Tag Archives: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Remembering Beetlejuice: The Animated Series

Let’s rewind our minds back a few years and remember what being a kid was like on a gorgeous Saturday morning.

Unlike my peers, I personally was always up at a decent hour (around 7:30 a.m.). After crawling out of my Ninja Turtle sheets, I would make my way to the dimly lit kitchen and help myself to a bowl of cereal and whatever readily available juice box (preferably Hawaiian Punch or Ecto Cooler) my fridge held that morning. All placed accordingly on my TMNT (1990) movie tray in front of our mammoth of a television set. I was ready to seize the glorious Saturday with the start of some of the greatest goddamn must-see-TV. And one of many of those amazing Saturday morning animated gems was, of course, Beetlejuice: The Animated Series.

 

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One year after Tim Burton congo-danced the ghost with the most across the big screen, the imaginative filmmaker developed a more kid-friendly version (sorry, no crotch grabbing anywhere here) based on the daily lives of the bio-exorcist and his earth pal, Lydia Deetz.

Mostly set in Beetle’s home The Netherworld, the series ran around some silly adventure or problem week after week involving the duo. From roaming skeletons in the closet ruining someone’s day with the hard truth or Beetlejuice’s entire skeletal system abandoning him in favor of a vacation, the show was a perfect Saturday morning mash-up of wackiness and just a hint of horror.

Lydia’s parents Charles and the eccentric Delia return in animated form as naive supporting characters that never seem to notice their daughter spends most of her free time in another dimension. Then again, in the film, she seemed to be mostly ignored from her self-absorbed parental units until the shit hit the fan- so the relationship stays a tad faithful in that aspect. The void felt by the absence of Barbara and Adam was filled with new characters. Beetle’s neighbors in the Netherworld furthered BJ’s awesome sense of sarcasm with most of them being both clumsy and easy to poke fun at. In which case, ole BJ took advantage of on a constant basis and was the source for a lot of the humor in the series. Jacques, Ginger, The Monster Across the Street, Poopsie, the Mayor, and on Earth, the snooty Claire Brewster, were often the victims of Beetlejuice’s embarrassing pranks.  Even Lyds wasn’t immune to Beetle’s reign of practical jokes as the bio-exorcist’s only friend was even the butt-of-the-joke at times. However, unlike Claire and the Netherworld residents, BJ’s pranks on the teenage Deetz were never meant to cause damaging feelings or humility, but rather all in fun. Which asserts the relationship between Lydia and Beetlejuice in the series. Unlike in the film, the pair was as close as friends could get and the unlikely duo’s friendship remained a constant crucial part of the show throughout the series’ short three-season span.

What I wouldn’t give for a revival of this beautiful program. Hey if Spiderman and Teen Titans can be rebooted several times, why not give Beetlejuice a shot at the 21st century?

Retro Saturday Morning: Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling

Chances are if you were a child of the ’80s and ’90s, you may remember this thing we used to have every Saturday morning- cartoons. Cartoons everywhere. From 6:00 am up until noon when the Saturday afternoon movies would begin, it was an animated festival of gloriousness. We sat in our PJs, sipped on Ecto Cooler, and ate about three bowls of sugary diabetic cereal, with remnants of dried milk on our little metal TV trays. And sometimes, we’d break for a quick play of Super Mario 2 on our NES.

Yep. Those were the glory days.

Saturday morning cartoons, with the exception of a few cartoon networks, have become a thing of the past. If I may be so bold- THAT JUST SUCKS. I feel bad for current or future generations of children who have their media content so scattered, and walk around watching YouTube all goddamn day long. (Am I showing my age yet?). But hey, whose to say Teen Titans GO! won’t be fondly remembered by my eight-year-old twenty years from now. I guess only time will tell.

Anyways enough with the rambling, today we’ll be focusing on one of the greats of the ’80s- Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. Say what you will about this weirdly awesome Saturday morning gem, but I will defend its epicness until I cease to breathe. The WWE (ugh I still call it WWF) spiked during the mid-’80s and goddamn if it wasn’t everywhere- mostly thanks to a yellow speedo wearing, all-American hero by the name of Hulk Hogan. Love him, or hate him, he made the sport a rite of passage for every man, woman, and child during that time and you just have to respect that. I’m not even sure Wrestling would be as mainstream today if it wasn’t for Thunderlips, I mean Hogan. At night, we had Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the morning, we had Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. 

And it all began like this…

The DIC Entertainment series ran originally on CBS Saturday mornings from 1985 until 1987 featuring the shenanigans of Hogan and buddies who usually had to deal with Piper and his “baddie” comrades in the face of seriously wacky situations. For instance, having to rid Bobby Heenan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling theme park of a hoard of zombies. (That one, in particular, was my favorite by far) You know, typical Saturday morning fare for us growing up. Unfortunately, due to the wrestler stars hectic schedules, their animated counterparts were voiced by actors. Fun little fact, comedian, and Everyone Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett voiced Hogan. However, in between the usual two-story episode, we would get a break in the middle with a live-action segment of a wrestler in some sort of awesomely ridiculous skit.  I can’t make it clear enough the ones featuring Hot Rod were the damn best.

The series that ran for only two seasons featured “faces” Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, Captain Lou Albano, Andre The Giant, Hillbilly Jim, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Tito Santana, and Wendi Richter. The “heels” led by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper included Nikolia Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, Mr. Fuji, Big John Studd, and The Fabulous Moolah and was an effort to cross-promote the rock-n-wrestling connection that primarily involved pop music icon, Cyndi Lauper. That being said, I really feel like there was a huge missed opportunity there not including Randy Savage in this Saturday morning national treasure. I mean, can you imagine an animated reign of madness? Holy snopes, what could have been, will never… dammit.

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Sigh… They just don’t make them like this anymore. I’m still patiently waiting for a streaming service to pick this up, and while I’m not sure if it will ever come to fruition, there is a five-disc DVD series offered by RetroTVMemories.com here.  Or, if you really want to do things the correct way, Amazon has seasons available on VHS. I mean, if we’re going to bask in “Real American” nostalgia, what better way than blowing into your VCR head and reliving your childhood once again.

WWF: Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, Vol. 1 [VHS]