Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top 5 Favorite 80s After School Cartoons

The late-80s was a golden age for after-school television, and I was lucky to be a tween during its peak!  Here are the shows that left an indelible imprint on my early-adolescent brain:

5: G. I. Joe - This show had a few things going for it.  Specifically, the moral at the end of every episode ("knowing is half the battle"), and better, the bad-ass Cobra Commander/Serpentor story arc.  However, it also featured soldiers so inept that they couldn't fire a gun accurately if their lives depended on it, which they didn't since the writers ensured that nobody ever died in this many-years-long war.  It was a great show though, and fun to watch.

4: Thundercats - What can I say about this show, other than it was awesome and I'm not sure why.  I remember that the series had resolution in the end, and that at least two seasons had finales.  I also know that Peter Newman voiced several characters (he's currently Nikolai Jakov in Archer).  Ultimately, I think I liked it because of all the sword shows (think He-Man's "by the power of Greyskull" or Voltron's "form blazing sword"), Lion-O's Sword of Omens was my favorite--it just looked cooler...

3: The Real Ghostbusters - The 1984 movie Ghostbusters was a cultural event--everyone saw this film, and just about everyone loved it.  So naturally, a cartoon based on the movie was developed.  Unfortunately, the rights to the name were controlled by Filmation, which created the instantly-forgettable Ghostbusters cartoon.  The ghostbusters from the movie did get their own show, trumping the Filmation bastards with the title The Real Ghostbusters.  How good was this show?  Early on, it was largely written and edited  by J. Michael Straczynski (writer of almost every episode of Babylon 5, and a ton of Spider-Man and other comics) and had Arsenio Hall, Lorenzo Music, and Maurice LaMarche in voice roles.

2: Duck Tales - Let me just say "shut up" to all the macho assholes who won't admit how brilliant this show was.  Multi-episode story arcs, continuity, re-tellings of Shakespeare and other references to literature, history, and ancient myth--this show was everything we've come to expect in good "adult" shows now, and this was a cartoon for kids over 20 years ago!  Plus, who didn't want to swim through a pool of coins the way old Scrooge McDuck did!

1: Robotech - This was the first show I ever saw in which a main character died.  I will never forget seeing Roy Focker (sometimes spelled Fokker) get shot-up in his Veritech Fighter, yet still land, only to die in his girlfriend's apartment after losing too much blood, and well after you thought he'd be okay.  Robotech was amazing for other reasons--its multi-generational story narrative, its well-woven and pieced-together tapestry of three separate Japanese shows, its true depiction of all-too-human emotions in times of war--but for me, it was that death, and the ones that followed that made me cry--alone in my grandparents' house--and changed 11-year-old me forever.

Okay, so there are some shows that are obviously missing (Transformers comes to mind right away), but these five made more of a mar in my dumb brain.  Bitch about it below, trolls...  Or just tell us what your favorite after school show was and why!  And don't forget to "like" our new Facebook page and share this post with your friends!

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post. Yes that time was really good for after school cartoons. Robotech and Duck-tales are the most famous at that time.  Still enjoyed remembering some episodes and scenes 

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  2.  I was telling Kooz that I really don't remember Robotech. its strange that it was on television during the same time duck tales were but i dont recall it. I definitely have to try and pull up episodes so I can see what its all about!

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  3. Check it out. It's an ongoing list of fav cartoons back in our "cartoon watching years". but its going to be awesome once I'm done.  http://www.purpleandchrome.com/weblogs/

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  4. Love it!  And thanks for the comment--I hope you'll visit again, and I hope my readers check out your list and site!

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  5. Thanks for visiting; glad you enjoyed reliving some of your youth!

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  6. Transformers of course has to be on that list.  I believe it came on right after GIJOE.  Never missed either.  But also, remember Voltron?  I loved that show.  Japanimation...fantastic!  "...and I'll form...the head". 

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  7. You nailed the Voltron quote--the best one in the history of the show!

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  8. I somehow don't recall any of these other than the Thundercats. Have you ever heard these out takes? Pretty funny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftU5GfORvH8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    And it just so happens that I have an autographed picture of Tygra, signed by Peter Newman! Awesome.

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  9. I've seen that before--hilarious!  What the fuck is a thermoflan?

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