Tens of millions of kids in the 1980s grew up watching cartoons. And even though cartoons are very different (and probably better) now than they were 30 years ago, the popular cartoon shows of the 1980s were still fun to watch.
Every Saturday morning millions of kids across America woke up to watch some of the most iconic cartoons ever made. You could say that the 1980s was a golden era for cartoons, and many classic cartoons of the era are some that we still think of fondly today.
The Best 80s Cartoons
If you grew up in the 1980s you will probably recognize many of the cartoons on this list.
So what were the best 80s cartoons?
Here’s a list of the best cartoons of the 1980s:
1. Inspector Gadget
When it came to epic 80s cartoons, no list would be complete without Inspector Gadget on it. This guy was a goofy inspector who had all kinds of little gadgets. For some reason they usually were related to springs or extending metal appendages, but he had a few other tricks up his sleeve as well.
One thing I never understood when I was a kid was whether or not he was a human? I mean, no human can do that stuff, but the show never made a point of saying that he was a robot, either. At least, not that I can remember.
2. Battle Of The Planets
… I have to admit, I never really watched this show. But it went on for 85 episodes, which shows that a lot of kids really did love it.
The idea was that several orphans worked together to repeatedly save the world. It was originally taken from a Japanese show, which isn’t surprising since some other very popular kid shows (read: Power Rangers) also originated overseas.
Battle Of The Planets
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Now we’re talking. Turtles that go around beating up bad guys and eating pizza. They crack jokes, have a lot of fun, and always save the day. What’s there not to like?
Looking back at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now, the idea of mutated turtles learning English by watching TV and listening to the radio- with absolutely no grammar or schooling- seems odd. But then again, what’s normal about 6 foot tall mutated turtles walking on 2 feet?
Here’s another show I couldn’t get enough of as a kid. When it came to great 80s cartoons ThunderCats was definitely where it was at.
To be honest I never really knew what was going on, or why it seemed like only the lead Thundercat could ever really save the day. I mean, they would always make a big deal of his sword growing and stuff, and then he would magically save the day.
…with a sword that was never used to kill or even really hurt people.
But that’s TV in the 80s. Shows were generally less violent and their writing didn’t need to be very good.
5. The Smurfs
I hate to admit it, but I actually watched this show a lot. I have no idea why, but it was one of those shows that I had to keep watching anytime it came on.
The Smurfs was about a group of tiny blue people. Each episode was generally about the evil Gargamel trying to catch them, take over their part of the forest, etc. You know, the kind of stuff that typical bad guys do.
And of course his plans are always foiled by the 4 inch tall blue people without weapons.
6. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Everything you need for a successful cartoon series for kids. Buff guys running around in their underwear, hot women and bad guys that can never, ever win. When it came to action and adventure He-Man had it all.
Oh yeah, and there is Battle Cat. Who wouldn’t want a giant cat going into battle with you against the forces of darkness?
So those are our picks for the best 80s cartoons ever. Did your favorite make the list?