Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

So, today's obession was the Rambo cartoon. Anyone out there remember it? I can't believe that, in all of the late-night conversations Mr. Anderson and I had about cartoons of the 1980s, that the Rambo cartoon never came up. Can't blame him, though. When it was on in Edmonton, it was real "blink and you'll miss it" television. Like the classic G.I. Joe: The MASS Device or G.I. Joe: Cobra's Revenge, it was a 5-episode mini-series. ITV in Edmonton (now Global) ran it for one week one spring, every afternooon at 5 o'clock. And it was just a 5 episode mini-series. On the second week, when I tuned in again to keep watching, it wasn't on any more. I think Mom even helped me write an angry letter to ITV. I mean, it was just on for one week, but I completely fell in love with it!

So, today, encouraged by A-Channel's recent Rocky marathon, I went in search of info on the Rambo cartoon. Just five episodes...my memory has grown fuzzy. But here's the scoop! Yes, it started with a 5-episode mini-series that was on in the spring of 1986 (most likely when it was on ITV), and it went so well, that a full season - 65 episodes - was produced, and it ran for the 1986/1987 TV season! Wow! So much of it that I missed!

And I was finally reminded of the premise. The immortal movie action hero John Rambo became leader of a group called the Force for Freedom. The Force for Freedom is America's daring, highly-trained special missions force. It's purpose: to defend human freedom against SAVAGE; an evil terrorist organization determined to rule the world. The cartoon tried to be gentler than the films, too. Rambo and the Force for Freedom would always try to seek out a non-violent solution, rather than simply killing or blowing up the forces of SAVAGE.

Oh, and the similarities to G.I. Joe continue. A member of the Force for Freedom was a ninja named "White Dragon." His twin brother, "Black Dragon," was a SAVAGE agent.

Most of the websites I found said that the 5-episode mini-series, Invasion, plus most of the 65 episodes, were released on video. Something tells me the show's got to exist online somewhere....

so, yeah. The Rambo cartoon. A brief, but happy, part of my childhood.

Next Issue...Rambo IV

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