Happy 35th anniversary to Back to the Future!!
Oh yeah, it’s back baby! How has it been going J1 fans! Hope all of y’all are doing alright during the word crisis. I know most of you are wishing someone would just turn back the hands of time to happier days. So do I. I may not be Father Time but I can take us back to days of our youth when cartoons can take us away from reality. Speaking of “time”, let’s go back in time with an “Awesome Cartoons” look at Back to the Future: The Animated Series.
Produced by original creators Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Back to the Future: The Animated Series continued the time traveling adventures of the Universal Pictures franchise. Dr. Emmett Brown lives with his family on a farm in Hill Valley with his son Jules and Verne, and his wife Clara Clayton Brown who has settled into 20th century life. The series is set after the original three films. Time travel is still achievable through a modified DeLorean, apparently rebuilt after it was destroyed in Back to the Future III, and the locomotive Dr. Brown created while he lived in 1885 in the same film. Unlike the films which focused on Marty McFly and his family, the animated series focused on the Brown family, although Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer made appearances in several episodes. Ever the antagonist, Biff Tannen still makes trouble for the main characters and his son Biff Jr. has a bitter rivalry with Doc Brown’s youngest son Verne.
AWESOMENESS!!: Back to the Future: The Animated Series carried over the same comedic charm of its original films. Even better, three of the trilogy’s star reprised their roles for the animated spinoff – Mary Steenburgen as Clara Clayton Brown and Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen. Christopher Llyod also returned as Doc Brown for the show’s live action segments. The segments focused on science with Llyod’s Doc Brown making devices such as an electromagnet, a hot air balloon and a lemon battery, and explained how things works like water pressure, electricity, and air resistance. Even more awesome, Doc Brown was assisted by none other than Bill Nye. Yes, THAT Bill Nye! Everyone’s favorite “Science Guy!” Plus, the time traveling adventures of the series thought kids who watched a little bit of history with the main cast visiting important periods in history such as the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, ancient Greece, the Inca civilization, prehistoric times and the Oregon Trail. Doc Brown, voiced by Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson of The Simpsons), provided a tidbit of information about the time period they were visiting.
Back to the Future: The Animated Series was one of those rare cartoons from the days of high-top sneakers and parachute pants that provided a mixture of fun and education. The show’s time traveling adventures gave kids a lesson in history without them realizing it. Christopher Llyod’s Doc Brown made learning science fun and helped launch the career of everyone’s favorite “Science Guy” Bill Nye, who kept that scientific fun alive in his own show. Back to the Future ran for two seasons on CBS from September 14, 1991 to December 26, 1992 for 26 episodes. Reruns of the series helped further popularize the franchise that is still beloved by fans over thirty years later.
Bill Nye talks about the origins of the “Science Guy”