Vids I Dig 034: Toy Galaxy: The Tragedies & Triumphs in the History of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

From Toy Galaxy’s YouTube description: Dungeons & Dragons, the most successful RPG of all time, has seen many tragedies and triumphs over it’s long history, including being in the middle of the Satanic Panic in the 1980s, to now be part of pop culture and as popular as ever. From Gary Gygax and TSR through Mazes and Monsters and it’s (sort of) use in such shows as Community and Stranger Things.

TV Review: Dungeons & Dragons (1983-1985)

Original Run: September 17th, 1983 – December 7th, 1985
Created by: Kevin Paul Coates, Dennis Marks, Takashi, Mark Evanier
Directed by: Bob Richardson, Karl Geurs
Written by: various
Based on: Dungeons & Dragons by TSR
Music by: Johnny Douglas
Cast: Willie Aames, Don Most, Katie Leigh, Adam Rich, Tonia Gayle Smith, Teddy Field III, Sidney Miller, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Bob Holt

Toei Animation, Marvel Productions, Dungeons & Dragons Entertainment Corporation, TSR, CBS, New World Television, 27 Episodes, 24 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

I used to watch the shit out of this cartoon when I was really young. It was one of my favorite Saturday morning treats. However, I haven’t seen it since at least the early ’90s.

But like most animated series that were productions involving Japan’s Toei studio and Marvel, it was top quality stuff for its time and it has aged really well.

Sure, it’s hokey and goofy like kid’s cartoons are but it has a real charm about it and that charm is still effective.

I love the character designs of the show, especially in regards to the villain Venger and the five headed dragon, Tiamat. Also, Venger was voiced by Peter Cullen, best known as the voice of Optimus Prime while Tiamat was voiced by Frank Welker, best known as Megatron.

The show followed six Earth kids, their little unicorn named Uni and the impish Dungeon Master. The Earth kids were magically transported to the Dungeons & Dragons dimension through a theme park ride. I know, it sounds ridiculous but you didn’t care about stupid details or coherent plot when you were five years-old. Frankly, I don’t care about it now because the show works for what it is: a kid’s magical adventure.

Unfortunately, the show never had a proper ending and the kids never actually made it home within the episodes produced. I guess it can be assumed that they eventually saw their parents again but hopefully that happened before they were in their forties.

Anyway, this is still a really cool show. I even showed a few episodes to my nephew and he dug it with his discriminatory 2019 standards.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: other ’80s fantasy cartoons like Masters of the Universe, Captain N the Gamemaster, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Visionaries, ThundercatsSilverhawks, etc.

Vids I Dig 006: Toy Galaxy: The History of The ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ Cartoon: Too Violent for Saturday Mornings?

From Toy Galaxy’s YouTube description: The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon hit the airwaves in 1983 riding the Satanic Panic wave from the Dungeons and Dragons Role-playing Game and only lasted a few seasons.

It was also not helped by the fractured marketing approach which had a toyline and other merchandise being released as Advanced Dungeons and Dragons with no action figures made of the characters from the cartoon.

Despite all that, it led in the ratings for it’s first 2 seasons and made a lasting impression on pop culture at large.