Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Kick off the covers and grab your Fruity Pebbles...

I ran across this list of "The Best 80's Cartoons You Forgot About".  It's impressive but it it does lack a few key shows...

Dungeons and Dragons (1983)
In this cartoon adaptation of the then-popular role playing game (before RPGs became video games... although I guess you can still buy the books and dice) a group of kids are happily riding a roller coaster when they are suddenly sucked into the medieval world of Dungeons and Dragons.  (Remind me to stick to the Tea Cup ride.)  The Dungeon Master appears and acts as their guide (although he rarely really helps) and gives them each a weapon or garment identifying them as an RPG archetype for the duration of the show.  Of course, their goal is to get home as fast as possible because they can't play Frogger in a world with no electricity.

Heathcliff (1980)
Heathcliff was "the other Garfield" when I was little.  I loved Garfield and Friends but Heathcliff had much kookier adventures, which sometimes involved The Catillac Cats (riff-raff who lived in the dump and ALSO had kooky adventures).  Every week Heathcliff would "terrorize the neighborhood" "playing pranks on everyone!"

Ducktales (1987)
Part of the "Disney Afternoon", Ducktales was amazing.  I envied Huey, Dewey, and Louie because they got to go on fantastic adventures with Uncle Scrooge, Launchpad McQuack, Webby and Mrs. Beakley. There was a multi-episode storyline where Uncle Scrooge raced against Flintheart Glomgold
to maintain his status as the richest duck in the world.  It made me squeal like nobody's business when it came on.  It was the perfect mix of Indiana Jones and the Goonies... a-mah-zing!

And now for, what may be, my big favorite three (in no particular order):

Kidd Video (1985)
Kidd Video was the lead singer of a "real world" band.  In the opening sequence (see below) they wake up and hurry to Kidd's garage (I think it was his) for a practice session.  But, OH NO, Master Blaster appears in a floor length mirror (did you have one of those in your garage) and sucks them into the Flipside!  There, a fairy with terrible allergies, saves them and changes their Subaru Brat into a HUGE Kiddmobile.  Each episode involved them freeing someone from Master Blaster's clutches while trying to find a way back home.  (See Dungeons and Dragons, above, for basically the same premise.) Aye aye aye!

Count Duckula (1988)
Nickelodeon brought this one over from Great Britain (thankfully).  Set in Transylvania, the previous Count Duckula has just died and Igor the Butler brews a potion to resurrect him.  But instead of blood he grabs ketchup and when the Count revives he's a vegetarian... whoops!  Comedy ensues!  Nanny was always the scene stealer, causing havoc wherever she went (which is probably why she always wore a sling on her arm).  This one might have had the catchiest, most-disco'y theme song of all time.

Jem and the Holograms (1985)
Jerrica Benton lost her mother long before the series began and, if memory serves, looses her father right before it begins, leaving her in charge of Starlight Music and the Starlight Foundation (a home for orphaned girls).  Jerrica has a big secret though.  When necessary she can pinch her earrings and call on Syngery, a holographic computer designed by her father to be the most dazzling entertainment system ever.  Syngery can then, through holographic projection that could transmit through the air to wherever Jerrica was (I think through a transmitter in the earrings but I'm not 100% on that), transform Jerrica into Jem... rock goddess!  Jem and the Holograms (the other girls in the band, who also help run the orphanage) are constantly battling The Misfits (a dirty, heavy-metal inspired girl group) who are the minions of Eric Raymond, once half-owner of Starlight Music.

As an added bonus here's the second intro for the show (I vaguely remember this, although it does not have the rock quality of the original.)

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