Luckily for me, Netflix released its reboot of Voltron called Voltron: Legendary Defender on June 10. I was skeptical of this reboot, but also very curious to see how it would be redone.
I’m leery of any reboot – they’re usually done to make a quick few million bucks because of the name recognition, but a well-done reboot takes you back to childhood, or early adulthood, whichever the case may be, and if done right, makes you love the series all over again.
I won’t give you any spoilers, but I will tell you I gave the new Voltron five out of five stars. I wanted to give it 10, but that wasn’t an option. I loved it, there were a few changes – again, no spoilers – but the changes make sense and work within the story.
Here are the nuts and bolts, or whiskers and claws, of Voltron. It’s a giant fighting robot made up of five robot lions. If you say the magic words, or act like a team, the five lions fuse together and make one badass robot.
I’ve seen the 1980s version, but the 2016 reboot not only has better animation, it has a great story.
I’ve been watching cartoons since I was a young’un, but the love affair began when I saw Bugs Bunny. Bugs was, and still is, the king of all cartoons – he’s funny, dry, sarcastic and very, very smart, and never lost his cool in any situation – even when he meets a vampire. FYI – the clip restarts at the 6:27 mark.
My mom never liked me watching Bugs, she thought he was a bad influence, but she never explained how he was a bad influence, mind you. Overprotective parents, sheesh.
My second favorite was the original Jonny Quest. I’ve tried watching the remakes, but they just can’t compete. Jonny traveled the world with his father, friend Hadji, bodyguard Race and dog Bandit. They visited incredible places and had fantastic adventures. The show was so cool. There was nothing like it. I wanted to be Jonny for a day. Or three.
I’m partial to 1980s cartoons and these were just a few I watched:
Drak Pack – the relatives of Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Wolfman teamed up to right the wrongs of their ancestors. When it was released on DVD, I pre-ordered it. When I got it, I took it out of its packaging and immediately popped it in the DVD player. It was just as silly as I remember it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out how smart the dialogue actually was – for example, Dracula spills breakfast on his cape and pines for his “old diet” because it was “so neat, so simple, no dishes to wash.”
Thundercats – HO! The Thundercats flee their doomed planet, Thundera, and rebuild their home on Third Earth. At the same time, they battle mutants and the everlasting evil known as Mumm-Ra. And Lion-O, king of the Thundercats, wields the Sword of Omens that puts a stop to the bad guys’ shenanigans.
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors – Jayce, a young man, was searching for his father with a rag tag team consisting of a smuggler, a wizard and a young girl. Their foes were evil guys who turned into evil-looking vehicles.
Inhumanoids – The Inhumanoids were giant, evil monsters accidentally awakened and a bunch of humans tried to keep them contained. One of the monsters looked like a mutated plant, the other a big lizard/almost dinosaur and the other was kinda devilish.
A couple of honorable mentions from the 1970s include:
Godzilla – “Up from the depths, 30 stories high, breathes fire, his head in the sky … Godzilla, Godzilla … and Godzooky.” Godzilla is a hero in this animated tale. Whenever the members of the research boat Calico press a button on what looks like an archaic pager, Godzilla saves the day. Godzooky, Godzilla’s nephew, was the cute factor and always getting into trouble. It’s never explained why they have this pager and why the G-Man entered into this arrangement. Okay, so I wondered why he did.
Superfriends – Not just any version, I want Marvin, Wendy and Wonder Dog with the Ted Knight voiceover version. These episodes were a whole hour long. Super cool!
When I was a kid, I got up early every Saturday and did my damndest to be the first to turn on the TV and watch what I wanted. For the most part I did, but occasionally an older sibling overruled me and turned the channel. I don’t care what you say, fishing shows are NOT better than Godzilla.
Kids growing up today won’t know the joy of watching Saturday morning cartoons on TV – it’s sad to say, Saturday morning cartoons are no more.
I talked with a co-worker who told me he felt less guilty when he watched cartoons with his children. That’s just sad. Getting older is inevitable, so is adulting, but growing up is still optional. Never be like my co-worker, never be ashamed to admit you like cartoons. I’m not.