Video Game Cartoons: Good or Bad?! – Laser Time #365

Has there ever been a great video game cartoon? The most honest among us would probably say “Maybe. But not until recently.” Which is probably the correct answer, but you can’t get there without going back to the beginning. This is by no means a comprehensive look at the subject of video game cartoons, but we can promise it’s the silliest, and we’ve brought a lot of factoids and glorious sound clips to prove our point. What’s a video game cartoon you liked?

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15 thoughts on “Video Game Cartoons: Good or Bad?! – Laser Time #365

  1. if we’re only talking america, then probably…if we move beyond america, I think there’s always been a good amount of game toons

  2. I can’t be the only one who fondly remembers “Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm” cartoon!! I don’t remember many plot details, but it was really cool to see such a gory game I grew up loving make the transition to Saturday Morning Cartoon. In hindsight, it’s quite awful, but at the time it was quite spectacular to me!

    Here’s what I believe is it’s entire run in one 4 1/2 hour YouTube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03CcgpESFIY

  3. What’s happening LT crew. Listener first time commenter. If you want to see Team Power episodes you got to look up Video Power. The first season Johhnny Arcade would give tips for the first half then show Team Power the second half. As far as I know they only lasted the one season then it switched up to the video game game show with the free for all shopping spree at the end with the velcro vest.

  4. When that Pac-Man theme song came on I instantly recognized it, which is soooooooo strange because it’s been 30 plus years since I last heard it. Also re: Captain N. For the record, I had a varsity jacket (wrestling) and was good at video games in the time frame involved. Now, Captain N was not a good series, at all, but I have so much nostalgia for it and I would love so much for Captain N to be in Smash bros. My son (age 6) actually likes the show though!

  5. That Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon may be an improvement over the prior one, but it’s still bad. It, like the Super Show, liked to utilize licensed music parodies for chase sequences, most or all of which were removed for the DVD release. I got that DVD for something like 5 bucks years ago and managed to watch all of the episodes (I think there were only 13) and there was one song left in that I wonder if it was a parody left-over. It’s called “Trash City USA” (episode “Recycled Koopa”) and it sounds an awful lot like the Glenn Danzig/Misfits song “Spook City USA” and I’ve always wanted to know if it is indeed a parody of that song and if it was left in because it was too obscure and managed to skate on by. When the cartoon originally aired, that song was only available on an out of print 7″ so it’s easy to see how it could avoid detection and even since then it’s only available as part of The Misfits Box Set. It’s also a simple song so it’s also entirely possible the whole thing is just a coincidence.

    And fun bit of trivia on the Street Fighter cartoon, a lot of the people who show-ran the X-Men cartoon moved onto that. That show feels like a sincere attempt at creating a series out of that show, even if it didn’t really work. Lightning only strikes once, apparently.

  6. Wing Commander made its popularity as a computer game which had some ports in the SNES, and the cartoon was pretty solid. The main characters were voiced by Mark Hamill, Brian Thompson, and Malcolm McDowell. It’s too bad it only ran for one season on USA’s cartoon express.

  7. Timely topic for me, as I just got done rewatching the only Dragon Warrior anime from the 90s. So much nostalgia.

    Anyway, great topic. I hope you’ll do sequel episodes of this since you didn’t get to do very much of it this time.

  8. The best video game cartoon is probably Hoshi no Kaabi – Kirby Right Back At Ya! in the States. It may not be the most sophisticated in terms of writing or animation but it perfectly captures the spirit of that tough creampuff.

  9. Man, I LOVED Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Captain N, and the Legend of Zelda animated series when I was a kid. And they are all absolutely awful garbage. We settled for some really shitty cartoons back in the 80s. I can’t think of a single cartoon series from the 80s that wasn’t absolute trash. I remember thinking that the episodes of Captain N with Link were especially good, too. Also, why was Mega Man whiny and green in Captain N?

    Captain N did have a great intro, though. It made me really want to play NES during lightning storms.

  10. Wish ya’ll had had time to talk about Wing Commander Academy. It’s not good but it’s ambitious and has Mark Hamill, Tom Wilaon and Malcolm McDowell reprising their roles from WC3. Also, there was a bonkers semi crossover that tied Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, WC and Savage Dragon into a single universe with a villain who appeared in all 4.

    1. Wing Commander Academy wasn’t great but it did have some “mature” story-telling stood it apart from most animated series out at that time. War was never glorified and showed that war is emotionally draining and the moral ambiguity of it.
      Other episodes also dealt with betrayal and defection, religion. WCA was a very good series.

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