Kids Cartoons Inspired By Geek TV Shows & Movies. Part 2.

Geek Dave continues his look back at the classic geek themed animated shows which were either a spin-off or inspired by movies and TV shows. How many of these do you remember...

Star Wars: Droids
You wait 8 years for an animated Star Wars series and then 2 come along at once. The first being Star Wars: Droids.

I always liked Droids, I mean who could resist more adventures for C-3PO and R2-D2? Even if it was in cartoon form. The show was set before Episode IV, and some elements of this animated series are even referenced in the prequels years later. The Emperor is often mentioned, but never seen, but Boba Fett made an appearance. Anthony Daniels provided the voice for 3PO, simply because it is law that no-one else may ever do so! That's a good law.

Only 13 episodes and one special were made, they were first broadcast on the BBC in 1986, but to this day there has never been a complete DVD release. I assume they need some kind of remastering. Surely that's something to keep George busy in his retirement?

Star Wars: Ewoks
I didn't care for them so much in Return Of The Jedi, and I certainly didn't care for them in animated form!

Set before 'Jedi' and first broadcast in 1985, 35 Episodes were made over 2 series. The story focused on the adventures of Wicket W. Warrick and his friends on the forest moon of Endor. Just like Droids, it's never received a complete home video release, but I'm happy if George doesn't make this one of his projects!

Mork & Mindy
The 1982 cartoon version of Mork & Mindy lasted 26 episodes and featured all the main cast members providing the characters voices; the recently departed genius that was Robin Williams as Mork, Pam Dawber as Mindy, Conrad Janis as her Dad Fred and Ralph James as Orson.

The story was slightly different from the original TV show. In the cartoon a teenaged Mork is sent to Earth from planet Ork to observe the lives of human teenagers and enroll in a local school, he's also accompanied by a pink 6 legged dog called Doing. But Mindy and her Father are still the only Earthlings who know that Mork's an alien (the 6 legged dog might've been a clue, no?), and he still sends his telepathic reports of his experiences to Orkan ruler Orson.

No DVD release available.

Highlander: The Animated Series
The mid 90s saw this spin-off of the Highlander franchise. You know the story, it's now in cartoon form and following young Quentin MacLeod! The show lasted 2 years, and 40 episodes were made.

Flash Gordon
I have always been a big fan of the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials, for me nothing has ever topped them, but this 1979 Filmation animated version actually did a pretty good job of being faithful to the spirit of Flash Gordon.

It was originally intended to be a one-off made for TV movie but NBC had other ideas and so 32 episodes produced. The basic story follows Flash and his companions as they travel to Mongo, where they are forced into battle by its ruler, Ming the Merciless, his daughter Princess Aura, and his army of Metal Men. To help their cause the heroes lead the formation of an alliance beginning with King Thun, leader of the Lion People; Prince Barin, ruler of Arboria; and King Vultan, leader of the Hawkmen.

I can honestly say that this was one of my favourite shows as a kid and essential viewing during Children's BBC. It was often repeated, until this next show came along... 

Defenders Of The Earth
In 1986 Flash Gordon was back! Now married to Dale and with a son called Rick, he teamed up with The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and his assistant Lothar. Along with their children (!) they fought the evil tyrant Ming the Merciless.

The story began with Flash and his son Rick escaping from Mongo. Ming has exhausted all the natural resources of his home planet and plans to exploit Earth. Ming captures Dale and tries to brainwash her, but she resists to the point of death! Heavy stuff for a kids show. Gone but not forgotten, Dale's psyche is downloaded into the Defenders' supercomputer 'Dynac X'. Because, let's face it, nothing says the 1980s like a supercomputer!

It kidding on it a bit, but it was actually quite a lot of fun and lasted a decent 65 episodes.

So did you watch any of these shows? And are there any other classic cartoons which were based on geek movie/TV shows that you remember? If so then let me know in the comments below and hopefully I can compile a third installment.

Kids cartoons inspired by geek TV shows & movies - Part 1
Kids cartoons inspired by inappropriate movies

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