New figures released today have revealed an increase in demand for nostalgic animated kids’ TV series from the 80s and 90s, with popular shows such as He-Man: Masters of the Universe and The Real Ghostbusters experiencing up to a 385 per cent increase in views in 2013.
The research by LOVEFiLM suggests a renewed interest in classic cartoon content, with five of the ten most popular animated series available on the LOVEFiLM Instant streaming service hailing from these golden decades. Furthermore, in January and February of 2013, 47 per cent of all animated TV content streamed was created in the 80s and 90s.
Leading the charge and registering the highest increase is videogame-inspired animated series, Super Mario Brothers Super Show (385 per cent), with its pop-culture parody and alter egos format proving a popular form of entertainment for viewers.
In second place are the 1986 adventures of Peter Venkman, Winston Zeddemore, Egon Spengler, and Ray Stantz in The Real Ghostbusters, with an increase of 375 per cent. The series, which followed the hit movie, found the Ghostbusters on their continued hunt for ghastly ghouls, but this time with the friendly assistance of the fan-favourite ectoplasm, Slimer.
Marvel’s X-Men, which hit screens in the early 90s, has enjoyed the third biggest rise in popularity with a 100 per cent increase in viewing figures. The fast-paced sci-fi action series, which tells the tales of a band of elite mutants with names such as Wolverine and Cyclops, was also the most watched animated TV series, accounting for 13 per cent of all streaming within this category.
In joint third and also experiencing 100 per cent increases are the tales of two more Marvel icons – the animated adventures of recent big-screen blockbuster hero, Iron Man, and the angry green menace, The Incredible Hulk. Both classic heroes have spawned many modern films, but it seems that fans are still entertained by their early antics.
Not far behind and claiming sixth place is The Smurfs, which made its TV debut in 1981 and has seen streaming figures shoot up by 82 per cent. The popular blue pixies from a little mushroom village far, far away were first introduced to comic book fans in 1958 and have proved a popular form of kids entertainment ever since.
One of the most popular animated children’s TV shows from the 80s, He-man: Masters of the Universe, has enjoyed a 76 per cent rise in viewing, suggesting the fantasy show’s cult following is still as big as ever, earning it seventh place.
She-Ra: Princess of Power, the more female-oriented cartoon featuring He-Man’s twin sister, follows the adventurous leader of a group of freedom fighters as she battles evil and a tyrannical ruler. With a 64 per cent increase viewers clearly found the princess of power made inspirational viewing, with the show claiming eighth place in the table.
In ninth is vintage superhero Inspector Gadget (42 per cent), who, like James Bond, has a gadget or gizmo for getting him out of any tricky spot, whilst in tenth place are the more recent adventures of the aforementioned Ghostbusters in their 1997 iteration, the Extreme Ghostbusters, with 33 per cent.
The top ten 80s and 90s animated kids’ TV titles experiencing increases are:
1. Super Mario Brothers Super Show (1989) – 385 per cent
2. The Real Ghostbusters (1987) – 375 per cent
3. X-Men (1992) – 100 per cent
3. Iron Man (1994) – 100 per cent
3. The Incredible Hulk (1982) – 100 per cent
6. The Smurfs (1981) – 82 per cent
7. He-man: Masters of the Universe (1983) – 76 per cent
8. She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985) – 64 per cent
9. Inspector Gadget (1983) – 42 per cent
10. Extreme Ghostbusters (1997) – 33 per cent