A rarity in the action cartoon world, The Centurions had a brainy, independent female character as its lead. Inspired by her heroic father, Crystal Kane gathered together a band of computer-generated specialists to battle the megalomaniacal Dr. Terror, his sidekick Hacker, and his army of Doom Drones. Kane’s squad consisted of Jake Rockwell, Ace McCloud, Max Ray, Rex Charger, and John Thunder. The team also had a pair of animal mascots, Shadow the dog and Lucy the orangutan.
Putting the emphasis on sci-fi action, The Centurions always featured fast-paced battles, dogfighting vehicles, and cool gadgets. Crystal outfitted her team with super-powered “exoframes,” bodysuits geared up with helicopter parts, tank treads, deep-sea jet engines, and other useful tricks.
Each episode of The Centurions also included a short lesson about astronomy and space travel, presented in a 30-second blurb at the end of the episode. The show managed a respectable run in its original syndication, winning enough of a fan base to spark a revival on The Cartoon Network in the 1990s.
Looking at classic movies, toys, games, cartoons, and television shows that are still fondly remembered today.
Every Friday I’m doing a quick list of five things with a common theme, and instead of doing a big write-up, I’m doing it in pictures (or videos) with just a couple of sentences to give context to the picks.
For today’s Friday Five, I’m presenting five of my favorite cartoons from the ’80s. I put a couple of stipulations on myself for this one. First, only Saturday morning cartoons. No before or after school syndicated cartoons so that knocked stuff out like He-Man and G.I. Joe. Second, all the cartoons on this list had to debut in the ’80s, so no Scooby-Doo either. I’ll tackle all of those missing cartoons at some point in the future, but for now, let’s get into these Saturday morning cartoons of the ’80s!
To me, The Smurfs were not only one of my favorite cartoons, but I think the case could be made that it was one of the best cartoons to come out of the decade. I loved the medieval setting along with all of the forest stuff in it as well. For some reason, I was always a fan of seeing stuff get built, and The Smurfs had a lot of that. I remember when Handy had to get everyone together to build a dam. I’m sure I pulled out some LEGOs and tried to recreate that at some point during that Saturday afternoon.
Well, I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the new Masters of the Universe: Revelation series on Netflix this weekend. I had been under the weather all week, and didn’t want to start the series until I was well enough to really pay attention to it and soak it in without being in a medicinal stupor.
While I managed to avoid actual spoilers all week long, I wasn’t able to avoid reading all the negative thoughts and comments on the series. I saw takes that decried how the property was now dead thanks to what Kevin Smith had done with it, and takes blaming the “wokeness” of the times taking over and causing the series’ focus to be changed, and takes on how the whole thing was one big bait and switch. But because I love the franchise so much, I was determined to watch it and decide for myself how I felt about it. And boy am I glad I did.
First, let me just get my overall take out of the way… I LOVED it! I feel like some of the folks complaining about it are only upset that it didn’t fit their expectation of what they were wanting to see, and not judging it on what it actually is. What it actually is is a very well conceived and executed next step in the Masters of the Universe mythos. Like, if you think of the original series and the 2002 series as an era in the history of Eternia, then Revelation is the next era, and it’s a really exciting and intriguing era. The beauty of it though is that it wouldn’t be near as enjoyable without all of the history we already know. If Revelation is your first foray into this universe, there’s probably not much that is going to stand out to you. But for longtime fans, there is so much greatness highlighted that every episode has numerous things that catch your attention. Here are some of the things I enjoyed most about the first five episodes:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! The Emmy-nominated 1966 television special was the third special for Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts series and the second to be holiday-themed, after A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was a huge ratings success and was so successful that CBS re-aired it every year through 2000, with ABC picking up the tradition after that. Now, on September 17, 2021, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown soundtrack score will return on a new 45 RPM pressing on orange pumpkin-shaped vinyl.
On Halloween night, this beloved album will rise from vinyl collections the world over and bring audible presents to all the good girls and boys. Featuring the music of GRAMMY-winning composer/performer Vince Guaraldi, this album includes insightful liner notes by Derrick Bang, Peanuts historian and author of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano. It includes two of the most beloved tracks in the Guaraldi canon, “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” and “Linus and Lucy.”
The orange pumpkin vinyl presentation of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be available on September 17, just in time for your October Halloween parties. It’s housed in a clear bag, with a horizontal OBI-style strip on the bottom. The strip folds out to feature the liner notes on the reverse side.
You can pre-order the It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Pumpkin Shaped Vinyl Album on Amazon and it will ship out on September 17, 2021