The 1980s: when cartoons stopped being for kids

The decade of the 80 It was not only the time of action movies and the emergence of great film directors like steven spielberg, David Lynch and Jame cameron; also meant a change in animation for boys and girls that, suddenly, abandoned its simplicity a bit to enter the land of good and evil, good guys and villains, with more elaborate and complex stories.

Such is the advance that animation suffered in the decade of the 80that today many of those cartoons that we looked at millennials when we were kids are the ones being reinvented, a little to buy us out of nostalgia and a little because their stories are still interesting.

Source: Netflix

The decade of the 70 It was, perhaps, the boom of the cartoons of hanna-barbera. Although many of the classics that we still love today from this animation studio, such as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear either The Jetsons they were created in the sixties, they arrived in this part of the world in the seventies. His plots were funny, comforting and for the whole family. Even in USA, competed in prime-time with other types of programs. However, the arrival of the new decade would imply a change in the animated offer for the little ones.

The first hint of what was to come in years 80 is, without a doubt, Mazinger Zthe anime that gave rise to an entire genre: that of mecha. This series, which could already be seen in many parts of the world in the decade of the 70began to broaden the horizons of what could be done in animation and also what could be told.

Mazinger Z he began to present stories of good guys and bad guys, of villains who tried to destroy or prostrate the entire universe at his feet. The animation feel good and for the whole family was left behind. After Mazinger Z these kinds of stories, 80were the basis of all the cartoons we looked at. The best example is, of course, thundercatsthe story of this team of technologically advanced, humanoid feline heroes who embrace supernatural forces like the eye of thundera and they travel to distant planets only to face some villains who want not only to eliminate them, but to steal their power and with it dominate the world.

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There are many more examples. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is one, that too, like thundercatstakes us to a distant planet, Eterniato meet a hero who absorbs his power from a mythical item (the Sword of Power) than a villain who wants to dominate the universe, Skeletontry to rob him.

Another similar example is The Galactic Falcons which, again, takes us to a distant world, with heroes who mix technology with mystical elements, to fight a villain who wants to dominate everything.

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This type of animation did not appear by chance: the decade of the 80 It is a decade marked by tension. It’s the decade of Cold Warwith the powers of USA and the Soviet Union measuring their forces and insinuating a new military confrontation that, after the massive destructiveness of the Second World Warterrified everyone.

The eighties are also the decade of the emergence of computers and Internet. Technology was beginning to emerge as something that could change our lives forever. Although, also, something that could turn against us, either by exploding a space shuttle, like the Challengeror a nuclear power plant like Chernobyl.

All these tensions between the peace achieved after the Second World War and the hostile present of USES vs. USSRreckless and dangerous technological advances, the discovery of new diseases, such as HIV, and more, led to the expansion of the stories that were told to children. There was no longer a place just for touching stories, comedy feel goodit was necessary to expand the world, look at the stars, find heroes to protect us from new dangers.

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At present, many of these series are being revisited. Perhaps it is because our world is also in tension: the power tension between USA Y Chinaeither USA Y Russiathe tension in the face of climate catastrophe, the emergence of diseases such as COVID-19 and technological advances that are sometimes terrifying ask us to watch those series again. New versions, such as those of he-man Y she ra of Netflixnot only do they hit us right in the nostalgia, but also, in a world as convulsed as that of the eighties, we can find some consolation in them.

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The 1980s: when cartoons stopped being for kids

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