Back when I wrote my reviews of the second 1960’s and 1970’s Saturday Morning Cartoons DVD volumes from Warner Home Video I commented that I wanted to see a 1980’s volume. I am happy to say that they answered fan requests by releasing a set full of cartoons from that era, although the actual execution of the set isn’t quite what I was hoping for.
The 1980’s were a prime decade for me to watch cartoons. I started the decade at age 2 and ended it at 12. There’s a lot I remember. Unfortunately… very little of this set resonated with me, and instead felt like just leftovers from the Warner Bros. cartoon vault.
On the bright side, an episode of The Flintstone Kids is on the set. That one I definitely watched, especially liking the Captain Caveman and Son segments. And, as I had hoped, as painful as it is to watch, the Mister T cartoon is found on here. It’s really bad but it still evokes a feeling of nostalgia. But everything else? Maybe I wasn’t watching the same stuff as everyone else, but I never heard of Goldie Gold or The Biskitts and can surely find better representations for a Child of the Eighties than The Kwicky Koala Show or The Misadventures of Ed Grimley. It was interesting to see Chuck Norris Karate Commandos again; though I don’t think I watched it back in the day, I remember the commercials.
I admit that most of my cartoon watching of the 1980’s involved toy or other media tie-ins, which might explain why those cartoons are not present. Since Warner Bros. has absorbed the Ruby-Spears library, I’m sad that at the very least The Centurions wasn’t on this DVD set. Even though Thundercats and Silverhawks have had their own releases, THOSE were certainly watched by kids my age.
More 1980’s tie-ins like the cartoon where Fred and Barney meet the Schmoo, or even those episodes of Scooby Doo where Shaggy has a red shirt, even if Scrappy is in them, would have been welcome. I know THOSE are in the WB library. What about The Snorks? Or the Smurfs for that matter?
Instead, unfortunately, as I said earlier in my review, this set felt like just remainders of shows that don’t have their own DVD releases, and I admit I was pretty disappointed.
I love the concept of doing “best of” sets from the 1980’s, but I know that if I myself – a 32 year old whose nostalgia buttons are so strong that I still buy G.I. Joes – didn’t get too excited by it, I don’t see how many others would be, either. I think I might even have better choices when watching an afternoon of the Cartoon Network or Boomerang. At the very least, menu screens that look like the “CBS Saturday Supercade” or something like that would have made the mood so much better, but even that seemed to be asking for too much.
Lists of the episodes are on the discs, but an actual booklet or list of the included cartoons would have been nice as well. Then I wouldn’t have to sit through some of the… not so good features of this set.
A bonus feature on this 2-disc set is a retrospective on Thundarr the Barbarian; because that one was kind of before my time, it didn’t really resonate with me, even though I do give it props for the fact that comic book legends such as Jack Kirby were involved. Maybe if I had watched the show more as a kid it would have meant more; the episode of the cartoon featured on this set was decent, especially the opening titles which talk about an apocalypse in the far-future year of… 1994.
Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980’s can be purchased at stores everywhere as of today (May 4), or you can purchase it and support this site by ordering from Amazon.com. Even though only a few of the cartoons featured on this set were for me, perhaps some of them were more popular in your 1980’s household.