By Sunday Simmons
Sharing our childhood memories and photos with our kids is a given, allowing them a glimpse of who their parents used to be. Personally, I love sharing my favourite cartoons with my kids, too – it has an age reversing effect, and suddenly we’re all cheering for the retro good guys and vintage villains! Check out my May animation recommendations, and share some golden oldies with your geeks in training!
Ulysses 31 (1981-82)
One of the highlights of my week as a kid was eagerly awaiting the opening credits of Ulysses 31 and singing raucously along with the theme tune! This French animated series (dubbed in English) boasted a Haim Saban theme, he of the anthemic Power Rangers tune.
But what about the cartoon itself? Introducing kids to a story loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey but set in outer space, this action packed adventure follows the adventures of space explorer Ulysses, his search for his lost son Telemachus on their way home to Earth, and the anger of the great Gods of Olympus when Ulysses defats the Cyclops to regain his son.
Set in the 31st Century, this is a surreal, intriguing, and sublimely watchable cartoon – one of those that begs a bit of a binge watch! I loved this as a kid, and it’s still a favourite, so why not check it out now on Amazon disc.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-83)
The Marvel Universe is vast and complex, and whilst crossovers do happen, none have worked as well in animation as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Well, according to this retro cartoon Spidey-fan anyway!
Teaming up with Firestar and Iceman, Spiderman creates ‘The Spider Friends’, and sets about taking on the Marvel villains running riot in New York. Clashing with Doc Doom, Shocker, and Red Skull to name a few, The Spider Friends also hook up with a few of our Marvel favourites for some crossover super hero action.
I do love Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. I love the very eighties comic style animation, I love the Stan Lee narration, I love how this cartoon blows a raspberry at the Marvel timeline and allows some of our favourite characters to clash. And you can watch it today on DVD.
She-Ra Princess of Power (1985-87)
Kidnapped at birth and the twin sister of He-Man’s Prince Adam, Adora is She-Ra Princess of Power. Once an evil doer and leader of the Horde, she turns her life around when Prince Adam tells her who she really is, and she’s not too thrilled about the Horde’s continued attempts to bring doom and gloom to the planet of Etheria.
Now, I hold my hand up and admit that cartoons aimed at boys always enthralled me more than the ones aimed at girls – I was always more of a Thundercat than a Care Bear, but that said I did enjoy She-Ra, and the episodes had a strong storyline with some satisfying evil characters to boot. The He-Man element is also a plus!
A good, strong female lead, a fun supporting cast of nasties, and some excellent sword and sorcery tales makes She-Ra a great all-rounder, and definitely worth looking out for on Amazon Prime Video.
Taken from the May 2017 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!