Man, childhood. Those are the carefree years, where you don’t worry about getting a job, the state of the world, or even having arguments about religion on internet message boards. No these were the good old days when all you had to worry about was having television networks compete over your attention span with cartoons. Not that this was really something we worried about; it’s why life was great!
But for some of us, me especially, there were a lot of shows we never got to see all that much of because of a variety of reasons, including not having cable at the time. Sometimes I’d catch glimpses of shows I only dreamed I could watch more of when I stayed at someone else’s house, or stayed in a hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I saw plenty of shows as a kid, including Swat Kats, Batman: The Animated Series, Power Rangers, Digimon, and many others. Maybe it’s simply a “grass is greener on the other side” thing, but I always used to think the ones I never saw were so much cooler.
So in no particular order, here are 10 different shows I always wished I could see more of.
On this one, I’d like to apologize. I was totally going to have some new posts for you guys to read yesterday, and then I got distracted by THIS. I suddenly remembered this show and was overcome by the urge to look it up. I spent most of the day listening to this song over and over again, if I’m being honest.
I only saw one or two episodes of SilverHawks on a tape we rented, sadly, though I do still have a toy of its villain, Mon-Star (yes, feel free to groan). It was a show made by the creators of Thundercats (the later of the two), and it had this unbelievably epic opening. I’m sure the Thundercats theme is pretty well known (I saw plenty of that show), and it seems like the creators kept it up with the awesome openings when they did SilverHawks. The SilverHawks opening is even cooler in my personal opinion, and actually sounds pretty desperate. It gives the idea of a dire conflict, even if the lyrics are still totally cheeseball.
I tried to look up some episodes online, but could find none. Sadface. I did however notice that the name scheme it sorta seems like the creators were going with. Animal + ridiculous adjective as one word. Thundercats. SilverHawks. See?
It should also be noted that you officially cannot get more badass than a cyborg cowboy playing electric guitar in a spaceship.
2. Bump in the Night
This was an odd one. A ridiculous show about claymation critters living under some kid’s bed and in his room. I can’t remember many specific episodes but I remember I loved this show, and I’ll be honest, a lot of the shows on here feature creatures. That’s kind of my thing, after all, being a beast.
Anyway, wackiness is the key word here.
Weird characters, comedy, shenanigans, etc. The kind of thing you can expect from any comedy children’s cartoon, as opposed to the action shows, which are going to dominate most of this list. Epic song and characters though.
3. Extreme Ghostbusters
Just listen to that. That’s epic. I first caught this show when my family went on a trip and we were staying in a hotel in the big city, and I switched channels on the TV until I found this. I knew nothing about Ghostbusters; this was my introduction to the franchise, and if I’m being honest, this is probably still my favorite bit of Ghostbusters media.
I only caught so many episodes as a kid, but I actually did find it and rewatched a bunch of it recently. To my shock, I might add…
Yeah it’s horrifying. I didn’t remember that.
It has surprisingly dark and serious themes at parts, to the point where one episode in particular, possibly inspired by Hellraiser, actually freaked me out a bit. And that was only a few months ago, with me being 20 years old. With that in mind, it actually might be a good thing I never saw more as a kid (and particularly, missed that episode), because that episode might have literally made me stop eating. That was a thing I did as a kid. I wasn’t easy to raise. Its ending credits were also scary as hell.
4. Red Planet
Apparently this was actually a mini-series. I didn’t even know that, which is probably a testament to how little I really saw; I never actually saw an entire episode, just parts here and there. I remember I loved the setting and how creature-centric it was, with odd monsters all over the place.
Apparently it’s not on Mars at all. Just some other red planet. Huh.
…Seriously though, I actually can’t remember anything about the story. I remember it had one. There was some kind of intrigue that the kids were mixed up in. Something… something like that. Yeah. It’s actually up on YouTube, so sometime after I’m done writing this I’ll be watching it!
5. King Arthur and the Knights of Justice
Again, this is one I saw almost nothing of and really couldn’t tell you much about, but I remember catching the tail end (way tail end, like only minutes before the credits), but still thought it looked amazingly cool. Part of that probably had to do with my fascination in general with Arthurian Legend, but that definitely wasn’t the only thing.
I mean come on, a cartoon about knights kicking the crap out of each other, with a metal opening theme. What else is there, exactly, that a young boy wants out of his entertainment?
6. Mighty Max
Monsters. Clearly that’s what more a young boy wants.
I actually got to see a fair amount of Mighty Max, but at one point or another it became extremely rare for me to be able to find this show on TV, and it never felt like I could catch enough of it, so it’s going on the list.
Mighty Max was a show with an absurd premise, in which a boy named Max (which always was a favorite name of mine as a kid, for whatever reason) finds out he has a baseball cap (which I used to think were cool as a kid) that can open portals and he’s all important, so he fights alongside other goodguys against a horde of monsters in a surprisingly grisly show. Oh, yeah, I was also a huge fan of monsters. Still am.
I feel like this show was a trap made specifically for me.
7. Skeleton Warriors
I think I might have seen exactly the last minute of one episode of this show, and aside from owning a trading card based on it, again know nothing about it. But the appeal here is obvious: Super warriors riding on hoverbikes and fighting against marauding, animated evil skeletons. I shouldn’t need to explain the appeal.
Though I think my fascination with animated skeletons was a little bit heightened because of Spinal in Killer Instinct.
Aside from the obvious (giant robots shooting a lot of lasers and rockets at each other), I was way into the toys for a long time. In particular, fascinated with my older brother’s ones and always wanting to play with them (to his understandable horror because I would always destroy everything). I eventually got some of my own and they were, frankly, about as cool as robot toys got. Yes, robot toys. I always took the pilots out and just had them as robots.
Oh, right, the show. I saw this for the first and only time at the same time as I saw Extreme Ghostbusters, on that trip. Never saw it again. Sucks!
9. Donkey Kong Country
I know what you’re thinking, because it’s the same thing I thought: “There’s a Donkey Kong cartoon???”
Ya, and I managed to watch some of it on Fox Family, if I recall, though way later than all the other shows on this list. I don’t remember it being amazing, but it was entertaining, and at the time I was so obsessed with video games that absolutely anything involving them was automatically cool to me. Video game toys? Friggin’ sweet! Video game shows? Friggin’ sweeter!
Donkey Kong Country was also a huge part of my early years with gaming, so it being Donkey Kong was a big deal too, not just that it was an adaptation of any video game.
…Although there was that.
Ah, there we go. This is one of the big ones: Robotech. One of the earlier examples of an anime that did really, really well in the US, although it was actually heavily altered from the Japanese verson.
I did see several episodes of it, but only on video store rentals (the same way I got to see SilverHawks), and they were always random episodes, giving me a segmented experience and very little of the plot. I also never got to see the first episodes, although I definitely did know what happened in them because I had one of those cassette tape + picture books that told the story with a soundtrack and some voice-acting. I listened the crap out of that tape. I literally played it until its demise.
I think that tape is one of the reasons I remember the soundtrack of Robotech so well. This was a really phenomenal soundtrack for a cartoon back in the day. Check out a few of the songs: Battle Stations, Alien Attack, Roy Fokker’s Theme.
I actually remember some of the scarier or more desperate songs, with the addition of the creepy-ass Zentradi breathing, actually kinda freaked me out. I was a timid kid back then, okay?
Anyway, these definitely aren’t the only cartoons I missed out on that I wanted to see more of, but they’re some of the main ones. Who knows, I might do another list like this sometime. Or maybe not. Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading and watching!
Did you ever see any of these shows? Were you like me and only got to see a little but wanted more? Or have you never heard of them? Tell me in the comments!