CARTNS OF THE 80s
An in depth look at some of the most popular Cartoons of the 1980s
Around the World with Willy Fog (Original Spanish title La Vuelta al Mundo de Willy Fog) is a cartoon version of Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne in the same vein as Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, and like that series produced by BRB Internacional. The characters are anthropomorphisms of various animals, Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original book by Jules Verne) himself being a lion and Romy (Aouda) and Rigadon (Passepartout) being cats. The series was broadcast on TV Asahi in Japan in 1987, with episodes 14, 18, 21 and 22 deleted from the Japanese series run. The title of the series in Japanese is Dobutsu 80 Nichikan Sekai Icho ("Animals Around the World in 80 Days")... more here
Bananaman is a British comic book fictional character. He originally appeared in Nutty as the backpage strip in Issue 1, dated 16 February 1980. Becoming the comic's most popular strip, Banaman was promoted to a three-page colour strip on Nutty's front and middle pages, and subsequently a two-page colour strip when Nutty merged with The Dandy comic in 1985. The strip has appeared intermittently since, and is running as of 2005, now a three/four page colour strip drawn by Steve Bright (and before that Tom Paterson and Barry Applesby)...more here
Button Moon was a popular children's television programme broadcast in the United Kingdom in the 1980s on the ITV Network. Thames Television produced each episode which lasted ten minutes and featured the adventures of Mr. Spoon who, in each episode, would travel to Button Moon in his homemade rocket-ship. Once on Button Moon (which hung in "blanket sky") they would have an adventure, and look through Mr. Spoon's telescope at someone else such as the Hare and the Tortoise, before heading back to their home planet 'Junk Planet'. Episodes would also include Mr. Spoon's wife, "Mrs. Spoon", their daughter, "Tina Tea-Spoon" and her friend "Eggbert". The series ended in 1988 after 91 episodes...more here
The Care Bears are a set of characters created by American Greetings in 1981 for use on greeting cards. The original artwork for the cards was painted by artist Elena Kucharik. In 1983, Kenner took the characters and made the first in a line of very successful teddy bears based on the Care Bears. Each Care Bear comes in a different color and with a specialised insignia on its belly: for example, "Bedtime Bear" is pastel blue and sports a sleepy-looking anthropomorphised crescent moon, and "Cheer Bear" is pink with a rainbow insignia. A spin-off collection, called the Care Bear Cousins, feature stuffed monkeys, lions, and other such animals in the same style as the teddy bears...more here
Charlie Chalk was a Stop Motion animation produced in the 1980s in the UK by Woodland Productions, the creators of Postman Pat and other children's television programmes. It tells the story of Charlie Chalk - a jolly clown who, after falling asleep whilst fishing out at sea, ends up on a strange island by the name of Merrytwit (as explained in the title sequence before each episode)...more here
The Mysterious Cities of Gold (Japanese: 太陽の子エステバン; Taiyō no Ko Esteban , French: Les Mystérieuses Cités d'Or) is an animated television series produced by Studio Pierrot. It was a French/Japanese co-production which originally aired in Japan on NHK (the national public broadcaster) in 1982, and in France and Belgium in 1983 on Antenne 2. It was also shown in Britain on Children's BBC, and a few years later in the United States on the Nickelodeon cable network, in Australia on the public broadcaster ABC, TV2 in New Zealand, in Iceland on RÚV, in Portugal on RTP, as well as in Sweden...more here
Count Duckula is a fictional character, an anthropomorphic vegetarian vampire duck in the animated television series of the same name created by British studio Cosgrove Hall, and a spin-off from DangerMouse, a show in which an evil version of the Count Duckula character was a recurring villain. The series first aired on September 6, 1988. In all, 65 episodes were made, each about 22 minutes long. The complete first series was released on DVD on the 17 July 2006 [U.K.]...more here
DangerMouse is a British animated television series which was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films. It features the eponymous DangerMouse, a British mouse that works as a secret agent. The show is a loose parody of British spy fiction, particularly James Bond and the Danger Man series starring Patrick McGoohan. The eponymous hero wears a rakish eyepatch and his chest is prominently emblazoned with the initials "DM". This causes problems for those translating the series into other languages, where a literal translation of the words "Danger" and "Mouse" do not share those initials; the Scots Gaelic version, for example, calls the series (and the lead) "Donnie Murdo" (two given names unconnected either with mice or danger). The Slovenian translation omitted the DM initials entirely, however, dubbing Danger Mouse Hrabri mišek ("brave mouse")...more here
Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds is a cartoon version of the classic Alexandre Dumas story of D'Artagnan and The Three Musketeers. Most of the characters are anthropomorphisms of dogs, hence the title of the cartoon. The main exception to this are the temptress Milady (a cat), Pip, Dogtanian's sidekick mouse, the birdy jewel thief Blue Falcon, Planchet (a bear), Dogtanian's main servant, and one pig from the Cardinal's guards...more here
DuckTales is an American animated television series produced by The Walt Disney Company starring characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe as largely created by Carl Barks. The series is notable for being the first Disney cartoon to be produced for syndication, and for paving the way for future Disney cartoons, such as Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin. It also spawned a spinoff series - Darkwing Duck. The five-part pilot serial first aired on September 18, 1987, while the one-hundreth and final episode aired on March 11, 1990. A feature-length movie was released in theatres on August 3, 1990...more here
The Family-Ness was a British cartoon series produced in 1983 by Peter Maddocks, of Maddocks Cartoon Productions, who later went on to produce Penny Crayon and Jimbo and the Jet Set in a similar style. It was first broadcast on BBC One from 5 October 1984 to 28 March 1985. It concerned the adventures of a family of Loch Ness Monsters and the MacTout family, particularly siblings Elspeth and Angus. The 'Nessies' could be called from the loch by the two children by means of their "thistle whistles". The series was followed with a large collection of merchadising including annuals, story books, character models and even a record. The single "You'll never find a Nessie in the Zoo" was written by Roger Greenaway and Gavin Greenaway, but never made it into the Top 40...more here
Fraggle Rock was a children's television series with a total of 5 seasons and 96 episodes running from January 10, 1983 to March 30, 1987. The series was created by Jim Henson, primarily featuring a cast of Muppet creatures called Fraggles, with music by Philip Balsam and Dennis Lee. The vision of Fraggle Rock articulated by Jim Henson was to depict a colorful and fun world, but also a world with a relatively complex system of symbiotic relationships between different "races" of creatures, an allegory to the human world, where each group was somewhat unaware of how interconnected and important they were to one another. Creating this allegorical world allowed the program to entertain and amuse while seriously exploring complex issues of prejudice, spirituality, personal identity, environment, and social conflict. Fraggle Rock generally refused to over-simplify any individual issue, instead simply illustrating the consequences and inherent difficulties of different actions and relationships. Though the Fraggles do learn important lessons, they rarely are aware that they are learning them. The ideals of friendship, being true to yourself, and learning to love those who are incredibly different, were the cornerstone of Jim Henson's work throughout his 40 year career, and he considered Fraggle Rock to be one of the purest and most successful expressions of that vision..more here
He-Man ("The Most Powerful Man in the Universe") is a heroic
fictional character in a toy series called Masters of the Universe ("MOTU") and
the various spin-off products and media related to it. The most prominent is the
animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, produced by Filmation
Studios. The syndicated series premiered in 1983 and ran until 1985, for a run
of 130 episodes. In the series, He-Man and his friends defend Eternia and the
secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of Skeletor... more
Inspector Gadget is an animated television series about a clumsy, absent-minded, and oblivious detective, Inspector Gadget, who is a human being with various "gadgets" built into his anatomy. Gadget's main nemesis is the mysterious Dr. Claw, leader of an evil organization known as MAD. This was the merchandising company DiC Entertainment's first syndicated cartoon show, and ran from 1983 to 1986 in syndication. This article pertains to the original cartoon series and its characters and plots; for information on its later spinoffs, see Inspector Gadget spinoff incarnations... more here
Jamie and the Magic Torch was a British children's animated television series, made by Cosgrove Hall, running from 1976 to 1979. It was based around the young boy of the title and his torch, or flashlight. When shone on the floor, the torch opened up a hole into a fun dimension called Cuckoo Land... more here
Jimbo and the Jet Set (often shortened to simply Jimbo) was a
British animated cartoon series in the 1980s, featuring the adventures of the
eponymous Jimbo, a talking aeroplane. Created by Maddocks Cartoon Productions,
it originally ran for 25 episodes between 1986 and 1987.
The proviso to the cartoon is that Jimbo was originally intended to be a Jumbo Jet, but his designer couldn't tell the difference between inches and centimetres, resulting in his diminutive size...more here
King Rollo was a children's character created by David McKee in 1979, starring in a series of books, animations (narrated by Ray Brooks), and a comic strip in the magazine Buttons. In all, thirteen episodes of the animation were produced in 1985, by McKee's own King Rollo Films... more here
Penny Crayon is a children's television series that was produced
for the BBC in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.
Penny Crayon is a schoolgirl who loves drawing. Wherever she goes she always carries her magic crayons. Whatever she draws comes to life, and usually causes trouble for her and her best friend Dennis, until the drawing is erased or washed away.
Penny Crayon is voiced by comedienne Su Pollard. Dennis is voiced by Peter Hawkins... more here
Pigeon Street was an animated children's television series
originally shown on the BBC in 1981. There were two series with eight and five
episodes respectively, each programme lasting ten minutes.
Voices were done by George Layton, with additional voices by John Telfer. Music was by Benni Lees, and played by Soulyard... more here
Postman Pat is a BBC stop motion animated children's television series aimed at pre-school children, concerning the adventures of Pat Clifton, a postman in the (fictional) Yorkshire village of Greendale (inspired by the real valley of Longsleddale in Cumbria)... more here
The Raggy Dolls was a 1980s British cartoon series for children,
following the adventures of a motley collection of rejects from a toy factory,
who lived in the reject bin.
The series was created by Melyn Jacobson, and produced for Yorkshire Television from 1987 to 1989. The episodes were written and voiced by Neil Innes, who also wrote and sang the theme song... more here
Robotech is a science fiction franchise that was launched by an 85-episode adaptation of three different anime television series. Within the combined and edited story, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive Extraterrestrial invasions... more here
Roobarb was an animated television show for children, shown on BBC
ONE just before the evening news. Each cartoon, written by Grange Calveley and
animated by Bob Godfrey, was about 5 minutes long. Thirty episodes were made,
and were first shown in 1974.
The theme is that of the loving rivalry between Roobarb the dog and Custard the cat from next door... more here
SuperTed is a Welsh language animated television series from the
United Kingdom that first aired on 1 November 1982. It was commissioned by Welsh
television channel S4C, and later dubbed into English. The series won numerous
awards, including the 1987 BAFTA for best animation. It was also produced by
Siriol Animation and Kalato Ltd in association with Abbey Home Media.
SuperTed is the creation of Mike Young, who now works out of his studios in California, USA, along with his wife, Fiona. SuperTed was created as a bedtime story for his young son, who was very afraid of the dark... more here
Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic teddy bear invented by Ken Forsse, Larry Larsen and John Davies. He was first produced in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder. Teddy would move his mouth and eyes as he read stories via a standard audio tape deck built into his back. There was also a companion toy named Grubby which connected to Teddy via a cable; this allowed the two some (minimal) interaction. As well, there were several other non-animatronic companion toys and characters such as the bird-like Fobs, a hand puppet with a sock-like, extendable neck... more here
Thomas is a fictional anthropomorphic tank locomotive created by the Rev. W. V. Awdry in his Railway Series books, made into the British children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and its American spinoff Shining Time Station... more here
ThunderCats is an American animated television series developed by Rankin/Bass and distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1983 based on the characters created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf. The animation was provided by Pacific Animation Corporation, the working name for a collective of Japanese studios prominently including Topcraft, a group who would later go on to form Studio Ghibli. Season 1 of the show aired in 1985 (65 episodes), followed by a TV movie entitled ThunderCats - HO! in 1986. Seasons 2, 3, and 4 followed a new format of 20 episodes each, starting with a five-part story; these aired from 1987 to 1988, 1988 to 1989, and 1989 to 1990, respectively... more here
The Transformers was an American animated television series depicting a war between giant robots who could transform into vehicles, animals, and other objects, created as a marketing vehicle for the toyline of the same name... more here
Upon TMNT's first arrival in the United Kingdom, the name was
changed to "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" (or TMHT, for short), since local
censorship policies deemed the word ninja to have excessively violent
connotations for a children's program. Consequently, everything related to
the Turtles had to be renamed before being released in the UK. The lyrics were
also changed, such as changing "Splinter taught them to be ninja teens" to
"Splinter taught them to be fighting teens.".. more
Ulysses 31 (宇宙伝説ユリシーズ31, uchuu densetsu yurishiizzu 31) is a Japanese-French anime series (1981) which updates the Greek and Roman mythology of Odysseus (known as "Ulysses" in Roman Mythology and "Ulysse" in French, hence the name) to the 31st century. The show comprises 26 half-hour episodes and is produced by DiC Entertainment... more here
Willo the Wisp is the name of a British 1980s cartoon series.
Kenneth Williams provided voices for all of the characters. These included:
Willo the Wisp, the narrator. A blue floating ghost-like creature, Willo had a long pointed nose which caricatured that of Williams.
Arthur the caterpillar (as a gruff cockney).
Mavis Cruet, a plump fairy with erratic magical powers.
Evil Edna, a witch in the form of a walking, talking television set who could zap people with her aerial.
Carwash, a snooty bespectacled cat (as Noel Coward).
The Moog, a brainless dog.
Twit, a small bird.
The Beast, who began life as a dim prince before an unfortunate encounter with Edna ended up with his transformation into a hairy shambling creature... more here
Around the World with Willy Fog (Original Spanish title La Vuelta al Mundo de Willy Fog) is a cartoon version of Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne in the same vein as Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, and like that series produced by BRB Internacional. The characters are anthropomorphisms of various animals, Willy Fog (Phileas Fogg in the original book by Jules Verne) himself being a lion and Romy (Aouda) and Rigadon (Passepartout) being cats... more here
The Wuzzles is an American animated television series created for Saturday morning television, and first aired on September 14, 1985 on CBS. An idea of Michael Eisner for his new Disney television animation studio, the Wuzzles are animal creatures composed of half of one animal and half of another. Only 13 episodes of The Wuzzles were produced, making it the shortest running animated series produced by Disney. More episodes were planned to be made, but they were never made due to the death of Bill Scott (the voice of Moosel)... more here