Ran-Dumb Award: Best Cartoon Ever

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Now that we have wresteled with important issues such as global warming, liberal Hollywood, and the reasons that T-Rexes have such tiny arms, let's lighten it up a little by granting the Ran-Dumb award for the best cartoon ever. (You have to read that with the Comic Book Guy's voice in your head, "Best. Cartoon. Ever.") This week I will also be holding a contest to see who can comment with the three best cartoons that were left off my list below, so please comment. Who knows, you might be this weeks big winner.

I was born in 1974, so my frame of reference centers heavily upon the early-to-mid 1980's. By the time I was ordained a Deacon I had moved on to more mature things than childish cartoons, you know, like burning things with magnifying glasses and making boobie traps in the backyard. So without further ado, the best cartoons ever (you can click the hyperlinked cartoon names to see a quick Youtube clip):

The creators of Voltron were geniuses. They had five characters that each rode in these robotic, powerful panther-like vehicles that were awesome by themselves. But they didn't stop there, the five individuals could come together to form a giant, unstoppable mega-robot that wielded a 30-foot electric sword! I still remember being a kid and only having three of the five toy panther vehicles and never being able to fully assemble the megabot. One of the only regrets of my otherwise blissful childhood. Nonetheless, a great cartoon.

4. GI Joe
In the intro we learn that GI Joe's purpose is to, "Defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world." Not only was GI Joe a very cool cartoon, but it prepared us for life in two ways:

1) It coined the phrase, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle" where at the end of each episode a public service announcement was given by a soldier with a grenade in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. My personal favorite is from Flint who wisely instructed kids who were yelling at their goalie for allowing the game-losing goal by saying, "Will yelling at Billy help?... Look, if you want to play your best you got to play like a team. Remember, you need teamwork to win, not arguments." If only Kobe Bryant had listened to Flint, the Lakers might be going on a six-peat right now.....

2) Get ready for a future that will be heavily impacted by terrorist organizations that want to rule the world. If only the Bush administration could somehow remind everybody in their in their 20's and 30's that our military is only doing what Sgt. Slaughter, Snake Eyes, Duke and the boys were doing years ago, his approval rating would go through the roof.

3. Thundercats
Definitely has the best intro of all-time. It gets my adrenaline going to hear the theme song and see all of the he-felines running around. I truly debated having Thundercats ranked as the number one cartoon of all time, and in many ways it is. No matter how good the show, however, you simply cannot get past the sniveling, whining, always frightened Snarf. He is the original Jar-Jar Binks who can single handedly kill an otherwise great show. I'm sure they put him in for "comic relief", but all we needed as kids were explosions and cool fight scenes. In this case, it cost them the Ran-Dumb award.

2. Transformers
Autobots. Decepticons. Optimus Prime. Cyberton. What else needs to be said? The storylines were nothing memorable, but I'll never forget the time I saw the Decepticon transform into a casette player/boom box and then two cassette tapes were ejected into the air and transformed into mini-Decepticons! Transformers within a transformer.....definietly more than meets the eye.

1. He-Man

And the winner of the Ran-Dumb award is He-Man! Not only is He-Man a classic hero, but Skeletor is hands-down the best cartoon villain in the history of television. I think He-Man also resonated with me because I was accustomed to the uber-muscular Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon paintings. He-Man looks similar to what I imagined Nephi would have looked like weilding the Sword of Laban. To take this one step further, could Battle Cat be the mysterious curelom or cumom referred to in Ether 9:19? It says they were "useful unto man", and what could be more useful than a magical, armored green and yellow tiger?

My favorite part of the He-Man intro is when he looks right into the camera and says, "...and I became He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe!" and then punches you right in the face! Bam! No warning. No reason. No remorse. He just rears back and cheapshots you! Is that really necessary if you are the most powerful man in the universe?

This weeks challenge:Now that you have read my list, please comment with your top 3 cartoons that were not included above. Whoever has the best selections and the best reasons for them will be crowned this weeks champion.


andrea said...

Smurfs--gotta love the 1 girl to 100+ guys ratio. Gargamel and his cat are almost as good of villians as Skeletor! And I loved to hate Brainy.

Space Ghost--I think I was drawn to his eyes. They were so mysterious behind that black mask. I've always been a sucker for cool eyes.

Snorks--Does anyone else remember this show? Andrew thinks I made it up, but I googled it and found that they really did exist. Although the first description I read began, "A short-lived cartoon..." Not a good sign. Maybe I watched it when I was going through my "I want to be a marine biologist" phase.

8:13 PM

How could you leave out Ducktales and Ghostbusters(not the real ghostbusters, but the other ones) Never has any show made me want to get home from school to watch as Ducktales did. Can you imagine swimming through the money as Scroge McDuck did? I think the writers now write the episodes for Lost.

5:47 AM
Amy said...

Where's the Simpsons?! I'm shocked that between Andrew and Andrea the Simpsons hasn't been mentioned. They're hands-down the "Best Cartoon Ever."

I'm a cartoon-watcher of the late 80's-early 90's and haven't ever watched or heard of Voltron or Thundercats, but did love the Smurfs.

My second vote is for Alvin and the Chipmunks. They were good enough to make it to the big screen and even release their own records. Every Christmas you hear "Me I want a hula-hoop" at least once during the season and you can't help but sing along in your best high-pitched squeaky voice.

My 3rd vote is for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were super heroes who lived in the sewer and ate pizza with a giant rat wearing a Komono. They battled Shredder and made the word Cowabunga cool.

8:20 AM
Sandy said...

Scooby-Doo, Saved by the Bell THE CARTOON (okay, I never actually watched this one -- but the fact that they actually made a cartoon out of this show is definately worth mentioning) and She-Ra. Gotta get the girl power. And the bigger question - were SheRa and HeMan really brother and sister -- or were they dating???

8:46 AM
Sandy said...

And what does it mean when all your comments (on your GUY blog) on this post are all from women so far?? (okay, maybe it means that the guys have better things to do this morning...)

8:49 AM

Okay, so I know I'm not going to win because even though I've been searching the files of my childhood brain, I can't think of any iconic childhood cartoons that I really loved. Sure, I watched some Scooby Doo, some Flinstones, some Jetsons, all that. But the kids' programming that really stuck with me when I was young was live action and freaky. Drew, you might be too young to remember any of these shows, but here they are, in all their psychadelic, possibly drug-induced glory:

1. HR Pufnstuf. Weird, freaky, mesmerizing. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pidWBzPVxwQ. (See Drew, you're teaching me!). There was a kid who found this mysterious island with talking flutes, a witch named Witchipoo, and other brightly colored characters infludenced by the "culture" of the early 70s.

2. Land of the Lost. Okay, so not as overtly psychadelic as HR Pufnstuf, but still freaky in its own pre-CGI way. I should show this clip to my kids so they could see what life was like before Pixar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPhqMbS7rYM

3. Kids are People Too. This show was basically a talk/variety show for (obviously) kids. Popular singers and stars would show up, and they'd do little skits. I mostly liked it for the title. Kids ARE people too!! Why don't those crazy adults realize this???

Your oooooolder sister,

11:12 AM
Dave said...

I consider myself to be a cartoon expert since I spent most of my childhood, large chunks of my teenage years, and still every Saturday morning as an adult watching them. I have seen all of the cartoons mentioned in this blog and I must say that I disagree with almost all of you. My main metric with which I judge cartoons is their ability to make me laugh no matter how old I get. There are three cartoons which are silly enough for kids yet have enough satire and hidden jokes for even the numbest adult. So without further ado I give you the best cartoons of all time in no particular order:

Bobby's World
The Simpsons

8:37 PM
Blob said...

Fractured Fairy Tales
Yogi Bear
Heckle and Jeckle

7:43 PM
Anonymous said...

I am a chick, and have to say, all top five of yours are my top five to haha!! I still catch Voltron on Cartoon Network. I bought a season of He-man for my hubby. My hubby and I use to stay up til 1am to watch GI Joe on the CN. Also, Snorks is still being shown on either Cartoon network or Boomerang.

5:39 PM