Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Thundarr the Barbarian

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thundarr the Barbarian

Over the last several weeks, I have re-discovered my love for the early 1980's cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." I have written elsewhere about my love and devotion to the cartoon "Dangermouse." (Be careful, my wife will tell you that one of the few things to really set me off is to confuse Dangermouse with Mighty Mouse). Thundarr is special for a couple of reasons. Here are a few:

1. When you re-watch old He-Man cartoons (and I was a huge fan of the He-Man action figure collection, but I will save that for another day), you really just can't make it through an entire episode. Looking back now, they are just so hokey, partly because of the character "Orko" which really ruined the otherwise good vs. evil situation. Skeletor remains one of the best cartoon villains of all time. Thundarr, on the other hand, remained fairly dark and "serious." There was of course humor in every episode and hokey moments, but for the most part the episodes took themselves seriously.

2. It showed the action. Whereas most cartoons up to Thundarr would "shoot away" when the explosion or fighting would happen, Thundarr was the first to really show what was going on and in that way it was somewhat revolutionary. You can see this clearly in the intro (see below). A massive tidal wave destroys San Francisco.

3. They storylines were actually somewhat complex. They did a good job of making the cartoon fun and interesting for an 8 year old, yet still enjoyable for an adult. For example, the episode I watched last night entitled "Island of the Body Snatchers" involved the transference of Princess Ariel's soul with that of the cursed witch in order for the witch to break her curse yet still keep her soul.

4. The characters are just so likeable and they have personality. Thundarr is not the smartest guy in the world, but he is a brilliant warrior and super loyal. Ariel is the practical one of the group and Ookla the Moc is a "Chewbacca-like" character in that he loves Thundarr and would do anything for him. I also love that Thundarr has classic lines that he uses in every episode, like "Lords of Light" and "Demon Dogs" and "Ariel, Ookla, Riiiiiiiiide."

5. I can remember when I was 8 year old watching Thundarr that I was obsessed with his "sunsword" which is really just a rip-off of the Star Wars light saber. Nevertheless, I loved how it clicked onto his wristband and I love the noise it makes when he puts it back on his wrist.

6. The soundtrack is incredibly addictive. Andi is probably going crazy from me humming this thing constantly the last month.

So, although the cartoon is heavily influenced by Star Wars, it remains one of the best cartoons from the 80's and I am so glad that the Boomerang Network is airing it. In case you don't know, the Boomerang Network is part of the Cartoon Network, but what makes it so great is that they have the slogan "Right back atcha." Thus, it is called Boomerang because there are no commercials during the cartoon episode. Awesome.

So, check out the intro to Thundarr the Barbarian below and pay attention to both the great soundtrack and the "heaviness" of the subject matter. The Beast recommends it!


Blogger Barry said...

Isn't Dangermouse the one that sings, "Here I come to save the--"

Hey Beast, why are you looking at me like that? Put down that machete!!!

February 20, 2008 8:52 AM  
Blogger The Beast said...

Barry, its a good thing we don't live in the same zip code.

February 20, 2008 1:41 PM  
Blogger Mike Ruffin said...

The funniest thing about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (I used to watch it with Joshua) was the little moral they had at the end. It always missed the point of the episode.

It's a good metaphor for a lot of preaching....

February 20, 2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...


That is so true man, it never made any sense. That is funny stuff.

February 20, 2008 5:57 PM  

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