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- Seven IMDB Entries Nothing Like the Actual Movie
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- Ten Reasons Why a T-Rex Would Make A Bad Pet
- The Weirdest Theories About Ancient Technology
- Modern Discoveries with Surprisingly Ancient Roots
- The Most Wildly Unsuitable 80s Cartoon Heroes
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- A HISTORY OF...
- STUFF FOR NERDS
The Most Wildly Unsuitable 80s Cartoon Heroes
The 60s had mushrooms, the 70s had acid, and the 80s had cartoons. And the cartoons were by far the most insane shared hallucinations. Picking on 80s cartoons in terms of plot and physics is like criticizing a rainbow for poor load-bearing capacity: you’re being distracted by boring reality when everyone else is enjoying the incredible beauty. But these cartoons failed even by their own 80s cartoon logic standards. And “80s cartoon logic” is such an impossible stupidity it can only exist by mentioning the 80s.
Forget the super-powered jewellery, and that poor kid who had to pretend to be a Care Bear while his friends got fist-mounted flamethrowers and earthquake guns: Captain Planet was designed to fight pollution and he was allergic to pollution. That’s like a firefighter covered in kerosene. GI Joe wasn’t Cobraphobic, and Cobra had ten thousand missiles aimed directly at him at all times. But too much pollution would cause Captain Planet to collapse. Several plots were triggered by the Planeteers summoning him, him crying “that looks like way too much work!”, going into anaphylactic shock, and collapsing.
Which was, unfortunately, a far better analogy of how pollution affects environmentalism. Worse, he was probably the greatest eco-terrorist the Planeteers ever encountered. His evil opposite was Captain Pollution, an amalgamation of all the worst poisons humanity ever produced – which is why he talked like an 80s radical surfer duuuuude, an audio toxin that makes you want to drill your own ears out. Planet wisely decided this guy had to be destroyed, and did it by realizing that his opposite had the opposite his own weakness: he exposed Captain Pollution to as much clean nature as possible.
Understand: Captain Planet toured the world dragging the worst collection of pollution ever to exist through as much unspoiled wilderness as possible. If that worked pollution, wouldn’t be a problem! He dragged him through open seas, unspoiled earth, the skies, even molten lava, just to make sure that even the planets core wouldn’t be unsullied. In one victory sequence Planet exposed the Earth to more terrible poisons than the Exxon Valdez.
The Centurions were secret agents with powered exoskeletons which were half tank, half LEGO, aka everything cool about the 80s in one opening sequence.
Their exoframes could connect with weapons systems teleported from a space station. (I told you: every sentence about these guys is just non-stop badass words.) They’d snap on a couple of wrist-missiles easier than you’d put on a watch, because in Centurion land it’s always Explosion Time. The exoframes also let them teleport from their cover identities and secret bases to wherever the action was.
The problem is that action was always Doc Terror, whose entire and only strategy was mass producing identical robots to swarm his objectives. He was like a video game villain escaped into cartoon land. His only advantage was quantity, and the Centurions fired away 20% of their own suit with every shot. After five enemies they’re almost defenseless, and Doc Terror sends more Doom Drones than that to fetch his morning coffee. All he had to do was skip a week, save up a few more droids, and he’d swamp them.
Why were the Centurions a secret force? This wasn’t a battle from the shadows. Doc Terror was more famous than Madonna in his 80s world, and appeared on the TV more often than the weather report. This got even crazier when they hired an infiltration and espionage specialist, who was also their token Native American character, and was also seven foot tall.
There is a time for affirmative action hiring strategies, and undercover agents aren’t it. Worse, his exoframe was a lightweight version designed to be less detectable. The result was a giant Native American wearing electro-bondage gear. That’s less covert than being on fire.
There was a lot wrong with the Gummi Bears, starting with everything and moving up from there. A cartoon series based on a candy is a “kids will love it!” idea invented by an old man who doesn’t know kids hate him. But they also had such a subversive message that, if the show wasn’t obviously too stupid stupid, you’d swear they were doing it on purpose. Right in the middle of the DARE Don’t Do Drugs era you had a bunch of cartoon animals telling kids that magic drugs were fantastic.
The core of the series was the Gummiberry juice , a magic formula which made the bears bounce but had a side-effect of making humans super-strong. Listen, bears: the super soldier serum is not a side effect. The fact it turns you into jet balls is the side effect. The older bears would constantly remind their young human friends that the potion was special and only for the bears, but the kids would always save the day with it. This cartoon was teaching kids that their grandma’s prescription medicine was secretly Superman juice.