I feel sorry for the kids of today. Yeah, they are growing up in a time of unprecedented technological advancement, where they can carry computers in their pockets, listen to virtually any song they like at the press of a button and watch anything on demand WITHOUT adverts. But let’s face it, they have missed out on some great 80s cartoons.
As a responsible father, I wanted to pass on knowledge of such cartoons so they can have the same golden experiences that I had as a child. I had it all planned out: they would cherish them and we would sit enjoying them together.
Except… they didn’t like them!
The Real Ghostbusters (1986-91)
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: It’s a masterpiece! It’s a classic! It’s a kids favourite.
Although there was early promise…
… it didn’t quite catch on and my work was not quite complete. It hasn’t been watched since and has been rejected in favour of tripe such as Lego Friends, some cartoon about mermaids and Waffle the Wonder Dog.
Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors (1985)
Yes, ‘Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors’ was created as a way to sell toys. I know that now. But as a kid it didn’t matter – it simply had everything an 8 year old boy could wish for:
- Son pining of legendary father!
- Awesome vehicles, chases and battles!
- Robotic side-kick!
- Han Solo-esque mercenary!
I was certain that our son would love it too, but he’d prefer to watch someone called Ballistic Squid play Minecraft on YouTube.
Looking back I was probably a nightmare for my parents: I loved cartoons based on toy brands and for some reason I seem determined to punish myself by encouraging it with my own children.
Passing this love of ‘Transformers’ down to my kids started well – when our eldest was three I bought him his first transformer Bumblebee and when he was five he watched the first cartoon series.
He liked it, but he lost interest as he grew up. The terrible movies haven’t helped, and although Transformers remain everywhere (Optimus Prime soon joined his toy Bumblebee) it’s not something he’s wanted to revisit.
M-M-M-MASK! Is the mighty power that can save the day!
M-M-M-MASK! No one knows what lies behind the masquerade!
M-M-M-MASK! Always riding hot on V.E.N.O.M.’s trail…
Come see the laser rays…
…Yeah my kids didn’t get half as excited about the theme tunes as me. Oh well.
Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles (1987-96)
Kids can be cruel. I’ve often spoken about my love of the Turtles and our 9 year old just laughs and says they are for babies.
FOR BABIES?! What sort of monster have I raised?
Out of all these cartoons, I think the Turtles had the most enduring appeal throughout my childhood. I loved the toy figures (sorry mum and dad, again) and I still remember the strange smell of the plastic figures and the thrill of getting up early on Christmas to complete my set by unwrapping Raphael.
I also remember collecting the stickers and having a green Turtles jumper that I adored. But it was the cartoons that I enjoyed the most and I was certain my kids would think the same.
But no, that stuff is for babies. My kids prefer watching Captain Underpants.
Any that I’ve missed?
The 80s really was an amazing time for kids cartoons and if I was listing my favourites the list would have gone on and on.
However my childhood memories can only take so much punishment and I simply haven’t risked letting my kids watch the likes of Thundercats and Dungeons & Dragons as well. I’ll keep them to myself.
But what about you? Are there any cartoons you really enjoyed as a child but your kids aren’t interested in at all?