Five years ago on this very blog I made a couple of posts about ’80s cartoons that I wanted to see on DVD. I thought it’d be fun to look back and see where things stand now, so here’s the rundown as to what’s been released since on video/streaming since then…
Alvin and the Chipmunks – Still no full season releases but there are TONS of DVD sets out there featuring various episodes loosely tied together by some type of theme (movie spoofs, holiday, the Chipettes, etc).
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – This would the DIC series (also known as Series 2) that ran from 1989-1992. Shout! Factory released the series in two season sets back in 2012. My thoughts on the show are here and here.
Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos – Warner Bros. has a cool online store called the Warner Archive Collection. Basically, instead of going through the cost of mass producing DVD for shows & movies and then getting them into stores such as Target or Walmart, they manufacture them on demand as orders come in. They’ve also started a subscription streaming service. They specialize in releasing rare and obscure TV shows and movies. They hold the rights to a lot of Ruby-Spears cartoons so when they announced in 2011 that Karate Kommandos was available, I quickly picked it up and you can read about that here.
M.A.S.K. – The entire series was released in one box set back in 2011. It was, and still is, pretty expensive so I still haven’t bought it.
Pac-Man – Released in 2012 through Warner Archive.
Dragon’s Lair – Released in 2011 through Warner Archive.
Mister T – Released in 2011 through Warner Archive.
It’s Punky Brewster – The show never received a DVD dedicated to itself entirely but all but one episode (due to licensing rights) were made available as bonus features on the DVD releases of the Punky Brewster live-action show.
Superman – This is the short-lived 1988 cartoon produced by Ruby-Spears. It was released on DVD in 2009. My thoughts here.
Still not available:
Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling – I always assumed WWE owned the complete rights to this show but I discovered in my research that WWE shares the rights with a company called DHX Media. WWE is back on good terms with Hulk Hogan… so what are they waiting for?! Give us a DVD release! Honestly, I think by this point the best thing to do is to put the show on the WWE Network streaming service. The hardcore fans that subscribe to the network would eat this up.
Kidd Video – Okay, maybe the world doesn’t need a Kidd Video DVD set but that theme song is killer so Netflix or some other streaming service should step up and put the show out there.
Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies – There has always been a high demand for this show. It was popular when it was on TV, it’s popular now and it won Daytime Emmy awards while it was on the air. So it’s not like it’s an awful show that’s in demand. It’s a GOOD show that’s in demand. So why has it STILL not made it to video? Copyright/licensing issues. There’s still so many hurdles to clear with the show’s constant use of live-action footage and music that I doubt we’ll ever see a full season release. Oh well. You can always check out YouTube for a few episodes.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends – Okay, this one is kind of iffy. It hasn’t been released on Region 1 DVD in North America, but… the series did show up on Netflix back in 2011. After viewing the entire series on Netflix, I wrote about it here.
The Karate Kid – Apparently at one point it was available on Netflix, Hulu and the like but it’s disappeared since.
Teen Wolf – Not even an appearance on Hulu as of yet!
Shirt Tales – Still no Shirt Tales!
All told, I think we’re moving a long pretty well with my wishlist! Maybe in five more years, everything will have had a video release though I think a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon would be a much better option for the more obscure stuff like Shirt Tales, Teen Wolf, Karate Kid and Kidd Video.