Astro Boy was set in the magical future world of the year 2000, where robot workers are common, filling such roles as factory workers to firemen and even nurses (We think we saw some flying cars in there, too). There was a version of this cartoon back in the 60's, but we remember the 80's version, with that unforgettable theme song. Go ahead, sing along! We dare ya:
Our next entry is believed by many (who care about this sort of stuff) to be a Canadian show, but it's actually American (Dammit! Oh well, we still make kick-ass maple syrup). The Wizard Of Oz was produced in the 60's (hmmm..lot's of LSD usage in that era..coincidence?) and was loosely based on the original movie from the 30's. They did come up with some clever name changes, i.e. Dandy the Lion (we don't get it) and Rusty the Tin Man (pure genius!). Another cartoon with an annoyingly catchy theme song:
They're three sad souls, Oh me, oh my,
No brains, no heart, He's much too shy.
But never mind you three,
Here's the Wizard as you can see.
He'll fix that one, two, three
In that funny place called the world of Oz.
Oh the world of Oz is a funny, funny place
Where everyone has a funny, funny face.
All the streets are paved with gold,
And no one ever grows old.
In that funny land lives the Wizard of Oz.
Just try and get that out of your head for the rest of the day! You're welcome!
Besides the theme song, the part we most remember was the ending of each episode, where Astro would visit his friend Doctor Elefun to recap that episode's adventure. They would have one mistake in the recap though, and you would have to guess what it was. Quite challenging for a six year old! Also of note is the astounding Japanese to English dubbing, nearly exceeding the expertise of many Bruce Lee movies!
We seem to remember kids from grade one running around the school yard yelling this, emulating their favorite characters from the Japanese-made "Battle Of The Planets", who included that annoying kid clone "Keyop" and burger- munching "Tiny". There were other characters too, like the heroic leader "Mark" and the hot-headed "Jason". Especially gay were the superpower tricks they would use against the evil armies from the planet Spectra, such as the "whirlwind pyramid" and "fiery phoenix". Was this cartoon a pre-curser to the "ambiguously gay duo" or what? And what's with the wings? Their ship the "Phoenix" was pretty cool though, we'll give them that. We don't have the words for the theme song, but you can still listen to it by clicking on the musical note below:
Come gather around me. Space travelers surround me.
Hark now to the ballad of Rocket Robin Hood.
I may well confound you, astound you, spellbound you, with heroes and villains, the bad and the good.
Watch now as our rockets race here from afar. For now, with our Robin, we live on a star.
Three. Two. One. Blast off!
Band of brothers, marching together. Heads held high in all kinds of weather.
With fiery blasts, our roaring rockets rise, beyond the Earth, beyond the skies!
At the sight of Robin, take your stand, with the gallant leader of our band.
Send a joyous shout throughout the land! For Rocket Robin Hood!
That concludes our little list, hope you enjoyed it. In closing, click the glowing musical note at the right and sing along, especially if you're at work:
Hercules, hero of song and story!
Hercules, winner of ancient glory!
Fighting for the right, fighting with his might;
With the strength of ten, ordinary men!
Hercules, people are safe when near him!
Hercules, only the evil fear him!
Softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs;
Virtue in his heart, fire in every part of
The Mighty Hercules!
Is everyone looking at you as though you're crazy? Then our work here is done!
There are some animated shows from your childhood that you never forget, no matter how hard you try! Here are the top five that were so bad, they're good (apologies in advance to anime fans):
#5: "Astro Boy"
#4: "The Wizard Of Oz"
#3: "Battle Of The Planets"
#2: "Rocket Robin Hood"
#1: "The Mighty Hercules"
Listen To The
Rocket Robin Hood
Battle Of The Planets: "What's Everybody Looking At?"
"No, Seriously, What's Everybody
Astro Boy: Brave, Gentle,
Wise, And A Total
The Wizard Of Oz
Warning: Viewing May Trigger Acid Flashbacks!
Rocket Robin Hood:
Intergalactic Space Stud
Herc and Newton: Gaydar
What we remember most about this classic series is the constant re-use of vignettes for the various characters, especially Friar Tuck (remember him taking one bite of a huge turkey leg, then throwing it away, then an apple and throwing it away, then some grapes, etc?). And they would never get to the actual story! They would start with the opening theme:
Immediately following the theme would be one of the vignettes, a little bit of story, another vignette, a commercial, the theme again, still another vignette, a little more of the story, etc. It was simply maddening! Even more memorable were the production values- super cheap animation (consisting mostly of still pictures being moved across the screen, like a fist "throwing" a punch), mismatched sound effects, or no sound effects at all! Click on the musical note above to hear the theme song in all its gloriousness!
This is easily our favorite on this list, well deserving of the number one spot. "The Mightly Hercules" premiered in 1963, and rumour has it that Disney delayed the production of their "Hercules" movie for a decade, in the hope that this cartoon would fade from public memory. Not likely! Who could possibly forget Herc and his "boy-toy" Newton (the half-boy, half-horse), flute-playing "Tewt", evil Daedalius and his cat Dydo, Willamene the Sea Witch, and the Mask of Vulcan?
From the very gay theme song ("softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs?!? WTF?!") to the musclebound but hairless Herc himself, this simply had to be the inspiration for the "Ambiguously Gay Duo" (forget what we said about g-force). One memorable episode featured the Prince, who was on his deathbed. One of the doctors mentioned that only the "fruit of the lotus" could save him, and the other doctor replied "Yes, but where can that fruit be?". Then we immediately cut to Herc walking along with Newt. There are other examples, just watch the any episode of the show, the writers must have known what they were doing!
Listen To The
Listen To The
Battle Of The Planets
Listen To The
Wizard Of Oz
Listen To The Astro Boy
The Top 5 "So Bad, They're Good" Cartoons From Your Childhood:
Soaring high in the sky,
He may be small but only in size.
He is brave and gentle and wise!
Stronger Than all the rest,
this mighty robot will pass the test,
Oh villans fear him, so we cheer him,
The amazing AstroBoy!
When you need someone strong,
Our robot friend will never be long.
He will try to right any wrong!
When there's danger near by,
No matter who, what, where, when or why.
He'll defend us, he'll defend us,
The amazing AstroBoy!