In the early 1980s, Saturday morning cartoons were a bit depressed. The energy of the largest studios in this area, Hanna-Barbera and Filmation, was not as powerful as it had been in the 1960s and early 1970s. Much of what they created was derived from their hits or retreaded from a similar theme.

RELATED: 10 Saturday Morning Cartoons Based On Live-Action TV Shows

Then a little yellow-eyed creature named Pac-Man appeared on the scene. His unique and colorful video game caused a boom in both the arcade and on television. Within a few years, the hero created by Namco, along with friends from other game companies, debuted in cartoon form on Saturday mornings.

10 Pac-Man (1982) ushered in the trend

Pac-Man by Hanna-Barbera

The Hanna-Barbera studio is a trendsetter. They ushered in the animated superhero genre of the 1960s and the teen detective genre of the 1970s. It’s only natural that they also kick off the video game cartoon trend. This all started in 1982 with Pac-man.

The cartoon, which aired for two seasons on ABC’s Saturday morning schedule, was not a retread of several cells from the video game. It featured Pepper (Ms. Pac-Man), Pac-Baby, and various other characters who lived in Pac-Land. Of course, Inky, Pinky, Clyde, and Sue were there to give Pac-Man trouble.

9 Frogger (1983) turned the protagonist of the video game into a reporter

Frogger by

Frogger The video game, introduced in 1981 by Sega, was another advance in technology. The objective was to save your protagonist frog while crossing a road full of cars and a river loaded with sinking alligators and turtles. Two years later, the character became one of CBS’s main features. ‘ Saturday Supercade Serie.

Here, Frogger is an excellent reporter for the Swamp gazette that goes in search of crazy stories. He is joined by Shelly Turtle and Fanny Frog. Like the video game, Frogger is crushed by an occasional truck or eaten by an alligator. Fortunately, you can revive it with a simple air pump.

8 Donkey Kong (1983) has a love-hate relationship with Mario

Mario, Pauline, Donkey Kong

It’s interesting how time changes relationships. When Mario (then known as Jumpman) was introduced to Nintendo Donkey kong in 1981, he was simply a one-dimensional protagonist trying to rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, from the clutches of a giant ape. With the introduction of the characters in Saturday Supercade, viewers were able to see a character destined for stardom.

RELATED: Super Mario: 10 Spinoff Games That Prove Mario Can Boost Sales

In the cartoon version of Donkey kongMario and Pauline had to rescue the great monkey from some plan or another to which they attracted him. As in the video game, the mustachioed hero needed to rescue his girl from the clutches of Kong, voiced by Soupy Sales. However, in the end, the trio would team up to defeat the real criminals.

7 Donkey Kong Jr. (1983) tries to rescue his father

Donkey Kong Jr. in

Popular video games spawned sequels. Ms. Pac-Man was born of Pac-man. Subsequently, the acclaim of Donkey kong resulted in the 1982 release of Donkey Kong Jr.

However, the premise of Junior’s adventures was different between the video game and its Saturday Supercade segment. The former pitted young Kong against Mario to rescue his father. The latter had Junior team up with a Fonzie-like character nicknamed Bones to find his father after he fled the circus.

6 Q * Bert (1983) dates back to the 1950s

Q * Bert from

What do you do when you want to make a cartoon about a video game that doesn’t really have a backstory? They place them in a period that may or may not make sense to the viewer. Such is the case of Supercade Saturday Q * Bert.

The animated version places the protagonist and his friends in the 1950s. He, along with his girlfriend, Q * Tee, and his friends, Q * Ball and Q * Val, do what other teenagers did in that period. That includes being bullied by a trio of greasers. Like the video game, Q * Bert jumps blocks and occasionally produces oath bubbles.

5 Trap! (1983) Broadened the video game genre

Pitfall Harry

Activision’s inclusion Trap! on Saturday Supercade created a historic moment. It was the first home game to be presented in animated form. In this case, Trap! The game was created for the Atari 2600 console.

RELATED: The 10 Worst Video Game Consoles (And The Best Game For Each)

The cartoon featured the main character, Pitfall Harry, alongside his niece, Rhonda, and their Mountain Lion pet, Quickclaw. They traveled through various jungles, surviving giant pits and poisonous animals, to discover lost treasures. Harry’s two companions would eventually join him in video games. Pitfall II Y Super cheat.

4 Kangaroo (1984) unites mother and son against bad monkeys


Released in 1982, Atari Kangaroo it’s one of those forgotten video games. Similar to Donkey Kong, features a kangaroo in boxing gloves trying to rescue his son from a group of fruit-throwing monkeys. All these characters would be part of Saturday Supercade.

However, the cartoon concept is slightly different. Joey Kangaroo and his mother Katy “KO” Kangaroo have to stop a quartet of evil monkeys from wreaking havoc at a local zoo. For every escape attempt they make, Katy and Joey are there to stay in control.

3 Space Ace (1984) was already animated

Kimberley, Space Ace, Borf

Another phase of video game technology emerged in 1983 with the dragon’s lair Y Space ace. Based on laserdisc, these film-quality productions animated by Don Bluth were a concept form of Make Your Own Story. Various joystick and button actions advanced the story. In order to Space aceSome of them involved transforming the nerdy Dexter into a muscular hero.

The concept of Saturday Supercade the cartoon was similar. Dexter / Space Ace joins space officer Kimberley in a fight against the evil Commander Borf and his goals to invade Earth. Unlike in the video game, Dexter can transform into the mighty Space Ace seemingly at will.

two Dragon’s Lair (1984) Outstanding Adventures in the Middle Ages

The cast of Dragon's Lair

Ruby-Spears Productions wasn’t done with video games when Saturday Supercade ended in 1984. They picked up where they left off with a Saturday morning version of the dragon’s lair which aired on ABC.

RELATED: 10 Most Iconic 80’s Saturday Morning Cartoons, Ranked

Like the video game, the show centers on Dirk the Daring as he protects his kingdom and his love, Princess Daphne, from the evil Dragon Singe. Before each commercial break, Dirk is engulfed in suspense and the narrator asks the audience what they would do. When the program returns, all the options are displayed. Finally, Dirk selects the correct one.

1 Pole Position (1984) took only the name of the video game

The Darrett brothers of

Where most video game-based cartoons had themes directly related to their counterparts, Pole position took a different angle. Although the name was from an Atari production released in 1982, the show had nothing to do with the game. Instead, the family featured on the show was a team of crime fighters conducting stunts.

The Darretts, adult brothers Tess & Dan and younger sister Daisy, disguise their operations under the guise of a stunt show. The vehicles they drive, a red Mustang from 1965 and a blue coupe from the 1980s, have AI similar to KITT’s from Knight rider fame.

NEXT: Filmation’s First 12 Superhero Cartoons (In Chronological Order)

Bad selling classics

Prince of Persia and 9 most iconic game franchises that never seem to sell

About the Author

See also  10 anime characters who can't control their powers
Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *