Ghostbusters (1986 TV series)
|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|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution on behalf of DreamWorks Classics|
|Original network||first-run syndication|
|Original release||September 8– December 5, 1986|
|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. 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; as part of Qubo Night Owl, which lasted from 2010 to 2013; and most recently on the Retro Television Network until 2015.
Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr. are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action series of the same name; Tracy the Gorilla 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 a segment describing a particular lesson that can be learned from the events of the episode. Skelevision (sometimes accompanied by Belfrey) is the character most often employed in this role. From time to time, Jake, Eddie Jr or another good character would talk with Skelevison about the lesson.
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.
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." 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 came with a removable backpack and Dematerializer. Eddie came with a removable backpack and Specter Snare. Tracy came with a 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, 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. The tagline for the series was "So much fun, it's spooky!"
Home video releases
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.
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.
Mill Creek Entertainment announced the re-release of the series on DVD.
|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.
- 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.
- Merlin is the famed wizard of King Arthur's era, who has previously crossed paths with Prime Evil. Voice by Alan Oppenheimer (the actor would later go on to voice Merlin again in The Legend of Prince Valiant).
- 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
- 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. Serves as Prime Evil's right-hand and tally-tale. His name is loosely based on Burt Bacharach, and is also a master keyboard player. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
- Scared Stiff (30): 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. Voiced by Pat Fraley.
- Fangster (20): A Werewolf from the future who wears high-top gym shoes. Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer in a style similar to Cringer (from He-Man).
- Haunter (22): "Civilized Hunter of Haunted Prey". 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 magic monocle has the power to turn people mean. Possibly Prime Evil's most loyal as he never sided with Big Evil, believing such a thing was bad business. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
- Mysteria (18): "Mistress of Mists". 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.
- Sir Trance-A-Lot (16): "A bad knight to one and all". A skeleton knight with a Dalí-esque moustache who also rides a skeletal horse named Frightmare, and he wields the Trance Lance that fires beams that induce sleep. His name is a reference to Sir Lancelot. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
- Apparitia (19): "Spirit Sorceress Supreme". 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.
- Captain Long John Scarechrome: A pirate ghost bearing a hook and metal peg leg and an Aussie pirate-type accent. His name is a reference to Long John Silver. Voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.
- Airhead (6): 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.
- Floatzart (6): "Musical Maestro of Fright". A petite, red-headed tuxedo-wearing ghost with music-themed powers, loosely based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but looks like Ludwig van Beethoven. Voiced by Peter Cullen.
- Fib Face: A two-faced villain who is incapable of telling the truth. Like Prime Evil, he is immune to Jake's Dematerialization gun; the only way to send him to Ghost Limbo is to start his faces arguing with each other. Voiced by Lou Scheimer.
- Dr. Creep (1): a skeletal scientist who betrays Prime Evil for Big Evil.
- 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.
- Ghost Gobbler: A handheld portable 'phaser' like weapon that would fire a containment field or force field and trap a ghost inside the energy beam, with a rotation of the device the ghost could be shrunk down to a much smaller size and effectively captured or dealt with, Jake describes it is an 'Ecto-graphic holographic laser perimeter' which Eddie called it the Ghost Gobbler.
Debuted in the episode "Going Ape" alongside the "Ectro-Strobe"
|Nº||Title||Original air date|
|1||"I'll Be a Son of a Ghostbuster"||8 September 1986|
|In the future the Ghostbusters meet Futura, a bewitching Ghostbuster of the future. The Ghostbusters learn of an ancient stone table that has clues of their fathers' whereabouts; it takes them to Camelot. But Prime Evil learns of this and sends Sir Trance-a-lot to stop them.|
|2||"Frights of the Roundtable"||9 September 1986|
|3||"No Pharaoh at All"||10 September 1986|
|4||"The Secret of Mastodon Valley"||11 September 1986|
|5||"The Ones Who Saved the Future"||12 September 1986|
|6||"Witch's Stew"||15 September 1986|
|7||"Mummy Dearest"||16 September 1986|
|8||"Wacky Wax Museum"||17 September 1986|
|9||"Statue of Liberty"||18 September 1986|
|10||"The Ransom of Eddie Spencer"||19 September 1986|
|Prime Evil kidnaps Eddie... but Eddie's constant clumsy antics make Prime Evil wish he hadn't.|
|11||"Eddie Takes Charge"||22 September 1986|
|12||"The Great Ghost Gorilla"||23 September 1986|
|13||"A Friend in Need"||24 September 1986|
|14||"No Mo' Snow"||25 September 1986|
|15||"Prime Evil's Good Deed"||26 September 1986|
|16||"Cyman's Revenge"||29 September 1986|
|17||"The Headless Horseman Caper"||30 September 1986|
|18||"Banish That Banshee"||1 October 1986|
|19||"Rollerghoster"||2 October 1986|
|20||"He Went Brataway"||3 October 1986|
|21||"The Looking-Glass Warrior"||6 October 1986|
|22||"Laser and Future Rock"||7 October 1986|
|23||"Runaway Choo Choo"||8 October 1986|
|24||"Dynamite Dinosaurs"||9 October 1986|
|25||"Ghostbunglers"||10 October 1986|
|26||"My Present to the Future"||13 October 1986|
|27||"The Beastly Buggy"||14 October 1986|
|28||"Belfry Leads the Way"||15 October 1986|
|29||"The Battle for Ghost Command"||16 October 1986|
|30||"Going Ape"||17 October 1986|
|31||"The Haunting of Gizmo"||20 October 1986|
|32||"Ghostnappers"||21 October 1986|
|33||"Inside Out"||22 October 1986|
|34||"The Sleeping Dragon"||23 October 1986|
|35||"The Phantom of the Big Apple"||24 October 1986|
|36||"Shades of Dracula"||27 October 1986|
|37||"Outlaw In-Laws"||28 October 1986|
|38||"Our Buddy Fuddy"||29 October 1986|
|39||"Train to Doom-De-Doom-Doom"||30 October 1986|
|40||"The Princess and the Troll"||31 October 1986|
|41||"Second Chance"||3 November 1986|
|42||"Tracy Come Back"||4 November 1986|
|43||"Doggone Werewolf"||5 November 1986|
|44||"That's No Alien"||6 November 1986|
|45||"Scareplane"||7 November 1986|
|46||"The Ghost of Don Quixote"||10 November 1986|
|47||"The White Whale"||11 November 1986|
|48||"Country Cousin"||12 November 1986|
|49||"Knight of Terror"||13 November 1986|
|50||"The Girl Who Cried Vampire"||14 November 1986|
|51||"Little Big Bat"||17 November 1986|
|52||"Really Roughing It"||18 November 1986|
|53||"The Bad Old Days"||19 November 1986|
|54||"The Curse of the Diamond of Gloom"||20 November 1986|
|55||"The Bind That Ties"||21 November 1986|
|56||"Like Father Like Son"||24 November 1986|
|57||"The Fourth Ghostbuster"||25 November 1986|
|58||"Whither Why"||26 November 1986|
|59||"Cold Winter's Night"||27 November 1986|
|60||"Father Knows Beast"||28 November 1986|
|61||"Back to the Past"||1 December 1986|
|62||"Pretend Friends"||2 December 1986|
|63||"The Haunted Painting"||3 December 1986|
|64||"Maze Caves"||4 December 1986|
|65||"The Way You Are"||5 December 1986|
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 reference to He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when he punches the door.
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. 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. In the UK, numerous issues were reprinted in a hardcover annual called Filmation's Ghostbusters Annual 1987 by World Color Press.
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- "TV Listings: KAZTDT2 (KAZT-DT2), October 2, 2010". Zap2it. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
- "Interview: Lou Scheimer: A Candid Conversation with Filmation's Founder". The Trades. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Michael Swanigan and Darrell McNeil (1993). Animation by Filmation. Blackbear Press.
- "Site News – PRESS RELEASE: Navarre Shuts Down BCI, Makers of He-Man, Day Break, Price is Right and other DVDs". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "GHOSTBUSTERS (ANIMATED) VOLUME 1". screenpop.com.au. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- "GHOSTBUSTERS (ANIMATED) VOLUME 2". screenpop.com.au. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- "GHOSTBUSTERS (ANIMATED) VOLUME 3". screenpop.com.au. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
- "GCD :: Covers :: Ghostbusters". Comics.org. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
- "GCD :: Covers :: Ghostbusters". Comics.org. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
- [dead link]