In the '80s and '90s, it seemed like every cultural phenomenon was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon. It was a simpler time when kids still wanted to be like their parents and older siblings, and these shows gave them time-traveling, crime-fighting versions of the stuff old people talked about (when they weren't singing Huey Lewis songs or doing blow off the kitchen table).
But, not all fads translated well to Saturday mornings. Below, the 10 worst Saturday morning cartoon translations, complete with symptomatic title sequences and probably too in-depth analysis of why they sucked.
10Rambo and the Forces of Freedom
The novel First Blood, as well as its film adaptation and its sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II.
Rambo was an expert in guerrilla warfare--a man who was the best with guns, with knives and with his bare hands. He was a man who had been trained to ignore pain, to ignore weather, to live off the land and to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam, his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Except in cartoon form, where Rambo was the leader of a multicultural, G.I. Joe-like squad of do-gooders, each with their own special backgrounds and talents.
Cartoon Rambo was a well-adjusted man, who never talked about his experiences in Vietnam as a prisoner of war or his lingering case of post-traumatic stress disorder. A man who was nonviolent and overcame his enemies through clever thinking rather than an explosive arrow tip to the chest. He was a man who could sustain a poorly-thought-out animated adaptation of source material wildly inappropriate for children for only one season before cancellation.
Evidence from the Title Sequence:
Here we have Rambo skiing down a snowy mountain and dodging flamethrowers, all in the name of protecting the innocent:
Nothing too outrageous there, right? Now check out the trailer for the upcoming John Rambo. Go ahead and skip right to 1:13 where Rambo starts decapitating people and turning entire human bodies into hamburger meat.
Coming out in January, just in time for those of us who grew up on the cartoons!