Category: Saturday Mornings

My 5 Favorite GI Joe A Real American Hero Episodes

It’s time to dig in deep, and talk about one of my favorite cartoons of all time….G.I. Joe:  A Real American Hero.  As a kid, I fell in love with not only the cartoon, but the action figure line as well.  G.I. Joe was always my go-to toy at playtime, and my preferred choice of after school cartoons.

Recently, Jason over at Rediscover the 80’s has been doing some really fun posts centered around the cartoon.  I approached him about doing a cross-over event where we present our 10 favorite episodes of the cartoon, with each of us reminiscing on 5 episodes.  So once you’re done here, be sure to head on over to his place and check out the other half of this list.  As a bonus, we’ve also decided to throw in our favorite G.I. Joe mini-series as well!  Let’s get to it.

The Funhouse

This episode was from earlier in the series, and one of the first batch to be released on home video cassette.  I remember very fondly the Christmas of ’86 that I received a copy of the episode Satellite Down, and my cousin Tim received a copy of The Funhouse.  We each watched our own copies numerous times over a couple of days, and then switched off.  The episode itself may not be a strong one, but the nostalgia I feel for it keeps it high on my list.

Anyway, Cobra kidnaps a bunch of scientists and holds them hostage someplace sinister to lure the Joe team there.  Once they arrive, they discover the temple where the scientists are being held is one giant “funhouse” that Cobra Commander has put together just to screw with the Joes.  Once inside, the Joe team discovers this, and splits up into three teams in order to hunt down Cobra Commander.  

Dusty and Airtight take off in one direction, and soon find themselves in a room full of falling balloons.  Dusty decides to pop one, and it releases a gas that make his hallucinate.  He sees Airtight as an enemy, so Airtight has to work some voodoo magic on him and knock him out with a karate chop.  He then sets off on his own to find Cobra Commander, but gets undone when he runs into a room full of giant Jack in the Boxes and gets taken out by a newspaper swat from one of them.

Meanwhile, Alpine and Bazooka’s path leads them to a roller coaster, and that leads them through a shooting gallery of cobra robots.  Bazooka takes a hit and goes unconscious as Alpine vows revenge.  Unfortunately, he finds himself running on an oversized bowling lane, and gets taken out by a falling bowling pin.

The final duo, Flint and Lady Jaye, end up running into robotic tin soldiers who all look like Cobra Commander.  They take out most of the robots, only for one to sneak up on Lady Jaye and take her out of the fight.  Flint goes on to find Cobra Commander’s control room, but he sets a bomb that is going to destroy the whole island before he, along with Zartan and The Baroness escape to another hideout.  Flint and some of the Joe cavalry rescue their teammates and escape the island in Sky Strikers just in time.

Wild Bill had been watching for anything to leave the island, so the Joes are able to track them pretty easily to their new location.  The Joes launched an all out assault on the Cobra base, yet Cobra Commander and his cronies escaped once again, but the Joes were able to rescue the captured scientists to end the episode on a successful note.

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What You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite 80’s Cartoons

If you thought you knew everything about you favorite 80’s cartoons, think again!  From the many great, and some not so great, cartoons that aired in the 80’s there is an abundance of things about them you never knew.  Check out these little known facts about 25 of your favorite cartoons from the 80’s!  Let us know which ones surprised you the most.


G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero

Fact: G.I. Joe premiered in 1983 with a 5-episode story called “The MASS Device“. The fact that is was shown in 5 parts made it the first animated mini-series in television history.

 

Bravestarr

BraveStarr

Fact: BraveStarr has the distinction of being the last cartoon series produced by our beloved Filmation studios. Filmation was also responsible for bringing us The Archie Show, Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, and it’s most famous creation, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Read about the rise and fall of Filmation Studios in the excellent book, Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation  

Also, you can read more about Bravestarr over at The Robot’s Pajamas

Wuzzles

The Wuzzles

Fact:  The Wuzzles only ran for 13 episodes, making it the shortest running animated Disney series of all time.

 

Shirt Tales

The Shirt Tales

Fact: The Shirt Tales series was created from a line of Hallmark greeting cards. When the cards lost popularity, so did the cartoon series.

Get the Shirt Tales Complete Series on DVD here

 

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Pirates of Dark Water

Pirates of Dark Water

Saturday morning cartoons got a little more grown-up with the debut of Hanna-Barbera’s Pirates of Dark Water in 1991. Blending sci-fi with swords and sorcery, the show had more in common with Japanese anime than it did with other Hanna-Barbera properties, including the similarly-themed Galtar and the Golden Lance.

Originally aired as the five-part miniseries Dark Water, the show began in the ravaged kingdom of Octopon on the planet Mer. A strapping young teen named Ren discovered a battered old man washed up on the shore near his lighthouse. The man turned out to be King Primus, former ruler of Octopon and Ren’s father. The entire planet was menaced by an evil liquid being known as Dark Water. In the past, Dark Water had been held prisoner by a ring of thirteen treasures, but somehow the entity managed to escape, and it sent its servants to scatter the treasures.

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Thundarr the Barbarian Cartoon

Thundarr the Barbarian

Forget the global chaos myth that was Y2K. In the world of Thundarr the Barbarian, the end of civilization occurred six years earlier, when, in 1994, a runaway planet hurtled between the earth and the mooon, “unleashing cosmic destruction.” Now, 2000 years later, Earth is a savage world occupied by wizards, mutants and monsters.


Thundarr the Barbarian on DVD


…And one superhero, of course—the blonde, muscular Thundarr. The title barbarian was once a slave of the evil wizard Sabian, but he was set free by Princess Ariel, Sabian’s stepdaughter. Taking pity on the poor, good-looking slave, Ariel gave him a magic sabre that could send out an energy ray capable of destroying any foe. With the help of this Sun Sword and a lionlike mutant pal named Ookla the Mok, Thundarr and Ariel fought all manner of futuristic enemies to save their beloved Earth.

This post originally appeared on the long defunct Yesterdayland website.  We archive it here to preserve it.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Cartoon

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Marvel Comics’ famed webslinger returned to Saturday morning in 1981 with a pair of new companions. In this incarnation, Peter Parker was a college student at Empire State University, boarding with his Aunt May. While at ESU, Peter met fellow students Bobby Drake and Angelica Jones. The group ended up exchanging secret identities—Peter was the wall-crawling Spider-Man, Bobby was frosty mutant Iceman, and Angelica was red-hot fellow mutant Firestar. Bobby and Angelica moved into Aunt May’s as well (along with Angelica’s dog, Ms. Lion), and Peter and Bobby converted their room into a secret crimefighting HQ (revealed when anyone shifted the football trophy on the mantle). Continue reading “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Cartoon”

Mister T Cartoon

Mr. T Cartoon

“I pity the fool…”

A catchphrase as instantly recognizable as the man behind it. Big, tough, Mohawk-sporting (the haircut was technically a Mandinkan, to the purists), and decked out in over $300,000 worth of gold chains and earrings, Mr. T entered the ring as the unstoppable Clubber Lang in Rocky III, then shot to instant stardom as mechanic/tough guy B.A. Barracus on NBC’s wildly popular The A-Team.

Eager to expand Mr. T‘s already huge fan following among youngsters, the network commissioned Ruby-Spears to create a Saturday morning series around their golden boy, with the former Laurence Tureaud (he changed his name so everyone would have to call him “Mister”) himself to star. After a guest-starring launch on the premiere of Ruby-Spears’ Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mr. T got his own, self-titled program, an animated half-hour framed by live-action inserts.  Continue reading “Mister T Cartoon”

Alvin and the Chipmunks Cartoon

Alvin and the Chipmunks

“Aaaalviiiin!!”

Ross Bagdasarian created an unlikely smash when he changed his name to David Seville, multitracked his own voice, and recorded the novelty single “The Chipmunk Song.” That led to 1961’s The Alvin Show, which gave chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore animated likenesses, along with their father figure, David Seville.

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