In the ‘80s, boys properly hated girls as cootie-infested monsters and girls, well, who knows what they were thinking. The battle of the sexes was fierce, constant and without quarter.
However, there was one area of détente, where boys and girls could come together: cartoons. What follows are the worst and best of the decade.
Worst: Obviously the SNORKS go without mentioning. I have not seen a bigger rip off since HOME ALONE 2. Even the freaking voices were the same. And also, THE GUMMI BEARS. This was a loathsome show, with a terrible theme-song, that made fun of the portly. (They were so mean to Tubby Gummi. Grrr.)
Now the best.
#6 DUCK TALES – “Life is like a hurricane…here in, Duckburg…” You have to hand it to Disney. They took what could be a crass attempt to cash in on the Donald Duck legend and turned it into solid gold. Scrooge was fascinating, the nephews were fun, and did somebody say Dark Wing?
#5 SHIRT TALES – Okay, get this: miniature versions of a tiger, panda, orangutan, some sort of mole (I’m going from memory) and a raccoon all lived inside a tree in the middle of the park. How cool is that? But it gets better. The Shirt Tales spent their time fighting crime to keep harmony between the animals and the humans, and even had little cars and little airplanes. I wish I was a Shirt Tale.
#4 TALE SPIN – Featuring Baloo the bear (and the woman who loved him) and her little one Kit Cloudkicker. Sounds like an Indian Ninja. The deal is that Becky ran a business making deliveries by cargo plane, but there are bad guys trying to stop them. Get this: Shere Khan is a business tiger now! I saw an episode recently and TALE SPIN surprisingly holds up pretty well. Wouldn’t mind having the DVD. (And if you’re really interested one of my readers runs a Fan Fiction website you can find here.)
#3 CARE BEARS – Before they ruined it with those stupid non-bear animals the Care Bears ruled. Care-A-Lot just seemed like a swinging place, you know? Their little cars were cool, the girls were hot, and even though nobody got killed, this was a great show. Animation was great too.
#2 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. Possibly the greatest theme song of any cartoon in history. I know that’s a bold statement, but can you think of any better? The Turtles came out of a very dark comic from the ‘80s I collected, and when they made their transition to TV all cute and cuddly I initially thought I would hate them. But they simply won me over. Leonardo was my favorite, although who couldn’t vibe on Michelangelo’s surfer dude? The new version just sucks and worst yet: they changed the theme song!!! Here’s the best praise I can give: this is a boys’ cartoon and yet girls loved it. That has to tell you something.
And the number one cartoon for both boys and girls….
#1 SMURFS – There can’t possibly be an argument here (except for those people who think the Smurfs are evil and devil-worship, and let’s not even get started on those whack-jobs). The Smurfs symbolized everything right with the world. They got along well with each other. They were helpful, even Brainy when he had to be, they all listened to their wise leader, Papa. They all shared Smurfette…Okay, that one was a joke. Aside from the glaring inconsistency of how Papa begot all those smurflings without any chicks (remember: Smurfette was a creation of Gargamel), the Smurfs were perfect. They even had great idioms, using “Smurf” for everything! Makes you want to say “La La La La la la, la La la la
Up next: the most special list yet.