Modern shows with that 80s essence

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Modern shows with that 80s essence

Post by GRUNT » September 10th, 2009, 11:57 pm

Hey guys, I'm just wondering if you guys know of any 'modern' shows (2000-2009) which are 80s-ish in their nature :P.

What I mean by '80s-ish' is the way that 80s cartoons usually had a lot of cool ideas - ideas which are cool by merit of being based on cool toys :P. Take Centurions, for example - exoframe-clad guys who can suit up in a variety of different weapons systems. Or M.A.S.K. - dudes and dudettes with special-powered helmets and transforming vehicles.

A lot of these 80s cartoons had a very intriguing 'technological' slant to them, including He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, with its fusion of fantasy and sci-fi.

During the 90s, we start to see a shift away from all that, although I feel that a good deal of the 90s still has that 'essence' (for want of a better word) whereby the shows really feel like they are just 20-minute long toy advertisements :P. Like Mummies Alive, with the cute little stock animation bits for transformation sequences, and the funky vehicles.

Nowadays, cartoons have gotten incredibly stylised and are becoming very post-modern. They're usually illustrated in that really slick style we see in shows like Total Drama Island. Or have that pseudo Bruce Timm-ish look, like Ben10. Not that I don't appreciate the style, I'm just looking for something else at the moment.

I hope that that's given you guys some idea of what I'm looking for. Something like the 2002 version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe might fit the bill, except that it's already a remake of an 80s series, as opposed to being something completely new.

If you guys know something I don't, please let me know - thanks! :D

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Post by eddievalient » September 11th, 2009, 1:38 am

How about Yu-Gi-Oh? That was basically a 200 episode long commercial for the card game (and not half bad either). Digimon was a bit like that too. Star Wars: The Clone Wars also has a very 80s/early 90s feel to it. Does that help?
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Post by estefan » September 11th, 2009, 5:43 am

If you don't count the CGI intro, maybe Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, perhaps?

It's a little difficult for something to mind, since practically all animated series today are done on Flash (one reason I dislike modern cartoon series so much). Never mind their lack of creativity.

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Post by eddievalient » September 11th, 2009, 12:08 pm

I know exactly what you mean, estefan. I feel very strongly that the 80s and 90s were the golden age of TV animation and while there are some good cartoons on now (Wolverine And The X-Men comes to mind), most of them are crap (like Chowder). I miss the good old days of Ducktales, Sonic The Hedgehog, Bump In The Night and Doug (the original Nick episodes) to name just a few. Where did all those good writers go?
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Post by droosan » September 11th, 2009, 12:19 pm

You should be aware that -- 10 years from now -- some 'twenty-something' is gonna post a thread on this forum which states that "All of today's cartoons are crap. I miss the good old days of Chowder, Flapjack, and Johnny Test. Now those were some quality cartoons".

And they will be totally dead-serious. :idea:

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Post by GRUNT » September 11th, 2009, 12:45 pm

I'm actually quite aware of this, and I consciously chose my words to make sure that I didn't come across that way. :S

I'm not trying to slam today's cartoons, and I love many of them. :]

@ Eddievalient - I actually am watching Clone Wars at the moment. :] It is indeed a cute show, and now that you mention it, I do get some of that early 90s vibe you talk about, but I have a hard time looking at it the way I would an 80s cartoon (at least the ones I mentioned) simply because it's Star Wars, and it's got all this baggage with it. Thanks for the other suggestions, but I should also have stated that I'm not looking for anime, either. :P I'm looking specifically for Western-produced shows, which does make it more difficult :[.

@ estefan - I hear you on the Flash animation bit. I know that it's not a very nice thing for me to say - it's not like I have the skill to even animate as well in Flash as the stuff on TV - but I just far prefer 2d hand-drawn animation.

Thanks for the recommendations guys, but I don't think that what I'm looking for exists :S. It's probably an overly-specific concept (even down to a particular visual style I'm expecting), but I thought I'd put this out there just in case :[.

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Post by droosan » September 11th, 2009, 1:56 pm

well .. perhaps I should have quoted eddievalient to make it clear that the 'you' in my post was not referring to you, GRUNT. But since my post immediately follows his, I didn't think it necessary.

----------

Even so, having been in my teens & twenties during the 1980's and 90's .. the evaluation of the cartoons cited at the beginning of the thread happens to be very different from my own. :wink:

Which is not to say that I think the 'essence' of those toons was a bad one. Only that 'funky 20-minute long toy advertisements' are perhaps better left in that era. :)

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Post by eddievalient » September 11th, 2009, 2:32 pm

droosan wrote:You should be aware that -- 10 years from now -- some 'twenty-something' is gonna post a thread on this forum which states that "All of today's cartoons are crap. I miss the good old days of Chowder, Flapjack, and Johnny Test. Now those were some quality cartoons".

And they will be totally dead-serious. :idea:
Only because they were raised on crap and don't know any better.
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Post by droosan » September 11th, 2009, 3:11 pm

I loved The Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show, Hong Kong Phooey, and Grape Ape when I was a little kid. I can still get a bit of a 'kick' out of them, as an adult (mostly just for nostalgia's sake) .. but I can acknowledge that they really weren't all that great, overall.

-----------

Now, I'll be honest: I did (and do) enjoy Duck Tales, Doug, and Sonic the Hedgehog. But the truth is they were the 'disposable kids entertainment' of their time.

I certainly wouldn't characterize a contemporary cartoon with the visual charm of Chowder apart from them with the term 'crap'.

-----------

I've worked on a few cartoon shows. I didn't honestly consider any of them to be that good. But I have constantly been surprised to meet kids who enjoy(ed) them.

They don't 'know any better'. But neither did we. :idea:

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Post by droosan » September 14th, 2009, 9:45 am

Sorta back on topic ..

It's not a TV show (yet ;) ), and it is CGI .. but this trailer for the DTV Bionicle: The Legend Reborn definitely reminds me of a 1980's-style 'toy-based' show:


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Post by eddievalient » September 14th, 2009, 9:57 am

Yeah, I was going to mention that one. This makes four Bionicle movies. I saw the first one and it wasn't great, but not terrible either.
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Re: Modern shows with that 80s essence

Post by EricJ » September 14th, 2009, 12:57 pm

GRUNT wrote:Nowadays, cartoons have gotten incredibly stylised and are becoming very post-modern. They're usually illustrated in that really slick style we see in shows like Total Drama Island. Or have that pseudo Bruce Timm-ish look, like Ben10. Not that I don't appreciate the style, I'm just looking for something else at the moment.
Two things marked Toytoons in the mid-80's:
1) Commercialism came first--Hasbro used to advertise to licensees that "every single toy was represented on the show!" and mean it as a good thing...
They literally didn't have time to be cutesy, or postmodern, or stoner retro-kitschy about what they thought cartoons "looked like" in the 60's/70's--The rule was, tell the story, deliver the goods, plug the characters, and get out with a bang.

2) Outsourced Japanese animation studios, back when we didn't know they existed--While Filmation was still making He-man look like the Archies and Star Trek, Thundercats and the TransJoes were using Japanese animation houses more used to the dynamic action and comic-book style that other fans were getting with the first Robotech reruns.

(Except in the 90's, when 80's-throwback shows like "Mythic Warriors" and "NASCAR Racers" discovered the cheap lure of computer animation--
When Fox's "X-Men" became Fox's "Avengers", a little piece of Saturday-morning fans died...)

...So what happened to 80's toytoons (apart from Peggy Charren turning every Saturday morning cartoon into "Doug"?)
In a historical nutshell, the US got too smug, cutesy and cheap, and drove any respectable toon fan to watching anime.
So, um, might as well watch that. :)

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Post by droosan » September 14th, 2009, 1:14 pm

I guess I deserve a tiny part of the blame for NASCAR Racers. :oops:

I didn't realize I was killing Saturday Morning fans .. :cry:

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Re: Modern shows with that 80s essence

Post by droosan » February 3rd, 2012, 4:03 am

Not a show (unfortunately..? :| ), but this is definitely bursting at the seams with that 80s essence:



.. it starts a bit slow, but I haven't yet been able to reach the end of this without laughing myself silly..! :lol: :mrgreen:

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Re: Modern shows with that 80s essence

Post by estefan » February 8th, 2012, 3:05 pm

Since this show was brought back, I was thinking that they should do a Howard the Duck animated series, but done in the style of a 1980s animated series ala Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

To be honest, with the live-action film was a hit, I would not be surprised if a Saturday morning cartoon would have been produced in the '80s.

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