Everybody remembers the Transformers, He-Man, Duck Tales, GI Joe, The Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, etc. etc… we grew up on all that. But there were a ton of other cartoons that maybe didn’t last as long, or had an interesting story that most people are unaware of.
These are in no particular order. These are in no particular anything else either. This list is by no means comprehensive. These are 10 cartoons hand picked by Zeb and Aba to showcase on Episode 54 of the Triple B Podcast as examples of 80s and 90s cartoons that just don’t get enough shine in our opinion. That is all. All descriptions are direct from Wikipedia. Don’t believe us? Look it up. Why would we lie.
To the list!
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa is an American animated television series created by comic book artist Ryan Brown, known for his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It aired as part of ABC‘s Saturday morning lineup. First broadcast on September 12, 1992, the show ran for two seasons of thirteen episodes each.
An irradiated comet struck the late 19th century Western plains creating a miles high mesa shrouded in clouds. Everything trapped on top of the mesa was “cow-metized” by the light from the “cow-met” and “evolved” into a “bovipomorphic” state. Inspired by old tales of the Wild West, this new bovine community developed to the point where they emulated that era’s way of life, including the requisite ruffians and corrupt sheriffs. Marshal Moo Montana, The Dakota Dude & Cowlorado Kid.
Biker Mice from Mars is a science fiction action animated series created by Rick Ungar that began airing in 1993, in the United States and lasted for three seasons. It follows three anthropomorphic mice motorcyclists named Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie who escape a war on their home planet Mars before arriving to defend the Earth from the evil that destroyed their homeland (the Plutarkians) and to one day return to Mars. The mice’s signature weapons consist of a cestus and a laser (Throttle), a bionic arm (Modo), and flares (Vinnie). Despite the frequent battles, no blood is shown, no firearms are used and many villains are monsters, aliens, and robots.
Street Sharks is an American-Canadian animated series about the adventures of crime-fighting half-man/half-sharks. It was produced by DIC Entertainment and aired from 1994 to 1997, originally as a part of the Amazin’ Adventures lineup. It was created to promote an existing Mattel toy line of the same name. The creators were David Siegel and Joe Galliani of Mr. Joe’s Really Big Productions.
A university professor named Dr. Robert Bolton and his partner Dr. Luther Paradigm created a machine known as the “gene-slammer” which is capable of changing aquatic animals into anthropomorphic hybrids by combining their DNA. In his attempt to prevent Paradigm from using this machine for personal power, Bolton is transformed into an unseen monstrosity, but escapes. Later, Paradigm gives Bolton’s four sons John, Bobby, Coop, and Clint the likeness of four different sharks. When Dr. Paradigm captures their friend Bends, the resulting “Street Sharks” rescue him and combine Paradigm with piranha DNA (for which he is often nicknamed “Dr. Piranoid” by other characters).
Bump in the Night is an American animated series by Danger Productions (later co-produced and distributed by DIC Entertainment) that was filmed using stop-motion animation and aired on ABC from 1994 to 1995. It was created and directed by Ken Pontac and David Bleiman. The series was then broadcast on Toon Disney from 1998 to 2001.
Mr. Bumpy is a small green, purple-warted monster living under the bed of a ten-year-old boy, where he eats dirty socks and dust bunnies as if they were delicacies. His best friends are Squishington, a blue monster that lived in the bathroom’s toilet tank; and Molly Coddle, a Frankenstein’s monster-like rag doll belonging to the boy’s sister who acts as the straight man to the other’s crazy antics.
ReBoot is a Canadian CGI–animated action-adventure television series that originally aired from 1994 to 2001. It was produced by Vancouver-based production company Mainframe Entertainment, Alliance Communications and BLT Productions. The animated series was created by Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson, Phil Mitchell, and John Grace, with the visuals designed by Brendan McCarthy after an initial attempt by Ian Gibson. It was the first half-hour, completely computer-animated TV series. A sequel series, ReBoot: The Guardian Code, was in production as of 2015.
The series follows the adventures of a Guardian named Bob and his companions Enzo and Dot Matrix as they work to keep the computer system of Mainframe safe from the viruses known as Megabyte and Hexadecimal. The setting is in the inner world of a computer system known by its inhabitants as Mainframe. It was deliberately chosen due to technological constraints at the time, as the fictional computer world allowed for blocky looking models and mechanical animation.
Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea (French: Les Mondes Engloutis, “The Engulfed Worlds”) is a French animated series created by Nina Wolmark. The series consists of 52 episodes, each between 20 and 25 minutes in length, divided into two 26-episode seasons.
The lost city of Arkadia (named for Arcadia) resembles a small Alderson Disk, and is home to an ancient civilization which escaped a Great Cataclysm in the ancient past by relocating deep within the Earth’s crust. Unaware that life continued on the Earth’s surface, and hoping to keep their people safe, the elders sealed all records of their past in the city’s Archives.
Arkadia survives by the light of an artificial sun, the Tehra (Shagma), which is dying. A group of young Arkadian kids and teens defy the law and enter the Archives. With information about the world above, they create a messenger, Arkana, and send her above to find help.
Arkana encounters two children from the surface, Matt and his sister Rebecca, and brings them back through the underground strata (which seem more like separate worlds or dimensions, with one strata even being the distant future) to save Arkadia. They travel in a living turtle type spaceship called Tehrig, along with Spartakus (a mysterious wanderer) and Bic and Bac (a pair of pangolin-like creatures), Arkadia’s mascots.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is an American animated television series based on the movies Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (from 1978) and Return of the Killer Tomatoes (from 1988). It aired on Fox Kids from September 8, 1990 to November 23, 1991.
The series picks up five years after The Great Tomato War (much as the film Return Of The Killer Tomatoes did), where tomatoes are banned. However that has not stopped Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen from engaging in his experiments. Gangreen’s ultimate goal is to rule the world and he will not let anyone stop him. Tara Boumdeay, a tomato turned human, runs away from Gangreen, taking along her ‘Brother’, the fur-covered F.T., whom she passes off as a dog. They befriend Chad Finletter (nephew of the Great Tomato War veteran, Wilbur Finletter) who, after saving the pair from a tomato attack, gets Tara a job at his uncle Wilbur’s Tomatoless Pizza Parlor. She shares their secret with Chad regarding the two of them being tomatoes and Chad vows to help them against whatever Gangreen has planned.
The original film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was released by Four Square Productions in 1978. A parody of the giant menace movies of the 1950s, it became a cult hit and predated the movie-spoofing disaster film Airplane! by two years. The Killer Tomatoes might have remained in that genre had it not been for an unlikely intervention from an equally unlikely source. During the 1986-1987 season of Muppet Babies, there was a segment in the episode “The Weirdo Zone” upon which Baby Fozzie deals with how he once faced an ‘Attack of the Silly Tomatoes’. The segment used clips from the movie and concluded with Baby Fozzie using a giant-sized ketchup bottle to capture the Silly Tomatoes (he told bad jokes and the large tomatoes launched themselves at him, only to be caught inside the bottle when he ducked out of the way). It became one of the higher-rated episodes of the season, so much that New World Pictures (the owner of Marvel Productions, which made Muppet Babies) approached Four Square about making a sequel to Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.
Ghostbusters (later called Filmation’s Ghostbusters) is a 1986 animated television series created by Filmation and distributed by Tribune Entertainment, based on Filmation’s 1975 live-action television show The Ghost Busters. It is not to be confused with Columbia Pictures‘ 1984 film Ghostbusters or that film’s subsequent animated television show The Real Ghostbusters. When making their film, Columbia Pictures needed to obtain rights to use the name from Filmation.
The success of Columbia’s (unrelated) film spurred Filmation to resurrect their own property, producing an animated series based on the characters from the earlier TV show. This animated series ran from September 8 to December 5, 1986 in daytime syndication and produced 65 episodes. The series is technically called simply Ghostbusters, but home video releases used the name Filmation’s Ghostbusters to avoid confusion.
Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr. are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action series of the same name; Tracy the Gorilla worked with their fathers. Their headquarters, termed Ghost Command, is located in a haunted mansion nestled between a number of tall skyscrapers (which resemble the World Trade Center‘s Twin Towers in New York City) They are supported by a number of secondary characters including Ansa-Bone, a talking skull phone; Skelevision, a talking skeleton television; Belfrey, a pink talking bat; and Ghost Buggy, their talking ghost car. They occasionally enlist the aid of Futura, a time travelling Ghostbuster from the future, and Jessica Wray, a local TV news reporter. Together, they have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of the evil ghost wizard Prime Evil and his cast of henchmen. Prime Evil’s headquarters, termed Hauntquarters (which resembles the British Houses of Parliament complete with a Big Ben-esque clock tower), is located in The Fifth Dimension. In a typical episode, Prime Evil uses his magical powers to open up a wormhole to enable one or more of his henchmen to complete a particular scheme that serves to help him take over the world.
Youth center worker Stanley Burrell (Hammer’s real name) owns a pair of magical dancing shoes (which are alive and can speak), which when worn cause Burrell to transform into the superhero Hammerman. He frequently gets advice from his “Gramps”, who was a former owner of the shoes and was known as Soulman. While in the guise of Hammerman, Burrell was dressed in MC Hammer’s signature purple parachute pants and myriad golden chains.
The show was hosted by the real MC Hammer, who also sang the show’s theme song, telling about the origin of Hammerman. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Gramps (real name unrevealed) was the superhero Soulman, but as he grew older, he grew weaker and was forced to retire. Gramps and his granddaughter Jodie traveled to find the next new superhero. Their search was over when they met Stanley and he put on the shoes. Each episode, Hammerman faced various social issues; at the end of each episode, a puppet version of the magic shoes would speak to a live child audience and provide methods the children could use to address these issues themselves.
X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men (commonly known as Pryde of the X-Men) is an animated television pilot originally broadcast in 1989 on the Marvel Action Universe television block, featuring Marvel Comics’ mutant superheroes the X-Men. The pilot aired infrequently in syndication, and was later released on video. It later served as the basis for Konami‘s X-Men arcade game.
The title is a pun on the name of Kitty Pryde, the youngest of the X-Men. The series that this episode was intended to launch never materialized; Marvel Productions would have to go back to the drawing board for 1992’s X-Men. Funding for this pilot actually came from the budget for RoboCop: The Animated Series. Instead of making a 13th episode of RoboCop, Marvel Productions decided to use their funding to have Toei Animation produce the animation for this pilot. The pilot itself is most specifically influenced by issues #129-139 of Uncanny X-Men.
Shortly after this pilot was delivered, Marvel started having financial issues (New World Pictures, who purchased the Marvel Entertainment Group or MEG from Cadence Industries in 1986, sold MEG in January 1989 to the Andrews Group) and stopped work on just about everything but Muppet Babies. This pilot effectively marked the end of the Marvel animated universe created by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises/Marvel Productions, which began with Fantastic Four (1978) and continued with Spider-Woman (1979), Spider-Man (1981), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981) and The Incredible Hulk (1982). The X-Men themselves had previously guest starred in several episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, although that particular series isn’t necessarily in the same continuity as “Pryde of the X-Men”.
Honorable mentions: MASK, Go Bots, She-Ra, The Littles, COPS, The Snorks, Denver, The Last Dinosaur, Heathcliff. (there’s a million more)
So what do you think of the list? Have anything to add? Think we’re off base in assuming people don’t remember these? Hopefully we were able to spark a little bit of nostalgia. Let us know how we did in the comments!