Saturday, July 08, 2006

Unique Cartoons from my 1980s Childhood

Cartoons I watched as a child that are relatively unique to the 80s.


  • Smurfs (of course classic smurfs, and then the ones with the grandpa, and the three children, etc.)
  • Snorks (Underwater smurfs, but of course a whole lot of fun, a definite favorite)
  • Thundercats (Lionel, Tigra, Panthera...I loved it)
  • Scooby Doo (I only later enjoyed these mystery stories, as a child found them pretty boring)
  • A Pup Named Scooby Doo (gotta love baby scooby)
  • Pound Puppies (thinking of little dogs...I even had a homemade pound puppy...thanks mom)
  • Alvin and Chipmunks (I love the whole gang, including the girl chipmunks. Simon was my favorite)
  • Wuzzles (I think I had a wuzzles book, plus I had an Eleroo stuffed animal...of course Eleroo was a combination between an Elephant and a Kangaroo. Other characters included BumbleLion, Better Bear, Rhinokey, Moosel, Hopopatamus, and Koalakeet)

  • Dangermouse
  • Mighty Mouse (I liked Mighty Mouse more than Dangermouse)
  • Ducktales (my favorite...I love this whole franchise, I don't even know why)
  • Tale Spin (It was okay, kind of trite I suppose)
  • Darkwing Duck (I never was in to this, I didn't get it)
  • Fraggle Rock (not really a cartoon, but close enough)
  • Garfield and Friends (always thought the friends were more interesting than Garfield. I like the guy inside the egg and the pig, but not the duck)
  • Heathcliff (definitly more fun than Garfield)
  • Ispector Gadget (A definite favorite, Penny and Brain are the coolest)
  • Maya the Bee (I get the theme song stuck in my head when ever I ever meet someone named Maya, but I never tell them)
  • Paw Paw Bears (does anyone remember these? They were Indian bears with a magic totem pole)
  • Gummi Bears (I'd only watch this when Disney did there free trial runs)
  • Ghostbusters (I have friends now whose parents didn't let them watch this show because it dealt with the occult...yikes!)
  • Shirt Tales (I recognize the characteres more than I can remmber the TV show)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of course Donatello was my favorite)
  • Captain Planet (what type of super power is Heart?)
  • Muppet Babies (I loved that you only saw Nannys green socks, Roulf was the coolest, Kermit was annoying)
  • Poppels (did I ever watch the show, or do I just remember the toys)
  • Adventures of Johnny Quest (to be honest, I never got it)
  • Adventures of Little Koala (do you remember this, I loved it, it was so warm and fuzzy)
  • Babar (I liked the books too)
  • Kwicky Koala (I even named a stuffed animal after this character, mostly because I thought his name was Kool)
  • Bernstein Bears (the books were much better than the Television show)
  • Denver, the Last Dinosaur (kind of a wierd show, not a favorite)
  • The World of David the Gnome (kind of wierd too)
  • Wacky Races (do you remember, the bad guys would only occasionally)

Pictures above (top to bottom) are from The Snorks, Wuzzles, Paw Paw Bears, and Shirt Tales

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28 comments:

Susan M said...

Speed Racer
Star Blazers

mullet said...

rc - what a trip back in time! gargamel in his castle haha! ta for your reply on my blog - in case you don't read it....i pretty much was praising the 'less is more' attitude...talk talk talk - masters of it - where's the good in it?

Stanley Kubrick said...

I can;t believe you watched so many shows and called me addicted on my blog.

Wendy said...

Oh man I watched so many of these shows. My favorite by far was the Smurfs. I was addicted to that show.

Jim said...

I was a child of the seventies, so I didn't watch any of these... except Scooby Doo which is that old. I used to hate that show, but my brother loved it.

But Susan M mentioned Speed Racer, now there was a cartoon!

anastasia said...

I'm a big Tom and Jerry fan, and of course, any Bugs Bunny, to me, that's when cartoons were really good. Thanks for coming by my blog, do come again!!

Kimberly Ann said...

RC, you missed My Little Pony and Barbie & the Rockers! I think there were more cartoons for kids in the 80's than there are today? Did anyone watch the Disney's Channel's Dumbo Circus? I loved that one as a kid, but as I reflect on the show, it was really, really wierd...

2complx said...

I loved these shows. Duck Tales was my favorite too even my grandfather who hattes cartoons watched this every day after school. Pound puppies I had one of those man that show stunk fad. Tale Spin was cool I always liked pirates and these flew man that was cool. I could keep going but Donatello also my favorite. All my friends liked Ralphael the best.

Emma said...

I'm going to sound SO slow, but could someone explain to me how tags work?

Janet said...

I was never much of a cartoon watcher myself, but when I did watch my faves wee Smurfs and Jem, hands down.:)

Jordan M. Poss said...

Smurfs, Ducktales, Gummi Bears, Darkwing Duck, Fraggle Rock, Garfield and Friends, Muppet Babies were all favorites. Tale Spin and Inspector Gadget were the best, though. I especially liked Tale Spin, because my dad is a pilot (never mind that virtually everything they do on Tale Spin is completely impossible). Another favorite--one of the few things I'd still go out of my way to watch--was Batman: The Animated Series. That cartoon rocked.

MCF said...

Lionel was the Jefferson's son' Lion-O was Lord of the Thundercats. ;-D

My 80s top three would be Transformers, Voltron and G.I. Joe--surprised none of those made your list. I also liked Orbots, Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, Inhumanoids, and He-man.

I liked the Disney afternoon too, specifically Ducktales, Darkwing Duck and Gargoyles. Gargoyles was amazing for a Disney cartoon. Very dark and mature, and drew heavily from Shakespeare and mythology. Darkwing was good for a superhero fix but a Gizmoduck spinoff might have made more sense. He still had a fun rogues gallery. Muppet Babies were fun too.

BTAS was great and started a series of great Bruce Timm DC cartoons; it was actually early 90s though.

I agree about Heathcliff over Garfield. I liked the second half with Mongo, Wordsworth and the rest of that gang.

I actually don't remember some from your list like Maya, the koala ones and Paw Paw bears. When you say Ghostbusters you mean The Real Ghostbusters or the filmation one with the ape and Phantasm? The real one was definitely better.

I never got past the theme song to Denver, which always got stuck in my head(and seems to be there now...)

Loved TMNT; definitely Donnie followed by Raph. The new series is so much darker and closer to the comics that I'd probably have a hard time watching the old eps.

Sorry for the long comment; I've watched a LOT of cartoons in my life, especially in the 80s. Great post! =D

Jack Yan said...

Danger Mouse was great. I still remember Jamie and the Magic Torch, but that was the 1970s. The Family Ness may have been the 1980s: about the Loch Ness Monster and her clan.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Rainbow Bright and He-Man were also good!

jasdye said...

somebody mentioned that there were more 'toons back in the day than now. well, at least in terms of childhood shows (remember, many of the cartoons on CN are for adults), yes.

there was a bit of a competition among the networks to get as much cheap animation on tv - esp. saturday mornings, when we baby busters would be at our sugary highest and ready to get our parents to buy us the merchandise side of the 'toons. (not that my family could or would...) this trend lasted from about the late '70s to the late '80s i believe. the networks than started focusing on cheap news shows. than nbc started its whole Saved by the Bell and cheap live action pre-teen comedies.

some curiosities:

i may be able to understand why you didn't include Superfriends (probably in your mid-20's, right?), but why not GI Joe or He-Man (or She-Ra for that matter)?

Gummi Bears were on nbc mornings, so was an animated version of Fraggle Rock for a bit.

what the flip is a Paw Paw Bears?

RC, you liked the mysteries in scooby doo more as you were growing older? did i miss a subtext to that show?

good memories, though. thanks.

JW said...

I'm just happy somebody else remembers Danger Mouse. I just found out that that show is out on DVD too, I need to pick it up. I used to watch it as a kid and then later stayed up absurdly late (I could have woken up absurdly early) to watch it in college.

Probably my favorite cartoon ever.

Also, kind of random, does anyone remember that Seven Cities of Gold (or whatever it was called) show?

JW

fictiondepartment.blogspot.com

RC said...

everyone seems like a lot of people love the smurfs and ducktales...what made these shows work?

some of you mentioned some of the more male shows...since i usually watched cartoons with my younger sister, we stayed away from GI Joe and He-Man, as well as the more female shows like Jem, Rainbrow Brite and My Little Ponies. Occasionally we might catch a little bit, but we stayed more with the gender neutral programming. Like the great Paw Paw Bears...ha!

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

pfangirl said...

Oh, man, I remember all of those... clearly children of the 1980s around the world were exposed to similar cartoons... and I totally agree that today there are far less cartons on TV for kids. Cartoon Network's Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter's Lab and Foster's Home for Imaginary Freinds remain the best of today.

Some others: Bravestar, She-Ra, The Wombles, Ghostbusters (the one with Tracey the gorilla), The Racoons, Strawberry Shortcake.

Gummi Bears remains a superb timeless classic, and my favourite cartoon from the 1980s. My mother has shown some episodes to the grade 1s in her class and they loved it! I wish they'd hurry up and release the series properly on DVD...

As already mentioned, Batman: The Animated Series and Gargoyles were the best of the early 1990s 'mature' cartoons.

mullet said...

The Smurfs worked for me because of blonde smurfette...the only female! What about X-Men? can't remember if that was the late 80's or the early 90's? Although not an 80's toon...but watched throughout the 80's...wile.e.coyote, bugs, daffy, yosammity sam, speedy gonzales, leghorn foghorn etc.. kinda timeless - my own son watches these.

pfangirl said...

The X-Men cartoon series was also superb. Thanks, Say No, I forgot about that...

Another gender neutral show that I loved- the animated Ewoks series.

Ando said...

Wow...that takes me back. Those were some great shows. I had forgotten about a lot those. But never forget, "in a every wish and dream and happy home, you will find the kingdom of the gnome." Especially one voiced by Tom Boseley.

Will said...

RC, I think it came out in the 90s, but I thought the animated Batman series was incredible. Such great story-writing.

For some reason (probably having two older sisters), I never really got into cartoons too much. I would watch shows with them like Who's the Boss, Different Strokes, Fresh Prince, Cosby Show, Silver Spoons...stuff like that.

Wanna post on sitcoms you watched as a child? I'd be able to interact a little more with that.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember FuFur or however you spell it? He was a blue hound dog and was only on for one season. I remeber being devestated when it went off the air.

Anonymous said...

I just saw this post while looking back into my favorite cartoons. Lots that you listed I remember well. I was searching "Kidd Video" (rock band being chased by Master Blaster in the Flipside). And "Kissifur", "Rambo", "Gem". Also does anyone remeber a cartoon with big mechs/robots. People were inside the head controlling the mechs? I don't think it's voltron etc. This was a big red metal mech with straight horns, had a male driver and then there was a big pink metal mech, think the mech had a female-like chest with a girl driver. Not sure, only saw it a couple times. May have been an anime movie. thanks

Kat said...

Paw Paw bears was a fond memory of mine...what happened to that awesome show?

PBoxes said...

Does anyone remember a cartoon about a guy and his giant mech? The guy would drive around in his flying pink car-like vehicle, and when he called his mech, the pink car would fly into the chest of the mech.

As a kid, I kept asking why this guy's vehicle was pink.

Anonymous said...

Paw Paw Bears was awesome. A few years ago, I was wondering what the name was and kept asking people. People thought I was crazy. I am a teacher and thought I could use it for teaching what a totem pole means in a tribe. I think I just wanted to see it again. It was one of my favorites. I am going to try to find it, since I have the name. Thanks, Mka the teacher

benjaminz_98 said...

the two giant robots, one piloted by a guy and the other pink robot by a girl.....Tranzor Z. I think is the american version

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