Saturday mornings on d20crit.com, we journey back in time for some 80s nostalgia and remember a cartoons of old. So grab some Fruity Pebbles and come take a trip down memory lane – this week: The Real Ghostbusters!
In 1984, the first movie of the still incomplete trilogy hit the theatres starring Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd. Nerds, geeks and paranormal freaks everywhere fell in love with the movie. The second movie was released in 1989 and Ghostbusters 3 received yet another new writer 23 years later when, late last month, it was confirmed that once the script is good then Bill will green light it.
A suitable stop-gap, however, for fans of the movies, was found in the cartoon, released between the first two movies in 1986. It became so popular that it entered syndication after the first season which spawned 65 episodes after which a second season was then announced. 147 episodes spread across six-seasons with a 13-episode spin-off is a clear indication of just how popular this cartoon was. Although real fans of the show will only view the first two seasons (and the syndication episodes) as the best-in-show before some voice actors were changed and the focus shifted from the more creepy to a more youthful approach, the entire run is still a fairly enjoyable experience. For me, personally, season three onwards is not enjoyable as an adult and only the younger kids will probably enjoy the episodes. The show actually re-branded itself at this time as “Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters” which should send shivers down any self-respecting fans spine.
The series follows the continuing adventures of the four Ghostbusters – Dr Peter Venkman (Lorenzo Music: seasons 1-2 and Dave Coulier: seasons 3-7), Dr Egon Spengler (Maurice LaMarche), Dr Ray Stantz (Frank Welker – who also ‘voiced’ Slimer), Winston Zeddemore (Arsenio Hall: seasons 1-3 and Buster Jones: seasons 4-7) and secretary Janine Melnitz (Laura Summer: seasons 1-2 and Kath Soucie: seasons 3-7). The account Louis Tully (Rodger Bumpass) joined for the last two seasons and Cree Summer played Chilly Cooper seasons 3-6. The team chase and capture rogue spirits around New York and various other areas of the world providing all sorts of heroic proton-pack fun.
Episode 11, entitled “Citizen Ghost” was a key episode in linking the original movie with the cartoon explaining what happened to the team after they defeated Gozer. During the rebuilding of their headquarters, formerly a fire station, and providing the new redesign of the Ecto-Containment Unit which destroyed it in the first place, the team come face-to-face with Slimer. In the movie, Slimer attacked Peter in their first Ghostbusting job at Sedgwik Hotel but he transitioned from a mischievous bad guy to friendly resident of the fire station and team mascot for the cartoon. It isn’t often that cartoon spin-offs provide explanations for changes such as this, so it certain is a breath of fresh air to see the production team took the time to do it.
A clip from The Collect Call of Cathulhu:
As a sidebar, one of the amusing things to spawn out of the show was that Bill Murray, who played Peter Venkman in the movie, complained that his cartoon voice sounded like Garfield. Now the reason for this was that the voice actor Lorenzo Music actually was the voice of Garfield too. However, what makes his complaint highly amusing, was the fact Bill then went on to voice Garfield in the 2004 and 2006 movies.
The complete collection is available from Amazon but for $170 but if you are just interested in the original series you can snag a copy of the first 31 episodes (season one and part of the syndication run) for a mere $10 (at time of publishing) which, personally, I feel is an amazing deal: