G.I. Joe A Real American Hero - Season One Part 1: Another one that I'm leaving in the past.
Jun 18, 2011
A terrorist organization called Cobra, lead by Cobra Commander and his top military officials have plans of world domination. The organization is very well equipped for combat with their arsenal consisting of tanks, heavily armed aircraft, and infantry. To counter their military force, the government formed G.I.Joe. A highly trained special missions force with their own heavily armed military.-summary
In all honesty, I was never a fan of G.I. Joe in animated form, so please keep that in my mind while reading this. Also, only because I'm not a fan, it doesn't make me any less qualified to give my honest take on the series. I simply want to make my point clear, that this is in no way shape or form a rave review from someone who is suffering from a severe case of nostalgia. I simply came into this series when my curiosity was aroused after watching G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra directed by Stephen Sommers, but make no mistake, my knowledge is very strong concerning the series in both cartoon and comic book form. This just happens to be my first time seeing the show since the late 80s.
G.I. Joe is a 1985 American cartoon and action series, that is no doubt good fun. Especially, when the brain is turned off during the constant deus ex machina moments, and also when you get over the fact, that no one is ever shot dead during the most brutal shoot outs. However, even though very graphic violence is completely non existent. The show delivers with lots of hand to hand action, with incredibly funny sound effects. G.I. Joe is a show that adults can get into, but I think kids will enjoy it the most.
The most memorable aspect of the show, and what still stands out to me would be the character personalities. Like the original Transformers cartoon. G.I. Joe is overflowing with many charismatic characters. I believe it's actually impossible not to come away with a few favorites. There are many very funny character interactions, with my absolute favorites involving mainly Cobra Commander and Destro. The internal conflicts within the organization taking place between them have left me cracking up on almost all occasions. Seriously, these two are the chief reasons why I could possibly bother to continue with the series.
The fun may not have been possible without the top notch voice talents delivered by the late Chris Latta(Cobra Commander), Michael Bell(Duke) and Arthur Burghardt(Destro) just to name a few. The stories for the most part are well written for a series that the target audience was mainly children. The first three arcs are by far the best, which is made up of five episodes each. Complete with their own plot driven story lines, and new characters that are actually relevant to the plot. The characters introduced in the later episodes happen to be Storm Shadow, Zartan and his gang of Dreadnoks, along with the Cobra twins Tomax and Xamot.
Unfortunately for me, after the three arcs are done. The series takes an episodic turn that no longer held my complete interest. The stories tend to follow a very repetitve formula, which delivered some generic episodes. I may never bother watching some of these episodes again. To be totally honest, the following two arcs are very derivative of the original.
The series also does suffer from a few animation errors; such as characters appearing in wrong scenes, or a character who appears many episodes early before his scheduled debut. There are also many reused cels and stills, during the battle scenes taking place, with lots of gunfire and no movement at all. The character designs are pretty good, but I found the military vehicles to be well detailed and by far the coolest. There is also pretty good detail in displaying some characters rank. The soundtrack is engaging and fits well with what is taking place on the screen. There are also three different openings, which takes place with the change of each story arc.
The series is spread across four disc, containing 22 episodes. The first three disc comes with an interview by writer Ron Friedman as the disc extra. The interviews are pretty short with some good info. I'll break down the individual disk.
Disk 1 A Real American Hero: The M.A.S.S. Device
1)The Cobra Strikes 2)Slaves Of The Cobra Master 3)The Worms Of Death 4)Duel in the Devil's Cauldron 5)A Stake In The Serpent's Heart
Special Feature: Looking Back With Writer Ron Friedman, Part One
Disk 2 The Revenge of Cobra
6)In The Cobra's Pit 7) The Vines Of Evil 8)The Palace Of Doom 9)Battle On The Roof Of The World 10)Amusement Park Of Terror
Special Feature: Looking Back With Writer Ron Friedman, Part Two
Disc 3 The Pyramid Of Darkness
11)The Further Adventures OF G.I.Joe 12)Rendezvous In The City Of The Dead 13)Three Cubes To Darkness 14)Chaos In The Sea Of Lost Souls 15)Knotting Cobra's Coils
Special Feature: Looking Forward With Writer Ron Friedman, Part Three
16)Countdown For Zartan 17)Red Rocket's Glare 18)Satellite Down 19)Cobra Stops The World 20)Jungle Trap 21)Cobra's Creatures 22)The Funhouse
Special Features: "Knowing Is Half The Battle" Public Service Announcements G.I.Joe's Original 1963 Toy Fair Presentation Printable "Jungle Trap" Script Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
Overall, I think this is a solid set that will mainly appeal to die hard fans of the franchise. I think non fans will probably find them hard to get through. I will admit that the episodes cheesiness did grow on me somewhat, but this is something I may not be able to continue with after thinking about it.
Even though I enjoy the interactions between Cobra Commander and Destro. The series is just too repetitive and campy for me. These days for my usual animated entertainment, I prefer more complex story lines, better visuals, deeper characters or more serious action.G. I. Joe simply doesn't have enough to bring me back. However, the light action scenes is something that could be good entertainment for kids. This first season has a 480 minute run time.
Pros: -Fun and light entertainment -Interactions between Cobra Commander and Destro
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a military-themed line of action figures and toys in Hasbro's G.I. Joe franchise. The toyline lasted from 1982 to 1994, producing well over 500 figures and 250 vehicles and playsets. The line reappeared in 1997 and has continued in one form or another to the present day. It was supported by two animated series as well as a major comic series published by Marvel Comics. The toyline continues to play a large part in Hasbro's G.I. Joe franchise. This version of G.I. Joe is still much recognized by many people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, overshadowing the original G.I. Joe.