Cheesy Cartoons scares up Filmation’s “Ghostbusters!!”

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“Have you been haunted by strange noises in the night?”

“Have you experienced feelings of dread in your basement or attic?”

“Have you or your family ever seen a spook, specter or ghost?”

If the answer is yes to any of these, then call the professionals. We all know what movie came from. But did you know the name “Ghostbusters” actually belonged to another company? Yes, this true. And following the success of the 1984 film, they decided to make their own animated series. That’s right, there were two Ghostbusters cartoons at the time. I’ll get to the “Real” one later. Right now, this is a Cheesy Cartoons look at Filmation’s Ghostbusters.

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As mentioned, there was another Ghostbusters show before Columbia Pictures’ 1984 comedy hit. To get their film moving, Columbia Picture had to acquire to rights from Filmation to use the “Ghostbusters” name. Clearly it worked. See, Filmation had, in fact, a 1975 TV series titled “The Ghost Busters” from which their animated series is derived. They revived their product after the success of now iconic film. Ghostbusters follows Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr., who are the sons of the original characters from the series, on their ghost hunting adventures. Together, they have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of the evil ghost wizard Prime Evil and his cast of haunting henchmen. Joining them is Tracy the Gorilla who worked with their fathers, Ansa-Bone, a talking skull phone; Skelevision, a talking skeleton television; Belfrey, a pink talking bat; and Ghost Buggy, their talking ghost car. They occasionally enlist the aid of Futura, a time travelling Ghostbuster from the future, and Jessica Wray, a local TV news reporter.

L to R: Jake Kong Jr., Eddie Spencer Jr., Futura, Skelevision, Belfry, Jessica Wray, Tracy the Gorilla

L to R: Jake Kong Jr., Eddie Spencer Jr., Futura, Skelevision, Belfry, Jessica Wray, Tracy the Gorilla

CHEESE FACTOR!! When Filmation revived their “Ghostbusters” series, they attempted to ride the coattails of Columbia Pictures who were quick to shake them off and went ahead to make their series “The Real Ghostbusters”, which could be taken as a symbolic jab at Filmation. Nevertheless, Filmation did not stop in trying to “subtly” rip from Columbia Pictures. Instead of a firehouse, Jake and Eddie operated from a haunted mansion in set between two skyscrapers that resemble the Twin Towers in Manhattan, which is the same city as the firehouse. News reporter Jessica Wray is a feisty redhead who occasionally assists the Ghostbusters while on Columbia’s side, Venkman and company have their own feisty redhead Jeanine Melnitz. Despite the similarities to “The Real Ghostbusters” as well as references to other cartoon series, Ghostbusters had its own fair share of cheesiness. The comedy was at times hackneyed and lowbrow, especially the sarcastic one-liners from Jake and Eddie’s skeletal phone Ansabone. Ansabone’s deadpan humor was exactly that. They were funny at first but the jokes soon wore thin. Plus, the show seemed at times to rip from Hanna-Barbera’s Scooby-Doo and nearly every spin off from that series. Ghost Buggy resembles the vehicle Funky Phantom rode around with the sentience of Speed Buggy (minus the speech impediment). Some of the situations the Ghostbusters find themselves in are taken straight from Mystery Inc. with the female characters being captured or Jake coming up with an elaborate trap to catch a ghost.

Main antagonist of the series, Prime Evil wants to fill the world with ghosts

Main antagonist of the series, Prime Evil wants to fill the world with ghosts

WHY WE WATCHED!! Because of the rips at other cartoons. Yes, we watched this Ghostbusters show for that reason and we couldn’t turn away. Plus, there was the popularity of the Columbia Pictures’ film. Even though they could get the animation rights to the film, Filmation still made a pretty cool series based on a license that they essentially started. And, like so many shows in the 80s, there was a lesson given at the end of each episode.

Filmation’s Ghostbusters ran for 65 episodes but only lasted one season from September 8 to December 5, 1986 whereas The Real Ghostbusters ran for seven seasons. Still, the show was fun and entertaining and it did a much lighter perspective on the people who hunt the boogieman. Eddie and Jake may have been the most bumbling and unorthodox of paranormal investigators but when it got down to it, they got the job done. Despite what Ansabone says.

Filmation’s Ghostbusters get a CHEESY rating of:
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This is good wholesome cheese that is otherworldly.