I'll admit it...growing up in the 1980s was a fantastic experience, mainly because all of the cartoons that aired during Saturday mornings were creative and innovative.
Seriously, when I was a kid, I really had a difficult choice trying to choose which network I would watch. ABC, CBS, and NBC had their own Saturday morning line-ups, each one having their hits and misses. The frustrating part about Saturday mornings for me was trying to decide which show to watch, if two of my favourites happened to air in the same time slot. Eventually, I made the decision to watch one show the first six months of the year, and the second show the last six months, just so I could maximize my Saturday morning cartoon viewing experience.
For the most part, it worked out quite well, but despite my best efforts, there were a few shows that I missed out on completely. In a lot of cases, they were shows that I had absolutely no interest in (despite my assertion that cartoons from the 1980s were awesome, there were a couple of clunkers in that mix). But in the case of today's blog topic, it happens to be a show that I didn't even know existed until a few years ago.
Have any of you ever heard of a television show known as “Kidd Video”? Well, it debuted on NBC in September 1984, and ran until early 1987 when it was brought to CBS. I suppose that's one reason why I ended up missing this cartoon, being that I was all of six years old when the show went off the air.
Anyway, the cartoon was one of those ones that had several elements to it. The most important one being that of music. Seriously, one of the main reasons that I believe the show isn't readily available on DVD sets is the fact that during each episode, there would be snippits of songs that actually made the Billboard charts. In some of the episodes that aired, you might hear songs by The Police, The Pointer Sisters, and Lionel Richie, amongst others. It was almost as if you were watching a cartoon version of MTV.
The entire plot of “Kidd Video” seemed to revolve around music as well, as the four main characters were teenagers who had formed a garage band (appropriately enough named Kidd Video). These four kids were...
KIDD VIDEO (Bryan Scott), the lead singer of the band and lead guitarist.
CARLA (Gabrielle Bennett), the drummer and percussionist of the band.
ASH (Steve Alterman), the keyboardist, saxophonist, and bass player of the band. He is known for his klutziness.
WHIZ (Robbie Rist), the geeky looking guitar/keyboard player.
(And, yes, Robbie Rist also played Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch back in the 1970s.)
But, wait a minute. The band is live-action. How can you have a live-action band in a cartoon series?
Just watch the introduction to the cartoon below. All will be revealed.
You see, somehow, all four of the band members end up triggering some sort of warp porthole in which an evil cartoon force known simply as “Master Blaster”. Master Blaster was the evil, tyrannical ruler of a magical land known as the “Flipside”, and he decided that he wanted to kidnap all four band members. So into “Flipside” they went...and in the process, they all transformed into cartoon characters.
Now, you would think that the band would be completely doomed, but luckily the group had help from a small fairy named Glitter (Cathy Cavadini). Once they were rescued, the quest to get back home again was the band's main goal.
But, of course in order for the band to achieve that goal, they had to help the citizens of “Flipside” escape the misery that Master Blaster and his army of evil cat minions known as the “Copycats” thrust onto the land from Master Blaster's jukebox shaped castle high up in the air.
And, that was basically what each episode of Kidd Video was about. Helping the good guys, outwitting the bad guys, all to the theme of the ultimate 1980s soundtrack. What could be better than that?
Well, how about blending in the fads of the 1980s? You know how break dancing was quite huge back in the 1980s? Well, on the cartoon, it wasn't all that uncommon to see the main characters performing their best moves. You remember how skateboarding was the ultimate, most radical way to get around? Well, admittedly in 2012, this still holds true, but the gang of Kidd Video rode on skateboards a lot. And, did you know that there was one episode of the show that revolved around arcade games, which were hugely popular in the 1980s?
You see? It wasn't just about the music.
But one thing that I found that was interesting is that there were actual music videos that were filmed that featured the stars of Kidd Video performing in live-action. According to any sources I looked up, the band did do their own singing, so I thought that was kind of cool, even though the music videos are horribly dated. Have a look and see for yourselves.
One more thing that I have to say about the videos. Apparently they made such a huge impact in Israel that the Kidd Video stars ended up becoming teen idols of sorts! There were even chocolate bars, colouring books, and other pieces of merchandise made with the band's faces on them!
Kind of makes me want to check and see if any of their songs charted in Israel!