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Little Known Facts About 25 of Your Favorite 80's Cartoons!

Here at RetroDaze, we lover's of all things nostalgia are more "in the know" than others when it comes to cartoons, but there may be a few things here that surprise you.  Take a walk down memory lane and see how many of these facts about 25 of our beloved 80's cartoons you knew!

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero

Fact:  G.I. Joe premiered in 1983 with a 5-episode story called "The MASS Device".  The fact that it was shown in 5 parts made it the first animated mini-series in television history.


Fact:  BraveStarr has the distinction of being the last cartoon series produced by our beloved Filmation studios.  Filmation was also responsible for bringing us The Archie Show, Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, and it's most famous creation, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

The Wuzzles

Fact:  The Wuzzles only ran for 13 episodes, making it the shortest running animated Disney series of all time.

The Shirt Tales

Fact:  The Shirt Tales series was created from a line of Hallmark greeting cards.  When the cards lost popularity, so did the cartoon series.

Dennis the Menace

Fact:  Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio fame, provided the voices of both Mr. Wilson, and Dennis' dad Henry Mitchell.


Fact:  The acronym MASK stood for Mobile Armour Strike Kommand

New Scooby Doo Mysteries

Fact:  While not much really memorable happened in this series, it did provide us with one important little nugget.  We learned that Shaggy's real name is Norville Rogers.

Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling

Fact:  The Hulk Hogan character in the cartoon was voiced by Brad Garrett.  You may know him as the guy who played Robert Barone on the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin

Fact:  All of the actors who lent their voices on the storybook tapes are also the same ones who voiced all the characters on the television cartoon, lending a sense of continuity to the series.

Star Wars:  Droids

Fact:  Stewart Copeland...the drummer for and one of the founders of the superstar band, The Police, wrote and performed the theme song "Trouble Again".

Galaxy High

Fact:  The Galaxy High cartoon series was created by Chris Columbus....the same man who went on to direct both Home Alone AND Mrs. Doubtfire.

Bonus Fact:  The theme song was composed and performed by The Eagles lead guitarist, Don Felder.  He also co-wrote Hotel California.

Rainbow Brite

Fact:  Rainbow Brite's real name is Wisp, and she is an orphan.

Beany and Cecil

Fact:  The 80's redo of the classic 60's cartoon Beany & Cecil only lasted for one month, and only five episodes were shown....making it the shortest running cartoon series of the 80's.

She-Ra:  Princess of Power

Fact:  When the series was in development, She-Ra and He-Man were originally supposed to be love interests of one another until it was decided they would be twin siblings instead.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Fact:  The toy line actually came BEFORE the cartoon series.  When it was released, it was the first cartoon series to be based on a toy line after the FCC revised it's regulations regarding cartoons as "commercials" for toys.


Fact:  Jem's original name was going to be "M"....which was meant to imply Music, Magic, and Mystique.

Bonus Fact 1:  There were 151 different songs in the 65 episodes of the series, and 187 music videos!

Bonus Fact 2:  Different than most cartoon series we grew up on, Jem had an actual series finale where the Holograms and the Misfits declared a truce.


Fact:  The character of Ma Beagle was based on a real person.  She was modeled after the infamous Ma Barker of the Barker-Karpis gang.

Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers

Fact:  The theme song was written by Mark Mueller, who also wrote the theme song for DuckTales, as well as writing Jennifer Paige's 1998 hit song "Crush".

Gilligan's Planet

Fact:  All of the actors from the original Gilligan's Island TV show lent their voices to their cartoon counterparts.  All except Tina "Ginger" Louise that is.  Her voice was done by Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells...along with performing her own character.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Fact:  James Avery, better known for playing Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was the voice of Shredder.


Fact:  The planet that the Thundercats travel to from Thundera is actually Earth in the future. 
Bonus Fact:  Panthro was voiced by Earle Hyman.  Probably better know for his portrayal of Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show.


Fact:  The Japanese version of the cartoon was not called Transformers.  It was known as "Fight! Super Robot Life Form Transformers".

Muppet Babies

Fact:  Howie Mandel was the voice actor behind the characters of Animal, Benson, and Skeeter for two seasons.

Bonus Fact:  When Mandel left the series, he was replaced as the voice of those same three characters by Full House star Dave Coulier.

The Real Ghostbusters

Fact:  Arsenio Hall was the voice of Winston Zeddemore for 3 seasons.  When he left the series, he was replaced by none other than Dave Coulier!

The Smurfs

Fact:  While everyone always fondly remembers the Smurfs as a fun, lovable, family friendly cartoon, there were instances where that wasn't always so.  In the Smurfs Christmas Special, the Smurfs kill a villain by singing him to death.

Well that wraps up this article enlightening folks to some things they may not have known about some of our favorite cartoons for that magical era known as the 80's.  Share with us your thoughts, memories, and other little known tidbits about these cartoons in the comments below!

Mickey Yarber is a freelance writer and lover of all things fun from our childhoods.  He has a blog where he shares childhood memories of tv shows, toys, movies, games, cartoons, food, school days, and a host of other things.  Stop by and check him out at:

And be sure to follow me on Twitter at @yesterdayville for constant retro goodness!
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Hoju Koolander Posted on Aug 16, 2015 at 03:22 PM

The greatest reveal you provided for me was the Dennis the Menace and Phil Hartman connection. I used to watch that cartoon all the time, but I never realized the same actor I enjoyed as Cap'n Karl on The Pee-Wee Herman show/Pee-Wee's Playhouse was voicing Mr. Wilson!

The error on the Ghostbusters fact threw me for a second, but it did remind me that in an interview with Ernie Hudson, who played Winston in the movies, he said that he auditioned for the role on the cartoon, but the part went to Arsenio instead. Isn't that crazy?

kstrom22 Posted on Aug 16, 2015 at 02:59 AM

Stewart Copeland also had a hand in another beloved franchise, though this was video games: he did the music for the original Spyro the Dragon Trilogy.

I love how descriptive Japanese titles can be. The Japanese title for "Despicable Me" is "Mysterious Thief Gru’s Moon Theft," and the title of "Being John Malkovich" is "John Malkovich's Hole"...errr

Fun article, I love learning about things from my time and earlier.

OldSchool80s Posted on Aug 14, 2015 at 08:25 PM

Fun stuff, thanks for sharing.

The Droids song was not only written/performed by Stewart Copeland, but also Derek Holt of Climax Blues Band. I asked him about it in a recent interview I did with him.

I have also published interviews with Jymn Magon who helped create/develop Disney afternoon cartoons including Duck Tales as well as Christy Marx who wrote/developed Jem

onipar Posted on Aug 14, 2015 at 03:40 PM

Oh that Dace Coulier, what *can't* he do!? :-p Great article of facts. I loved reading this one. I didn't know a single one of these things. Retro-rating approved! :-)

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 14, 2015 at 02:55 PM

Yeah, I knew he replaced Lorenzo Music as Peter. That had me wondering if he really did replace Arsenio, doing two voices on the show.

Benjanime Posted on Aug 14, 2015 at 02:48 PM

actually dave coullier was the one who provided the voice of peter when season 3 came along. one of the transformers voice actors replaced arsenio hall.

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 14, 2015 at 02:22 PM

Wow. This had a surprisingly high amount of facts unknown to me. I didn't even realize BraveStarr was Filmation's final outing. Nor was I aware that He-Man and She-Ra were originally going to be love interests. That just creeps me out to think about now. LOL

Also, Dave Coulier gets around my friend.

Smurfs killing people doesn't actually surprise me that much. That Grumpy Smurf was just a hair's breadth away from killing the whole lot of them. LOL

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