Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Cartoons of the 80's

Last week we visited the sitcoms of the 1990's. This Throwback Thursday, we're jumping back a decade to the cartoons of the 1980's.

(And, as always, you can check out any and all of these shows from the Mentor Public Library. We’ve even linked to our collection so you can put them on hold wherever you are.)

Let's start with some a hard truth: Not every 80's cartoon deserves to be remembered. Some were lousy spin-offs of live-action shows with ridiculous premises. (I'm looking at you, Gilligan's Planet. And you weren't much better, Laverne & Shirley in the Army.) Others were barely concealed toy commercials—even more so than He-Man. (They seriously made a Rubik's Cube cartoon.)

But the 80's also gave us a lot of fun shows that you can enjoy all over again.

For example, if you like talking animals, you have an entire zoo from from which you can pick favorites.

You can choose between Gummi Bears and Care Bears, My Little Pony and The Thundercats. (You picked Thundercats, right?) Or you can borrow them all.

My personal favorite of the lot is Garfield & Friends. And you can even fast forward through the U.S. Acres segments if you want. (Just kidding, we love Orson.)

The 80's also had a bevy of cool cartoons with heroines that young girls (and boys too) from any decade would like: Penny from Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Jem & the Holograms and, of course, She-Ra.

This decade was also the golden age of the Robots Turning Into Other Things genre. Voltron, Transformers, Gobots—no robot was just a robot. It was also a sports car and a microwave oven.

And, finally, you have those cartoons that defy definition like The Smurfs. Seriously, what are they? Are they tiny blue primates? Super-intelligent insects? Some sort of fungi? Eh, whatever, the theme song is catchy.

(True story: I thought The Smurfs and California Raisins were related when I was kid. It made enough sense. They were minuscule, similarly hued and solved most of their problems with music.)

What was your favorite cartoon from the 80's?

Come back each week for a new Throwback Thursday profile.

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