Remember back in your childhood era when you’re so eager to see what’s on every Saturday morning? It was the good old days in the ’80s, where sitting in front of the television used to be the order of the day. Keep in mind this happened way before the existence of the digital era like the internet, smartphone and social media. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive your childhood with these ’80s cartoon classics!
1) G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983)
Let’s face it, the two live-action G.I. Joe movies didn’t do the iconic 1983 cartoon series much justice. Despite the popularity of the series, it only ran for two seasons with a total of 95 episodes. The series also featured an animated film version in 1987.
2) He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe (1983)
The theme song, He-Man’s famous “I have the power!” battle cry, the Power Sword — these are some of the famous trademarks from the beloved ’80s cartoon series. He-Man and the Master of the Universe, which involves Prince Adam and his alter ego of the titular character saving the planet of Eternia from the evil Skeletor, ran a total of 130 episodes until 1985. The cartoon series subsequently spawned a live-action film in 1987 featuring then-young Dolph Lundgren in the title role. Unfortunately, it didn’t do well at the box office.
3) Inspector Gadget (1983)
Forget about the ill-fated 1999 movie version. The original 1983 cartoon series is still the better one out there. In case you have forgotten, Inspector Gadget revolves around the titular detective who has a body full of built-in bionic gadgets and his evil nemesis, Dr Claw. This cartoon series is also popularly known for its catchy “Go Gadget Go!” theme song.
4) M.A.S.K. (1985)
M.A.S.K. follows the crimefighting members of Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and their leader, Matt Trakker to fight against the evil V.E.N.O.M. led by Mayhem. The highlight of this cartoon series is their fancy vehicle transformations. Each vehicle from M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. has its own unique functions. For instance, Matt Trakker’s red Chevrolet Camaro “Thunderhawk” can transform into a fighter jet.
5) SilverHawks (1986)
SilverHawks is made from the same studio who brought you the hugely-popular ThunderCats a year before. The series follows a team of cyborg heroes — among them are Quicksilver, Tally Hawk and Commander Stargazer — in winged metallic suits as they fight against a force of evil led by Mon*Star. The series ran a total of 65 episodes.
6) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
Believe it or not, there are currently four different animated series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But most die-hard fans would tell you that the original 1987 series remains the best and most memorable version ever. The story itself needs no introduction. It follows a quartet of pizza-lovin’ Ninja Turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael) and their rat master, Splinter who all live in the sewers of New York City. They commonly fight their main nemesis, Shredder and his evil clan of Foot Soldiers. The theme song is just as unforgettable, with catchy lyrics that include “Heroes in a half shell” and “Turtle power!”.
7) ThunderCats (1985)
Who could have forgotten the Lion-O’s famous “Thunder… Thunder… ThunderCats… HO!!!” battle cry as well as the catchy theme song? This cartoon series, which ran for 130 episodes, revolves around Lion-O and his race of humanoid cats to protect Third Earth from the evil Mumm-Ra. This year, there was a recent announcement on a ThunderCats reboot from Cartoon Network. But fans of the original 1985 cartoon series have already expressed their disapproval due to the inappropriately cute art design.
8) The Real Ghostbusters (1986)
Not to be confused with the other Ghostbusters cartoon series released in the same year, this is the real deal. As in the cartoon series based on the 1984 supernatural-comedy blockbuster of the same name. Which explains why there’s an added “real” in this Ghostbusters title. Like the movie, this popular cartoon series follows the adventures of four Ghostbusters team members include Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore. The Real Ghostbusters ran seven seasons in total until 1991 and also contains the famous Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song from the movie.
9) The Transformers (1984)
More than meets the eye, indeed. The Transformers is easily Hasbro’s most popular cartoon series ever made. And it’s easy to see why. The story offers an interesting hook about two opposing clans of robots-in-disguise consists of Autobots and Decepticons. Each robot has the ability to transform into different vehicles or other objects such as a truck (Optimus Prime), VW Bettle (Bumblebee) and laser-beam cannon (Megatron). The cartoon series ran four seasons until 1987 and spawned a feature-length animated movie in 1986. The Transformers brand was then revived in 2007 in the form of a lucrative live-action franchise directed by Michael Bay.
10) Voltron (1984)
Here’s another unforgettable cartoon series about robots in the 80s. Voltron or full title Voltron: Defender of the Universe follows a team of space pilots who operate five respective lion robots as they battle the evil King Zarkon and Prince Lotor. The main highlight of this cartoon series is their ultimate formation into a giant robot known as Voltron. The cartoon series ran a total of 72 episodes until 1985.