Ghostbusters (1986 TV series)

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This article is about the 1986 animated TV series. For other uses, see Ghostbusters (disambiguation).
Filmations Ghostbusters Logo.jpg
Created by Marc Richards
Based on The Ghost Busters
Developed by Robby London, Barry O'Brien
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 65
Executive producer(s) Lou Scheimer
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s)
Original release September 8, 1986 (1986-09-08) – December 5, 1986 (1986-12-05)
Related shows The Ghost Busters

Ghostbusters (later called Filmation's Ghostbusters) is a 1986 animated television series created by Filmation and distributed by Tribune Entertainment, based on Filmation's 1975 live-action television show The Ghost Busters. It is not to be confused with Columbia Pictures' 1984 film Ghostbusters or that film's subsequent animated television show The Real Ghostbusters.[1] When making their film, Columbia Pictures needed to obtain rights to use the name from Filmation.

The success of Columbia's (unrelated) film spurred Filmation to resurrect their own property, producing an animated series based on the characters from the earlier TV show. This animated series ran from September 8 to December 5, 1986 in daytime syndication and produced 65 episodes. The series is technically called simply Ghostbusters, but home video releases used the name Filmation's Ghostbusters to avoid confusion. In the US, reruns of the show previously aired on CBN Cable, The Family Channel, and most recently as part of Qubo Night Owl, which started from 2010 and ended on August 25, 2013.[2][3][4] and currently on the Retro Television Network.[5][6] The series can also be seen on Hulu.[7]


Jake Kong, Eddie Spencer and Tracy the Gorilla are The Ghost Busters. Jake and Eddie Jr are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action series of the same name; Tracy worked with their fathers.

Their headquarters, termed Ghost Command, is located in a haunted mansion nestled between a number of tall skyscrapers (which resemble the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City) They are supported by a number of secondary characters including Ansa-Bone, a talking skull phone; Skelevision, a talking skeleton television; Belfrey, a pink talking bat; and Ghost Buggy, their talking ghost car. They occasionally enlist the aid of Futura, a time travelling Ghostbuster from the future, and Jessica Wray, a local TV news reporter.

Together, they have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of the evil ghost wizard Prime Evil and his cast of henchmen. Prime Evil's headquarters, termed Hauntquarters (which resembles the British Houses of Parliament complete with a Big Ben-esque clock tower), is located in The Fifth Dimension. In a typical episode, Prime Evil uses his magical powers to open up a wormhole to enable one or more of his henchmen to complete a particular scheme that serves to help him take over the world.

Famous guest-star ghosts and monsters that appeared on the show include Count Dracula (who is actually a vampire) and the Headless Horseman (who also appeared in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters written by Jean-Marc Lofficier's wife, Randy Lofficier).

Like almost all 1980s Filmation cartoons, each episode closes with Skelevision (sometimes accompanied by Belfrey) explaining a particular lesson that can be learned from the events that went on during the episode. From time to time, Jake, Eddie Jr or another good character would talk with Skelevison about the lesson. Also some versions would not have Skelevision.

While The Real Ghostbusters had the catchphrase, "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!", each episode of Filmation's Ghost Busters also used a catchphrase: "Let's Go, Ghost Busters!"


When Columbia Pictures started producing the film Ghostbusters in 1984, it neglected the fact that Filmation had already produced a live-action comedy series with that same name in 1975. Columbia agreed to license the name from Filmation for $500,000 plus 1% of the profits (of which there were ostensibly none). Since Columbia did not want to license Filmation the rights to the movie Ghostbusters when they were looking to produce an animated series, Filmation produced an animated version of their live-action TV show. Columbia proceeded to name their cartoon show The Real Ghostbusters to directly distinguish it from the Filmation show.[8]

Filmation had even gone as far as to attempt to work with Columbia Pictures and had completed initial design work for a cartoon to be based on the movie. Columbia changed its mind, deciding not to work with Filmation, and the proposed deal fell through (Columbia worked with DiC instead). Filmation's Lou Scheimer later admitted "We should have asked for the animation rights for their (Columbia's) Ghostbusters as part of the settlement."[9] This prompted Filmation to create the cartoon based on its former live-action series.


Many toys were made by Schaper to go along with the series. The action figures were very good likenesses to their cartoon counterparts and included a small comic with each figure which was a shortened version of the first five episodes of the show. The series of figures included Jake, Eddie, Tracy, Belfrey, Futura, Jessica, Brat-A-Rat, Prime Evil, Haunter, Scared Stiff, Mysteria, Fib Face and Fangster. Jake has a magic backpack and ghost gun. Eddie came with a removable ghostpack and Specter Snare. Tracy came with his removable backpack and Ghost Gummer. Due to their small size, Belfrey and Brat-A-Rat were packaged together with a backpack that could be worn by Tracy or Fangster. Prime Evil had a removable cape. There were also several vehicles and playsets that included the Ghost Buggy, Futura's Time Hopper, Prime Evil's Bone Troller playset, the Scare Scooter and the Ghost Command playset. The following were not made into action figures, playsets, and roleplay accessories: Madam Why, Airhead, Flozart, Long John Scarechrome, Sir Trancelot and Frightmare, Apparatia, Hauntquarters, Jake's Dematerializer, Eddie's Spectre Snare and Tracy's Ghost Gummer. The tagline for the series was "So much fun, it's spooky!"

DVD releases[edit]

BCI Eclipse LLC (Under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series in Region 1 in two volume sets in 2007. Each set features extensive special features including interviews, commentary, image galleries, bonus episodes and more. Unlike many of BCI's Filmation releases, with the exception of two episodes ("Tracy Come Back", and "Like Father, Like Son"), this DVD release appears to have been sourced from the original NTSC prints. As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print as BCI Eclipse ceased operations.[10]

TGG Direct, LLC released a one disc The Best of Ghostbusters DVD that contains four episodes (Mummy Dearest, Shades of Dracula, The White Whale and Like Father, Like Son). The disc was available at Wal-Mart on a cardboard backing.

DVD Name Ep# Region 1
Filmation's Ghostbusters – Volume 1 32 February 27, 2007
Filmation's Ghostbusters – Volume 2 33 July 3, 2007

The animated series was previously released on VHS by Celebrity Home Entertainment's "Just For Kids" imprint.

Recurring characters[edit]


  • Jake Kong Jr. is the son of the original Jake Kong from The Ghost Busters. Jake is the leader of the Ghostbusters just like his father. He is often responsible for coming up with ideas to solve difficult Ghostbusting problems. His nose twitches when ghosts are nearby. Jake also is of Swedish heritage because of his paternal grandfather. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
  • Eddie Spencer Jr. is the son of the original Eddie Spencer from The Ghost Busters. Eddie is often frightened by ghosts and though he means well, he is a bit of a klutz and frequently fumbles things up. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
  • Tracy the Gorilla is the same ape from The Ghost Busters. Tracy is extremely smart and is credited with inventing all of the Ghostbusting gadgets and would often construct one to help a bad situation. Tracy is also very powerful and uses his strength to get out of tight spots. Unlike the live-action series where he only wore various hats (most commonly a beanie), in this series, he wears a fedora, backpack and khaki shorts. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
  • Belfry is a pink-colored bat who can emit a sonic scream. Belfry calls it the Belfry Blast. Belfry will sometimes tag along on Ghostbusting adventures but often he is told it could be too dangerous. Belfry has three cousins: a Southern bat named Beauregard, a Brooklyn bat named Rafter, and an English bat named Yves. Belfry resembles Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. His name and species are a reference to the expression "Bats in the Belfry".[original research?] Voiced by Susan Blu.
  • Futura is an alluring, purple-skinned woman from the future, who is a Ghostbuster in her own time. Futura has a flying scooter named Time Hopper and can predict what is going to happen in the present time as well as being telekinetic. She also seems to have a crush on Jake; often complimenting him on how he looks and periodically kissing him much to his delight. In her original design, Futura was an African-American with long, light-brown hair. Voiced by Susan Blu.
  • Jessica Wray is a TV news reporter. She often reports on the events the Ghostbusters will go investigate and sometimes accompanies them. Jake seems to have a crush on her and she for him. Originally had blonde hair in her initial design. Voiced by Susan Blu.
  • Madam Why is a fortune-telling Roma woman who speaks with a European accent, resides in a wagon, and occasionally assists the Ghostbusters. Voiced by Linda Gary.
  • Ghost Buggy, Jr. aka G.B. is the Ghostbusters' Southern accent talking car that can assume many forms of transportation (including a train complete with graffiti on the sides), along with the ability to travel through time. Ghost Buggy is often found sleeping in Ghost command's garage and gets annoyed when the Ghostbusters land on him. His face is the ghost shown in the series logo. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
  • Corky is Jessica's young nephew. He wears an orange shirt with the Ghostbusters logo on it. Voiced by Erika Scheimer.
  • Ansabone is Ghost Command's Talking Skull Phone. When the Ghostbusters get a call for help, Ansabone will usually make it hard for them to answer the phone and will give the caller a sarcastic message. Example: "You've reached the Ghostbusters and you're in luck. They're not here!" or "The Ghostbusters are out right now. Outta their minds, that is!" Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
  • Skelevision is Ghost Command's Talking Skeleton Television. Skelevision often shows the Ghostbusters the problem they will have to face and is very often the one who talks about the lesson that can be learned from the episode. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
  • Skelevator is Ghost Command's bony elevator with a mind of its own. Primary transport for the Ghostbusters to change into their ghost busting attire. A portable version is used when the Ghostbusters are on location while tracking ghosts. Voiced by Erika Scheimer.
  • Shock Clock is Ghost Command's talking cuckoo clock. Voiced by Erika Scheimer.
  • Fuddy is Merlin's apprentice. When a full moon is out, Jake is able to chant and call him for help by casting a magic spell, which rarely works the way it is supposed to. Similar to Orko from He-Man, though he sounds like Kowl from She-Ra. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
  • Jake Kong, Sr. and Eddie Spenser, Sr. are Jake and Eddie's fathers, the original Ghostbusters, who occasionally appear in animated form as well. They are voiced by the same actors that do the voices of Jake (Voiced by Pat Fraley) and Eddie (Voiced by Peter Cullen), respectively.
  • Skelescope is Ghost Command's talking telescope. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
  • Ghost Buggy Sr. is the car of the original Ghostbusters and GB's father.
  • Time Hopper is Futura's hover scooter. GB has a crush on her, but she doesn't feel the same. Voiced by Susan Blu.
  • Foxfire is a super fast running male fox who resides with Madam Why.


  • Prime Evil: The primary villain is a wizard, although he appears to be a robot with an android-like human skull and garbed in flowing red robes. Prime Evil has many evil powers including the ability to shoot energy bolts from his fingers. Prime Evil's minions often find themselves getting zapped when they do not succeed in stopping the Ghostbusters. He encounters the Ghostbusters in the first episode; however, they outsmarted him and they imprisoned him for 100 years until he escaped. He went back in time to get his revenge. Prime Evil has a hard time saying "Ghostbusters" and will often refer to them as "Ghost Blisters", "Ghost Buzzards", "Ghost Brats", "Ghost Bozos", "Ghost Busting Goons" and "Ghost Bunglers". Originally designed to resemble Mumm-Ra from the Thundercats. Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.

Prime Evil's ghosts[edit]

  • Fib Face: A two-faced villain who often argues with himself. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
  • Scared Stiff: A robotic skeleton, similar in appearance to C-3PO. He is easily frightened and is often zapped to pieces by Prime Evil or falls apart on account of his own fright. Originally stockier in his pilot appearance. In the battle against Big Evil, he betrays Prime Evil and becomes Big Evil's henchman. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
  • Haunter: Resembles a safari hunter with an English accent. His vocal nuance exaggerates the letter "r" for the letter "w" such as pronouncing "dematerializer" as "dematewealwizer." Often gets in trouble for calling Prime Evil "old boy", "old bean" and other English endearments. According to the DVD guidebook, the Haunter's speech, mannerisms, and appearance are based on actor Terry-Thomas. Sometimes will make his pith helmet extremely large to fly in or to assist in kidnapping people. His monocle has magic powers. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
  • Brat-A-Rat: A pot-bellied, legless flying rat with an elongated nose, a lizard-like body, and an acute squint in one eye. He has no magic powers other than levitation since he has no wings. His name is loosely based on Burt Bacharach, and is also a master keyboard player. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
  • Mysteria: Resembles Morticia from The Addams Family, wearing a long black hairstyle. She has power over mist and is known for calling people "darling". She is also known for her extreme vanity. Originally had a human appearance and a long red dress. Voiced by Linda Gary, in a manner similar to Evil-Lyn from He-man.
  • Apparitia: A vampish sorceress who talks like Mae West and like her name implies she can conjure up all sorts of apparitions. She wears a sleeveless red dress with long green hair, thus giving her a similar look to Eris, the Greek goddess of discord. Voiced by Linda Gary.
  • Airhead: An overweight mummy ghost who is nothing but bandages. Airhead lives up to his name as he is not very smart. He often makes really bad jokes which amuse only himself. "Duh, Airhead make joke!" Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.


  • The Tooth Scaries: Three small ghosts named Big Tooth, Sweet Tooth, and Cavity. A fourth one, a girl named Flossy, appears later. Her guitar has the power to put anyone to sleep. Has the power to eat anything due to their sharp teeth. They eventually become good.
  • Big Evil: Prime Evil's overweight rival with four arms and pointed ears. He's so powerful that he forced Prime Evil to team up with the Ghostbusters to defeat him. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
  • Corpulon: A ghost from the future with a grudge against Futura, who sent him to Ghost Limbo. Requires massive amounts of energy to stay "alive"—in fact, he eats it from enormous jars. Uses "Bug-droids" to do his dirty work. Remarkably, Corpulon is one of the few ghosts who is not associated with Prime Evil. Voiced by Peter Cullen.


(Note: only the Dematerializer carried over from the live-action series. All other weapons shown here are specific to this series).

  • The Dematerializer: The Ghostbusters' main weapon, it shoots a beam that banishes ghosts to limbo, but does not always work (Prime Evil, for example, is too powerful to be affected, and while it works on Fangster, a werewolf, and Scared Stiff, a robot, it doesn't work on vampires like Count Dracula himself or on a "voodoo monster" named Voodon seen in "The Bind That Ties"). It tends to get broken, preventing the Ghostbusters from achieving easy victory.
  • Ghost Gummer: Shoots a gob of a sticky pink substance to immobilize enemies.
  • Spectre Snare: Shoots a coiled rope to trap a ghost.
  • Bubble Blaster: Fires off a stream of soaplike bubbles that combine to form one large bubble to entrap a ghost.
  • Dematerializer Net: An energized net that is stretched across the Ghost Buggy that causes ghosts to be banished to limbo as soon as they touch it.
  • Ghost Pack: The standard equipment pack Jake and Eddie carry with their Ghostbusters Logo on it. It holds an amount of devices within it and also acts as a jetpack when needed. Tracy carries a larger version which includes the portable Transformation Chamber itself. The Ghost Packs replace the single "satchel" from the live-action series.
  • Transformation Chamber: A skeletal elevator normally located at Ghostbusters HQ, which Jake and Eddie use to change into their uniforms and equip themselves with their Ghost Packs. After a cry of "Let's Go, Ghostbusters!", the elevator rises up into some kind of ghostly dimension where they are stripped down to their underwear and prepared for battle. Their 'transformation sequence' is a series of acrobatic movements along a kind of assembly-line, with trapezes, a slide, and bouncing off an old mattress to land into the Ghost Buggy. In the majority of the episodes, viewers see part or all of this process.
  • Ghost Post: A weapon owned by the original Ghostbusters. Its functions are unknown as it was just about to be used.
  • Fright Freezer: A weapon mounted to the side of the Ghostbuggy that can freeze ghosts instantly.
  • Micro Dematerializer: All the goodness of the regular-sized Dematerializer, packed into a flashlight-sized "phaser" type weapon.
  • Ecto-Strobe: A device that, when flashed intermittently, could detect recent ghost and supernatural activity. It could also be used to temporarily stun or blind ghosts. Often made cases a bit too easy.


  1. "I'll Be a Son of a Ghostbuster" / Sep-8-1986
  2. "Frights of the Roundtable" / Sep-9-1986
  3. "No Pharaoh at All" / Sep-10-1986
  4. "The Secret of Mastodon Valley" / Sep-11-1986
  5. "The Ones Who Saved the Future" / Sep-12-1986
  6. "Witch's Stew" / Sep-15-1986
  7. "Mummy Dearest" / Sep-16-1986
  8. "Wacky Wax Museum" / Sep-17-1986
  9. "Statue of Liberty" / Sep-18-1986
  10. "The Ransom of Eddie Spencer" / Sep-19-1986 (Prime evil kidnaps Eddie...but Eddie`s constant clumsy antics makes Prime evil wish he hadn`t)
  11. "Eddie Takes Charge" / Sep-22-1986
  12. "The Great Ghost Gorilla" / Sep-23-1986
  13. "A Friend in Need" / Sep-24-1986
  14. "No Mo' Snow" / Sep-25-1986
  15. "Prime Evil's Good Deed" / Sep-26-1986
  16. "Cyman's Revenge" / Sep-29-1986
  17. "The Headless Horseman Caper" / Sep-30-1986
  18. "Banish That Banshee" / Oct-1-1986
  19. "Rollerghoster" / Oct-2-1986
  20. "He Went Brataway" / Oct-3-1986
  21. "The Looking-Glass Warrior" / Oct-6-1986
  22. "Laser and Future Rock" / Oct-7-1986
  23. "Runaway Choo Choo" / Oct-8-1986
  24. "Dynamite Dinosaurs" / Oct-9-1986
  25. "Ghostbunglers" / Oct-10-1986
  26. "My Present to the Future" / Oct-13-1986
  27. "The Beastly Buggy" / Oct-14-1986
  28. "Belfry Leads the Way" / Oct-15-1986
  29. "The Battle for Ghost Command" / Oct-16-1986
  30. "Going Ape" / Oct-17-1986
  31. "The Haunting of Gizmo" / Oct-20-1986
  32. "Ghostnappers" / Oct-21-1986
  33. "Inside Out" / Oct-22-1986
  34. "The Sleeping Dragon" / Oct-23-1986
  35. "The Phantom of the Big Apple" / Oct-24-1986
  36. "Shades of Dracula" / Oct-27-1986
  37. "Outlaw In-Laws" / Oct-28-1986
  38. "Our Buddy Fuddy" / Oct-29-1986
  39. "Train to Doom-De-Doom-Doom" / Oct-30-1986
  40. "The Princess and the Troll" / Oct-31-1986
  41. "Second Chance" / Nov-3-1986
  42. "Tracy Come Back" / Nov-4-1986
  43. "Doggone Werewolf" / Nov-5-1986
  44. "That's No Alien" / Nov-6-1986
  45. "Scareplane" / Nov-7-1986
  46. "The Ghost of Don Quixote" / Nov-10-1986
  47. "The White Whale" / Nov-11-1986
  48. "Country Cousin" / Nov-12-1986
  49. "Knight of Terror" / Nov-13-1986
  50. "The Girl Who Cried Vampire" / Nov-14-1986
  51. "Little Big Bat" / Nov-17-1986
  52. "Really Roughing It" / Nov-18-1986
  53. "The Bad Old Days" / Nov-19-1986
  54. "The Curse of the Diamond of Gloom" / Nov-20-1986
  55. "The Bind That Ties" / Nov-21-1986
  56. "Like Father Like Son" / Nov-24-1986
  57. "The Fourth Ghostbuster" / Nov-25-1986
  58. "Whither Why" / Nov-26-1986
  59. "Cold Winter's Night" / Nov-27-1986
  60. "Father Knows Beast" / Nov-28-1986
  61. "Back to the Past" / Dec-1-1986
  62. "Pretend Friends" / Dec-2-1986
  63. "The Haunted Painting" / Dec-3-1986
  64. "Maze Caves" / Dec-4-1986
  65. "The Way You Are" / Dec-5-1986

Production notes[edit]

Ghostbusters was no exception of Filmation's budget trimming methods, using among others, an extensive sequence where they got their equipment and the Ghost Buggy. In the episode featuring Dracula, Filmation used the model sheets and character design of Drac from the Groovie Goolies, and even used his clumsy bat transformation sequence, banging against the floor and ceiling, changing clumsily from vampire to bat. In the episode "The Way You Are" Super Spencer makes a references to He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when he punches the door.

Comic Book[edit]

The Ghost Busters are menaced by a Tyrannosaurus. From Filmation's Ghostbusters #2 (1987) from First Comics.

First Comics published a comic book mini-series in 1987 based on the show. Originally intended as a 6-issue series, only 4 issues were published.[11] The unpublished issues (along with reprints of the First Comics series) were published in a 6 issue set in Germany by Bastei Verlag in 1988.[12] In the UK, numerous issues were reprinted in a hardcover annual called Filmation's Ghostbusters Annual 1987 by World Color Press.[13]


  1. ^ Solomon, Charles (September 18, 1986). "Animated Shows For Kids". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Qubo To Launch New Slate of Kids Shows". Animation World Network. May 12, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Qubo to Launch New Slate of Kids Shows Beginning This Summer Through Fall 2010". Business Wire. May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Qubo Channel Kicks off Fall 2010 Lineup Starting Monday, September 27". Business Wire. September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ "RTV Bringing Back Retro Saturday Morning TV". TVNewsCheck. August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ "TV Listings: KAZTDT2 (KAZT-DT2), October 2, 2010". Zap2it. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Interview: Lou Scheimer: A Candid Conversation with Filmation's Founder". The Trades. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  9. ^ Michael Swanigan and Darrell McNeil (1993). Animation by Filmation. Blackbear Press. 
  10. ^ "Site News – PRESS RELEASE: Navarre Shuts Down BCI, Makers of He-Man, Day Break, Price is Right and other DVDs". Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]