Tag: Cartoon

Mister T – An Underrated Cartoon From the 80’s

Mister T

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.

In the show, T ran a gymnasium, where a rainbow coalition of young gymnasts came to practice: Kim, Woody, Jeff, Sky, Vinnie, Courtney, Garcia, Robin, and Robin’s little brother Jeff, a wannabe tough who copied his idol to a “T.” Together with Miss Bisby and T’s bulldog, Spike (same haircut, same attitude), the group spent their off hours finding trouble and fixing it.

Mr. T provided the voice of his own character and appeared in the opening and closing segments, which provided the moral of the day’s adventures: don’t ride with strangers, never be afraid to walk away from a fight, etc.

The show lasted three seasons and thirty episodes, ending shortly before the final prime time season of The A-Team.

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light

Visionairies

When the many suns of the planet of Prysmos came into alignment, the results were catastrophic. The planet was thrust back into the Dark Ages, where magic equaled power. Because of the cataclysm, the planet was split into two warring factions, the evil Darkling Lords and the Knights of the Magical Light (who also went by “Spectral Knights” and “Visionaries”). Merklyn, a master of magic, assembled the group, in hopes of bringing peace to the planet that had been torn asunder by the catastrophic event.

The Knights and Darklings had on their armor a holographic chestplate, created by Merklyn. Through the wizard’s power and after proving themselves through a series of tasks, the warriors were able to transform into the animal represented on their chest plates. The specific animals were assigned based on the bearer’s own traits, a cheetah for speed, a lion for bravery, etc. Several of the warriors (both good and evil) also carried holographic staves, which could discharge the powers of speed, decay, and more through the reading of a rhymed incantation. The only catch was that each staff needed a recharge after every use, and Merklyn didn’t give away his magic to just anyone.

Visionairies

Not all technology had been destroyed in the planet-alignment catastrophe, and many warriors chose to master machinery instead of (or in addition to) magic. A fleet of tactical and assault vehicles were used in Prysmos’ battle between good and evil, and many of these had magic capabilities as well.

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light was co-produced by Marvel, and much like that company’s Transformers, the series laced its action with humor, much of it self-effacing. For instance, one recurring gag had the all-knowing oracle putting everyone to sleep with his long-winded speeches.

Also like many 80’s cartoons, Visionaries came with its own action figure line, complete with vehicles and holographic chest plates and staves. Despite the cool holographic gimmick, neither toy nor cartoon stuck around for very long. The animated Visionaries aired only 13 episodes, but that was more than enough to make an impression on the young fantasy buffs who watched.