20 Best 80s Cartoons You Need to Watch Again

20 Best 80s Cartoons You Need to Watch Again

The 1980s are, as far as most historians and commentators are concerned, one of the most specific decades in modern history. Political movements slowly led to the end of the Cold War after almost half a century of political conflicts. The musical scene was marked by the appearance of the so-called new wave, as well as synthpop, indie rock and early alternative rock musicians. Cinema was marked by some amazing dramatic works like Gandhi, Amadeus, Rain Man, Ordinary People and Terms of Endearment, but also some commercial hits like Star Wars V and VI, E.T., Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Batman. Video games also flourished in this decade, but what really interests us is television or, to be more precise, animated television series that debuted in the 1980s (sorry Golden Girls fans, we’re sticking to animation today). That is what we are bringing you in this article, the best 80s cartoons you need to watch.

The 1980s brought us some truly prominent animated classics. These TV shows have defined several generations, as they had syndicated reruns around the world not only during the 1980s, but also during the 1990s. They also had an evident influence on the evolution of 1990s cartoons, which highlights their historical importance.

Because all of this, we have decided to bring you a list of the 20 best 1980s animated TV shows that you definitely need to watch again, whether you have seen them when they originally aired or during later reruns. This is going to be a trip through Nostalgia Lane, so enjoy and prepare some tissues, just in case!

The Smurfs

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Country: United States, Belgium
Original Run: September 12, 1981 – December 2, 1989
Episodes (Seasons): 258 (9)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: NBC


The main plot of this animated series focuses on the numerous adventures of the Smurfs. The Smurfs are small blue creatures the size of three average apples that live in a small, hidden village in the woods. The leader of the Smurfs is the wisest smurf in the village, known as Papa Smurf, who, unlike the other Smurfs, wears red pants and a red hat.

Every Smurf in the village has his role. For example, Poet Smurf is the poet of the village, Farmer Smurf grows plants, Handy Smurf is the main handyman in the village, Tailor Smurf sews hats and suits, and so forth. Smurfs are also known for making gold from lead. Of course, a lot of villains want to take advantage of that and try to catch them.

Some of the most common villains are Gargamel and his cat Azrael, Hogatha, Chlorhydris, Nemesis, Lord Balthazar, Count Gregorian, Mordain and his army of warty frogs, and others.

There are many magical places and creatures in the forest where the Smurfs live. Of the creatures, fairies and elves are most often seen, as well as giants. One of the most important roles is played by a family of three giants, and those are Bigmouth, who likes to eat and is always as hungry, his wife Big Nose and their son Bigfeet. Their pet-friends also live in the Smurfs’ village, one of which looks like a little pink bear. Storks are the best friends of smurfs, and one of them is Feathers, who often carries them on her back. The favorite food of the Smurfs is Smurf beans.

The Transformers

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Country: United States, Japan (seasons 1–2)
Original Run: September 17, 1984 – November 11, 1987
Episodes (Seasons): 98 (4)
Running Time: 23–24 minutes
Original Network: Syndication


A three-part miniseries was created by Toei Animation and broadcast in America in September 1984. The pilot episodes introduced Optimus Prime’s Autobots and Megatron’s Decepticons, who had come to Earth from their home planet Cybertron.

The idea caught on, and the miniseries was expanded to include more episodes. Thirteen additional episodes were produced for the first season. The pilot was re-aired, now titled “More Than Meets the Eye.” The first season introduced new concepts that would continue for the rest of the series, such as the Decepticon Space Bridge. There were also new characters and groups such as the Dinobots, Jetfire, the Insecticons, and the Constructicons.

When the series proved successful enough, a second season followed. This season consisted of 49 episodes, bringing the total number of episodes to 65. In season 2, the longer storylines were largely omitted and replaced with a separate story per episode. These episodes could be watched in any order, which made it easier for the series to air on other networks.

Often, one character was central in an episode, so that this character was further explored. Many new characters were also introduced, but often without explanation as to where these characters came from. Towards the end of Season 2, the Autobots and Decepticons combining teams first appeared: the Aerialbots, Stunticons, Protectobots, and Combaticons. These teams were all able to combine their bodies into one super robot.

Season 3 of the series picked up where the animated movie (which premiered in 1986) left off. This season was set in the future with an almost completely new cast of characters. The series took on more of a science fiction undertone with a grimmer storyline and stronger continuity between the individual episodes. The animation was also largely done by a new studio, which was clearly visible in the drawing style.

All these changes were not well received by fans of the first two seasons. The production team decided, under pressure from the fans, to at least have Optimus Prime (who was also killed in the film) return to the series. In the end, Hasbro lost interest in the series and it became clear that the series would not be continued. The fourth season consisted of only three episodes that collectively told the story entitled “The Rebirth”.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Country: United States
Original Run: December 14, 1987 – November 2, 1996
Episodes (Seasons): 193 (10)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: Syndication / CBS


The series is about four mutant turtles who live in New York’s sewers. The four Turtles are taught the Far Eastern martial art of ninjutsu by Hamato Yoshi, who has mutated into a rat and now calls himself Splinter. Splinter plays a kind of father figure to the turtles. The only uncovered contact with the surface is with a television reporter named April O’Neil, and later with her colleague Irma and a man named Casey Jones.

The four turtles prefer to eat pizza. Each of the four main characters has a certain character trait. Leonardo is the leader, Donatello the thinker, Raphael the daredevil, and Michelangelo the comedian. The Turtles are further distinguished by the color of the headbands (in the original comics, however, all Turtles wore red headbands, though this was also changed later on), the green tone of their skin colors and their weapons.

Leonardo wears a blue headband and fights with two katana; Donatello wears purple and defends himself with a bō (baton); Raphael is characterized by his red headband and his sai; and Michelangelo wears orange and uses nunchaku, or, from season four, a grappling hook. What they all have in common is their characteristic battle cry “Cowabunga!”.

The opponents of the Turtles are Oroku Saki, a former student of Yoshi’s who now calls himself Shredder, and Krang, an alien from Dimension X. The two are supported by the foot soldiers, robot versions of the Foot clan from the Yoshi and Saki, as well as Bebop and Rocksteady, two street thugs Shredder has mutated into a rhinoceros (Rocksteady) and a warthog (Bebop). Again and again, other, mostly mutated opponents appear.

Other occasional adversaries of the Turtles include Baxter Stockman, a brilliant scientist and inventor of the pied piper robot, who was turned into a fly mutant by Krang; the Rat King, a person living in the sewer who can talk to the rats and keep them under his control; Leatherhead, a mutated alligator from Florida; Slash, the mutated snapping turtle created by Bebop and Rocksteady; and Tempestra, a video game character come to life who wants to destroy the world. In the last three seasons of the series, drastic changes were made: the sky turned red, the Turtles only fought crime at night, and Shredder was replaced as the Turtles’ archenemy by Lord Dregg.

Inspector Gadget

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Country: United States, Canada, France
Original Run: December 4, 1982 (pilot episode); September 12, 1983 – February 1, 1986
Episodes (Seasons): 86 (2)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: Syndication (United States), FR3 (France)


Inspector Gadget is a police officer from Metro City, where most of the episodes take place. Gadget is a kind of cyborg cop, with numerous bionic implants installed in his body. Gadget lives with his niece Penny and his pet dog Brain. In each episode, Gadget is contacted by the chief of police, Quimby.

The show is somewhat of a parody of the series Mission: Impossible and Get Smart (the protagonist of the latter, Don Adams, was also the voice of Gadget in the original version). Gadget’s missions always involve the agents of the criminal organization known as MAD, led by his arch-villain Doctor Claw.

Gadget, being a giddy and clueless detective, is secretly aided by Penny and Brain. At the end of each episode, the last scene is some safety tip usually related to the theme of the episode, as was the custom in many animated series of the 80s.


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Country: United States
Original Run: September 9, 1989 – December 6, 1991
Episodes (Seasons): 94 (4)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: ABC (1–3), Fox (4)


Beetlejuice is not a villain in the series, but he is not a good man either. With his pranks and black humor, he often drives the whole Neitherworld insane. Still, he’s a happy ghost who can’t reject a tasty serving of cockroach chips. Lydia, who also struggles with school problems or the crazy ideas of her stepmother in the series, is likewise the central character of the series.

In contrast to the film, Beetlejuice and Lydia are close friends here. Adam and Barbara Maitland do not appear in the series, but new characters such as the French skeleton Jacques and the tap-dancing spider Ginger have been introduced. Beetlejuice shares a flat with the two of them and treats them rather negatively, although he basically likes them.


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Even a rather luckless prince named Vince appears from time to time and even horror author Edgar Allan Poe has a brief appearance with his raven. As in the film, Lydia brings Beetlejuice over by calling his name three times. Also known from the film is the desert area where Beetlejuice’s only fear, the Sandworms, live.



Country: United States
Original Run: September 18, 1987 – November 28, 1990
Episodes (Seasons): 100 (4)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: Syndication


The main character is Scrooge McDuck, who up to then only appeared in three films, including Scrooge McDuck and Money (1966) and Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), and a few commercials. In DuckTales, he is accompanied by Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Likewise, some characters from the Disney comics created by Carl Barks, which have never been seen in the film before, make their appearance, such as Gyro Gearloose, Gladstone Gander, Flintheart Glomgold or the witch Magica De Spell. The Beagle Boys, also created by Carl Barks and appearing in numerous Disney comics, had their first animated appearance in the 1987 short film Sport Goofy in Soccermania, but were first animated in the series DuckTales with different personalities and given their own names.

The most famous members appearing in DuckTales are Ma Beagle, Bigtime Beagle, Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle, Baggy Beagle, Bankjob Beagle, Babyface Beagle, Bugle Beagle (or Bebop Beagle) and Megabyte Beagle. The Quack family, the Launchpad McQuack, the butler Duckworth and the governess Mrs. Beakley, together with her granddaughter Webby Vanderquack, a girl about the age of Scrooge’s great-nephews, have also been introduced.

The clumsy boy scout Doofus, the clumsy accountant Fenton Crackshell (also known by his secret, superhero identity Gizmoduck), and the Stone Age duck “Bubba” also appeared in later episodes. The latter two characters were partially criticized by fans; it was argued that they did not fit into the world of Duckburg. However, they only appear in the second season.

Donald Duck only appears in a few episodes, mainly as a minor character; the rest of the time he serves as a deck-scrubbing sailor on Admiral Griemitz’s aircraft carrier. In one of the episodes, Scrooge’s only great love, Nelly, appears here as Glitter Goldie. This element was also present in Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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Country: United States
Original Run: September 5, 1983 (UK) / September 26, 1983 (USA) – November 21, 1985
Episodes (Seasons): 130 (2)
Running Time: 23 minutes
Original Network: Syndication


Eternia, the world where the story is set, is a planet located in the center of the universe, with characteristics similar to those of the Earth, but completely different in many other respects. Due to its particular position in the universe, Eternia contains all the doors to the “alternative universes” (actually other worlds) and this would explain the strong presence of magic, which the inhabitants place alongside science.

This planet is divided into two parts, one dark and one bright; while most of the people live in the bright zone, the dark part is a place of exile and refuge for all sorts of evildoers. In this world live a great variety of ferocious and/or monstrous animals, and gigantic plants. In addition to humans, there are also many other species of intelligent beings.

The history of the planet, shown in some episodes, revealed its former name to have been “Preternia”; in this prehistoric phase, the planet was quite different: humans were a minority presence, and most of them were primitive cavemen; some isolated populations, however, had developed high technology. There were giants and dinosaurs of all sizes, some of which, of mysterious origins. The snake-men were far more numerous and dangerous.

Prince Adam, the young boy son of King Randor and Queen Marlena, is a slacker always looking for entertainment, along with his faithful friend Cringer (a cowardly tiger who becomes the mighty Battle-Cat); he is often reprimanded, especially by his childhood friend, the captain of the guards Teela, because of his games and his perennial absence in every situation of danger.

Few know that he is actually He-Man, the strongest man in the universe, the defender of the secrets of Grayskull’s castle and of the peace on Eternia, into which he transforms himself with the help of his Sword of Power. He-Man, along with his “ruler” friends (defenders of Eternia), keeps the dark forces of the evil Skeletor at bay; Skeletor is intent on conquering Grayskull Castle, Eternia and the entire universe with the help of his evil henchmen Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, Mer-Man and Tri-Klops.



Country: United States
Original Run: September 9, 1985 – September 29, 1989
Episodes (Seasons): 130 (4)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: Syndication


ThunderCats follows the adventures of the eponymous group of heroes, aliens in the form of anthropomorphic felines from the planet Thundera. The series begins with the destruction of the planet Thundera, which forces the Thundercats (a sort of Thunderian nobility) to abandon their homeland.

However, the fleet is attacked by the enemies of the Thunderians, the mutants of Plun-Darr, who destroy most of the ships in the fleet, but fail to hit the flagship, which they suspect is the legendary mystical Sword of Omens. The sword contains the Eye of Thundera, the source of the Thundercats’ power, which is incorporated into the handle. Even if the Mutants damage the flagship, the power of the Eye of Thundera still manages to repel them.

However, the damage to the spaceship prevents the Thundercats from reaching their original destination, and forces them to retreat to “Third Earth”; which will take much longer than expected. The elder of the Thundercats, Jaga, voluntarily offers to drive the spaceship while the others will remain asleep for a long time inside the pods. However, Jaga dies of old age in the following years, but not before ensuring that the Thundercats on board reach their destination safely.


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Inside the spaceship, there are Lion-O, the young lord of the ThunderCats, as well as Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, WilyKit and WilyKat, and Snarf. When the Thundercats awaken from their long sleep on Third Earth they discover that the suspension capsule that contained Lion-O was damaged and therefore only slowed (and not stopped) his growth, thus making him a child in the body of a young adult.

Together, the Thundercats and the Third Earth natives build their new home and new headquarters, but soon, the Mutants track them down to Third Earth as well. The intrusion of these two alien races into the world does not go unnoticed, however, the demonic mummified sorcerer, Mumm-Ra, recruits the mutants to help him in his campaign to conquer the Eye of Thundera and destroy the Thundercats so that his evil may continue to dominate on the Third Earth.

Count Duckula

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Country: United Kingdom
Original Run: September 6, 1988 – February 16, 1993
Episodes (Seasons): 65 (4)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: ITV


Count Duckula is a vampire of the “hideous race of wicked vampire ducks, the Count Duckula”, who can only be resuscitated every hundred years by a secret ritual when the moon is in the Eighth House of Aquarius, when they can be revived by being killed by the glaring sunlight or with a stake through their heart.

When the current Count Duckula was revived, something went wrong: instead of “the blood of bat wings”, ketchup was accidentally used in the resurrection broth, and to the horror of his faithful butler Igor, Duckula was born as a vegetarian vampire who preferred to eat broccoli sandwiches instead of the life-juice of other beings.

This prehistory is crucial for understanding all Duckula episodes, since Igor tries in every episode to turn the young count back into a real vampire duck, which he defends himself with skin and feathers.

Housekeeper Emma completes the infernal trio of protagonists; she is a decisive bearer of the comedy in the Duckula episodes, who breaks through all doors with her bandaged arm out of disgust, instead of opening them normally. Of a good-natured character, in her stupidity, she often enough gives the brightly colored, fantastic stories the actual twist into the completely grotesque.

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

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Country: United States
Original Run: September 10, 1988 – August 17, 1991
Episodes (Seasons): 27 (4)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: ABC


The series capitalized on the then-popular trend to make series around younger versions of well-known cartoon characters. This series featured the original cast from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! still in seventh grade / high school. The storyline of the episodes remained the same: the group (referred to in this series as the “Scooby-Doo Detective Agency”) had to solve mysteries involving seemingly supernatural beings, who turned out to be people in a costume.

However, the series had a much more humorous undertone, roughly equal to that in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. The monsters themselves were also more comical, like a creature made from melted cheese. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have regularly appeared in the series as their popular superheroes: Commander Cool (a combination of Batman and Superman) and Mellow Mutt (a combination of Krypto, Robin and Ace the Bat-Hound.)

The characters were generally parodies of their ‘grown up’ versions: Fred was an evil leader who strongly believed in conspiracy theories and always thought the local bully Red Herring was the villain; Daphne was a spoiled rich girl with her own butler; and Velma was a silent child prodigy.

Shaggy and Scooby remained virtually unchanged. As in many other series, music played during the chase scenes. This was often rock and roll music in this series. This music was regularly turned on by the characters themselves.

Danger Mouse


Country: United Kingdom
Original Run: September 28, 1981 – March 19, 1992
Episodes (Seasons): 89 (10)
Running Time: 5–22 minutes
Original Network: ITV


The Danger Mouse series is a parody of the James Bond franchise. The main character of the same name is a secret agent with the British Secret Service. Danger Mouse and his sidekick Ernest Penfold are repeatedly given the task to save the by Colonel K, the head of the secret service. They work below Scotland Yard on Baker Street in London, hidden behind a large mailbox.

The service’s main enemy is an evil organization bent on conquering the world, led by the evil Baron Silas Greenback, who is also the archenemy of Danger Mouse. They try to achieve world domination with unconventional means such as bagpipes, theft of all famous buildings, giant robots, etc.

The off-screen narrator plays a special role (in the original: Isambard Sinclair, voiced by David Jason). He accompanies the event by commenting sarcastically, talking to the characters or pondering about his private life.

Count Duckula had his first appearances in this series before he got his own series.

Care Bears

Care Bears

Country: France, Canada, United States
Original Run: September 14, 1985 – December 25, 1988
Episodes (Seasons): 60 (4)
Running Time: 30 minutes
Original Network: Syndication, Global, ABC


The care bears are characters created by the American Greetings company in 1981 for use on greeting cards, with the animals drawn by Elena Kucharik. In 1983 the toy company Kenner Products changed the drawn characters into teddy bears that are still regularly available in stores today (as of 2013).

In 1984, care bears were supplemented by the Care Bears Cousins, the nieces and nephews made up of other types of animals. In 2002, after years of absence, the Care Bears were reintroduced with new toys. Books have also been published regularly since the 1980s, theater shows have been made and there was a comic book series in the 1980s. There are also video games for multiple game systems and platforms.


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Each care bear comes in his or her own color and has a special print on his or her belly and lives in Care Land. They each perform their magic with the spell “care bears ray”. This happened in the form of colored rays containing the pictures of the bears that then come out of their bellies. There is Tenderheart Bear, Cuddly Bear, Wish Bear, Birthday Bear, Lotsa Heart Elephant, Cheer Bear, Sleeping Bear, Lucky Bear, and others.

Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace

Country: United States
Original Run: September 22, 1986 – March 26, 1988
Episodes (Seasons): 78 (2)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: Syndication / CBS


The series consists of thirty-minute episodes and was originally syndicated in the United States distributed by the Exchange Program; the second season aired on CBS and each episode consisted of three six- or seven-minute clips. Subsequently, in 1993, a new series was made, All-New Dennis the Menace.

The protagonist, Dennis Mitchell, does not walk, but opts to run or ride a bicycle. Dennis has to buy another pair of shoes every week and the two wheels of his bicycle have to be replaced every month. His boundless energy and curiosity is considered a bit exaggerated by other people while his heart is in place.

Dennis’ parents are Henry and Alice. Sometimes a peaceful family dinner turns into a wrestling match, though they do everything they can to keep Dennis “pets” in his pocket: his frogs and turtles. One of Dennis’ best friends is Joey, whom he sees as his older brother. Her other best friend is Margarett, who considers herself better than everyone. Together, they tour the entire city and search for fun and adventure together.



Country: Canada, France
Original Run: April 2, 1989 – June 5, 1991
Episodes (Seasons): 65 (5)
Running Time: 23 minutes
Original Network: CBC / Global TV


Based on the books by Jean de Brunhoff and Laurent de Brunhoff, the series focuses on the story of Babar, an elephant who ends up becoming king. In the first seasons, the stories were centered on Babar telling his childhood adventures to his sons Pom, Flora, and Alexander. In recent seasons, stories have become more centered on the children of Babar.

In the first episodes, Babar’s origin is revealed; he lost his mother to a hunter, fled to the city, and was welcomed by an old human lady who educated him by making him act like a person, in addition to his return to the forest saving his friends from hunter’s band and being crowned king after the former’s death. Still, in the first episodes, the creation of the city of Celesteville is shown, the city of the elephants in addition to the constant fights of Babar with its rival the king of the rhinoceros Rataxes.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

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Country: United States
Original Run: March 4, 1989 – November 19, 1990
Episodes (Seasons): 65 (3)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: The Disney Channel / Syndication


The series revolves around the well-known ground squirrels Chip and Dale, who together set up a kind of detective company in this series. The group mainly deals with crimes that are “too small” for the human police to solve. They soon get help from a few new friends: the inventor Gadget, the powerhouse Monterey Jack and the fly Zipper. These often have to do with other animals.

Sometimes, however, they also encounter things that are world-threatening. Regular enemies of the team are the mafia cat Fat Cat and the mad professor Norton Nimnul.

When Tad Stones came up with the series, Chip and Dale were not its primary protagonists. Instead, the series would revolve around a group of animals including a chameleon, a predecessor of Gadget and Monterey Jack. The main character would become an Indiana Jones-like mouse named Kit Colby. Stones suggested the idea in a meeting with Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg. The idea was approved, except for Kit Colby’s character.

At Eisner’s insistence, he was replaced by the already known squirrel duo. To make Chip and Dale suitable for the role in the series, the producers had to make a few changes to the duo. Their personalities were left intact, but their appearance was slightly modified. For example, they wear clothes in the series and are a lot smarter and more talkative than in the short films in which they made their debut.

Chip took over the role from Kit Colby, and so got his outfit. The series was introduced with a two-hour movie entitled Rescue Rangers: To the Rescue, which was later split into a five-part pilot episode. This film shows how the team comes together, and they encounter Nimnul and Fat Cat for the first time. There are rumors that at an early stage of production the producers planned to give Bernhard and Bianca, the mice from the cartoon The Rescuers, the lead role together with Baloo, the bear from Jungle Book. Chip and Dale would then have been seen as minor characters from time to time.

Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears


Country: United States
Original Run: September 14, 1985 – February 22, 1991
Episodes (Seasons): 65 (6)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: NBC / ABC / Syndication


The main characters are anthropomorphic bears called “Gummi”, also accompanied in the series by human characters. The story is set in a fantastic Middle Ages and takes place in Gummi-Glen, the valley of the Gummi, inhabited – at the beginning of the series – by only six of these, although it is known that in the world there are other Gummi, who live in Ursalia.

The friends of the Gummi live in the kingdom of Dunwyn: among them, Princess Calla and Cavin, two boys, and the allies of the Gummi who are King Gregor and Sir Tuxford. The main enemy is the Duke of Igthorn, who wants to become king of the kingdom of Dunwyn. He is helped by the Orchioni, large humanoids that are not very intelligent, and flanked by his valet Orchiello.

In the rest of the series, it is told how the Gummi were a technologically advanced people since ancient times, even educated in the magical arts. However, the men started a ruthless war against them, eager to steal their secrets. The Gummi, aboard impressive boats, fled in search of new places to live. The group of protagonists is descended from the Gummi who decided to stay, waiting for the waters to calm down to return to their native land.

The Gummi, to fight against the terrible Duke, use Gummiberry Juice, which gives special forces to those who drink it. The Gummi, in fact, begin to jump, even if for a fixed time. When drunk by humans, the juice gives them superhuman strength and for this reason the recipe is kept secret.

The Simpsons

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Country: United States
Original Run: December 17, 1989 – present
Episodes (Seasons): 701 (32) (as of April 4, 2021)
Running Time: 21–24 minutes
Original Network: Fox


The series focuses on the adventures of a typical suburban family from the American Midwest. The father, Homer Simpson, is a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Marge Simpson, his wife, is a stereotyped housewife. The couple has three children: Bart, a ten-year-old rebel boy; Lisa, an eight-year-old prodigy who loves to play the saxophone and Maggie, the youngest of the family, a baby who does not speak – her first word was “daddy” in the episode “Lisa’s First Word” – but which is considered by fans as the most intelligent and mysterious character in the series (who is later revealed to play the saxophone better than Lisa, in the episode “Smart and Smarter”).

Complete the family a dog called Santa’s Helper, as well as a cat called Snowball. The producers decided that the characters would not age throughout the series, although celebrations such as religious and holiday parties often appear. There are also a large number of minor characters, from family relatives to occasional assistants. The program includes a set of peculiar characters: friends from work, teachers, friends, family, relatives, residents, and local celebrities.

The creators originally assigned many of these characters to fill roles in the city. Some of them won roles that expanded and later acted in their own episodes. According to Matt Groening, the show embraced the concept of a large support cast for a sitcom.

Garfield and Friends

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Country: United States
Original Run: September 17, 1988 – December 10, 1994
Episodes (Seasons): 121 (7)
Running Time: 22–48 minutes
Original Network: CBS


Garfield belongs to the feline family, is a well-fed impudent animal, although he does not think so of himself, as he is extremely proud. Garfield’s favorite delicacy is lasagna, one might even say that the cat lives exclusively for this dish and for this very reason cannot withstand a single diet.

Garfield, of course, has many friends, while some of the most loyal are his good-natured owner John and the funny dog ​​Odie, whom the cat considers the dumbest creature in the world and mocks him as best he can, but at the same time they are among themselves have shown true friendship more than once. Garfield also has a girlfriend, Penelope, although some episodes also feature other beloved cats of Garfield.

Each episode began with a voiceover from Gary Owens introducing the show as “Ladies and gentlemen, Garfield and Friends!” For the first five seasons, Garfield tapped over the fence and turned on the turntable. Since the sixth season, a full concert hall has been shown. In the seventh (and final) season, the intro, which consisted of gluing frames with a cat from different episodes in the context of different life situations, featured an incendiary rap song sung by J.R. Johnston.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Country: United States
Original Run: September 17, 1983 – December 1, 1990
Episodes (Seasons): 102 (8)
Running Time: 22 minutes
Original Network: NBC


The show aired on NBC from 1983 to 1990 and is a sequel to the original Alvin Show series that aired from 1961 to 1962. The show featured three female chipmunks, the Chipettes, and a human caretaker, Miss Beatrice Miller (who joined the cast in 1986).

In 1988 the show moved production to DIC Enterprises, and the first 11 episodes of season six were produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson and simply renamed The Chipmunks. In 1987, during the fifth season of the show, the Chipmunks’ first animated feature film, Chipmunk Adventure, was brought to the theater by the Samuel Goldwin Company. The film was directed by Janice Carman and showed the Chipmunks and Chippetes in a worldwide travel competition.


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In the eighth and final season of the show, the show again changed its title to The Chipmunks Go to the Movies. Each episode was a parody of a Hollywood film like Back to the Future or King Kong. Several TV specials featuring the characters have also been released. In 1990 a special title Rockin’Through the Decades was created. That year, Chipmunks worked with other well-known cartoon characters (such as Bugs Bunny and Garfield) to create a special cartoon all-star to the rescue to prevent substance abuse.

Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies

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Country: United States
Original Run: September 15, 1984 – November 2, 1991
Episodes (Seasons): 107 (8)
Running Time: 25 minutes
Original Network: CBS


The Muppet Babies live in a large nursery which is supervised by a nanny who is only seen from the shoulders down. The imaginary games of babies change from the nursery to scenes that become “real” for babies, for example on board a pirate ship or in the land of Oz.

Often, these fantasies are combined with archive scenes or live clips from popular films such as Star Wars, Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones. Each episode has an associated music number. If the role-play becomes too dangerous, or if an interruption occurs (often in the form of the arrival of the Nanny or the imaginary game straying too far from its original premise), the scene dissolves and they fall apart completely. They meet again in the nursery.

The central idea of ​​every episode is the power of the babies’ imagination. Sometimes, the babies use their imagination to solve a problem (for example, if Nanny’s diary is accidentally ruined, babies write their own diary to replace it), but sometimes their fantasies run away with them (for example, when they hear Nanny’s call to the garbage collector to tell him to help her decide which armchair to donate to charity leads the babies to fear that one of them [which was thought to be Fozzie] is going to be thrown away). Other common issues are babies coming up with new ways to play with their old toys, imagining what adult life will be like, or facing shared childhood experiences such as a visit to the dentist or a new family member.

Nanny is the voice of reason who praises their creativity or alleviates their fears.


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