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Saturday Morning : 80's Cartoons

March 6th 2008 06:41


For more posts, articles and books by Jarrah Loh, visit his website:
www.jarrahloh.com

Voltron

The 80’s were a golden era of children’s programming. The Muppets and the Archies of the world were pushed aside for the hard hitting, action packed, futuristic adventures that dominated the decade.

The most remarkable thing is that almost all of the great toons were just born out of Mattel and other toy manufacturers. And what great toys they were. Hell, as an 80’s kid we definitely had the best toys in the world. Action figures galore, robots, talking dolls, transformers, you name it.

The 80’s cartoon world also ushered in a big influence from Japan. What we first glimpsed in Astro Boy started to take centre stage. Firstly giving us a taste with ‘Battle of the Planets’ (AKA G-Force) and coming into full function with the brilliant Voltron (later bastardised with Power Rangers).

Lion Voltron had such a dark and compelling storyline that coupled together with a great episodic formula, proved to be a television and merchandising boom.
Every kid wanted the whole Voltron set, and was jealous of the kid that did.

He-Man and all the Master of the Universe were huge. Battlecat was one of the coolest toys ever. It was so huge that they even turned it into a horrible movie with Dolph Lungren.

Optimus Prime dying
Another landmark boys show was Transformers. The concept was actually brilliant, and they managed to turn them into some pretty cool toys as well. I still remember being devastated after seeing Optimus Prime being killed in Transformers The Movie (1986). R.I.P

There’s little doubt that the genre was dominated by masculine boy-themed charters. But here were a few girly toons, like the He-Man spinoff She-Ra, Carebears and Rainbow Bright.

But my favourite cartoon from the era has to be The Mysterious Cities of Gold (AKA Esteban and the Seven Cities of Gold and various other names) I couldn’t believe the depth and epic scale of the great Spanish/American quest (although made by a French-Japanese company).
Everyday I would tune in to see Esteban and his friends fly the golden condor and solve the great mysteries of the ancient times.
These days the show has a large cult following and is known as MCoG. They sure don’t make them like that anymore.


MCoG Intro

Here’s a long list of other cartoons you might remember.
Feel free to suggest any others.

Thundercats (and its lesser known counterpart Silverhawks)
Inspector Gadget
T.M.N.T
M.A.S.K
C.O.P.S
Centurions
Ulysses
Gobots (AKA Mighty Machine Men)
Mighty Orbots
BraveStarr
Dino Riders
Dungeons & Dragons
Ducktales
Chip & Dale
Alvin & the chipmunks
Count Duckula
Ewoks
Muppet Babies
My Little Pony
Fat Albert
Denver, the Last Dinosaur
Scooby Doo
Mighty Mouse
Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1987)
Defenders of the Earth
Garfield
Popples
The Wuzzles
G.I. Joe
The Original Ghostbusters
The Real Ghostbusters
Gummi Bears
Snorks
Jem
She-Ra
Rainbow Bright
Carebears
Smurfs

‘I would have waited an eternity for this. It's over, Prime.’




For more posts, articles and books by Jarrah Loh, visit his website:
www.jarrahloh.com


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Comments
57 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Harry

March 6th 2008 08:44
I loved The Mysterious Cities of Gold, definitely my favourite..

Along with Astro Boy..

..and G-Force..

What was the one where the ship had to leave earth on a trip and only had 80 days (or something like that) to get to another planet to get a machine that could save the earth?

Comment by Nomad

March 6th 2008 08:58
yeah i remember cities of gold, i remember it took em frigging ages to find the first city of gold and then it turned out it wasnt even gold it was just the way the light hit it. anyway it was still awesome. the condor rocked too.

nomad

www.awesomefood.com.au

Danger mouse was one of my favourite things to do just before 6 pm back in the 80's

Comment by Michaelie

March 6th 2008 09:27
Carebears, Smurfs, Chipmunks, Astro Boy, Muppets..! Oh how I loved you!

Enjoying the reminiscence, Jarrah.

Michaelie

Comment by Cibbuano

March 6th 2008 21:39
My absolute favourite: Visionaries, Knights of the Magical Light.

Youtube has one of the episdodes up: watch it.


Comment by Jarrah

March 6th 2008 23:02
I can only just remember Visionaries.
I remember the toys, with those little hologram squares.
Cool.

Comment by Justicia

March 7th 2008 01:20
Ah, a lot of favourites in that list! Another girly cartoon show to add is one I remember well, Strawberry Shortcake!

Comment by Hazel Castillo

March 7th 2008 01:23
man! i'm 6 years old again!

GI Joe, Transformers, Voltron and Voltes 5, Smurfs, Ghostbusters and He Man!!!

I was a tomboy then!

I liked Rainbow Brite stationary's tho

love this!

Comment by KylieW

March 7th 2008 03:20
I LOVED the smurfs and had all the Garfield books. She-Ra rocked my world, as did He-Man. Transformers really were more than meets the eye! I wanted go-go Gadget arms

80's cartoons rocked!

While the muppets weren't king in the 80's, I definitely had a lot of love for the Fraggles who were down in Fraggle Rock.

Comment by JohnDoe

March 7th 2008 03:25
I was a huge Battle of the Planets guy myself...so wanted to be Jason.

How about the great animated films fo the 80's like Heavy Metal, Fire and Ice and Wizards?

Comment by Wayne F

March 7th 2008 04:16
Holy crap this brought back so many memories. I used to love watching TMNT when I was a kid, probably my all time favourite. There's so many cartoons out there back in the day that were so awesome. Remember when how violent those things used to be? I really hate all of this stupid cartoons coming out today. How have the times changed

Comment by Jarrah

March 7th 2008 07:08
Ha hA JohnDoe man I wanted to be Jason too! I wanted to change my name to that! Heavy Metal is a classic, but I havnt seen the others.

KylieW. Although they weren't cartoons, I am a huge Fraggle fan. Classic theme song!

Wayne F I was completely Turtle mad, as most our age were. Although I started out as a Michaelangelo man, I am definetly a Raph man, you?

There will be Cartoons part II eventually, probably a TMNT post to itself also.

Comment by Wayne F

March 7th 2008 07:39
Haha I loved the Raph dude! Leo was an asshole, Don was a smart-ass, and Mikey was cool but too stupid. Raph was straight up bad ass who just wanted to do nothing but kick some ass and eat pizza! Look forward to reading these TMNT posts!

Comment by The wonderful Peter Yang

March 8th 2008 10:54

Comment by The Daily Sonnet

March 8th 2008 15:58
Garfield was probably my favorite show in the late 80s/early 90s and I wish I could see it again for nostalgia's sake but I don't have cable and my parents do but I don't think the channel that shows it (if there is one) comes with their cable package. I watched a lot of TMNT too, but not so much of the others.

Comment by James Vipond

March 8th 2008 17:46
If the Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo DVD sells well, I hope to see DVD releases of Hanna-Barbera's versions of Pac-Man and the Little Rascals.

Comment by Shan Jayaweera

March 9th 2008 06:32

Hey there.

My favourites growing up were Transformers, Batman the dark knight cartoon, x-men, mysterious cities of Gold, Flintstones, Some of the warner bros cartoons and (though not animation) the muppets. There was also a cartoon based of the Odessy but set in the year 3000.
If you have a spare moment please check out my blogs

www.watchingyoutube.com

www.videotoes.com

They are lots of fun - let me know what you think


Comment by Mr Nice Guy

March 10th 2008 05:00
More a 60's and 70's child when it came to cartoons - Prince Planet, Marine Boy, The Herculoids, Gigantor, Shazam.

So many of the 80s' cartoons owe a lot to their forebears and Japanese animators.

Cheers - nice post.

MNG

Comment by Geoff Egan

March 10th 2008 07:01
80's cartoons were by far the greatest era of cartoon's ever known. Its token I know, but Transformers, TNMT and He Man just rule(d) my world. I still watch the original Transformers movie.
Dino Riders and Count Duckula are also forgotten favourites.
There were some cool ones like Iron Man that I remember too.

Awesome cartoons were probably the only redeeming moment of the decade that brought us leg warmers and hair metal.....

Comment by What's Your Story?

March 10th 2008 07:20
I think I just had a flashback! Love this post!

Also to be included in the list: Beverly Hills Teens I remember skipping piano lessons just so I can watch this show!

Comment by Anonymous

March 11th 2008 07:30
we are missing Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs..

Comment by Deano911

March 12th 2008 00:00
Very cool blog.
Does anyone remember that cartoon with the girl and the big white dog?
Everyone in the show thought it was a wolf....or something?

I think it was called Belle and Sebastian?
Anyone?

Comment by Jarrah

March 12th 2008 00:25
Yes I do!
Cool show.

here : Really Long Link

Comment by charles

March 13th 2008 12:01
Awesome post!

Lion Voltron, Thundercats and Transformers are my favourites.


Comment by Dramagod

March 14th 2008 00:26
This is great. I used to watch shows like Transformers, TNMT, Thundercats, M.A.S.K, Bravestarr, He-man and many others back in the eighties. I''m glad I found this site cause on the list are many shows I didn't even remember. I'm turning 26 on monday and these sure bring back great memories. I just ordered season 1 of Transformers from play.com and I'm thinking of starting to stock my dvd shelves with these classic eighties cartoonseries. Do you guys remember Rambo cartoon? I loved that one too. If some of you want to talk about these shows with a finnish dude, feel free to ask my e-mail. I'm hugely nostalgic person and always ready to talk about the eighties.

Comment by Anonymous

March 16th 2008 04:35
OMG, I just took a trip down memory lane, LoL. I remember He-Man and Jem, those were my absolute favorites!! I used to have my barbies in a band like Jem!! But I think my ALL-TIME favorite is Tom and Jerry. They were so mean to each other, but it was so funny. I loved how the girl cat and mouse used to always get Tom or Jerry in trouble because they were so busy flirting, so the other would come up with some scheme to make them look stupid, LoL. I know the cartoon is still going, but it just isn't the same anymore.

Comment by rosey3223

March 16th 2008 04:37
Okey-doke...I am the one above under anonymous. I wasn't aware that I was logged out, sorry.

Comment by Anonymous

March 21st 2008 23:03
When i was young i watched a tv show about a female pirate that was searching the world over for these i rthink crystels but not quit sure i do remeber that she had a monkey with wings

Comment by Jarrah

March 22nd 2008 00:19
That would be The Pirates of Dark Water
Though it was a 90's cartoon.

Comment by Dalkisying

April 9th 2008 17:15
you forgot dennis the menace
^_^

Comment by Randon Summers

April 15th 2008 05:37
i love this site. it resally brings me back to the days of waking up at 6 or 7 on a saturday morning with a big bowl of cap'n crunch. CAptain N the game master. Alf. The real goust busters. WOW. Even the cartoons on the weekdays. Like on the USA channel. Remember the USA cartoon express? He man, She ra, GOBOTS! The cartoons now cant even compair with the stuff we grew up with. Man even now saturday mornings are boring. Before, every channel had a saturday morning line up. NBC , ABC, CBC, USA. Im on a mission now to find and collect all of the old cartoons on DVD or VHS. If anyone knows where i can find some, PLEASE let me know....

Comment by Anonymous

May 2nd 2008 16:12
Heathcliff, The Jetsons

Comment by Dojakt

August 28th 2008 04:52
Transformers stil my all time favorite but a great fan of 80s toons all round
still missing in this listing in my view are:
Jayce and the wheeled warriors
Captain harlock
Robotech
and in the live action department captain power
i just discoverd this site and man its awesome
love to remember the days when cartoons used to rock
never seen citys of gold though
but ill be sure to pick it up sometime

Comment by Anonymous

September 21st 2008 07:45
I just found this site and started having flashbacks. I love a lot of the 80s toons but my favorites are Visionaries, Transformers and G.I.Joe. Another favorite wasn't mentioned...does anyone remember Macron 1?

Comment by spanky 1901

October 26th 2008 02:57
denver the last donosaur, he's our friend and a whole lot more.. denver the last dinosaur showed me a world i never saw before!!! me and my wife were singing that today!! and dont forget jabberjaw, the friendliest shark you ever saw!

Comment by spanky 1901

October 26th 2008 02:57
denver the last donosaur, he's our friend and a whole lot more.. denver the last dinosaur showed me a world i never saw before!!! me and my wife were singing that today!! and dont forget jabberjaw, the friendliest shark you ever saw!

Comment by Anonymous

December 8th 2008 21:08
Please sign my five 80's cartoons petitions. And I've found a missing Super Sunday YouTube video:

NEW INHUMANOIDS CARTOON TV SERIES & SUPER SUNDAY ON DVD WITH ITS COMMERCIAL BUMPERS ON DVD RELEASE PETITION (Jem, Bigfoot, Robotix, Inhumanoids):

Really Long Link

ROBOTIX & BIGFOOT AND THE MUSCLE MACHINES ADDITIONAL CARTOON TV SERIES' PETITION:

Really Long Link

THE TELEVISED JEM PILOT & ROBOTIX:BATTLE OF THE FUTURE REVISED MOVIES WITH THEIR COMMERCIAL BUMPERS ON DVD RELEASE PETITION (Aired May, 1986):

Really Long Link

BRING BEVERLY HILLS TEENS ON DVD PETITION:

Really Long Link

BRING MAXIE'S WORLD ON DVD PETITION:

Really Long Link

SUPER SUNDAY OPENING CREDITS VIDEO (Jem, Bigfoot, Robotix):

Really Long Link

Comment by PDouble

December 22nd 2008 05:20
Does anyone remember the cartoon about a band who traveled, through time I think. The music was played by Wham...wake me up before you go-go......I also remember something about a spinx???


Comment by Anonymous

August 15th 2009 08:30
Trying SO HARD to recall an 80's cartoon...
There was a city that rose out of the water and there was parts where they were underwater in a ?? red craft.. i think it was set in future but dont know...
I loved it and Mysterious Cities of Gold.... aaaah... wish I could remember....

Comment by Bohana

September 1st 2009 04:49
Im with you Anonymous. I think I remember the band. But I have a vague memory of an episode where madonnas song "Angel" was playing. WOW!!! Those were the best times. Does anyone remember what nickelodeon was like back then?

Comment by Anonymous

April 10th 2010 13:22
Still the greatest 80's cartoon of all time would have to the Robotech series. Ahh the mornings i was late to school because of that show

Comment by Anonymous

April 12th 2010 22:21
I REMEMBER EIGHTIES ANIMATIONS SOME OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE LOOKING CARTOONS ANYBODY EVER LAID EYES ON WHO CAN FORGET DRAWING REAL WITH SHADOWS MORE THAN TWO DECADES AGO THEIR CREATIONS WILL LIVE FOREVER IN INFAMY

Comment by Anonymous

September 15th 2010 22:06
some of my favs.
Bionic Six (1987-89)
13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, The (1985-86)
Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986)
Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983-91)
An All-New Adventure of Disney's Sport Goofy (TV Special) (1987)
Beetlejuice (1989-92)
Captain Caveman (1980-1981)
Captain N: Game Master (1989-92)
Centurions, The (1985)
C.O.P.S. (1988)
Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers (1988-89)
Centurions, The (1985)
Challenge of the Gobots (1984)
Danger Mouse (1984-87)
Defenders of the Earth (1986-87)
Dennis the Menace (1985-86)
Disney's Gummi Bears/Winnie the Pooh Hour (1989-91)
Duck Tales (1986-91)
Dungeons and Dragons (1983-87)

And thats just some of them. Lately i have been watching these shows on youtube. There still fun to watch.

Comment by JenG

October 23rd 2010 06:56
i remember the one about the band... they go through a mirror or something in the very beginning.. i thought i was the only one who remembered that one!! Wish i could remeber the name of it though...

Comment by Anonymous

November 17th 2010 11:56
that would be kidd video

Comment by Anonymous

December 1st 2010 17:46
any one remember a cartoon that was about aliens or monsters that went to high school?

Comment by Anonymous

December 1st 2010 18:06
galaxy high and gravedale high! WOW!

Comment by Anonymous

December 1st 2010 21:33
Hey I was wondering, There was this cartoon about some young kids riding a rollercoaster to another world and they had normal everyday items as weapons? Does anyone remember that?

Comment by Anonymous

December 19th 2010 20:17
Anon: Are you thinking about Dungeons and Dragons?

Comment by Anonymous

January 2nd 2011 22:22
Does any one remember the cartoon set in space with small robots that can combine into one large robot, there is a baddie and a goody that is a White ghost like ship? From early 1980's on Saturday mornings on itv in Uk? Help it has been bugging me for years.

Comment by Anonymous

February 14th 2011 20:04
for those of us who loved horses, don't forget Wildfire. There was also Heathcliffe, Pound Puppies, Get-a-Long Gang, Shirt Tales, and I think a series of animated stories from the Brother's Grimm. And who DIDN'T cry when Optimus Prime died? Also, if anyone knows the name of the cartoon that had a boy and his best friend was a Great Pyrenese dog that would come down from the mountain to see him, could you shout it out. That was the late 80's into the 90's i beleive. There was also a version of Prince Valiant on the Family Channel around 89 to 90's that was great. I got my 10 year old nephew hooked on that and Dinosaucers.

Comment by Anonymous

March 4th 2011 14:54
I'm beginning to wonder if I dreamt a certain cartoon I remember, or if I actually watched it. My memories are a bit hazy, but it was set in a forrest, I think in America, with two farming families, and specifically two boys the same age who played and had adventures together. Towards the end of the series one of the boys got sick, and ultimately died. His friend woke up in the night thinking he heard his chum calling him to come out and play, but that was the moment the other boy died. I remember that, as a young fella, I was quite emotionally affected by that, and would love to know what the cartoon was called. Anyone else see it?

Comment by Anonymous

March 25th 2011 23:14
I'm not sure if anyone might remember the name of a show that was on either in the late 80's or possiby the early 90's. It was on saturday's. It was almost like a reality show (I think) where you wrote in about a "crush" you had on someone and they went to the school or wherever that person was and basically revealed that someone liked them etc...I keep thinkin it began with a S but I can't remember. Does anyone remember this show?

Comment by Anonymous

July 10th 2011 01:33
How about teen wolf

Comment by Anonymous

July 10th 2011 01:33
How about teen wolf

Comment by Anonymous

September 6th 2011 00:58
The author's obviously got sense. Mysterious Cities of Gold was *easily* the best and on another planet to anything else, it really transcends being just a "kids" show.

It has more complexity, mystery and darkness than most adult serials yet people still mention it in the same breath as Dogtanian and Battle of the Planets.

Comment by Anonymous

October 20th 2011 04:01
what about Thundarr the barbarian

Comment by Anonymous

January 21st 2012 15:44
I have been trying for AGES to remember the name of KIDD VIDEO !! Just knew it was about a time traveling band with a chick drummer.....now I can watch it on you tube YAY

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