just by word of mouth, kids were hearing things about these new toys coming out. For the first half of that year there was just a buzz about in the air. Anticipation and excitement was being generated. The summer that year the toys began appearing on store shelves. Some lucky and spoiled kids (like me) were lucky to get some starting then, but by Christmas that year Transformers were THE item. In the fall of that year though is when the cartoon premiered.

It began as a Saturday morning cartoon. I was still nursing wounds over the cancellation of my beloved Mighty Orbots, but then I started watching Transformers and I found supreme happiness and joy, and maybe some obsession too...(I've got a picture I need to dig up, it's from my tenth birthday party in 1985. The picture is of my friends and I but what you see all over are Transformers decorations. Transformers plates, napkins, balloons...we're standing in front of a table draped in a Transformers tablecloth).

Season 1 of Transformers had 16 episodes and from fall of 1984 to fall of 1985 it was just those 16 episodes shown over and over. Then in fall 1985, season 2 premiered and it had 49 new episodes. Not only that, but Transformers changed (heh) from being shown on Saturday mornings to being on weekdays after school. New episodes every day! We'd gone from famine to feast!!!

Also, G.I.Joe had become a full series now too! It was kicked of by a third mini series, then went to individual episodes with more than a few two parters thrown in, and it was on every weekday now. Also, they took a cue from He-Man in a way and made their own style of PSA's to be seen at the end of each episode...much to the delight to those of us who enjoyed the parody/redubbed versions in the early 2000's

This was maybe the pinnacle of a change in what cartoons we were excited about. Saturday mornings were still very much looked forward to, but it became weekday afternoons that had the most exciting cartoons...the cartoons kids talked about in school the next day.

It started a few years earlier, first when reruns of Superfriends started showing in syndication and were now on after school. I was very excited when that happened. Then there was the first G.I.Joe mini -series and after that the He-Man cartoon series.

There was also a Gobots cartoon. Gobots toys were on the shelves and the cartoon series, Challenge of the Gobots, was on TV a year before Transformers. Why weren't Gobots as cool as Transformers? I liked them, and as the first transforming toys I had or even saw, I thought they were the coolest things! Ultimately though, they didn't have the spark (heh) that Transformers had. When Transformers came out they were seen as the gold standard, Gobots were seen as cheap knock offs (even though they were out first!) and/or more for younger children.

Both Transformers and Gobots were originally Japanese toys that got imported to the U.S. Transformers were from several different toy lines brought into the same toyline in the U.S. by Hasbro...The company that also brought us the extremely cool.G.I.Joe toys.

Gobots were brought in by Tonka...the company we remembered playing with their sturdy trucks in the dirt. Even if we remembered them fondly we still remembered them as toys we played with as toddlers.

Gobots were the smaller sized toys with names like Dive Dive, Buggyman, Dumper, Pumper, and Dozer, and you saw carded on pegs at the store. You could usually transform them in 3 easy steps. Transformers were the larger sized toys on shelves in these cool boxes with amazing art work and had names like Soundwave, Megatron, and Optimus Prime! To change them was an intricate puzzle.

Now there were larger and more complex Gobots and smaller and cheaper Transformers, but each line had cemented their images.

When it came to the cartoons, Transformers were from Marvel Comics and Sunbow Studios, they were the ones who also made G.I.Joe and also Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Challenge of the Gobots was made by Hanna-Barbera. In the 60's and 70's Hanna-Barbera was making just about every cartoon and most of them were huge hits. By the 80's their reputation had taken a bit of a beating. We all still had pleasant enough memories of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, etc. But again, many of us remembered watching those when we were really young. Also, they were the cartoons that was just so much walking in front of backgrounds that seemed to repeat and all the characters seemed to do was walk and talk.

When Transformers came out, even with the TONS of animation mistakes, the reuse of stock footage, and other issues, it was still seen as the dynamic cartoon, sleek, cool, and crackling with energy. Gobots couldn't compete.

When Challenge of the Gobots started airing I watched it for a while but I lost interest. Once in a while I'd come back to it, then soon quit it again.

Between the toys and the cartoon, Transformers may have been the biggest franchise in my life at that time, but there were actually 2 cartoon series that I loved even more. They both started airing on weekday afternoons in the fall of 1984...Robotech and Voltron: Defender of the Universe.

It wasn't until many years later that I learned how both these series were Japanese series imported to U.S. Not only that but they took multiple different series, cut them up, re edited them, dubbed them in English and significantly changed the stories.

I've seen Super Dimension Fortress Macross and recognize it as superior to The Macross Saga of Robotech. However, the way the show captured my heart as part of Robotech, the Robotech names of characters, places, vehicles, etc. the Robotech version of the story and the way they piecemeal connected it to the other two series...I just can't helping loving that more, even today.

Voltron though...I much prefer Beast King: Golion now, it's pretty difficult for me to even watch Voltron now. 

I started watching Robotech when a friend told me there was a robot in it that looked just like Jetfire, which was a toy I had. I tuned in and was absolutely amazed! The show was so good. I had no idea why or how they were using the design of a Transformers toy when the two shows were separate, that just added to its mystique though. In later years I learned all about the complete mess of copyright ownership between the use of the design in cartoons, who could sell the toy, and other issues. It all added up to a confusing legal knot that I'm not going to attempt to try to unravel here.

So I came home from school every day excited to watch Robotech. I loved how the show was serialized and how sophisticated it was. It may have been even more so in the original versions but however much they changed it, they couldn't change the essence of those shows. Robotech dealt seriously with adult themes of war, politics, relationships, and even death. It was a cartoon that tackled these subjects and didn't talk down to children. It opened my mind to how much more was possible to do with a cartoon. And the show was seriously bad ass as well!

Poor me though...no matter how hard I tried not to, I kept missing the last few episodes of The Macross Saga. I knew it was coming close but there always seemed to be something going on that kept me busy and away from TV, that I missed those episodes, and when I got back to the show it was the beginning of The Robotech Masters. I didn't get to see those last episodes of The Macross Saga until some years later when the series was being run on the Sci-fi Channel.

So yeah, The Robotech Masters. When the show switched to that, I didn't know what the heck was going on back then. I just knew I didn't like it. The story became very confusing and hard to follow, I didn't like the new characters, I missed the old characters, I didn't like the new vehicles and mech, and really missed the old vehicles and mech, especially the veritechs (valkyries). I hated The Robotech Masters saga! But I still watched the show, hoping for it to get better but it never did. Then The Robotech Masters ended and The New Generation began. I remember catching it from the first episode...The characters were pretty interesting so far, the Alpha fighters looked cool, the Cyclones looked cool...it wasn't as good as The Macross Saga but it was pretty good. Robotech was good again! I was happy.

Voltron I watched from the beginning. The story gripped me from the start, with the first 4 episodes acting as a mini series dubbed "Castle of Lions". The build up of the show as characters were introduced, secrets were uncovered, the lions shown for the first time, all leading up to Voltron finally being formed for the first time in the 4th episode...I was hooked! The storyline of the series also progressed in a linear fashion, kind of like Robotech, but it was also formulaic...very formulaic! Many episodes while they fit at a certain point in the continuity, could be seen as stand alone. Also, again completely unknown to me at the time, the series was chopped up, re-edited, and sanitized much more than Robotech.

Then, all of a sudden, the show switched from following the Lion Team to this completely different Voltron team and a completely different Voltron. I hated Vehicle Voltron more than I hated The Robotech Masters! I liked the look of Vehicle Voltron and how the components combined in different ways, I thought that was really cool and I hungered for the toys. But the show itself was so terribly boring! I watched it somewhat but not that faithfully. Many times I'd tune in to see if it was a Lion episode and if it wasn't I'd watch something else.

Of course, they had done with Voltron the same as what they did with Robotech. Taking similar but separate Japanese cartoon series and re-editing them into one series. There was even supposed to be 3 different Japanese cartoons used for Voltron like they used 3 different ones for Robotech, but the response to Vehicle Voltron was SO negative and there was such an outcry for more Lion Voltron episodes, that they scrapped using the third series and actually ordered more Golion episodes from Japan. By doing it this way they were also able to integrate the existing two Voltrons in the show a little better. This culminated in a special crossover mini series (sometimes shown all together as a TV movie) called "Fleet of Doom" where we got to see both Voltrons fighting alongside each other against the villains from both shows! It was amazingly awesome!!!

There were other cartoons that came out during this time that I just couldn't get into...

M.A.S.K. was one. Forgive me, I just couldn't get into it! This is one line though I wish I had gotten the toys.

Others included Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Centurions, Defenders of the Earth, Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos, Visionaries, and Inhumanoids.

There were the animated series with toylines based on "R" rated movies, because...80's...

Rambo: The Force of Freedom, Robocop, Police Academy...loved the movies but never got into the cartoons.

There were cartoons that were based on toylines marketed to girls...Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, My Little Pony, Jem...I just wasn't interested.

In the mid 80's my bread and butter cartoons were Robotech, Transformers, G.I.Joe, He-Man, Voltron and another cartoon that premiered during this time Thundercats!!! Thundercats was another great cartoon I loved, produced by Rankin/Bass no less. I also collected the toys promoted by all those shows. Evidence for condemnation? I say no, and I'll get into that in just a little bit...

There were also cartoons I considered my "back up" shows. My regular cartoons I of course always watched first and I usually also watched episodes the first time they were rerun. But, by the third or fourth time I usually looked to see what was on other channels. In those instances I'd watch Challenge of the Gobots, also the animated Dennis the Menace series, Inspector Gadget, Transor Z (another Japanese import where it was called Mazinger Z), and Heathcliff.

As the 80's wore on new cartoon series would pop up and some got added to my watch line up. He-Man got a.spin off: She-Ra: Princess of Power. I liked that. Silverhawks, Rankin/Bass' follow up to Thundercats, I watched it but it was more one of my back up shows.

In the fall of 1986, I was looking through the TV Guide to see what new shows would be on in the afternoons and my eyes lit up when they saw one word: "Ghostbusters" . There was going to be a Ghostbusters cartoon!!! Ghostbusters was and still is one of my favorite movies of all time! To say I was excited was an understatement.

So there I was that first afternoon, tuned to the correct channel at the correct time and the show starts! The theme song starts to play:

"Let's go, Ghostbusters!

Let's go, let's go, let's go! "

Wait a minute...this isn't the theme song from the movie? Why aren't they using that? Weird.

Then the cartoon starts...who the heck is this blond guy, is that supposed to be Venkman?!! Why's that guy dressed like fighter pilot? Is that supposed to be Stanz?!! A gorilla?!! That's not the Ghostbusters' logo! That's not the Ecto-1! Those aren't proton packs! What the hell is going on here?!!

I was pissed! I hated this Ghostbusters show! What a disappointment!!!

The story with Ghostbusters and the use of that name is another legal copyright quagmire...

Simplifying as best I can, Filmation had a live-action series in the 70's called "The Ghost Busters" . It ran for 13 episodes and was cancelled as a dud series. In 1984 Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd really wanted to use the name "Ghostbusters" for their movie that otherwise had nothing else to do with the 70's series. Columbia Pictures obtained the rights from Filmation to use the name for the movie. The movie was a mega hit, but what surprised the studio was just how big a hit it was with kids. So it was decided to make a cartoon series based on the movie...

Filmation was like "Hey, cool! Making cartoons is what we do most! "

Columbia was like "Yeah, no. We think we're going to go with this other company, DIC, to make the cartoon..."

Filmation was like "Really?!! Well y'all a bunch of DICks! We can still capitalize from the popularity...we'll make our own Ghostbusters cartoon! " and because Filmation still owned the rights to the 70's series, as long as the cartoon was clearly based off of that they could do it.

I never watched a full episode of that cartoon, I couldn't stand it. Fortunately less than 2 weeks later The Real Ghostbusters premiered on Saturday morning. I was wary now the first time I tuned into it but right away when it started the movie theme started playing and I knew I had found my Ghostbusters...

A year later a weekday version of The Real Ghostbusters started airing. Just to add more confusion to the situation...it was the same show as the Saturday morning cartoon but a different version. The Saturday morning one aired on ABC, the weekday one ran in syndication. The syndicated weekday one could push boundaries a little further because it wasn't airing on ABC, some other minor differences but it was still the same show. I was happy because I was getting The Real Ghostbusters 6 days a week now and soon after that started the other Ghostbusters kind of faded away (heh).

Speaking of Saturday morning cartoons vs. weekday ones. For many there was also a difference in how they were available...

Saturday mornings the cartoons were mostly all network cartoons, shown on the ABC, NBC, and CBS network affiliates. As long as you could get those 3 networks, the whole country had access to the same cartoons on Saturday mornings. The weekday cartoons were all in syndication shown mostly on independent, non affiliated stations usually found on channels in the UHF range.

What you could watch depended on what the stations in your local market individually decided to buy to put on air. In Atlanta, maybe you could see M.A.S.K. and Voltron but no station carried Robotech. In Chicago maybe you could see Robotech and Voltron but not M.A.S.K. 

I consider myself very lucky that I lived in the suburbs of Washington D.C. We could pick up by antenna all the D.C. stations and the Baltimore ones. If the D.C. market doesn't carry a specific cartoon usually the Baltimore one did and vice versa.


So, I said I'd get to my argument why I thought in the case of children's programming, deregulation as it happened wasn't a bad thing...

Something that was said all the time in the 80's and still said today when talking about 80's cartoons: "They're 30 minute toy commercials." Always said with derision towards the show and superiority by recognizing it.

No shit they were cartoons made to sell toys. Of course that was the reason these cartoons came into being. But, you know how they did that? They hired writers, handed them over the toys, and said "Here, make some stories." And you know what? There were writers like J. Michael Straczinski , Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and others. Writers with talent that couldn't help but make entertaining television. They knew kids would tune in to see their favorite toys come to life, but also knew if the stories didn't hold their attention they wouldn't stay tuned in.

Also, I learned things from cartoons because I was interested in them. There were the PSA's like G.I. Joe had at the end of each episode, and the "what did we learn today?" moments at the end of He-man and She-ra, but aside from that, during the main part of the shows I learned things like what DNA was, the ingredients of gun powder, names and types of different dinosaurs, that glass was made from sand, the names of the planets and many of the moons in our solar system, plus much more.

Not only that, I learned things like in Transformers: Optimus Prime was a role model and he always showed how much he cared for not just his fellow autobots, but for all life.

Thundercats: That it's ok to lose, but it's not ok to lose because you gave up.

G.I. Joe: That in politics, whenever someone says one thing, they usually mean the exact opposite. 

He-man/She-Ra: That no matter who or what you were, everybody could have their own thing they were good at.

Robotech: War had serious consequences and no one came out unscathed.

Plus many other lessons. So, people can go on feeling haughty and clever because they are repeating a phrase that's been said for over 40 years now. Or they can try to grasp that if a property, even one that's main purpose was to market a product, is and has been well loved for a long time, maybe...just maybe...there's something more to it.

I believe it was this era of cartoons that stimulated my imagination and creativity like no other.


Anyway, looks like I'll see you in part 4 where I REALLY get wired...the coaxial kind. And Disney is gonna be Disney.

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Okay raise your hand if you tried to take a bite out of your He-Man figurine.

I vaguely remember them having a soft spot on the torso where you could get some sweet teeth marks in them.B)

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I'm trying to remember the ones I saw. I've extended "childhood" up to about 16 or so:

  • Transformers
  • Challenge of the GoBots
  • ThunderCats
  • The Real Ghostbusters
  • Thunderbirds 2086
  • Mysterious Cities of Gold
  • Ulysses 31
  • Duck Tales
  • Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (it was retitled in the UK because the term "ninja" was banned for some reason)
  • SuperTed
  • The Smurfs
  • Inspector Gadget
  • Bananaman
  • Count Duckula
  • Scooby Doo
  • Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
  • She-Ra
  • Danger Mouse
  • Robotech
  • Space Battleship Yamato
  • The Simpsons
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show
  • Beavis & Butt-Head (yeah, we weren't supposed to watch it but we did anyway)
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • The Tick

Technically not cartoons, but animated in some sense

  • The Trap Door
  • Terrahawks
  • Stingray
  • Thunderbirds
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
  • Joe 90
  • Truckers (based on the Pratchett books)
  • Creature Comforts
  • Wallace & Gromit

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15 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

The lack of love for DBZ in this thread is offensive! 

In the UK at least we were severely limited to what just four channels were showing (and, for the rich kids, one satellite network). We were fortunate the channels could afford to buy so much US stuff otherwise we'd have been screwed, plus we had some good homegrown stuff.

The only reason I saw Robotech was because I'd read the books and they did a very limited VHS release of the series, and we rented a horribly edited VHS compendium of Yamato episodes from the rental shop. Voltron was also knocking around, though I never got round to seeing it. Thunderbirds 2086 (the UK dub of an anime I think called TechnoVoyager in Japan) was only shown on normal kids' TV to tie in with the Gerry Anderson series. Mysterious Cities of Gold and the batshit insanely glorious Ulysses 31 were French-Japanese coproductions which managed to mix the perfect amount of crazy from both backgrounds.

Otherwise for kid-friendly anime, that was it (everyone sneakily watched Akira when Channel 4 aired it in the early 1990s though). I didn't even heard of Dragon Ball until many years later.

Edited by Werthead

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Dogtanian and the Muskahounds was excellent. Possibly the best adaptation of the Three Musketeers despite being dogs (and a cat) playijg the characters in a kids cartoon.

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12 hours ago, Werthead said:

In the UK at least we were severely limited to what just four channels were showing (and, for the rich kids, one satellite network). We were fortunate the channels could afford to buy so much US stuff otherwise we'd have been screwed, plus we had some good homegrown stuff.

That's fair. It also speaks to some age differences given some of the shows listed. By the time I was a kid in the mid 90's not everyone had cable here in the States, but there were a number of basic channels so you had a few options after school and on Saturday mornings. 

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Just to add in some other ones that don’t often get mentioned.. probably because they weren’t very good but I used to love:

Visionaries - mainly because I had some of their toys with hologram chests. The show was bollocks though

Centurions - again loved it because I had a couple of the toys, but really a not very good show

Defenders of the Earth - Was so excited when this came on, thought it was going to be violent and cool. It wasn’t. But it has Flash Gordon and the Phantom

Kissyfur - tragic tale of a bear who gets lost.. . Was rubbish.

The Raccoons - think this was genuinely good at times, odd writing

Chorlton and the wheelies - absolutely fucking terrifying Welsh witch scares the shit out of children

Wizbit- disturbing Paul Daniels plays with a big yellow triangle dude

Batfink - genuinely cool show. I’m sure it holds up!

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