Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s Volume One DVD Review–Retro Fun Like No Tomorrow
So the folks out at Warner Brothers sent me a copy of the Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s Volume One DVD to cover, and it says a lot that I actually remember when half this stuff was new. But the fact that I remember it at all suggests what the whole point of this volume is–it’s both a history lesson for those who haven’t seen these yet, and a fantastic dose of nostalgia for those who may have but can’t quite remember it.
You’ll get a phenomenal amount of television in this package, with episodes of major Saturday morning franchises like The Flintstone Kids (which was a huge part of the ABC lineup before they got in bed with Disney) and The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley as well as the Mr. T show (which were parts of NBC’s array). But also included are other franchises that got new life on cable (like Thundarr the Barbarian and Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos, both often found on Boomerang, the retro offshoot of Cartoon Network), and franchises that are, even to me, largely unknown like The Monchichis and Tex Avery’s final work, The Kwicky Koala Show.
Most of these titles have, sadly, not aged well. I never remembered Chuck Norris being part of something this preposterous, and even small children can spot the plot holes in certain parts of Ed Grimley’s routine. No, seriously–they DID. It was part of the plot. And as the DVD will make plain to the viewers, the original footage isn’t exactly in the best of shape any more. You’ll actually see artifacts in some of the shows, and it’s clear that these might well be the last surviving instances of these shows.
But I suppose my memories of the eighties are somewhat dulled by the passage of time. And yet, that’s all part of the fun. Whether you’ve never seen the cartoons of the eighties (and let’s face it–Saturday morning cartoons are a dying breed), or you remember them, you’ll get something out of this.
And there’s such an incredible variety of possibilities here–there are episodes of most every kind of television show the eighties offered here. It’s a great history lesson, and if you remember this stuff, great nostalgia.
Thus, the Screenhead Ten Scale gives this wide variety of classic television choices a seven out of ten. Sure, some of them barely acknowledge reality (jump the shark? Mr. T used to PUNCH them. And the sheer force of the blow sent them flying thirty feet or more!), but still, there’s some great old stuff here, and such a great variety that chances are everyone will find something here.