80s Flashback! Totally Rad Cartoons (and Theme Songs) You Grew Up With that your Children Need to SeeMonica Bielanko
Saturday morning, 6am.
Trix, Lucky Charms, or Cap’n Crunch?
These are the big decisions of one Monica Butler, age 9.
Sometimes she’d sail the milky cereal waters with the Cap’n but most of the time she was a Lucky Charms girl. It was the call of the marshmallows that always got to her. And damn if the Cap’n had more crunch than was generally comfortable on a human mouth … the roof of her mouth felt sore for hours after every session with the diminutive sailor.
Older brother Brandon? He was a Trix man for sure. But most of the time these kinds of decisions didn’t have to be made as there was generally only a giant plastic bag of generic Fruit Loops in the cabinet. Those Fruity-O’s weren’t fooling anyone. Add a splash of the powdered milk we had to resort to until the next batch of food stamps arrived and nobody was all that excited about breakfast time.
But, as soon as the morning line-up of cartoons kicked on, generic cereal and powdered milk were all but forgotten. By the power of Grayskull, those cartoons made everything better.
However, as I’ve recently discovered, Hollywood has come along and tried to ruin the naive purity of these gems from my childhood. The adorable Strawberry Shortcake is much sexier now. Smurfette will forever be linked with pop tart Katy Perry and, what with Tupac recently performing at Coachella 16 years after his death, holograms aren’t just the creation of Jerrica Benton and her futuristic holographic computer, Synergy, but a very real thing.
Oh well. Step back in time with me, won’t you, as we reminisce about a simpler era when cartoons didn’t sport cleavage and the scariest thing on the small screen was Gargamel plotting against the Smurfs or Dr. Claw maniacally laughing after growling: “I’ll get you Gadget. Next time!”
Scooby Doo 1 of 16Scooby Doo rocks my world. Always has, always will. Shaggy and Scooby are better than Holmes and Watson, Abbott and Costello... This was no ensemble cast, this was all about Shaggy and Scooby, man. I couldn't wait for the team to split up and let Fred, Velma, and Daphne go their own way so Shag and Scoob could get it on with whatever ghost was haunting them.
This theme song is heaven
Click here to buy Scooby Doo on DVD
My Little Pony 2 of 16I'll be damned if I can even remember the plot to this one but PONIES! ... with long, beautiful hair! I distinctly remember being the proud owner of a purple pony whose hair I would braid and unbraid more often than I'd comb my own locks.
Click here to listen to the My Little Pony theme song. YOU WILL DIE!!! Violet was sitting here while I watched it and now she won't let up about watching "the
Click here to buy My Little Pony on DVD
Jem and the Holograms 3 of 16Like, oh my gosh! How totally rad was Jem? And so futuristic and stuff! Read this description of the cartoon and you will totally die! If, like me, you never paid attention to the technical aspects of how Jerrica Benton turned into Jem, you will love reading the plot synopsis now.
Click here to watch the Jem theme song opener
Click here to buy Jem on DVD
Voltron 4 of 16I watched this one because my brother was older and always had control of the TV (this was before remote controls, mind you), so having control of the TV meant getting up and changing the channel, but yeah ... Voltron featured a team of five young pilots who operated robot lions which could be combined to form Voltron which then, of course, defended the universe from evil. Like, DUH. What else would a giant robot created from robot lions do?
Click here to watch the Voltron opening
Click here to buy Voltron on DVD
Alvin and the Chipmunks 5 of 16Before movie remakes that featured computer generated chipmunks, there were these three lovable fellas.
Click here to listen to the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme song. Total flashback!
Your Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD options are endless
Looney Tunes 6 of 16Looney Tunes were hands down the best thing going as far as cartoons in the eighties go. Just featuring each character could be a whole slideshow in and of itself. But, I have to say, the snarky, clever Bugs Bunny has always been my favorite and Pepe Le Pew was always my least favorite.
When this theme song came on, all was right with the world.
Oh my! Someone buy this Looney Tunes Golden Collection for me
Transformers 7 of 16Before Megan Fox was shaking her moneymaker for the silver screen, the Transformers were thrilling children all over the world. My brother once received a transformer for Christmas, Megatron, the bad guy, I believe it was. He prided himself on how quickly he could transform the robot into the gun. He actually made me time him with a stop watch and he and his friends would race to see who could do it the fastest. Good times.
Click here to listen to the Transformers cartoon theme song
Get your reminiscing started by purchasing this DVD
Rainbow Brite 8 of 16
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9 of 16The turtles are still on the radar, probably because there've been so many remakes and what not, but I remember being thrilled to hear turtles talking like surfer dudes.
Click here to listen to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, heroes in a a half shell, TURTLE POWER!
Click here to buy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles original series
Care Bears 10 of 16I recently wrote about how the Care Bears are Hollywood's newest remake target. The bears will be computer-generated, of course, and I must admit, I'm getting a little tired of all the computer-generated crap. Anyway, Grumpy bear was my favorite, for obvious reaons.
Click here to see the Care Bears theme song
Click here to buy the Care Bears Care-A-Lot Collectors DVD
He-Man 11 of 16By the power of Grayskull! He-Man, the master of the universe, was a huge part of our Saturday mornings. Looking back I am totally rolling over the little Dutch boy haircut and skimpy ensemble. He belongs on the cover of a Harlequinn romance novel as opposed to fighting Skeletor.
Click here to watch the He-Man opening theme. I have the power!
Get your He-Man party started by purchasing the first season here
She-Ra 12 of 16In a nod at gender equality, shortly after He-Man arrived on the scene, She-Ra started kicking ass. She's supposed to be He-Man's twin sister and much like Superman coming from Krypton, there is a whole He-Man/She-Ra back story.
Click here to watch She-Ra's opening theme song
Purchase She-Ra: Princess of Power here
Inspector Gadget 13 of 16Loved me some Inspector Gadget but always got a little frustrated over how stupid he was. I mean c'mon, Penny and her trusty dog Brain were the ones solving all the crimes.
If you don't already know the Inspector Gadget theme song, I'm not sure we can be friends.
This slide will self-destruct!
Buy your Go Go Gadget Collection here
The Smurfs 14 of 16I remember being really into Smurfette. Isn't that weird? Like, slap some heels and blonde hair on a weird little blue critter, and I thought she was hot stuff. Go figure. I think that's the Barbie syndrome. Which, gross. Still, I totally loved The Smurfs and have yet to see the new movie. I like to remember them from the eighties, I'm old school like that. And Katy Perry will never equal the stunning beauty that is the Smurfette of my memory.
This was the Smurf theme song? I have no recollection of this.
Purchase the Smurfs here
Strawberry Shortcake 15 of 16In Googling around for the original Strawberry Shortcake, I realized there've been remakes and, of course, Strawberry Shortcake is all sexy and stuff. Whatever. I'll always have fond memories of my strawberry-scented doll. I had Lemon Meringue, too. Oh! Oh! Remember The Purple Pie Man?!
Click here to watch the Strawberry Shortcake theme song
Buy the original Strawberry Shortcake here
Thundercats 16 of 16This was another cartoon I watched because big brother controlled the television. I don't remember much except for the cats are human-like aliens that fight bad guys. I remember the theme song more than anything else. Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thunder CATS!
Click here to listen to the Thundercats theme song
Click here to purchase Thundercats
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.
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