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June 28, 2006

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Avian Android Warriors from 1986

So, um, did anybody else watch Silverhawks back in the mid-80s? Because I did and it is AMAZING to see it again.

It is actually somewhat better-animated than some other old favorites (ahem). I make no such claims for the writing, though.

P.S. Scope the space-squid at 9:30. It turns into a space-bike.

Posted June 28, 2006 at 11:03 | Comments (7) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Gleeful Miscellany


I must have blocked "Bluegrass" out of my memory. But the guitar-playing cowboy planet doesn't suck as much in practice as he does as a concept. And Copper Kid looks a little like a Thundercat. Great design on Mon*star and his crew though.

But you know, if you take Bluegrass away, Silverhawks almost feels a little like Communist propaganda: the political prisons, men made out of steel, etc. And check out the general's uniform and the Russian accents on the scientists around the 13:00 mark. Maybe in this future the Soviets win?

It's interesting how all the bad guys transformed in those days. Dark, hidden powers: Animal Mon-Star to the weird high-tech armored version... fossilized Mumm-Ra to the robust dark pharaoh version... Megatron & all the Decepticons of course... hmm. Wonder what it means.

Ack! The villian who plays the key-tar gun! Who thought that was a good idea?

Yeah, the similarities between the Silverhawks and the Thundercats aren't exactly accidental. You can really just about think about the Silverhawks as Thundercats 2.0, right down to the similar names, similar logos, similar main villian transformations, and use of the same voice actors.

What really used to kill it for me? Bluegrass's metal mowhawk under that ten-gallon hat. (That and the fact that the toys didn't have those cool metal masks.)

But so many of the good guys from those days transformed too: besides the Autobot Transformers, there was also He-Man, Voltron, Mask, Centurions... Even the Silverhawks are 1) turned into robots and 2) flash out those masks and wings. My favorite Super Friend was Apache Chief. On Thundercats, I also used to love the conceit of Lion-O's rapid aging into a man. You could think of transformation as a way to sell toys that did something besides just pose, but transformation is such a strong motif of children's stories and comic books (e.g., Captain Marvel and the Hulk, just to name two very different examples) -- I think there's something in the shared child unconscious that responds very strongly to that idea.

And at least Silverhawks' plagiarism of Thundercats is self-plagiarism: both were developed by Rankin-Bass.

That's right! I actually completely forgot that Lion-O transformed & aged as well. Come to think of it so did Rodiumus Prime (successor to Optimus). The animators added one of those cheek-creases to denote the added robot wisdom.

Dude! I completely forgot about this cartoon, thanks for posting it.

And Voltron gets served right here:

Posted by: Len on June 29, 2006 at 09:22 PM
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