Like it or not, childrens TV has had a huge part to play in the upbringing of many children these last fifty or sixty years. Each era has very much its' own "flavour" of TV and each country is rich with home grown and imported TV for children. Some are great, some are rubbish. Some hold up well even in later years, some are embarrassing.
I'm gonna list my faves from back in't'day so why don't you. Let's enjoy our childhood regression! BGG style!
My childhood is the 80s. This means that along with UK stuff I was enveloped richly in a wonderful period of Japanese imports and some groovy Japanese/French crossovers. Nothing was better than Mysterious Cities of Gold though. I now own the complete series on DVD and it really does still hold up because the story is so rich.
"In 1532 a Spanish orphan named Esteban joins Mendoza, a navigator, and his associates Sancho and Pedro, in their search for one of The Seven Cities of Gold in the New World, hoping to find his father. They are joined on their quest by Zia, an Incan girl, and Tao, the last descendant of the sunken empire of Mu (Hiva in the English dub).
The series is a mix of ancient South American history, archaeology, and science fiction. The travellers encounter the Maya, Inca, and Olmecs during their journey. They discover many lost technological wonders of the Mu Empire, including a solar powered ship (the Solaris) and The Golden Condor, a huge solar-powered would-be ornithopter (mechanical bird), capable of traveling considerable distances under the sun's power alone. They are constantly pursued by antagonists Gomez and Gaspard, who are also in search of the Cities of Gold."
It's also famous for having Phillip Schofield (the kids TV host at the time) singing over the end credits in the final episode. This is, as far as I'm concerned, the ultimate example of a kids' cartoon...But then I'm biased.
Interestingly it's proved so endearing that they're bringing it back after nearly 30 years with new series and a movie. I'm a little worried to be honest.
So an original Japanese cartoon series was released called Gatchaman. This was changed, edited a little (with violence and some rudeness removed and some new themes included) and released for Western audiences as "Battle of the Planets" which was awesome. Then Gatchman was given a straight re-release with dubbing and released as "G Force". Got it? They've both got a lot going for them and my memory blurs between the two but they're both excellent tales and ridiculously exciting to me as a kid.
"Battle of the Planets casts five young people as G-Force, consisting of Mark, Jason, Princess, Keyop, and Tiny. The question has been raised whether or not the characters were cyborgs due to their super-human agility and demonstrations of power such as the whirlwind pyramid. G-Force protects Earth from planet Spectra and other attacks from 'beyond space'. Their main ship is the Phoenix, which can deploy four smaller vehicles, each operated by one team member. A regularly featured plot device was the transformation of the Phoenix into a flaming bird-shaped craft able to handle virtually any exceptional situation by functioning as something like a giant blowtorch (called the "Fiery Phoenix"). The Phoenix’s primary weapon was a large supply of rockets. It also occasionally flaunted a powerful solar-powered energy blaster, although the team had the misfortune of choosing very cloudy days to use it."
This was just magnificent. You take some good guys - MASK, and some bad guys - VENOM. You give them each helmets with different powers such as levitation, mini rocket launchers, dart firers and so on. You then give them each a vehicle which looks normal until it "transforms" into a powered up version - for example a car that can then fly and fire laser beams, or a motorbike that becomes a helicopter, or a truck that becomes a tank. Then they fight over something, no-one dies (despite the deadly weapons everywhere) and everything ends with a moral and the good guys winning the day and standing around having a jolly good laugh at the comedy relief of a child and his clumsy robot.
It's just cartoon genius 101. It also had a series of comics (which I collected) and, most importantly, all the characters and vehicles from the series available as toys which were BRILLIANT, iconic and are now really collectible in decent condition which of course mine aren't cos I played with them loads. I probably spent more time watching, reading and playing with MASK toys than anything else (except maybe Lego) back then. Awesome.
Ah yes. Take three guys - Ace McCloud in blue, Jake Rockwell in orangey yellow and Max Ray in green (heh I still remember their names). Give them special suits. Make it so that when the open their arms and say "POWER EXTREME(eme...eme...eme...eme)" big hulking bits of hardware swing down and connect onto their suits turning Ace into either a jet pack, jet fighter or space ship....Jake into a big walking bazooka land battler, a motorbike or a drill....and Max into various scuba submarine craft.
It was brilliant. How they would get all this kit attaching to them and then they'd go to fight the crazy evil Doc Terror and his bumbling assistant Hacker. The comic book series was great too.
Centurions was a total boy's dream and we used to run around in the school playground either pretending to be Ace McCloud with our arms out like aeroplanes or Jake Rockwell with our arm out like a bazooka....But not Max Ray though cos no-one cared about him.
I'm not old enough to have watched this first time around but it was reshown a load during the early 80s. The story revolved around a guy in a bowler hat and suit (Mr Benn) who would be wandering somewhere along a street and go into a fancy dress shop. Then suddenly AS IF BY MAGIC the shopkeeper would appear and Mr Benn would try on a costume, then go through a magic door and be teleported into an adventure based around his choice of costume. Part of the charm of Mr Benn is that it's narrated rather than acted and also isn't animated but is rather a series of still images, some cycling quickly to make him walk.
It's a quaint "old" English series which my wife loves lots and so I ot her the DVD for Christmas the other year....I think I'm still in her good books for it.
This was around years before me, in the 60s. But it was always being reshown and it's just a brilliant Hanna-Barbera cartoon and, maybe blasphemously, it's my favourite. Numerous outlandish cars drive a series of races while Dick Dastardly (and Mutley) try to kill or capture or ruin the day of the lovely Penelope Pitstop. He'd always fail and either be disqualified or come last anyway. There was a great feel to the different vehicles though and everyone had their favourite - mine being Pete Perfect in his Turbo Terrific...My friend's was the Boulder Mobile driven by the cavemen.
Running completely through the 80s, Danger Mouse told the story of the greatest secret agent - Danger Mouse (a mouse with an eyepatch) who was ably assisted by his hamster assistant Penfold (crumbs!) in his attempts to thwart the evil plans of wheezing toad Baron Greenback. David Jason (Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses) voiced Danger Mouse in this groovy secret agent parody. Loads of fun, I loved it.
This was one of the first TV shows I remember liking. It was about some kind of magical dune buggy. The three crime fighters/dune buggy co-owners seemed incredibly cool to me at the time, and I dreamed that one day I would be friends with a girl who had feathered hair and a yellow jumpsuit. That never panned out, and I remain bitter.
Every morning, at 7:30am I was engrossed in Star Blazers, the coolest show I've ever seen. Still is. And, yes, I've seen all of it.
Set in the year 2199, aliens called Gamilons have reduced the surface of Earth to ashes. The pitiful Earth space fleet is no match for the Gamilons. But, the Earthmen want to fight back. A mysterious message is sent to them, plans for a warp drive and weapons, so they convert the sunken ruin of the Japanese battleship Yamato into a spaceship with a big honking gun on the front.And a message comes from Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar in the Large Magellanic Cloud that they have the technology to fix Earth's problems.
Growing up in the 60s this was our favorite show by far. Forget Star Trek (hey, I was only 6), I wanted to see ugly, hairy monsters get shot with cool ray guns. The space hillbillies, space bandits, space hotel operator, space wizard, space hippies, space [fill in the blank] were so cool. I introduced the series to my kids when they were young and the result was the same. They loved 'em. I wonder if they're too old for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? Thank you, Irwin Allen!
When a little boy who likes to draw comes to the aid of a mystical dwarf, he is rewarded with a magic crayon that allows him to draw objects that come to life. With the help of his trusty dog, he uses the crayon to perform good deeds. These are Polish cartoons; cheerful and excellent animation (not computer made). As there is no dialogue in them kids from all over the world can enjoy the cartoons. You can buy the DVDs on this site. http://www.polishfilm.ca/skok/dvds/groups/polish/z/zaczarow/...
Vuk is a 1981 Hungarian animated film, based on the novel of the same name . It is widely regarded as one of the classics of Hungarian animation. It was marketed in English-language countries as The Little Fox. The film tells the story of a little fox kit, Vuk, who ventures away from his family's den and, upon his return, learns that his entire family has been shot and killed by a human hunter. It is a sweet story with wonderful animation.
This is a hillarious and very clever Hungarian gangster cartoon. The movie opens with a Star Wars style text scroll, which tells the main situation: In year 80 AM Anno Mickey Mouse, the mice of Planet X are threatened by humiliation and total apocalypse. The well-organized, fully equipped gangs of evil cats are aiming to wipe out the mouse civilization totally, not caring for the old conventions between mice and cats. But in the last moment, when the mouse leaders are beginning to consider leaving the planet, a new hope rises... The film is a parody of several famous feature films, mainly the James Bond series. The main plot is about a special spy who is sent to the city of "Pokyo" to get the secret plan of a machine which could save the mouse civilization. Of course, the cats don't want this to happen, and send some rat gangsters to stop him, who don't always prove as efficient as their presentation showed. Many humorous sayings from the cartoon have become part of our family language. You can buy the cartoon here:http://www.amazon.com/Cat-City-Mikl%C3%B3s-Benedek/dp/B00000IYR4 It is worth it!
I have overtext 'cause everyone else was doing it.
GARFIELD & FRIENDS
Before I realized Garfield Minus Garfield was funnier than the actual strip, I used to love the animated version. Feeling nostalgic, I still watch the Christmas special when it comes on during the holidays.
I know there were two versions of the theme song, but the one I remember was "We're ready to party, we're ready. I hope you brought lots of spaghetti." At seven or eight I thought that was hilarious.
This had to be one of my top two favorites growing up. The problem was that it started the Saturday morning cartoons at way too early am. The solution: sedjtroll and I always stayed up "late" to watch it, then went to bed afterwards.
"Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? "
Jonny Quest (I'm talking about the 60's classic, not the lamebo 90's remake.)
Definitely in my top 10 list of greatest cartoons of all time, as well as one of the coolest themes. Complete series available on DVD. Some of it has dated badly, but is still enthralling in spite of that.