The 2010’s: Return of the ’80’s cartoons?

6 Apr

I am a child of the 80’s.  I grew up on a myriad of cartoons, which now appear to be in the “reboot” stage.  Were they classics? Or is this, like so many movies nowadays, a desperate attempt to make things people like since there are apparently so few original new ideas?

Of course, the Nintendo Hype brought along with it Nintendo-themed shows, such as  Captain N the  Game Master (89-91) and the Super Mario Brothers Super Show! I watched these things religiously.  What was better than video games -and- cartoons? Captain N got to travel through the game wolrd and see everything, from Mega Man to Donkey Kong. And the Super Mario plumbers, though anchored in real life, did get to hop the pipes and enter the video world, too.  It was virtual reality way before VR troopers.  Along those lines, though not a cartoon, was the Wizard, a movie about a kid who got to see the world and kick ass in an inaugural tournament of Super Mario Brothers 3.  This movie was epic, in that it was a sneak preview of the actual game (not having been released yet), much like they do at modern day conventions.

So the age of Nintendo cashed in on their popularity, and I don’t know of any modern-day spin-offs for them. Conversely, it appears that a ton of my faves are rebooting, and I am so stoked to see them!
First, there are the cutsey ones like Strawberry Shortcake; Care Bears; Rainbow Brite, and the most popular re-mix: My Little Pony.

...Twilight Sparkle? Quick, cover your eyes...!

And then there’s The Smurfs.  Yes, the Smurfs are coming to a theatre near you.  Not looking forward to this one… unless Azrael gets some blue chow.
Then come the more exciting ones!

1. The Transformers TV Series.  We all know the new Michael Bay movies are making a shit-ton of money.  Yes, the movies have no plot.  But it’s not about plot! It’s about TRANSFORMERS! ❤

2. Voltron..  Hells yes, more giant robots! Slated for Spring 2011, I am hoping that Voltron Force has a more badass princess than last time.

Why does she always die? Weaksauce.

3. G.I. Joe: A real American Hero.  There have been a few movies, with the most recent being in 2009.  G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was poorly rated and barely made as much as its budget cost (IMDB).  It bid bring the Hasbro action figures back onto the stage, though!

Hells yeah. Thundercats, Ho!

This brings me to my first review.  At Wondercon, the trailer for the new Cartoon Network show was released.  To me, this trailer looks epic.  Of course, I wanted to be Cheetara when I grew up (thanks, for that great visual!).

The opening sequence of the trailer shows what appears to be Third Earth, complete with the Cats Lair.  “These were days of peace and prosperity on Third Earth,” the Narrator says.  So you think that it’s Third Earth, right?  Well, I’m not sure.  The 80’s plot has the original Thundercats on Thundera, and then everyone had to evacuate as the Plun-Darr lizards took it over.  This appears to be shown in the trailer, but wouldn’t the narrator say that it was the days of prosperity on Thundera, if this were the setting of the trailer? Or is the gnarled king we see later in the trailer Lion-o, and the youth in this, his son, who will take up his Mantle and fight alongside Lion-o’s old friends’ children?  In that case, it would be either Third Earth or New Thundera… and I’d assume it would be New Thundera since they left Third Earth at the end of the original  series.

To further argue the setting, the 80’s cartoon Cats Lair on Third Earth is carved into a mountain.  The Cats Lair that is prominent in the trailer, though, is surrounded by other houses. This leads me to think that this is indeed Thundera or New Thundera, and the voice-over writer fucked up.

The 'old' Cats Lair is carved into a mountain. The one in the preview is prominently jutting out above a city. Hm.

Then again, if it’s really Third Earth they’re talking about, that army of cats is gonna be pretty inbred.  Even with the addition of Pumyra, Lynx-o and Bengali, so few Thundercats living on Third Earth woudn’t be much for their Gene Pool.

In addition, we see characters that look like Tygra, Wiley Kit and Kat, Cheetara, and Snarf. Because of their appearance,  I am pretty sure this is some messed up alternate reality story.  And we Jaga in this preview, too.  He looks pretty alive, which could only be on Thundera or in space, according to the original series.  All these things point to it being the right characters on the wrong planet.

On a personal note, I do have an issue with the mechs and bombs in the trailer.  I know that the technology of these races includes spaceships, and I do love mechs, but there’s something about seeing giant robots fighting Thundercats that unnerves me.

All in all, I’m stoked. I hope this turns out to be an awesome series, no mater how many disconnects from the cartoon or comic books it has.

What’s next in the ’80’s Revival Cycle? He-Man and She-Ra, the Masters of the Universe?

What’s your favourite revival of the 80’s cartoon era?  What have I forgotten?

I plan to go into depth on some of these in the future, but it’ll take a while.  One series at a time!



3 Responses to “The 2010’s: Return of the ’80’s cartoons?”

  1. Edward 1 August 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    I had the same doubt… but I watch the episode a few times, and there is no indication that the planet is Thundera… well, the prologue begins with Jaga stating “These were days of peace and prosperity on Third Earth” and you see the paintings of what appears to be Lion-O defeating Mumm-Ra and the mutants (at least Mumm-Ra was native of the Third Earth, not Thundera).
    My guess is that this actually is the Third Planet, but hundreds of years in the future, and all characters are descendants of the original Thundercats that arrive from Thundera.(the whole gene poll could be explained by the arrival of survivors at some point in the time line) and the physical appearance and names are the same in a “Legend of Zelda” kind of way, where all games have the same characters and they are descendants of the originals, have the same appearance, names, abilities, etc.
    I just can’t find another reasonable explanation, it’s all because of Mumm-Ra, I mean, if they just don’t know anything about his existence, well, maybe I could go with “another version” of the original series, and if there is no Mumm-Ra, ok, they still are on Thundera.
    How would you explain his existence? he follow them to wherever they are now or something?
    I also noticed when Lion-O was in that black market, you can see a Berbil arm, you know? all metal and fur.

  2. Dom 6 May 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Funny that you mention He-Man. He already came back once in the past decade, but looks like he is due to again:


  1. thedailyrawr - 15 April 2011

    […] Districtgeek posted a great article last week on 80′s cartoons and the surge of remakes and reboots going on. I particularly liked this part on NES cartoons (and of course, the live action film The Wizard): […]

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