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Cartoon Adaptations!

Jondee here on Quasar,


Sure, Transformers are on the big screen, along with G.I. Joe, and it looks like there is going to be a flood of toy tie-in films with Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. and ROM. This is scratching the surface of the great 80’s and 90’s cartoons. The easiest one would be Thundercats, but this would be difficult to do as live action with the make-up effects unless that can be cracked. I wanted to fit in Gargoyles and Pirates of Dark Water.


Herculoids – the brilliance of this 60’s and 80’s cartoon is the designs by creator Alex Toth. On the planet Quasar, Zandor (Mike Road), a barbarian, along with his wife, Tara (Virginia Gregg) and son, Dorno (Ted Eccles) live a Swiss Family Robinson existence. The best part is the Herculoid creatures; the giant rock ape, Igoo, Zok, a space dragon that can fire beams from his eyes and tail, and Tundro, a ten legged armadillo armored Triceratops, it can fire explosive rocks from its horn, beat that Jurassic World! The strangest are the malleable blobs, Gloop and Gleep. They have to face pirates, robots, and alien threats to their planet. A live action film can explore how the family reached the planet and formed a bond with the other Herculoids who were mostly threatened by collectors.


Thundarr the Barbarian – this was an awesome show that combined an apocalyptic world, magic, and science fiction. It was created by Steve Gerber who also created Howard the Duck. In the far off time of 1994, a runaway planet passes by the Earth, shatters the moon, and causes destruction. Thundarr (Robert Ridgley) frees himself from chains to fight with his Sunsword, a sword and sorcery lightsaber. He fights alongside Ookla the Mok (Henry Corden), a muscular version of Chewbacca with a robotic mask, and Princess Ariel (Nellie Bellflower), a sorceress who liked to run around in a blue swimsuit. They wander the wasteland of the U.S. on horses to fight against wizards, mutants, and strange creatures. The show sported designs by Alex Toth and also Jack Kirby. A movie could explore almost like Conan, his freedom, it was revealed that Ariel’s stepfather, Sabian, enslaved Thundarr, but he was freed by her.


Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers – this late 80’s series was created by Robert Mandell and featured cowboys in a science fiction setting. The leader of the Galaxy Rangers is Zachary Foxx (Jerry Orbach), his cybernetic arm gives him super strength and turns into a cannon! He patrols lawless space in ships and cybersteeds of the Galaxy Rangers. Niko is a telepathic ranger who can also form a shield and Walther `Doc’ Hartford is a computer genius who dispatches his tweakers, Tron-like Bits he calls Tripwire and Pathfinder, to enter any system. Lastly, is Shane “Goose” Gooseman who was part of a Supertroopers experiment and can shape shift into any form. The premise is that two aliens gave mankind the plans for hypderdrive which opens the doorway to explore the galaxy. The Galaxy Rangers are a part of BETA (Bureau for Extra-Terrestrial Affairs). The Series-5 Implant grants rangers powers by activating their badges. They face many opponents, but the greatest is the Queen of the Crown, whose henchmen gave mankind the hyperdrive. This show had the coolest theme song, “No Guts, No Glory” sung by Johnny Vancouver that was my jam as a kid. The movie could cover the gathering of the rangers and the Series-5 implants to stop a galactic threat.


Exosquad – this Universal cartoon in the early 90’s was created by Jeff Segal along with executive producer Will Meugniot. It had a future where Venus and Mars were terraformed by e-frames, exoskeleton suits, and their workers, the genetically modified Neosapiens. Lt. J.T. Marsh (Robby Benson) leads Able Squad, a diverse group of veterans and new pilots who fly e-frames as part of the Exo Fleet. One of their squad mates is Marsala (Garry Chalk), a Neosapien who is loyal to them. They are opposed by the leader of the Neosapiens, Governor Phaeton (Richard Newman) who wants to free his people from servitude and conquers Earth and the colonized worlds. There are strong female characters like Lt. Nara Burns (Lisa Ann Beley), a young pilot, and also an Asian pilot, Kaz Takagi (Michael Benyaer). The story lines were mature, science fiction, on the level of anime like Gundam and Macross (later cut into Robotech). The first few episodes can easily translate into a film with the Exosquad out to deal with pirates, the Neosapiens overthrow mankind, and the Exosquad have to fight their way back.