10 Things You Might Not Know About RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM

Geek Dave gets his own kid friendly, animated spin-off.

1. Rambo was the first R-Rated film property to be given a treatment of a children's cartoon show, but in order to meet Federal Communications Commission decency standards and make the series viewable for children, the violence level was, naturally, significantly reduced compared to the films.

2. Just how the writers were going to bring a child-friendly show about a main character who was a troubled Vietnam War veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was a task in itself. Rambo: The Force Of Freedom's child psychology advisors believed that the target audience, young children and preteens, would not grasp that aspect of David Morrell's character, so they recommended that the cartoon not make any references to Vietnam, POWs, or Rambo's experiences in 1982's First Blood and 1985's Rambo: First Blood Part II.

3. It was obviously going to be too expensive to get Sylvester Stallone to voice the titular character, so when Rambo: The Force Of Freedom premiered in 1986 he was voiced by Neil Ross.

The other main character to make their was from the films was Colonel Trautman who, in the film series, as portrayed by Richard Crenna. Again, Crenna did not provide the voice for the animated version, instead it was Alan Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer, no stranger to animated productions, is most famous for voicing Skeletor in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

One more voice actor fact for you, before playing Will Smith's Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the late, great James Avery provided the voice for Rambo's ally Edward "Turbo" Hayes.

4. Unlike the film series, which used real life location, fictional countries are featured, with names like Namboola, Tierra Libre, and Bagdinia. However, although many fictional back-stories were created as plot lines, some of them were actually echoing historical or current events.

5. The Rambo films are known for their heavy body count, in 1985's Rambo: First Blood Part II the titular character killed 74 people alone, but throughout the course of the 65 episodes of Rambo: The Force Of Freedom, despite much use of heavy weaponised machinery, Rambo didn't kill a single person.

6. Rambo had been known for being something of a notorious loner, but for the cartoon he was given a team to head-up, each with specific skill sets. On Colonel Trautman's request Rambo and The Force of Freedom would go on missions against paramilitary terrorist organization S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion).

7. One of Rambos' new team-mates was inspired by the character of Co Bao from Rambo: First Blood Part II. Co Bao was meant to be Rambo's chance at a new life, and he'd promised to take her with him to America to start afresh, but as she'd been killed in that film the producers decided to not rewrite history, rather develop the character of Katherine Anne "K.A.T." Taylor in her honour.

K.A.T was an Asian-American master of disguise, gymnast and expert martial artist. Whereas Co Bao was an intended love interest and this being a cartoon, we didn't see them develop their romantic relationship, rather suggestions of schoolyard crush.

8. Despite his penchant for a nice political speech, few people would've taken life lessons from the movie version of John Rambo on how to stay on the straight and narrow. The animated version decided to go an entirely different way, and so in an effort to please the FCC moral lessons were frequently included in episodes. With Rambo directly telling children what is right and what is wrong...

Whilst carrying a semi-automatic weapon!

9. Rambo: The Force Of Freedom may have been inspired by the movies but it really only existed to sell a range of toys - just like the vast majority of animated shows seem to be. The Rambo toy line was actually released prior to the cartoon's debut, so with only the movies as a point of reference it really was incredibly inappropriate for the targeted age range. However, it proved to be very popular and lasted longer than the television series itself, with a second wave of figures and toys released in 1987.

10. Although the animated series was incredibly toned down for its adolescent audience, not everyone felt it was toned down enough. A group of 'concerned' parents at a New York school formed, what was referred to as, The He-Man Workshop, to discuss the state of children's television, which they felt had become too violent. The bad press surrounding their concerns, and the link to its ultra-violent past (and future) movie series, eventually killed the show.

Which was one more killing than animated Rambo made!

10 Things You Might Not Know About FIRST BLOOD 
10 Things You Might Not Know About RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II

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