G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989 TV series)

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a 1989–1992 half-hour American animated television series based on the toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. The series was produced by DIC Enterprises.[1]

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe Series 2 Season 1.jpg
DVD cover for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Series 2 Season 1.
GenreMilitary action-adventure
Created byHasbro
Based onG.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
by Larry Hama
Voices of
Narrated byJackson Beck (Operation Dragonfire mini-series only)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes44 (list of episodes)
Executive producersAndy Heyward
Robby London
Running time30 min.
Production companyDIC Enterprises
DistributorClaster Television
Sunbow Productions
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Original releaseSeptember 2, 1989 (1989-09-02) –
January 20, 1992 (1992-01-20)


The series debuted in 1989, with a five-part mini-series titled Operation: Dragonfire, where we see Cobra Commander being returned to human form.[2] The regular series began in 1990, lasting for two seasons and 44 episodes.[3] The series continued the original G.I. Joe animated series produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions that ran in syndication from 1985 to 1986.

In order to cut production costs for the original animated series, Hasbro dropped Sunbow and contracted DiC to continue the series. Story editor Buzz Dixon explained in an interview: "Hasbro had been funding G.I. Joe out of their own pocket; they got a ridiculous deal from DiC to take over the series and they pretty much let them."[4]

The DiC series is a continuation of the Sunbow show, though it chose to focus primarily on new characters of the period. Hawk was retained as G.I. Joe commander, and at times shared his duties with Sgt. Slaughter as head of the G.I. Joe team. Captain Grid-Iron was given field commander duties in Season 1, with Duke regaining his old position and appearing more often in Season 2. Storm Shadow was also now a member of G.I. Joe, as action figures of the character had been sold as a Joe rather than a Cobra since 1988, keeping in line with the story of the comics, where he had abandoned Cobra in 1986–87.

The first season centered almost exclusively on the 1990 Joes; meanwhile, Cobra, having a less extensive cast, was augmented by select characters from 1989 and the yet-to-be-released 1991 figures. This new ensemble had a much wider variety of Cobra forces, with viewers being introduced to the Night Creepers and many different forms of Vipers.

The first season of the DiC series was mainly standalone episodes that focused on establishing new team members and plots. After the "Operation Dragonfire" miniseries, the DiC show lowered the animation budget and began a series of two part episodes, which often told a deeper story involving more dramatic life and death situations for the Joes. The theme song called "Got to get tough... Yo Joe!"[5][6] and underscore for both seasons were provided by Stephen James Taylor.

Also a casualty of the animation company changeover was the extensive voice cast Sunbow employed, which largely consisted of voice actors employed by West Coast American companies. Because the DiC series was produced in Canada, an almost entirely new cast was assembled. Only a few actors from the Sunbow series returned for the DIC series; Sgt. Slaughter, Chris Latta (the voice of Cobra Commander), Ed Gilbert (General Hawk), Jerry Houser (Sci-Fi) and Morgan Lofting (Baroness). With Season 2, Chris Latta was the only voice actor to return, and the Baroness and Hawk were recast with new voices.[4]



  • Madeline Bascomb – Voice Director (Season Two)
  • Marsha Goodman – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series), Casting Director (Season One and Two)
  • Shirley McGregor – Talent Coordinator
  • Ginny McSwain – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)
  • Doug Parker – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series and Season One)
  • Paul Quinn – Voice Director (Season Two)
  • Victor Villegas – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)

Home mediaEdit


Select episodes of the series were released on VHS. The first tape, "Revenge of the Pharaoh", was released in 1990 by Hasbro packaged with an action figure of G.I. Joe member Rapid-Fire, who was named after DiC executive Robby London.[8] Buena Vista Home Video later distributed a series of three VHS tapes in 1992, each containing a single episode.[9]

  • Revenge of the Pharaoh (packaged with "Rapid-Fire" action figure)
  • El Dorado: Lost City of Gold
  • Chunnel
  • Infested Island


After releasing the entire Sunbow series on DVD, Shout! Factory and Vivendi Entertainment subsequently released the entire DiC series. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Series 2, Season 1 was released on January 10, 2012,[10] and Season 2 was released on July 10, 2012.[11]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 24 January 10, 2012
Season 2 20 July 10, 2012

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 243–244. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ "DIC GI Joe Cobra Commander Returns - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 374–377. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ a b "Gi Joe - Dic". Joeheadquarters.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  5. ^ "G.I.Joe 1990 Season 1 Intro - English (USA-CANADA) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  6. ^ 90s GI Joe Intro By DIC Entertainment (1990), retrieved 2021-02-21
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg "The Voices of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989, Animated Series) - Voice Cast Listing at Voice Chasers". Voicechasers.com. 1989-09-02. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  8. ^ "Rapid Fire (v1) G.I. Joe Action Figure". YoJoe Archive.
  9. ^ "VHS tapes". Yo Joe!.
  10. ^ Grusd, John (2012-07-10), G.I. Joe Series 2: Season 2, Shout! Factory, retrieved 2017-03-16
  11. ^ "G.I. Joe DVD news: Press Release for G.I. Joe - Series 2: Season 2". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved 26 October 2017.

External linksEdit