As if 2017 wasn’t packed to the gills with 80s reboots in cartoons, toys, food and film, 2018 and ’19 will be continuing on with another round of re-dos and this time around 80s kids are wondering when we should call it quits and leave the glory days back where they belonged – in the 80s.
1. Muppet Babies – Disney’s got their claws all over this one but on first glance they don’t look horrible, just computer animated.
2. TMNT – now really, it’s about time we stopped all this nonsense as Nickelodeon has yet ANOTHER interpretation of the heroes in a half shell.
3. Transformers– Not exactly Transformers if Optimus Prime is handing the reigns over to Bumblebee…
4. Thundercats– already this one has generated a lot of interwebs anger from the original 80s children in that it takes the comic book style of the original and slaps a CalArts spin on. Think that complete mistake Teen Titans into Teen Titans Go! was…
5. Mega Man– Cartoon Network screws up a whole lot of stuff but this reboot doesn’t look so terrible off the cuff.
6. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? – Personally I hated this show but I was definitely a fan of the 12 million floppy disk computer game by Broderbund. Looks like Netflix is going on a more anime- themed reboot that might have some promise.
7. She-Ra: Princess of Power– Now I question She-Ra getting a reboot and not He-Man because their universe is codependent and the last big girly reboot Netflix did (looking at you, Rainbow Brite, oh and you too Popples) completely sucked. But you won me over at Voltron….
8. The Magic School Bus– this was a little past my time and even the books annoy me but clearly public television isn’t above the reboot cash-in.
9. Dungeons and Dragons – Instead of ruining this one in yet another series, D&D is in the works to go from the vintage animation to a feature film.
10. Clarissa Explains it All- Melissa Joan Heart will reprise as Clarissa, obviously out of her school- locker phase.
And from primetime 80s we’ll see updated versions of:
1. Miami Vice
2. Magnum, PI
3. Murphy Brown
4. Lost in Space (now on Netflix and actually pretty good)
5. The Twilight Zone (again?!)
7. Sabrina the Teenaged Witch
8. Cagney and Lacey
9. Sweet Valley High
10.The Greatest American Hero
Images property thegamer.com
From 1986-1992 we watched a bored, bespectacled boy get taken away from the curse of awful tv to the land of magic Nickelodeon tv by a winged … beast of somesort who jumped into the TV, morphed into it and gave this kid a ride to the next Nick programming block on air. Like the Disney Channel, Nick created tons of fast, punchy, unforgettable idents and bumpers not only known for experimental animation but sound effects and scoring (we’ll get to that later in the month. I know you know which one I mean 🙂 ). I have a lot of good memories of the Nick idents, probably because I would have mainly seen them at my grandparents’ house. Sit back and enjoy: Tv Monster.
TV Monster ident courtesy statefairshows
This was Nickelodeon at its high point- the original signoff when the company became Nickelodeon from its previous days as the Pinwheel Network. If you remember the flying pinball animations and really corny singing, congratulations, you were in generation 1 of the First Network for Kids. Nick was also owned by Viacom.
1984 pinball ident courtesy Louis Di Fazio
I had completely forgotten about this forgotten segment of the real and true Nickeldeon before that travesty that happened in the mid-late 90s we’re still trying to forget and whatever the H is on…. now.
Nick Rocks: Video to Go was like the kids’ MTV you could pass off to your parents because hey, if it was on Nickelodeon, THE first kids’ network, it surely had to be pure and good, right? Well, not necessarily in my house but it was definitely preferable to watching MTV at my best friend’s grandmother’s house who probably knew I was just there to sneak a peak at the extended cable package.
Nick Rocks The Monkees courtesy Monkees Live Almanac
Nick Rocks Party ad courtesy AnnainCA
I was a big fan of the Nickelodeon show Pinwheel which was a Sesame-Street like show from the 70s that re-aired in the 80s on Nickeloden in the years before they came out with the highly inferior Eureeka’s Castle (I’m just kidding- it had its merits I’m sure). Mixing puppets and live skits, Pinwheel featured a multitude of little shorts spliced in and one of my favourite of these was about a little french boy and girl who wore huge hats and ran around a little white world of coloured blocks. Called Chapi Chapo (Chapi was the girl, Chapo the boy), they didn’t speak; only ever giggled and made faces.
Chapi Chapo was originally a French series of stop motion animation broadcast in 1974 on RTF television as 60 – 5 minute episodes. The title is a play on words on the French word chapeaux for hats in which the two children wear those big hats. Each episode started with the children running behind a large pile of coloured block and ended with a silly little dance. The music was funky and if you were a fan can be downloaded at Letter Never Sent. If you were like me and could never catch what they were singing in the theme song these are the words, apparently nonsense in French:
Chapi Chapo patapo
Chapo Chapi patapi
Piripipi rabada dada
Pacha pacho pitipo
Pacho pacha pitipa
Piripipi rabada dida
Chapi Chapo themese courtesy dartman71
A big Yello80s shoutout to my godson Gabe who turns 10 today- when 80s kids were 10 Nickelodeon was the first network on television for children and started off airing only part of the day. They also did birthdays on air so this is a clip from the good ole days of Nick when they still used an announcer.
Nickelodeon Birthday advert courtesy Bill Wilson
The World of David the Gnome aired on Nickelodeon in 1987 as an English dub by Cinar of the original Spanish language show that aired in 1985. David was voiced by Tom Bosley who had played everybody’s favourite blue collar dad Mr. C in Happy Days. The character was based on the gnome characters of The Secret Book of Gnomes by author Wil Huygen and illustrator Rien Poortvliet. If you’re a David fan and aren’t acquainted with the original book please please get this for the illustrations alone-Poortvliet’s work is amazing and Huygen details the lives of the little folk in such good humoresque detail you won’t for a minute doubt the woods are full of them.
Huygen/ Poortvliet did other works involving the gnomes and other figures of Dutch myth- I was recently reading The Book of the Sandman which showcases the skill of Poortvliet as a painter and also the delux edition of Gnomes which shows more naked gnomes than you can shake a stick at- all in the name of Academia of course ;). I got them through my local library but Amazon carries others such as :
The Living Forest: a world of Animals
Journey to the Ice Age: Mammoths and other Animals of the Wild
He was One of Us: the Life of Jesus of Nazareth
Daily Life in Holland in 1566
Gnomes deluxe collectors edition
The Book of the Sandman
A Gnomes’ Christmas
Secrets of the Gnomes