I don’t remember much of my childhood, but what I do remember are the Saturday morning cartoons that occupied most of my downtime.  I grew up watching Transformers, Voltron, Thundercats, and G.I.Joe.  But there were also many other shows that loved watching including: Thundaar the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons, Zone Riders, MA.S.K., and Silver Hawks.  There were almost hundreds of cartoons that took up Saturday mornings and after school TV airtime during the eighties.  I’m just gonna give you some of my favorites.

One of favorite cartoons was Star BlazersStar BlazersThis one really stood out for me because of the awesome space battleship, the Argo.  It was an old sunken battleship retrofitted to be a spaceship.  The cartoon was based on the old Japanese anime called Space Battleship Yamato.  The series began in 1979, it ran two more seasons in the 1980’s.  I was just a kid, about seven, when I started watching this show.  I really loved the galactic space battles and when they fired the huge space cannon on the Argo, it really blew me away.  Right then and there I knew I was hooked on these types of shows.

Many of my favorite shows aired right after school.  When school was over, I ran home and sat in front of the television and began watching Thundercats, Voltron, G.I. Joe, and Transformers.  They were only just half hour shows, but I didn’t care.  The storylines were great and the action made them even better!  Robots that changed into cars, and planes; huge mechanical lions that combined into one huge robot; ferocious felines that fought a mummified creature; and heroic soldiers that battled evil bad guys; this WAS a boy’s ultimate dream.  These cartoons shows let me experience a universe where the good guys always win no matter how tough the obstacles are.  My room was filled with action figures based on the shows that I loved to watch.  He-Man figures, Transformers toys, and the Voltron Lions.  You name it, I probably had them.  My favorite toy that I had was Castle Grayskull.  I used to play with that for hours.  My mother used to get angry with me because I was watching so much television.  She would say that watching too much television would rot your brain.  I didn’t care, I couldn’t miss any of my shows! I had to see what would happen to my heroes!  Each year there would be a few new shows on television.  I would get very excited about that.  On Saturdays, Dungeons and Dragons, Thundaar the Barbarians, Silver Hawks, and Battle of the Planets would come on.  I was introduced to a different kind of heroes.  Most of my favorite shows like Silver Hawks and Battle of the Planets got there style of animation from the Japanese anime cartoons.  I thought they were done beautifully.  Another one of my favorite shows was Dungeons and DragonsDungeons and DragonsIt is the perfect example of fantasy; dragons, wizards, and warlocks….oh my!!.  Dungeons and Dragons was one of the reasons why I got into the world of everything nerdy.  It is what made me into who I am.

Thundaar the Barbarian, The Zone Riders, Bravestarr, Black Star, M.A.S.K. Bionic Six, and TMNT were my favorites on Saturdays.  I can’t go into each one of them in detail, because it would take too long, but they definitely hold a special place in my heart.  I always loved the shows that were more fantasy than based on actual people.  You know what I mean, WWF Superstars, Mr.T and Friends, and the Harlem Globetrotters.  The only show that I did like that was not action oriented and not reality based was the Smurfs.  Yes, I liked the blue people.  I even had some the figures as well.  Laugh if you want, but I was going through a strange phase.

In the 1980’s, many cartoon shows delivered a wide variety of characters that were based on movie and videogames.  Games like Pac-Man, Q-Bert, Donkey Kong, Pole Position, and Dragon Quest were made into cartoons.  A movie like Ghostbusters was also an example that was made into a cartoon.  It was a free for all to any movie or game that became successful, that it would branch out and become a cartoon.  Many of these movie or game-based cartoons flopped on the small screen.

If I can say one thing, the 1980’s had some of the best cartoons of all times.  The originality and the storytelling were magical.  I miss those times.  The only way you can see those cartoons again is on DVD or YouTube.  I will tell you this; it helped me through some tough times.  I didn’t have a lot of friends and I wasn’t much of an athlete.  The only sport I played through school was tennis, and played in the school band.  Watching these shows allowed me to escape to a place where the good guys win, the underdogs always wins, and to always be yourself.