Every afternoon after school I would come home and do my chores and then my homework and then watch some educational tv. Oh, who am I kidding. I would come home, forget to do my chores, ignore my homework, and watch cartoons. Yes, I was a latchkey kid. It explains so much, doesn’t it?
Here are the next ten best 80’s cartoon, according to me, in ascending order…
20. The Herculoids
Although this originally started in 1967, it did run for a bit in the eighties. I used to watch it at my Nannie’s, cause she had cable. Remember the box with the push buttons and the line that attached it to the tv? Yeah – This was on channel “push lever down, 5th button over from left”.
An interstellar family (Zandor, Tarra, and Dorno) who live on a barbarian planet strive for peace. Which they rarely find. They fight alongside their friends Gleep, Gloop, Tundro, Igoo, and Zok. Zok rocked – he was a dragon that could shoot lasers out of his eyes and tail. Igoo was an ape made of rocks. Tundro was a rhino-triceratops who could shoot rocks out of his horn. I wonder where those rocks came from? Was he shooting pieces of bone or something? Gross. Oh, and Gleep and Gloop were slimy globs.
19. The Mysterious Cities of Gold
I remember the theme music mostly. …And that there was a giant gold bird machine that these three kids flew around in. It was set some time in the past. You see, hey were looking for 7 cities. Cities made of GOLD. That were mysterious.
Opening: Condor in flight…
18. Turbo Teen
A teen, tooling around in his hot rod, goes off a cliff and crashes into a scientists laboratory where they are performing an experiment that FUSES him with his car. Then, in true scientific ways, whenever he gets hot he turns into his car, and when he gets cold he turns back into a teenager.
Me thinks that would make sex pretty uncomfortable, but whatever. We all have our crosses to bear.
A group of youngsters defend the galaxy from scary huge aliens by piloting robot lions. In times of great peril they group together to form a large humanoid robot (AND I’LL FORM …THE HEAD!). They also had a huge ass sword.
Whenever we were forced to play outside we would run around and pretend to be Voltron, Defender of the Universe. I don’t recall how we would try to connect to form the large robot, although I’m sure that if we tried it now it could be considered kinky in some way.
16. The Smurfs
There has to be an argument made for the superiority of the Smurfs. Yes, they were cute. Yes, they sang annoying songs. But they lived in a magical enchanted forest! And they outsmarted Gargamel and Azreael. And, and… they were all boys! Just boys, hanging around with each other, palling it up. Until that tramp Smurfette showed up to ruin all the school-boy fun.
She is the sister of my # 5 pick, He-Man. And she didn’t mess around with the “Power of Grayskull”. No. She did it all for the “Honor of Grayskull”. Plus, she did it all in a mini skirt and a weird headband thingy.
Also, her horse turned into a flying horse. ‘Nuff Said.
14. Thundarr the Barbarian
I remember watching this with my mother. She’s a sucker for a science fiction fantasy hybrid.
Set in a world after a major cataclysm, where magic has returned to blend with science, Thundarr the Barbarian wields his sun-sword to vanquish evil! He is aided by his Wookie knockoff, Ookla the Mok, and the beautiful sorceress Princess Ariel. I loved Princess Ariel. She threw magic bolts at people!
I longed for the toys that came along with this show. A car that sprouted wings? A motorcycle that turned into a one man helicopter? A Speedboat jeep? Come one! But no – I never got a single one. Poo.
M.A.S.K. stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. Way to teach us to spell, the 80’s. Not only was this a strikeforce of people who had transforming vehicles and fought evil, but they also all had helmets that did cool stuff. Like shrink things or float things around, or cast illusions. You know. Actual technology of the time.
12. G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe was about a special group of military personnel who fought the evil terrorist organization Cobra (they were determined to rule the world). They all had special outfits and skills. They used guns and lasers and it was very explody. Love it!
G.I. Joe was a seminal show for many little boys and girls. It taught us not to trust hissy men in veils. It taught us that if your skin turned blue in sunlight, you probably couldn’t be trusted. It taught us that if you had your own personal flight bubble you could escape from anything. More than anything else, it taught us that good guys always win. …(Go Barak!) What?
Then of course, there’s also this.
And now you know. And knowing is half the battle. G.I. JOE!
11. The Superfriends
Superman. Wonder Woman. Batman. Aquaman. Oh, and Zan and Jayna and Gleek.
A band of superheroes who live and work in the Hall of Justice and fight against the evil (I have used that word many times in this post…) forces of the Legion of Doom. Hi Lex Luthor! Hi Black manta! Hi … giant lady? Hi cat girl?
Seriously. Who doesn’t remember this show? It was my first exposure to superheroes. It gave me something to play at for years and years. And it taught me that wearing a cape aint so bad.