Monday, 17 March 2014

DVD Review - TV Guide Spotlight: Totally 80s Toons

TV Guide Spotlight: Totally 80s Toons
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 7 hours 8 minutes
Rating: Not Rated


The '80s were a great time to be a kid with the overload of Saturday Morning cartoons and weekday afternoon cartoons. Of course most of these were created to sell toys and cereals, which we probably pestered our parents in buying anything and everything with our favorite animation character on it.

Over the years, the cartoon craze has settled down, mostly thanks to network television stations dropping children programs for local news; though, there are several cable channels that still air new cartoons, but they're nothing compared to the ones from my childhood. Mill Creek Entertainment will be releasing several TV Guide Spotlight DVDs on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, including the two-disc Totally 80s Toons DVD set, featuring three full episodes from Heathcliff, The Littles, Care Bears, Dennis the Menace, The Get Along Gang, and Little Clowns Of Happytown. There are also two episodes of Nellie the Elephant and three bonus episodes.

Heathcliff (based on the comic book of the same name) aired from 1984 to 1988 with a total of 86 episodes. Each episode contains two segments, one starring Heathcliff and the other starring The Cadillac Cats.

The Heathcliff episodes featured on this set are:
  • Nightmare in Beverly Hills/ The Cat in the Iron Mask
  • Spike's Coach/ The Trojan Cadillac
  • North Pole Cat/ He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Series Finale)
The Care Bears need no introduction, as I'm sure everyone from the '80's
remembers these cuddly, good-hearted bears. Based on the American Greetings' cards, the Care Bears animated series aired from 1985 to 1988 with a total of 60 episodes.

The Care Bear episodes featured on this set are:
  • The Birthday/ Camp
  • Braces/ Split Decision
  • The Lucky Charm/ Soap Box Derby
The Littles is based on the book series of the same name by John Peterson, which is loosely inspired by The Borrowers. The series was short-lived, lasting only three-seasons with a total of 29 episodes, one feature film and one made-for-television movie.

The Littles episodes featured on this set are:
  • Beware of the Hunter!
  • Lost City of the Littles
  • The Big Score
Another American Greetings' greeting cards turned into an animated series was The Get Along Gang. The series wasn't successful, lasting for only 14 episodes (including the pilot).

The Get Along Gang episodes featured on this set are:
  • Zipper's Millions/Half a Map is Better Than None
  • Caboose on the Loose/ Montgomery's Mechanical Marvel
  • The Get Along Detectives/ The Get Along Gang Go Hollywood
There were many comic-strip characters receiving their own animated series in the '80s, including Dennis the Menace which aired from 1986 to 1988 with a total of 78 episodes (234 segments).

The Dennis the Menace episodes featured on this set are:
  • So Long Old Paint/ Trembly Assembly/ Private I
  • A Visitor From Outer Space/ Train That Boy/ Genie Madness
  • Cheer Up/ Ghost Blusters/ The Life You Save
There were many failed Saturday Morning cartoons in the '80s, including Little Clowns of Happytown, lasting for only a handful of episodes. Its a bad idea for a cartoon, as most kids are afraid of clowns.

The Little Clowns of Happytown episodes featured on this set are:
  • BeBad's Pet Peeve
  • Carnival Crashers/ Clowny Exchange
  • Won't You Please Come Home Blooper Geek?
Have you ever heard of Nellie the Elephant? If your answer is no, well you're not the only one. The animated series is based on the children song of the same name. It aired in the UK.

The Nellie the Elephant episodes featured on the set are:
  • Nellie and the Ghost
  • Nellie Visits a Farm
  • Bonus Episodes:
  • Nellie Goes to Sea
  • Nellie on a Snowy Day
Several of these cartoons have already been released to DVD, but it is nice to see a variety of '80s cartoons on one two-disc set. If it wasn't for Mill Creek Entertainment from releasing these cartoons to DVD, these cartoons would be nothing but a distant memory. My favorites on this set are The Littles, which the first three episodes are featured on it; followed by Heathcliff and Dennise the Menace. Despite the fact the Care Bears and The Get Along Gang are a little too "cheery" at times, I still have great memories watching them when I was younger. Nellie the Elephant episodes are cute UK animated shorts. For some odd reason, I have no memory of Little Clowns of Happytown, but it is a little dark for a cartoon. Overall, I had a great time watching the Totally 80s Toons over the weekend and I recommend it to other new and old fans of these animation delights.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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