Never has there been a better decade for cartoons (or animated shows, if you want to sound more grown-up), than the 1980s. Not only did we see an unrivalled output of shows, with the surge in Japanese animation taking hold and influencing some of the best ideas. There has never been a better era for amazing opening credits, with awesome tunes! So here is our top 50 cartoons from the 80s.
1982 – 1983 | 1 Season | 13 Eps
SuperTed was a teddy bear found to be defective in the toy factory where he was made, and then disposed of into an old storeroom. A Spotty man found him there and brought him to life with his “cosmic dust”. He was later taken to Mother Nature and given magical powers that enabled him to fight evil. This evil invariably takes the form of Texas Pete (an evil cowboy, the antagonist of the series) and his gang; Bulk (an overweight, bumbling fool) and Skeleton (an undead, outrageously camp, cowardly skeleton with pink slippers).
1987 – 1988 | 1 Season | 65 Eps
Originally a group of 12 characters created for a series of greeting cards, The success of the greeting card line led to a Saturday morning television series, which aired on CBS for 13 episodes in the 1984-1985 season.
The Get Along Gang are a group of twelve pre-adolescent anthropomorphic animal characters in the fictional town of Green Meadow, who form a club that meets in an abandoned caboose and who have various adventures whose upbeat stories intended to show the importance of teamwork and friendship.
The show featured two duelling forces. The heroes are humans called the Lightning League who drive white and silver vehicles with assorted weaponry led by a teenager named Jayce. The villains are organic plant-based creatures called the Monster Minds who travel via large green organic vines, which can grow in and across interstellar space, and sprout seeds that grow rapidly into further Monster Minds. They are led by the very first of the Monster Minds, Saw Boss.
The show had an ongoing plot which was left unresolved, with no series finale either.
Dino-Riders was primarily a promotional show to launch a new Tyco toy line.Only fourteen episodes were produced, three of which were produced on VHS for the United States. The show aired in the U.S. as part of the Marvel Action Universe programming block.
The series focuses on the battle between the heroic Valorians and the evil Rulon Alliance on prehistoric Earth. The Valorians were a superhuman race, while the Rulons comprised several breeds of humanoids (ants, crocodiles, snakes, and sharks were the most common). Both races came from the future but were transported back in time to the age of dinosaurs. Once on Earth, the Valorians befriended dinosaurs, while the Rulons brainwashed them.
The series stars the voice of Don Adams as the titular character, and first premiered on September 12, 1983. It is the first cartoon show to be syndicated by DIC, who specifically created the series to help expand into the North American market, and the first animated series to be presented in stereo sound.
The show revolves around the adventures of a clumsy, dim-witted detective named Inspector Gadget—a cyborg human with various bionic gadgets built into his body—who is sent on missions to thwart plans by his nemesis Dr. Claw, the leader of an evil organization known as “M.A.D.”, unknowingly being assisted by his niece Penny and their dog, Brain.
1966 – 1967 | 1 Season | 100 Eps
Batfink is an American animated television series, consisting of five-minute shorts, that first aired in April 1966. The 100-episode series was quickly created by Hal Seeger, starting in 1966, to send up the popular Batman and Green Hornet television series, which had premiered the same year. Batfink was heavily sindicated and was aired heavily through the 80s.
Batfink is a bat superhero with metal wings. With the help of his aide, Karate, he fights crime in his city, usually against his recurring villain, Hugo A-Go-Go.
Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 1980 to 1983 on ABC. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.
It was the fifth incarnation of the Super Friends series following Super Friends (1973), The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977), Challenge of the Super Friends (1978) and The World’s Greatest Super Friends (1979).
These new adventures featured appearances by the core group of the five classic Super Friends (Aquaman, Batman, Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman) along with Zan, Jayna & Gleek.
Hong Kong Phooey is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and originally broadcast on ABC. It was rerun heavily during the 80s.
The main character, Hong Kong Phooey, is the clownishly clumsy secret identity of Penrod “Penry” Pooch, working at a police station as a “mild-mannered” janitor under the glare of Sergeant Flint, nicknamed “Sarge”.