If you were a child in the 80s, you got to see some excellent cartoons. If I bring them up in conversation at a party with similar generation friends, you can guarantee they have seen them and we have a fun time reminiscing. I thought I’d share with you my personal top five, so you can see what you’ve been missing.
Robot lions that come together to make a super fighting machine! The series was created using footage from Japanese animations such as Beast King GoLion (much like how Power Rangers started). Originally the team is all guys and they hang out on a planet with its own Princess. Eventually the Princess gets to fly her own lion (a blue one, the water lion). An evil King, his witch and his son make trouble for Voltron force. All the cool kids at school had the Voltron toys. I had the Princess action figure.
The best intro song and animation ever. Thundercats are escaping from their planet (it gets blown up by bad guys) and they crash on a new planet which they make their home. Unfortunately this planet is host to Mum-Ra, a scary mummy with magical powers. Each Thundercat has their own special power, which made for great make-believe playing amongst my brothers and I and any friends hanging around. I was Cheetara, whose special power was (of course) speed.
3. Inspector Gadget
Remember the spoofy spy show “Get Smart”? Maxwell Smart (aka Don Adams) is the voice of Inspector Gadget, a silly bumbling police inspector who is also a robot. His niece Penny (don’t ask me how a robot has a niece) and his dog Brain are the real heroes here, as they help Gadget solve crimes and foil the plans of the evil Doctor Claw without Gadget realising they’re helping him. Also Penny was a computer whiz ahead of her time as she used a computer book (laptop people!) and a video watch (Skype in action!). She was my idol.
2. Astro Boy
Astro Boy had it all. Robots with human feelings and souls, monster machines, exploration of robot rights and human nature, death and love. Also, a robot that could shoot bottom bullets. Awesome. Astro Boy is set in a futuristic world where robots and humans co-exist. The television program was originally adapted from the manga series by Osamu Tezuka, and aired in Japan in the 60s. The English version was made in the 80s. Astro was originally called Atom. Osamu Tezuka is regarded as the “godfather of anime”, he also created Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack. The “large eyes” style that Japanese anime is known for, was invented by Tezuka. This show (the 80s version) is a must see.
1. The Mysterious Cities of Gold
I have so much love for this show. A mix of South American history, archaeology and science fiction, the series follows the adventures of three kids Esteban, Zia and Tao as they search for Esteban’s father and the lost Cities of Gold in the New World. I held a weekend Cities of Goldfest when I was at uni, my flatmates and anyone else who dropped in watched the entire series through- and it was still just as good as I remembered. The soundtrack is awesome, the characters are great-the intriguing Spaniard Mendoza who saved Esteban as a baby but is greedy for gold, the ruthless Gomez who will do anything to get the children to lead him to the gold. There are technologies the children uncover from lost civilisations such as solar (the golden condor) and even nuclear fission. The sacrifice made at the end brought me to tears. This series is being rebooted, with a sequel series planned- I can’t wait!
Special Mention: She-Ra, Gummi Bears, The Smurfs, Ulysses 31, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
By the way, most of these cartoons are on DVD now, if you want to experience them for yourself! (I have them all except Voltron).
What were your favourite cartoons as a child? Do any of them compare to my top 5? What’s your top 5?
Featured image from here.
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Bek M has written 23 posts.
Bek is a Christian single mum and a lover of books, fatshion, computer games, social media and all things vintage. She loves watching Doctor Who and most things sci-fi and fantasy. Bek blogs her op shop finds here: onceyouop.blogspot.com.au and her experiments with fatshion here: ccurves.blogspot.com.au
Follow on twitter: @bookbek