my favorite cartoon series of the 1980's

by retrobobthenesjunkie | created - 26 May 2018 | updated - 01 Jun 2018 | Public

Here is a list of 34 of my favorite animated series that originally aired during the 1980's. Several of these titles aired on television into the 1990's, and are listed on my 1990's list as well. Comments, and suggestions concerning comparable titles for viewing are always welcome.

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1. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Julie Kavner

Votes: 341,734

2. Dragon Ball (1986–1989)

TV-Y7 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Son Gokû, a fighter with a monkey tail, goes on a quest with an assortment of odd characters in search of the Dragon Balls, a set of crystals that can give its bearer anything they desire.

Stars: Masako Nozawa, Jôji Yanami, Brice Armstrong, Stephanie Nadolny

Votes: 42,512

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987–1996)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The adventures of a quartet of humanoid warrior turtles and their friends.

Stars: Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, Rob Paulsen, Townsend Coleman

Votes: 28,541

4. DuckTales (1987–1990)

TV-G | 23 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The globe-trotting treasure-hunting money-making adventures of billionaire Scrooge McDuck and his nephews.

Stars: Alan Young, Russi Taylor, Terence McGovern, Chuck McCann

Votes: 27,170

5. The Transformers (1984–1987)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Two opposing factions of transforming alien robots engage in a battle that has the fate of Earth in the balance.

Stars: Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Christopher Collins

Votes: 19,186

6. Inspector Gadget (1983–1986)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A bumbling bionic police inspector stumbles about on his cases, while his niece and dog secretly do the real investigative work.

Stars: Don Adams, Holly Berger, Frank Welker, Luc Durand

Votes: 17,127

7. Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1988–1990)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Disney's fun-loving chipmunks are re-imagined as the leaders of a team of pint-sized crime-fighters, rounding out the team are two mice, Gadget Hackwrench and Monterey Jack and Zipper, a fly.

Stars: Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Tress MacNeille, Jim Cummings

Votes: 15,657

8. Thundercats (1985–1989)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A team of humanoid cats fight evil in their adopted home world.

Stars: Bob McFadden, Larry Kenney, Earl Hammond, Lynne Lipton

Votes: 14,931

9. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983–1985)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The most powerful man in the universe, He-Man, goes against the evil forces of Skeletor to save the planet Eternia and to protect the secrets of Castle Grayskull.

Stars: John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, Lou Scheimer

Votes: 15,040

10. The Smurfs (1981–1990)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

The Smurfs are little blue creatures that live in mushroom houses in a forest inhabited mainly by their own kind. The smurfs average daily routine is attempting to avoid Gargomel, an evil man who wants to kill our little blue friends.

Stars: Don Messick, Danny Goldman, Lucille Bliss, Frank Welker

Votes: 14,213

11. Garfield and Friends (1988–1995)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

Stories about Garfield the cat, Odie the dog, their owner Jon and the trouble they get into, and Orson the Pig and his adventures on a farm with fellow farm animals.

Stars: Lorenzo Music, Thom Huge, Gregg Berger, Howard Morris

Votes: 9,571

12. Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985–1991)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

A group of reclusive humanoid bears and a few trusted humans explore their lost heritage and prevent their enemies from exploiting it.

Stars: June Foray, Noelle North, Lorenzo Music, Katie Leigh

Votes: 8,605

13. The Real Ghostbusters (1986–1991)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

The continuing adventures of the staff of the ghost removal service.

Stars: Maurice LaMarche, Dave Coulier, Frank Welker, Arsenio Hall

Votes: 7,896

14. Beetlejuice (1989–1991)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Adventures of the ghostly con-artist and his 12-year-old pal, Lydia.

Stars: Stephen Ouimette, Alyson Court, Tabitha St. Germain, Elizabeth Hanna

Votes: 6,293

15. Dennis the Menace (1986–1988)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Family, Comedy

Good-natured, 6 y.o. Dennis is a menace to his parents and especially to his neighbor, Mr. Wilson. He has adventures with his friends and dog, Ruff. Each episode has 3 6-10 min. stories.

Stars: Brennan Thicke, Jeannie Elias, Marilyn Lightstone, Sharon Noble

Votes: 4,532

16. G.I. Joe (1985–1986)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

An elite special missions force fights against the terrorist forces of Cobra.

Stars: Jackson Beck, Christopher Collins, Michael Bell, Neil Ross

Votes: 4,259

17. Muppet Babies (1984–1991)

TV-Y | 25 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The Muppets, as babies, have adventures with their imaginations inside their nursery.

Stars: Greg Berg, Katie Leigh, Laurie O'Brien, Russi Taylor

Votes: 3,999

18. Voltron: Defender of the Universe (1984–1985)

TV-Y7 | 24 min | Animation, Family, Sci-Fi

This series focuses on five lion robots and their pilots as they fight the evil forces of King Zarkon and Prince Lotor.

Stars: Jack Angel, Michael Bell, Peter Cullen, Neil Ross

Votes: 3,832

19. MASK (1985–1986)

TV-Y7 | 22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Matt Trakker leads a special team of masked crime fighters with a fleet of hidden function vehicles against Miles Mayhem and his criminal organization known as V.E.N.O.M.

Stars: Doug Stone, Mark Halloran, Brendan McKane, Graeme McKenna

Votes: 3,359

20. Count Duckula (1988–1993)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a vegetarian vampire duck and his servants.

Stars: Barry Clayton, Jack May, Brian Trueman, Jimmy Hibbert

Votes: 3,231

21. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! (1989)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The Mario Brothers, Princess Toadstool, and Toad go on various adventures while battling the evil King Koopa.

Stars: Lou Albano, Harvey Atkin, John Stocker, Danny Wells

Votes: 2,887

22. Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983–1990)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

Three chipmunk brothers, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. The trio have been adopted by and are living with Dave (human). Each show finds the boys getting into trouble and new and unusual situations.

Stars: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman, Frank Welker, Dody Goodman

Votes: 2,649

23. Care Bears (1985–1988)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

The Care Bears live in a faraway place up in the clouds called Care-a-Lot. They travel around the world on Missions in Caring, whilst evil villains such as Professor Coldheart and Lord No Heart, try to thwart their plans.

Stars: Dan Hennessey, Bob Dermer, Luba Goy, Melleny Melody

Votes: 2,761

24. Snorks (1984–1988)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The Snorks are playful, multicolored underwater creatures that use their built-in snorkels to dart about and make music.

Stars: Michael Bell, Nancy Cartwright, Barry Gordon, Edie McClurg

Votes: 2,311

25. David the Gnome (1985)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

The fantastic adventures of David and his wife Lisa traveling around the world to save the animals and defeating the trolls.

Stars: Matilde Conesa, Jane Woods, Teófilo Martínez, José María Cordero

Votes: 2,004

26. Heathcliff (1980–1984)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Family, Comedy

Scruffy Alley cat rules his neighborhood. Rejected monsters drive about doing odd jobs. Clumsy, lovable great dane gets into mischief without meaning to.

Stars: Mel Blanc, Henry Corden, Don Messick, Marilyn Schreffler

Votes: 1,878

27. Dino-Riders (1988)

22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Pursued by intergalactic warlord Krulos and his Rulons, human Valorians fly through a wormhole and end up on the prehistoric Earth. Krulos follows and becomes stuck in prehistory as well. Both sides build dinosaur armies and engage.

Stars: Dan Gilvezan, Charlie Adler, Peter Cullen, Noelle North

Votes: 1,006

28. Pound Puppies (1986–1988)

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

Saturday-morning cartoon series whose main characters, the wrinkled Pound Puppies, were inspired by the popular line of stuffed toys. Here, the Pound Puppies lived at the pound, but could ... See full summary »

Stars: Adrienne Alexander, Ruth Buzzi, Pat Carroll, Nancy Cartwright

Votes: 882

29. The Legend of Zelda (1989)

TV-Y | 15 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Based on the popular Nintendo game of the same name. Link and Princess Zelda protect the mystical artifact, the Triforce of Wisdom, from falling into the hands of the evil sorcerer Ganon.

Stars: Cynthia Preston, Jonathan Potts, Tabitha St. Germain, Len Carlson

Votes: 869

30. Challenge of the GoBots (1984–1985)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Gobots are loosely based on the Tonka toy line. There are two warring factions: the Gaurdians, lead by the charismatic Leader-1, and the Renegades, lead by Cy-Kill, who is bent on dominating Gobotron and then the Earth and the galaxy.

Stars: Lou Richards, Bernard Erhard, Marilyn Lightstone, Frank Welker

Votes: 703

31. The Littles (1983– )

TV-Y | 30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

Animated series about a 13-year-old boy named Henry Bigg who goes on vacation and finds mouse-like creatures in his suitcase called Littles. There's a whole family of Littles. William and ... See full summary »

Stars: Jimmy Keegan, Bettina Bush, Alvy Moore, Robert David Hall

Votes: 674

32. Jonny Quest (1986–1987)

30 min | Action, Animation, Family

The story of the adventurous Jonny Quest who travels with his father and his friends around the world.

Stars: Rene Auberjonois, Gilberto Baroli, Zezinho Cutolo, Borges de Barros

Votes: 925

33. The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin (1987–1988)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Illiop Teddy Ruxpin (Illiops being bear-like creatures) leaves his homeland in Rillonia with his friend Grubby, an octopede, in search of adventure. They meet up with an inventor named ... See full summary »

Stars: Phil Baron, Will Ryan, John Stocker, Robert Bockstael

Votes: 556

34. Noozles (1984– )

TV-Y | 24 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The adventures of a 12-year-old girl named Sandy and her koala friends, Blinky and Pinky, who are from the extra-dimensional realm of Koalawalla Land.

Stars: Haruna Ikezawa, Theodore Lehmann, Dave Mallow, Kumi Mizuno

Votes: 144



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