The Real Ghostbusters
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|The Real GHOSTBUSTERS|
Logo displayed at the opening title
|Created by||Dan Aykroyd
|Developed by||Columbia Pictures Television
|Starring||Lorenzo Music (seasons 1–2)
Arsenio Hall (seasons 1–3)
Dave Coulier (seasons 3–7)
Buster Jones (seasons 4–7)
Laura Summer (seasons 1–2)
Kath Soucie (seasons 3–7)
|Theme music composer||Ray Parker, Jr.|
by John Smith
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||147 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes (with commercials)|
|Production company(s)||Coca-Cola Telecommunications
Columbia Pictures Television
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television
|Picture format||480i SDTV|
|Original run||September 13, 1986 – September 28, 1991|
|Followed by||Extreme Ghostbusters|
The Real Ghostbusters is an American animated television series spun-off from the Ghostbusters franchise. The series ran from 1986 to 1991, and was produced by Columbia Pictures Television, DiC Enterprises, and Coca-Cola Telecommunications. "The Real" was added to the title after a dispute with Filmation and its Ghost Busters properties. The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, their secretary Janine Melnitz and their mascot ghost Slimer.
There also were two ongoing Real Ghostbusters comics, one published monthly by Now Comics in USA and the other published weekly (originally biweekly) by Marvel Comics in the United Kingdom, and a popular toy line manufactured by Kenner (the toyline lasted longer than the television series itself).
The series follows the continuing adventures of the four Ghostbusters, their secretary Janine, their accountant Louis, and their mascot Slimer, as they chase and capture rogue spirits around New York and various other areas of the world.
A short pilot episode was produced, but never aired in full. The full four-minute promo was released on Time Life's DVD set in 2008. Scenes of the pilot can be seen in TV promos that aired prior to the beginning of the series. Among differences seen in the promo pilot, the Ghostbusters wore the beige jumpsuits they had worn in the film instead of the color-coded jumpsuits they would wear in the finished series, and the character design for Peter Venkman bore more of a resemblance to actor Bill Murray than the character design seen in the finished series. When he auditioned for the voice of Egon Spengler, Maurice LaMarche noted that while he was asked not to impersonate Harold Ramis, he did so anyway and eventually got the part. LaMarche also noted that Bill Murray complained that Lorenzo Music's voice of Peter Venkman sounded more like Garfield (who was also voiced by Music at the time.) A different explanation for the change of actor for Peter Venkman came from Dave Coulier, who took over the role of Venkman from Music, who expalined that Joe Medjuck a producer on both the original 1984 film and the animated series, wanted the character to sound more like Bill Murray. Ernie Hudson was the only actor from the films who auditioned to play his character in the series; however, the role was given to Arsenio Hall.
At the same time The Real Ghostbusters was being created, Filmation was making a cartoon known simply as "Ghostbusters", which was a revamp of Filmation's 1970s series The Ghost Busters. The character designs by Jim McDermott were dramatically redesigned from the way the same characters looked in the movie.
Although the "Ghostbusters" concept was tinkered with, the finalized show does feature many tie-ins from the films. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man made numerous appearances. During the third season, Walter Peck, the Environmental Protection Agency antagonist from the original film, reappeared. The uniforms and containment unit were redesigned, and Slimer was changed from a bad ghost to a resident and friend, events which are explained in the episode "Citizen Ghost" that flashes back to what happened to the Ghostbusters right after the movie's events. Gozer is also mentioned repeatedly throughout the series, usually in comparison to a ghost they are currently battling (e.g. "Cthulhu makes Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine").
In the third season, some of the character designs were modified. Ray's character design was slimmed down to give the character a less overweight appearance and Slimer was given a tail instead of the formerly rounded bottom. The biggest change was to the character of Janine, whose hair was completely changed from being short and spiky to long and straight. Her overall design was softened, as was her personality. Her voice was also softened with Kath Soucie taking over the voice role from Laura Summer. Changes to Janine's character were eventually addressed (and resolved) in the season 6 episode "Janine, You've Changed".
At the start of the series' third season in 1988, the series was retitled to Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters. The opening was completely redone to centre around Slimer. Eventually the episodes were expanded from their original half-hour format to last an hour, and the overall feel of the show was changed to be more youthful, with episodes having a lighter tone to be less frightening. When Ghostbusters II was released, the character of Louis Tully was introduced to the show, with his voice provided by Rodger Bumpass, and later episodes referenced events from the film.
With the departure of story editor and writer J. Michael Straczynski, more changes were also made. Dave Coulier took over the role of voicing Peter from Lorenzo Music and Buster Jones replaced Arsenio Hall as the voice of Winston. The show was canceled in 1991, with Straczynski returning to the series to write a few of the episodes in the final season in 1990. The only voice actors to remain for the entire series were Frank Welker and Maurice LaMarche.
- Peter Venkman – Lorenzo Music (seasons 1–2), Dave Coulier (seasons 3–7)
- Egon Spengler – Maurice LaMarche
- Ray Stantz, Slimer – Frank Welker
- Winston Zeddemore – Arsenio Hall (seasons 1–3), Buster Jones (seasons 4–7)[n 1]
- Janine Melnitz – Laura Summer (seasons 1–2), Kath Soucie (seasons 3–7)
- Louis Tully – Rodger Bumpass (seasons 5–6)
- Chilly Cooper – Cree Summer (seasons 3–6)
The show originally aired on ABC for its full run, except for the third season which ran on syndication at the same time as the second season ran on ABC. Later, reruns of the show appeared on the USA Network's USA Cartoon Express from September 16, 1991 to September 11, 1994. Fox Family Channel also reran the series from August 17, 1998 to October 1, 1999. Fox included the series as part of their Fox Kids block on Saturday mornings in 2001-02. In August 2012, reruns began airing on Fearnet during the weekends, part of their "Funhouse" block.
In January 2009, IGN named The Real Ghostbusters as the 22nd best show in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows.
In 1988, a small series of video cassettes featuring 3 episodes each were released by Random House Home Video. The episodes on the cassettes were from the first season of syndication.
In 2004 and again in 2006 Sony released bare bones episode compilations in the United Kingdom and United States respectively. The DVD release of Ghostbusters II also included two episodes of the series as bonus features, "Citizen Ghost", a story focusing on events set immediately after the first movie, and "Partners in Slime", which featured the psycho-active slime from Ghostbusters II and a brief mention of its villain Vigo the Carpathian.
On May 27, 2008, Time-Life announced they would be responsible for the complete series' release on DVD in the Fall of 2008. That July they allowed fans the chance to vote between two variations of an outer box for the set—one designed to look like the main characters firehouse headquarters and the other all black with different images on each side. Both featured lenticular printing, the firehouse version to show the Ecto-1 and the black version to have oozing "slime". Released on November 25, 2008, in the "firehouse" casing, the set spans 25 discs containing all 147 episodes of the series. The company began releasing the individual volumes on March 31, 2009.
At the start of the third season in 1988, with the series' renaming, it was given a one-hour time slot. In addition to the regular thirty-minute Real Ghostbusters episode, a half-hour Slimer sub-series was added that included 2–3 short animated segments focusing on the character Slimer. At the end of its six season run, 147 episodes had aired, including the syndicated episodes and 13 episodes of Slimer, with multiple episodes airing out of production order. The segments added several characters as friends of Slimer, plus an antagonist, Professor Norman Dweeb, a prototypical mad scientist usually accompanied by a pink poodle named Elizabeth. Dweeb wants to capture Slimer to experiment on him and to gain personal glory. Dweeb also made three appearances in the main series, one a clip show from the last two seasons. One of the ghosts from the Slimer cartoons, the Sleaze, also reappeared in The Real Ghostbusters to be captured a second time.
In 1997, a sequel cartoon entitled Extreme Ghostbusters, was created by Columbia TriStar Television and Adelaide Productions. It premiered on September 1, 1997 and ran for forty episodes until its conclusion on December 8, 1997. Set several years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, the series opened by saying the team has disbanded due to a lack of supernatural activity. Only Egon remains in the firehouse, along with Slimer, to care for the containment system while teaching classes at a local university. When supernatural events begin occurring in New York, Egon recruits four of his university students as a new team of Ghostbusters, and Janine, also one of Egon's students, returns to manage the office. The original Ghostbusters return for the two-episode season finale to celebrate Egon's 40th birthday, leading to them reluctantly working together with the younger generation to solve one last case.
- Winston's last name was alternately spelled "Zeddemore", as in the movies, and Zeddmore.
- Adelson, Andrea (December 30, 1987). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; For Maker of Cartoons, A Chance to Go Public". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "Interview: Lou Scheimer: A Candid Conversation with Filmation's Founder". The Trades. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
- "The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Ken Plume (January 1, 2007). "Quick Stop Interview: Maurice LaMarche". Quick Stop Interview. Retrieved August 13, 2007.
- Harris, Will (June 13, 2012). "Ernie Hudson talks Oz and losing out on the Ghostbusters cartoon". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Solomon, Charles (September 18, 1986). "Animated Shows For Kids". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Plume, Kenneth (September 6, 2000). "Interview with J. Michael Straczynski (Part 2 of 4)". IGN. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- TV Guide – September 14–20, 1991
- Tyrone Daily Herald's TV Week – September 9–16, 1994
- TV Guide – August 15–21, 1998
- TV Guide – September 25 – October 1, 1999
- "The Real Ghostbusters: Spooky Spirits". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- "The Real Ghostbusters: Slimefighters". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- "The Real Ghostbusters: Creatures of the Night". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Gord Lacey (May 27, 2008). "Time-Life to Release Complete Series This Fall!". The Real Ghostbusters.
- "Vote for the Complete Series Artwork". The Real Ghostbusters. TVShowsOnDVD.com. July 21, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- "Help Select the Box Art". The Real Ghostbusters. TVShowsOnDVD.com. July 21, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
- Lambert, David (November 10, 2008). "Small Date Change for Time Life's Complete Series Set is Made Up by FedEx Shipping". The Real Ghostbusters news. TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
- Ghostbusters-Package-Details/10296 "Winner of the Cover Art Voting". The Real Ghostbusters. TVShowsOnDVD.com. August 11, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
- "Formal press release for The Real Ghostbusters — The Complete Series". The Real Ghostbusters. TVShowsOnDVD.com. July 25, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
- Real Ghostbusters, The – The Complete 1st Season (2 Disc Set) @ EzyDVD
- hmv.com: dvd: Real Ghostbusters: Season 1: 2dvd (2009)
- (Booklet) The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection (Liner notes). Fairfax, Virginia: Direct Holdings Americas, CPT Holdings. 2008. 80083-Z.
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- The Real Ghostbusters at the Internet Movie Database
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- Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters at TV.com