In the days before the video recording act was passed, I'm talking early to mid 1980s, local video rental store owners seemed to see the movie rating system as an optional guideline. As long as they got their 75p they tended to be more than happy to rent you whatever movie you wanted, no matter how old you were. I recall hiring many an old AA or X certificate movie (horror, not porn!) when I couldn't have been more than 11 or 12 - and then when the 15 and 18 cert's came in it was still no problem at the till.
It gave us kids access to the kind of films we probably shouldn't have been watching, and I expect made hits out of certain VHS releases that would've flopped otherwise. It also meant that the playground was full of talk about films and characters we shouldn't really have known about, and with us kids talking about these 18/R rated movies it was only a matter of time before the studios cashed-in on it.
So here we go, 5 kids cartoons that were based on movies for adults...
Rambo: The Force Of Freedom
We mid 1980s school kids really shouldn't have known about a mentally unstable Vietnam vet, but VHS access to First Blood made Rambo a playground hero! This debuted on TV the same time as Rambo: First Blood Part II hit the cinemas - a film no kid was getting into see, legally that is!
RoboCop: The Animated Series
Both the first 2 RoboCop movies were 18 certificate blood fests, so clearly it was the next logical step to turn the franchise into a Saturday morning kids cartoon, right? It must've been rushed into production because it began screening in 1988, only a few months after the first movie was released on VHS.
Conan The Adventurer
This 1992 cartoon is based on Conan The Barbarian, a 15 certificate in the UK and rated R in the USA. This was actually the first of two Conan animated series'. Two years after we were treated to Conan And The Young Warriors.
A low budget Troma produced 18 certificate movie from 1984 became a kids cartoon in 1990. The cartoon included quite a lot of adult jokes which the producers claimed would go over the kids heads. Yeah, right!
Police Academy: The Series
This series of movies started out as an adult comedy before becoming the kid friendly slapstick nonsense presented in the sequels. The first Police Academy was rated 15 in the UK, R in the US, and came with warnings of sex & nudity and bad language. Of course kids across the country had all seen that film regardless of the certificate, and so a cartoon series was not far behind.
Did you watch any of them?
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