The Best 1980s Animated Series was Dungeons and Dragons

The Best 1980s Animated Series was Dungeons and Dragons

Eagle eyed Movie goers surely noticed a nod to the Classic 1980s Dungeons and Dragons animated series in the live action Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. No spoilers ahead obviously but in a pivotal moment of the film the extremely recognizable group of cartoon adventurers do an amazing job of feeding the fanbase. It is a great scene made even that much better by the inclusion of the cult favorite characters. That is… if you’re familiar with the Saturday morning Dungeons and Dragons Animated Series.

These guys look familiar!

No worries though! If you’re hazy on your Cult Classic lore or just want a wholesome D&D cartoon refresher then allow us to turn back clock to a time of the original Star Wars, The Breakfast Club and Swatch Watches!

The 1980s was a decade of neon colors, big hair, and some of the most iconic cartoons of all time. One such animated series that captured the imaginations of many was the “Dungeons & Dragons” animated series. This show had everything: heroic quests, fierce monsters, and an unforgettable group of young adventurers.

Our 1980s adventurers in all their glory!

The Cult Classic Animated Series – Dungeons and Dragons

“Dungeons & Dragons” first premiered in 1983 and ran for three seasons, totaling 27 episodes. The show was based on the popular tabletop role-playing game of the same name, and followed six teenagers who are transported to a magical realm while on a rollercoaster ride. Upon arrival, they are given weapons and magical items by the Dungeon Master, a wise old man who sends them on a quest to find a way back home.

The main characters of the show were Hank, Eric, Sheila, Presto, Bobby, and Diana. Each character had their own unique abilities and personalities that made them stand out. Hank was the leader of the group and possessed a powerful bow that could shoot energy arrows. Eric was the snarky comic relief who had a shield that could project force fields. Sheila was the only female member of the group and could turn invisible at will. Presto was the clumsy magician who could conjure up magical items, but often with unintended consequences. Bobby was the youngest member of the group and had a magical club that could transform into various shapes. Diana was the tough, no-nonsense member of the group and wielded a magical staff that could summon powerful lightning bolts.

Six Brave Friends… and a baby Unicorn. Long Story.

What were THE BEST episodes in the Animated Series?

One of the most intriguing aspects of the show was the array of monsters that the group encountered. From giant dragons to evil wizards, the show had it all. One of the most iconic monsters was Venger, the main antagonist of the series. Venger was a powerful wizard who sought to conquer the magical realm and was constantly at odds with the group. He was accompanied by a variety of minions, including the infamous Shadow Demon.

Out of the 27 episode TWO stand the test of time. At least in my mind and the minds of many likeminded Nerds. These two episodes are widely considered to be among the most memorable and well-loved by fans of the show.

“The Dragon’s Graveyard,” is at the top of the list and is the final episode of the series. In this episode, the group sets out to retrieve the final component needed to repair the magical portal that will allow them to return home. Along the way, they face off against Venger and his minions, culminating in an epic battle against the ultimate evil of the series: Tiamat, the five-headed dragon. The episode features some of the most intense and dramatic moments of the entire series, and the climactic battle against Tiamat is particularly thrilling.

“The Eye of the Beholder,” is another beloved episode in which the group encounters a Beholder, a floating monster with multiple eyes that can shoot deadly rays. The group must navigate a dangerous maze filled with illusions and traps in order to retrieve a magical gem that can help them return home. This episode is particularly notable for its use of surreal and dreamlike imagery, as well as its tense and suspenseful atmosphere.

Dungeons and Dragons Animated Series, setting the bar high.

A cultural phenomenon that was ahead of its time

Overall, the “Dungeons & Dragons” animated series had many standout episodes that showcased its creative storytelling, exciting action, and memorable characters. Three seasons and 27 episodes just was NOT enough!

The animation style of “Dungeons & Dragons” was typical of the 80s, with bright colors and bold outlines. However, the show’s unique setting allowed for some truly creative and imaginative designs. The various locations that the group visited were filled with intricate details and hidden surprises. But alas… the adventure couldn’t last forever.

TSR toys proved a harder sell to the D&D faithful.

All good things must come to an end

The “Dungeons & Dragons” animated series was canceled after just three seasons due to a combination of factors, including low toy sales and a shift in the focus of children’s programming.

During the 1980s, many animated series were created with the intention of selling toys based on the characters and concepts featured in the show. While “Dungeons & Dragons” had a line of action figures and playsets produced by TSR (the company behind the tabletop game), sales were not as strong as expected. This lack of merchandise sales played a significant role in the decision to cancel the show.

Additionally, there was a shift in the focus of children’s programming during this time. As cartoons became more focused on advertising and selling merchandise, there was a growing concern among parents and educators about the impact that this type of programming was having on children. As a result, there was a push towards more educational and socially conscious programming, which led to the cancellation of many popular animated series, including “Dungeons & Dragons”.

IDW Comic Book Series written by David Booher.

An influence that Survived its Death Saving Throw!

Despite its short run, the show has remained a beloved cult classic and continues to have a dedicated fanbase. The legacy of the show is felt in modern media even still today! References to the series pop up in movies, TV, video games and an ongoing Comic Book Series from IDW comics.

“Dungeons & Dragons” was a groundbreaking animated series that captured the hearts of millions in the 80s. With its memorable characters, epic quests, and imaginative setting, it remains a beloved classic to this day. If you’ve never seen the show, I highly recommend giving it a watch and experiencing the magic for yourself.

Did you enjoy this article? Are there any other topics like this that you would like us to cover? Let us know in the comment section!

And while you’re here why don’t you check out ANOTHER great Nerd Night News article! Like THIS ONE – Is Dice Legenz the Best Dungeons and Dragons Stream

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