One of my favorite cartoons as a kid was The Real Ghostbusters. While Filmation’s version had the cooler gear (talking cars, gadget backpacks, hot future chicks), the “Real” versions, based off of the movie, had better characters and stories. I should note, however, that I rather enjoyed Filmation’s version.
Tonight I bring you the pilot for DIC’s version. You’ll notice a few changes between the final series and the pilot (given out to distributors, later picked up as a series both for syndication and the ABC Network, back when they cared about having a Saturday morning line-up–now all we get are the same sitcoms you can watch on the Disney Channel, and as of last week a oddly edited version of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers that reminds one more of the “Cybernet Space Cube” of Transformers: Generation 2 than the Star Wars Special Edition–I was expecting something more like what they did with Star Trek or the recent Doctor Who “enhanced option” DVDs). Wow, that’s the longest in-paragraph sidebar I’ve ever written.
Here’s some backstory I picked up online. When Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis was putting the movie together, there were concerns due the original live-action series by Filmation, The Ghost Busters. There was obviously no connection between the series, but it was still a concern which was easily remedied by getting the naming rights. When the movie was a hit, Filmation decided to dust off their version as a new animated series, released as Filmation’s Ghostbusters and featuring the sons of the original characters. So the cartoon producers had to slap “The Real” on the end, which most kids could later assume was a strike against Filmation swiping the name, instead of the reverse. We were so wrong, but the only Ghosbusters we knew was the movie.
(There actually is an episode featuring a movie being made about them, so I guess in-universe we were watching the real Ghostbusters, and the movie was based on their lives. Maybe this is why the team never broke up, unlike in the sequel. Since the series was ignored by Akroyd and Ramis when they wrote Ghostbusters 2, who knows?)
You’ll notice some minor differences between the character models in the pilot from the ones in the final series. The uniforms are all the same color from the movie, rather than the multiple colors of the series (which was actually explained in a flashback episode). Peter’s hair is also closer to Bill Murry’s in the movie (although more of it…sorry, Bill) than the hairstyle from the show. The big change is Slimer, however. In the series Slimer was rather friendly with the Ghostbusters and acted as their ally. Later he had own segments within the show, and even took top billing for the last few seasons, because he played so well with the kids. (They merchandised the hell out of that ghost back in the day.)
There was a follow-up cartoon some years later, titled Extreme Ghosbusters, which found a way to be darker than the original but didn’t skip on the comedy. (Take notes on that, IDW! The comedy!) The costumes and gear were updated for the new Ghostbusters. Egon, Janine (who was back to being with Egon, rather than hooking up with Lewis from the movie–again, the producers of the sequel movie sadly ignored the cartoons), and Slimer were back and…dear god, what happened to Slimer!
And fans thought the cutified versions of the “Slimer” segments was off?