This site’s called 80s Kids for a reason: most of us here – like many of you reading, we expect – were born into that decade. Amongst the wealth of cultural delights that came with growing up in the 80s, it was a heck of a time for cartoons.
As much as movies and live-action TV may have shaped the imaginations of children, in many ways the relationship between the younger audience and TV cartoons was an even stronger one. In most instances, these were shows which kids sat down to watch understanding that they really were the primary intended audience, and the colourful (in all senses of the word) characters on display were specifically designed to appeal to young minds.
This bond with our animated heroes was strengthened by the fact that, in a great many instances, we could literally play with those characters ourselves at home, in toy form. The link between TV animation and the toy industry was never more prominent than in the 80s, as the decade saw a slew of cartoon shows designed first and foremost to sell action figures, vehicles and playsets.
Still, kids wouldn’t want to play with those toys if they hadn’t formed a real connection with the characters beforehand, and all the best 80s cartoons (even those without tie-in toy lines!) succeeded in forging that bond. Whether they gave us courageous heroes, loveable pals or laughable goofballs, these animated delights really made their mark on us as children, and in their own way still inspire us today.
Scroll on down to vote up your favourites from our list of the greatest 80s cartoon shows – and if you can think of any we’ve missed, go ahead and add them at the bottom of the page.