Follow-up: 80s British Cartoons That Americans Missed (Or Not)

Chris Sobiniek was kind enough to write in to fill in some background information on my recent post about 80s British cartoons that I thought never made it across the Pond. Lo and behold, some of them actually did! Below is what was sent over detailing where and when they made it on the air.

Thanks Chris!

In the US, many of these shows aired first on cable TV. There wasn’t much of a chance for any of ‘em on regular TV much during that time, and the new cable TV market proved to be a great ‘dumping ground’ for foreign toons on channels like Nickelodeon (further picking up the interest of those of us who were tired on the domestic Saturday morning junk). Cable/satellite TV in those days wasn’t quite as proliferated as it was in the 90?s, so there was plenty of room for experimenting and trying different things than what was seen before from “The Big Three”.

Danger Mouse premiered as early as 1983 over here and lasted up to probably 1988 or ’89, but also made a faint appearance in the early 90’s I think too.

Count Duckula would premiere also on Nick in 1988 and lasted for a good number of years as I recall.

Bananaman on the other hand, aired on Nick in the 80’s as well, though I can recall it mostly coming on right after Dangermouse as I think they had 5 or so minutes to kill and just stuck it there anyway, in later years it showed up on a program called “Total Panic” as one of the cartoons shown Sunday mornings.

While Nickelodeon back then was part of the “basic tier” of cable channels one could get, The Disney Channel use to be a premium channel on the same platform as HBO or Showtime, and thus you had to beg your parents to get that so you could watch SuperTed they played too (I think it use to be on around 1984-86). Home Video releases of the SuperTed series also were made available from Walt Disney Home Video (which came in handy for those that didn’t get the channel).

Not sure if we ever got Postman Pat back then, though I do recall videos of it being released here anyway (home video often was the scapegoat for things that may see little or no airings on TV in those days). I’m certainly the later Postman Pat stuff when they got the puppets mouths moving probably did air here anyway.

I don’t remember The Raggy Dolls or The Family Ness showing up here (let alone “The Trap Door” for that matter, and that one surely could’ve hit it over big here too), I do recall this show popping up on Nick featuring Spike Milligan’s wit and narration…

Thomas The Tank Engine had a rather interesting history over here, as we didn’t get quite the same type of program you guys had. Instead, and probably as a means of testing the waters for this guy here, Britt Allcroft co-created a program as a springboard for Thomas that aired on PBS stations beginning in 1989 called “The Shining Time Station”. Thomas’ adventures were told from a little character the kids could see named “Mr. Conductor” (who was either played by Ringo Starr in the first season and George Carlin for the remainder of the show’s run).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shining_Time_Station

Pretty much the way I view that show today is really just that, we had to get up to speed on this Thomas thing like the Brits and then go from there (such as with that movie)!

So yeah, we Americans weren’t too far behind, but we certainly did miss out on a few stuff now and then.

British Cartoons From the 80s that Americans Sadly Missed

I suppose it’s a sign that I can safely say I remember a time when there wasn’t 24 hour cartoon channels. Yes, I am a child of the 1980s, and I have very fond memories of not only watching cartoons, but waiting for cartoons to come on.

Anyway, here’s a couple of my favourites that I don’t believe made the transition across the Atlantic, which is a shame. However, thanks to the wonder of YoutTube, you can (well, at least the openings anyway). Enjoy!

Count Duckula (which rocks a very thriller-esque theme)

Bonus! The end sequence, which in all likelihood has yet to be bettered in terms of effort.

Danger Mouse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf8bInp52sE

Bananaman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq2KXudEjkI

The Family Ness

Raggy Dolls

Superted

Thomas the Tank Engine

And my very favourite, Postman Pat

Why Old Cartoons Bring Out The Nostlagia In You

Via: TV Rage

As I’ve gotten older (26 as of midnight by the way) I’ve found that the nostalgia for all the shows I watched as a child have gotten ever stronger. I don’t consider myself ancient by any stretch of the imagination although sometimes I really do have to take a second and remind myself that I was watching kids shows literally 20 years ago. That shock never gets any smaller.

I have a fairly decent memory and I’ve found it rather interesting that over the years, I have a pretty hard time remembering the live-action TV shows I watched when I was young. Sure, I remember Sesame Street without bother, but other shows not unlike the kid-coms we see plastered all over the Disney Channel.

However, when it comes to the cartoons, I memory is still quite vivid. I can remember the themes tunes, the characters, plots, enemies and of course who produced them all, including the one below, which I can say I thought was a pretty decent show at the time. Only later did I discover the truth (apologies to Fred!)

Perhaps I watched a few more cartoons than the average kid (yeah right) but it would seem that I am not alone in how I have fond recollections of all of these cartoons, even the stinkers that RTE put on.

I would like to think that most of us have fond memories of our childhood and it certainly seems that cartoons played a fairly large part in that childhood. Besides bringing up the old images of that far away time, old cartoons serve as a great reminder for other happy times from that bygone era.

I can tell you right now that the Pink Panther show brings back a very vivid memory for me of that show being cut right in the middle of an episode for the government’s budget. I was quite disheartened to learn that the budget was not a 5 minute gap in the schedule.

I could leave you with ton of videos of the cartoons of my childhood, but you already know where to look for those. Instead, I leave you with the opening to Superted, a cartoon that used to be broadcast rather randomly on Channel 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUmJse3UJRY