Well, I’m pretty pumped and excited for the re-release of The Transformers and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero on DVD (this was all discussed HERE, by the way), so now I’m thinking about what 80s cartoons haven’t seen the light of day on DVD and should. It’s actually a harder list to come up with than you would think. Virtually every major cartoon from the 80s has hit DVD, but I still found a few gems…
Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983-1990, NBC)
Though they’ve done a few collections over the years, each one with a theme, but where the heck are the season sets? Unfortunately, Bagdasarian Productions (owners of the Chipmunks) & Paramount seem content to carry on with these theme releases, having just released a 5-episode DVD collection entitled “The Mystery of the Easter Chipmunk”. I guess they wouldn’t be releasing these small collections if they weren’t selling, but hopefully, this year’s sequel to the CGI/live action movie will cause the powers-that-be to give some thought to a proper season/volume set to one of my all-time favorite saturday morning cartoons.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989-1991, syndication)
Yeah, yeah, I know, everybody hates DiC. While the Sunbow Productions version of G.I. Joe is the “real” Joe series that most of us remember fondly, in 1989, DiC got the rights to continue the show after Sunbow wrapped up production in ’86.
New characters and drastic makeovers were all a part of this series, which only lasted two seasons. I remember catching it on USA’s Cartoon Express and thinking it was pretty lame. A GOLD Destro? That sucks. The show strayed too much from its military roots and put a lot more emphasis on sci-fi and colorful outfits, but being that I am a completist, I want to see this show released (I recapped an episode HERE).
To my knowledge, DiC holds the rights to this show still. Maybe they can come to terms with Hasbro in light of the live-action movie coming out and get this one on the shelves.
Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling (1986, CBS)
Okay, Hogan needs to come back to WWE just so they can put this one out. The cool thing about this show is that it’s totally owned by World Wrestling Entertainment. If they wanted to put it out tomorrow, they could. But being the marketing savvy people they (usually) are, they obviously don’t wanna throw this show out there without having Hulk Hogan on the roster to draw some attention to it. Not that Vince McMahon is sitting around wishing he had a good reason to release this on DVD (in fact, I’d bet he probably has forgotten it even exists), but coming to terms with Hogan for another short run would great improve the chances of a DVD release.
The original run was on CBS, but I remember watching it on The Family Channel right alongside Fun House and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Kidd Video (1984-1985, NBC)
I honestly didn’t remember this show until coming across that saturday morning cartoon advertisement, but once I YouTubed the show’s intro, it all came rushing back to me. I remember liking this show well enough and there’s only 26 episodes, so what the heck? Give us a $20-25 “The Complete Series” set and you’ve got my money.
Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (1984-1990, CBS)
The crown jewel of what is yet to be released on DVD, in my opinion. Muppet Babies is such a classic show. Unfortunately, most (all?) of these episodes will probably never get a release because of their extensive use of footage from TV show and movies. It’d be a legal nightmare and more trouble financially than it would be worth to get many of these shows signed off on.
Still, it would be happy days if this ever hit DVD. I HATE random episode collections, seasons are the only way to go, but for this show considering licensing rights, I’d settle for it.
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends (1981-1986, NBC)
I was born the year this show debuted, but I remember catching the reruns on NBC (the original run lasted only from ’81-’83) and even now it’ll pop on up Disney XD/Toon Disney/Jetix/whatever they wanna call it today. Again, throw me a nice complete series set (only 24 episodes were made) for a low price.
I think the show is very underrated. They didn’t just settle for Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar. They made great use of the entire Marvel Universe with TONS of cameos. I even owned Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends #1, which was the only comic produced based on the series.