You remember the Smurfs and the Muppet Babies and maybe even The Care Bears, but there are more forgotten 80s cartoons than you can shake a stick at.
It’s time to change that, to bring some of the unremembered back into the light.
Here, then, are five forgotten 80s cartoons that need to be seen, right now, and for evermore.
Enjoy the discovery!
(And check out our full list of 80s cartoons, where you’ll surely find scads more hidden gems.)
Bananaman began life in 1980 as a comic book “hero” from the pen of British artist John Geering. There, the B-man transformed from an ordinary schoolboy into a parody conglomeration of all sorts of other superheroes, activated by eating, yes, a banana.
This sorta-Popeye-sorta-Superman dude grew in popularity enough over the first few years of the decade that BBC picked him up and turned him into an animated series that ran from 1983 through 1986.
We can all use a little more potassium in our diets, so it’s time for a Bananaman revival … don’t you think!
The Gary Coleman Show
There was no more popular child star in the 1970s and 1980s than Gary Coleman, courtesy of his plucky Arnold Jackson character on Diff’rent Strokes (sorry, Soleil Moon Frye/Punky Brewster!).
So it made total sense that NBC would peg Coleman for a new Saturday morning cartoon in 1982.
It is a little odd, perhaps, that they pegged him as an angel trying to earn his wings, etc., but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
And we’re here begging for a big more of The Gary Coleman Show.
Potato Head Kids
Yes, this was an outcropping of the Mr. Potato Head, uh, “franchise.”
And, yes, it features a bunch of little kid Potato Heads roaming through their world doing adventurous things.
But, no, they were not called the Tater Tots (though maybe when they were younger …).
And, yes, their nemesis was named Grease.
And … well … maybe they helped inspire the Potato Head appearances in Toy Story.
I mean, all these conspiracy theories in the 21st century had to start somewhere, right?
And since we were all kids in the 1970s and 1980s, it seems reasonable to assume the roots lie thereabouts. Maybe in the cartoons.
Heck, even The Flintstones gave us little green men.
So Dinosaucers were perhaps a natural outcropping of The Great Gazoo, pitting hero alien dinosaurs and alien human things against evil and tyrannical Tyrannos.
And we’re an outcropping of that.
Seventies weed hangover. Or something.
Yeah, so there’s a lot of alien stuff here.
And? What’s your point?
The grays are coming, you know.
The Professor surely knows, because when he managed to build a spaceship to get the castaways off the island and out of the lagoon, he blasted them right off to a distant, isolated planet.
And it was all captured in glorious animated color in the Saturday morning funny shows.
When we get out there, though, beyond the stars, I’ll bet we find them all, still trying to recover from their three-hour tour.
BONUS: Little Clowns of Happytown
Screw cartoon clowns or any other freaky clown-based purveyors of children’s nightmares.
Do NOT bring this one back.