The '80s weren't all about glam rock, ridiculous haircuts, and action movies. Oh no, there was so much more to the era. In terms of animation, it's one of the most fondly remembered and celebrated periods. The abundance of cartoons produced was simply staggering – and they were pretty good, too. Sure, they might've been created as expensive commercials to sell toys to children, but they didn't disappoint the target audience. From the likes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to G.I. Joe, there was always something to watch and enjoy on the small screen. Plus, if your parents were kind, you could also head down to your favorite video store and rent out the toons for an '80s-style binge.
A lot has changed since then; however, the strong feelings of nostalgia and good memories remain. As a result, many '80s properties have received reboots in the subsequent decades to come. In the case of some shows, they're in a constant state of being reimagined for a new generation every few years. Unlike your grumpy, senile neighbor who praises the "good ol' days when things were better," we're not going to bemoan how the remakes stink and the originals are still the best, because that isn't always the truth. On the contrary, what we will say is, there are a host of other series that deserve reboots, too. So, let's take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the best '80s cartoons that have been rebooted and the ones we hope will receive the same treatment.
20 REBOOTED: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
The 1987 animated series is the one that launched Turtlemania into the world, but there have been several adaptations of the four green bros since then. The most recent being Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is due for official release in September. It's a bit of a departure from what fans are used to, though, so the verdict needs to be reserved for now.
The fact that the franchise remains relevant 30 years after the first animated show exploded onto our screens speaks volumes of the Turtles' influence. With movies, comics, toys, and endless merchandise, it doesn't look like the Heroes in a Half-Shell will be leaving the pop-culture consciousness anytime soon.
19 WANT: BRAVESTARR
It's completely unfathomable how BraveStarr isn't a mega franchise nowadays. It was a space western that blended the best of Star Wars with The Unforgiven, and featured diverse characters. What isn't there to like about a gunslinging lawman who has the powers of a puma, wolf, bear, and hawk?
With western-themed shows, such as Westworld, receiving a resurgence in popularity, a BraveStarr reboot could prove to be a massive hit for the network that decides to take a chance on it. Maybe it could go on to have a new lease on life and become the important series it was meant to be in the late '80s.
18 REBOOTED: THUNDERCATS
Interestingly, the 2011 ThunderCats reboot went mostly under the radar and canceled after one season. It's disappointing because it was a terrific show and probably better than the original series. For some reason, though, everyone slept on it – even if ThunderCats is widely remembered by most '80s kids.
When ThunderCats Roar was announced, suddenly the invisible fanbase came to life and spewed vitriol about the animation style and tone. All the so-called experts complained about how it was destroying their childhood and becoming nothing more than a cheap Teen Titans Go! rip-off. If only these same "fans" had bothered to show the same level of interest to the 2011 reboot…
17 WANT: DINO RIDERS
In all fairness, the current direction of Jurassic World looks like it'll lead to some kind of Dino Riders type of story – and hey, we're not complaining about it. A weaponized Velociraptor battling it out against a human riding a T-rex could truly be the peak of human creativity.
Still, we'd love to see a modern adaptation of the Dino Riders animated series. Back in the late '80s, the toyline was immensely popular among children and the cartoon wasn't half-bad either. Now, with the hype around Jurassic World being big again, it might be the perfect time to revisit other classic dinosaur-inspired properties such as Dino Riders.
16 REBOOTED: HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a precarious franchise. It dominated the '80s with its one-two combo of the toys and animated series, but every attempt to reboot the series has been largely unsuccessful. Granted, The New Adventures of He-Man was a bonkers idea and a departure from the source material, but 2002's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe wasn't.
The latter had richer and deeper storylines, building a much more developed world than the original series. However, it didn't last past two seasons and not many fans remember it. Maybe the forthcoming live-action film will be the shot in the arm that the franchise needs.
15 WANT: CHIP 'N' DALE: RESCUE RANGERS
The chipmunks Chip and Dale have featured in Walt Disney's world since 1943. However, they truly hit the big time with the release of the series Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers. The theme song was incredibly catchy and the detective team of Chip, Dale, Monterey Jack, Gadget Hackwrench, and Zipper found a home in our hearts.
Sadly, the series ended in 1990. We have seen Chip and Dale appear in other Disney productions since then, but there's still a longing to see the Rescue Rangers team up one more time. With other old-school Disney series getting remakes, we hope this show is in the pipeline, too.
14 REBOOTED: DUCKTALES
When DuckTales debuted in 1987, it achieved instant fan-favorite status. The show aired for 100 episodes, but even after it ended, it found success in syndication many years later. In fact, if it weren't for DuckTales, we would never have seen the likes of Darkwing Duck and TaleSpin.
In 2017, the series received the reboot treatment, with David Tennant providing the voice of Scrooge McDuck and an updated version of the memorable theme song. The show was well-received and a second season was quickly announced. Whether the new DuckTales will be able to match the 100 episodes of its predecessor, only time will tell – but let's hold thumbs.
13 WANT: BEETLEJUICE
Tim Burton's Beetlejuice was something of a sleeper hit when it was released. Since then it's gone on to achieve cult-classic status, with a sequel in the making for the past 30 years. Surprisingly, it received its own cartoon, even though the subject matter of the film was incredibly dark and not for kids.
Much like the movie, though, the animated series amazed us as it was able to be its own beast. Generally, fans of the Burton flick accepted it and it's widely renowned as a fantastic (if almost totally unrelated) continuation of the Beetlejuice story. With Michael Keaton not getting any younger for the proposed sequel, a new cartoon could be the best solution here.
12 REBOOTED: TRANSFORMERS
Transformers is undoubtedly one of the most successful franchises ever conceived. For over 30 years, it has managed to stay relevant and reinvent itself when required. While we might be far away from the days of the original animated series, the adventures never stopped; they just got wackier.
There has been an endless stream of Transformers shows over the years, which have gone from straight-up 2D to CGI animation. Truth be told, combined with the numerous live-action films, it feels like there's a new property released every other year. Beast Wars: Transformers, though, does stand out as one of the more radical and exciting adaptations of the lot.
11 WANT: M.A.S.K.
In the '80s, kids fought over M.A.S.K. and Transformers. Heck, even to this day, some people still pledge allegiance to one brand over the other. Regardless of which side you're on, it's as clear as day that Transformers has achieved more success and made more of a dent on popular culture.
While M.A.S.K. has never gone away, surviving as video games and comic-book series, it never got another animated series. If F. Gary Gray's proposed live-action film is a hit, though, we have a feeling that we might be seeing a lot more of the underground task force known as Mobile Armored Strike Kommand in the near future.
10 REBOOTED: DANGER MOUSE
In case you might be confused, we're talking about the animated rodent, not the musician who combined Jay-Z's The Black Album with The Beatles' self-titled release. While Danger Mouse isn't as big a name as some of the other shows on this list, the original series lasted from 1981 to 1992. That's phenomenal for a program that parodied James Bond and every other spy in town.
Such was the popularity of the white mouse, that he made a triumphant return in 2015 – obviously joined by his sidekick, Penfold. The reboot is still going strong, having aired over 75 episodes with more to come later this year.
9 WANT: SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS
Hold your horses, partner. Yes, we know there have been several Spider-Man animated series released since Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. What we're suggesting is that we want a modern-day version of the 1981 series, featuring Spidey and his friends. Even if it's unlikely that a new show would consist of Iceman and Firestar, we would settle for replacement characters.
The thing about Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was that it was fun. It wasn't just a continuous storyline about great power and responsibility. Instead, it featured Pete hanging out with friends his own age. We've seen his origin too many times; just let the poor guy have a good time with superhero friends. Thankfully, at very least, we will be getting a comic book with the team in November!
8 REBOOTED: INSPECTOR GADGET
Inspector Gadget featured a kid-friendly cyborg who used his gadgets to solve crimes and stop criminals. He wasn't very good at it, mind you, but he did stumble on some good luck once in a while. It should come as no surprise then that it spawned a host of shows, specials, live-action films, and a weird spinoff called Gadget Boy & Heather.
The most recent adaptation of Inspector Gadget kicked off in 2015. It's a CGI affair that's already had three seasons and 52 episodes. Fortunately, for old-school fans, it still contains the charm and wit of the original series – as well as the mysterious and nefarious Dr. Claw.
7 WANT: BIONIC SIX
Bionic Six was a series about a machine-enhanced family of heroes. Think of them as a more technologically advanced Fantastic Four, but without the skintight blue suits and the Thing. A stellar toyline was made to accompany the cartoon, but the show didn't last longer than two seasons.
In the age of TV shows like Altered Carbon and sci-fi films like Upgrade, a Bionic Six revival could obliterate everything in its path. We're living in a time when a futuristic cartoon would be scooped up by multiple networks. Honestly, it doesn't make sense why no one has tried to reboot this franchise in recent time.
6 REBOOTED: SHE-RA
The achievement of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe led to the equally successful She-Ra spin-off. Much like Prince Adam, Princess Adora left a lasting impression and was never quite forgotten by fans – even if it took over 30 years for a new show to appear.
A revival finally happened, as Netflix announced the plans to air She-Ra and the Princess of Power. When the first images debuted, a few troglodytes lost their minds about the supposed lack of "physical appeal" of the character. To be honest, it's a little bit weird how this is even a conversation topic. Still, we're looking forward to seeing what this new series offers when it's released in November 2018.
5 WANT: ADVENTURES OF THE GUMMI BEARS
Simply put, there's no way that you can turn off affection for Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Even their nemeses, the ogres, were endearing – especially poor Toadie, who was always on the wrong side of Duke Igthorn's ire. The show ran for six successful seasons and remains immensely popular to this day.
Since then, our favorite bears haven't had another series to call their own. They did make a sneaky cameo in the rebooted DuckTales, but nothing substantial to write home about. With all the old toons getting remakes, there's hope that the Gummi Bears could be bouncing here and there, and everywhere, once again.
4 REBOOTED: MY LITTLE PONY
The sweetness of My Little Pony cannot be understated. It's a franchise built on heart and the cutest little horses that you'll ever lay your eyes on. Even though the first toys were released in 1981, the ponies are still in demand today. As expected, animated series were created to complement the toylines.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, though, brought unparalleled success to the franchise. The show wasn't only a hit for kids, it also found a huge fandom among adults. In short, it's a cultural phenomenon as well as the highest-rated original production in Hub Network's history. It's pony madness out there!
3 WANT: GALAXY HIGH SCHOOL
Oh, how so many of us wish we could escape this planet and live somewhere else right now. Galaxy High School was ahead of its time as it proposed the very idea of two Earthlings, Doyle and Aimee, being chosen to attend school in outer space with a bunch of other weird and wonderful creatures. It was also created by Chris Columbus – the filmmaker who brought us Home Alone and penned The Goonies and Gremlins.
Galaxy High School might've only lasted a single season, but it achieved a cult status in the years that followed. Surprisingly, no one has decided to tackle it again. Maybe because of its legacy, there's a fear of fan backlash.
2 REBOOTED: VOLTRON
If you combined Transformers and Power Rangers, you'd get Voltron. In fact, there's a common misconception that Voltron ripped off both – when it actually came before each of them. It's a show that's resulted in toys, comic-book series, a video game, and more recently a revival on Netflix.
Voltron: Legendary Defender is widely popular among fans of the original series and results in numerous online debates about its characters and storylines. Due to this, we wouldn't be surprised if the live-action film has been fast-tracked at Universal and DreamWorks. It's been in the pipeline forever, so it's about time that it moves into production now.
1 WANT: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
Dungeons & Dragons is a decades-old roleplaying game that's spawned a plethora of other offshoots. Recently, Chris McKay was announced as the director of the rebooted film, with Ansel Elgort being reportedly involved as well. Despite this, there have been no details on an animated series reboot.
The original 1983 cartoon ran for three seasons and fans of the game lapped it up. With darker and more risqué animations finding homes on the likes of Netflix, a mature Dungeons & Dragons show could find the same success as Castlevania did. It's one of the oldest and most treasured geek franchises around, so it certainly deserves the best treatment.