If we were to ask you to name the greatest cartoon of your childhood, what’s the first show that comes to mind? That’s the question we posed to thousands of 80s kids on social media, and it’s fair to say that the results were not exactly what we were expecting.
Below, as voted for by you, are the top 10 greatest cartoons of our childhood years.
10. Danger Mouse
Kicking off our cartoon countdown is the brilliant Danger Mouse. Produced by British animation masters Cosgrove Hall, the series began in 1981 and was originally conceived as a parody 1960s spy series Danger Man.
The show has recently been revived for a modern audience, but in our opinion you can never beat the original, which saw the eponymous secret agent voiced by Only Fools and Horses star David Jason.
We were convinced that the Care Bears would make our cartoon top ten, but the votes show that you consider SuperTed to be the greatest animated TV teddy of them all. Not that we’re questioning the taste of our readers, as we loved this show too!
You might not have known that SuperTed is the only Welsh cartoon series to get an American-produced spin-off in 1989 Hanna-Barbera production The Further Adventures of SuperTed.
8. Inspector Gadget
This was the cartoon that prompted children of the 80s to regularly cry, “go-go gadget [body part],” much to the bemusement of our parents. Centred on the gangly, bumbling policeman with a bionic body that gave him a handy gizmo for any situation, Inspector Gadget boasted an ultra-catchy theme tune, and a surprisingly scary bad guy in the evil Dr Claw.
It may spawned movies and a CGI reboot series, but nothing beats the charm of the original 80s animated series.
7. Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
If you remember this cartoon, we’ll willing to bet you’ve already got the words “one for all and all for one, Muskahounds are always ready” buzzing through your brain. This animated retelling of classic adventure story The Three Musketeers was a firm favourite of millions back in the day.
You might not have known that Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds was technically an anime, as it was produced in Japan by Nippon Animation. Although it proved memorable, the series was also short-lived, with only 26 episodes originally produced.
6. Dungeons & Dragons
Not everyone played the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons back in the 80s, but just about everyone was familiar with the cartoon of the same name. The fantasy adventure series centred on everyday youngsters Hank, Eric, Diana, Presto, Sheila and Bobby, who are transported to a magical netherworld via a mysterious fairground ride.
Every week, we were thrilled to watch our young heroes go on all manner of daring quests using their newly-found magical powers, doing battle with the terrifying antagonist Venger and the mighty five-headed dragon Tiamat.
5. Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry may have been introduced all the way back in 1940, but such is the timeless appeal of these characters that they were still among our favourites in the 80s. Created by cartoon legends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the set-up was simple: the cat and the mouse enjoyed a relentlessly antagonistic relationship.
The original animated shorts from years gone by were still aired regularly on 80s TV, but we also had the more recent animated shows from the 70s, as well as the newly produced shows of the 80s and 90s.
4. The Transformers
A lot of 80s cartoons were specifically designed to help sell toys, and this was especially true of The Transformers. Still, back in the 80s you wouldn’t hear any of us complaining, as we loved watching the animated adventures of the Robots in Disguise as much as we enjoyed playing with the toys ourselves.
The Transformers franchise has endured, spawning a multi-billion dollar movie franchise – but once again, nothing beats the original as far as we’re concerned.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Taking over the world as the 80s transitioned into the 90s were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, whom UK censors renamed ‘hero’ Turtles in order to protect our impressionable young minds from the horrors of these pizza-eating sewer dwellers.
They may have had humble beginnings as characters in a series of comic books, but it wasn’t long before these heroes in a half shell broke into the world of TV, movies, toys and video games.
2. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Surprised to see this miss the top spot? Adapted from the Masters of the Universe toy line, the animated adventures of the musclebound He-Man and his never-ending struggle with the villainous Skeletor were the stuff that every 80s kid’s dreams were made of.
We’ve had numerous reboot cartoons and the 1987 Dolph Lundgren movie, but the original cartoon will always be the pinnacle for us.
Purring proudly at the top of your list of favourite childhood cartoons is ThunderCats, a brilliantly animated classic that took us on some wonderful feline-focused adventures in the four years that it graced our TV screens during the mid to late 1980s.
Whether you pretended to have the power of Lion-O, the strength of Panthro or the speed of Cheetara when you were a kid it really didn’t matter, because us 80s kids have joined together to crown it the greatest animated show of our entire childhood. ThunderCats Ho!