I could have spent my afternoon doing something productive, but instead, I’ve dredged up some wonderful forgotten cartoons from the late 80’s and early 90’s for you all to enjoy. Every cartoon I’ve found for this post is extra special so, without further time wasting, I give you: The Cartoon Bone Yard.
I’ll start with one that you’re sure to recall. First clue: Magic rings. Second Clue: Lame super hero. Third Clue: Pollution. If you guessed Captain Planet, then you’d be correct. “Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero…” I’m sure you all remember the premise of the show: The spirit of Earth sees that the world’s eco-system is in danger, so she sends out 5 magical rings that can control a natural element. The five who have the rings are known as “Planeteers” and when they combine forces, they are able to summon Captain Planet! (Please hold the applause.) Captain Planet can control all 5 (yes, ALL 5) of the elemental powers, except for when pollutants (which is the equivalent of kryptonite to Superman). Captain Planet was an idea concocted by Ted Turner and Robert Larkin III and the show began in 1990 and ran until 1992.
Next up is a show that holds a special place in my heart. I truly believe that this cartoon is one of the many reasons I am as cynical as I am today. Lydia is the reason I owned black nail polish in my youth. If you haven’t guessed based on the name “Lydia”, the show was Beetlejuice: The Animated Series, which was only on for 4 seasons spanning almost 3 years on ABC, then Fox. Now, as quirky as the film, Beetlejuice was, the cartoon definitely took quirky onto a whole new level with a French weight lifting skeleton, a tap dancing spider, a sentient car and many other weird and wacky things. Probably the thing that made me love this cartoon the most is that the music was still partially done by Danny Elfman. However, the show was certainly VERY loosely based on the movie.
On to number 3 on today’s list: Denver the Last Dinosaur. This is one that I really have a hard time finding people who remember. The show was about a group of modern California teens stumbling on an egg which eventually hatches to reveal Denver, the last dinosaur. The kids teach him how to skateboard and try to keep him from being exploited by a concert promoter who wants to use Denver to make money. Sounds like a story that could really happen, right? Well, even more plausible is that Denver can even take the kids back in time with him using only a piece of his shell! Here’s a clip for you to enjoy!
Next I’d like to bring up a cartoon about something completely random and also loosely based on a move. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series, which ran from 1990-92 on Fox Kids. The series begins 5 years after The Great Tomato War when tomatoes are banned, but Dr. Putrid Gangreen (who kind of looks like a mix between Commissioner Gordon and The Incredible Hulk) is still doing experiments and his ultimate goal is (of course) rule the world. The show circles around a tomato turned human called “Tara” and her fuzzy companion that she passes off as a dog working in a pizza parlor as Dr. Gangreen continues his experiments which actually succeed at the beginning of season 2. However, the show did not last long because things changed too much between season 1 and 2 making the show difficult to follow, as if it wasn’t already silly enough.
I hope you enjoyed this little time-warp, keep an eye out for the next posting of “The Cartoon Bone Yard” which is sure to have a few forgotten gems for you to reminisce about!