G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989 TV series)
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a 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 Entertainment and ran from 1989 to 1992.
|G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero|
DVD cover for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Series 2 Season 1.
|Based on||G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
by Larry Hama
|Narrated by||Jackson Beck (Operation Dragonfire mini-series only)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||44 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Production company(s)||DIC Entertainment|
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Original release||September 2, 1989– January 20, 1992|
The series debuted in 1989, with a five-part mini-series titled Operation: Dragonfire. The regular series began in 1990, lasting for two seasons and 44 episodes. 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."
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 he 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 Officers as viewers were introduced to the Night Creepers and their leader, 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. The second season of the DiC show lowered the animation budget but began a series of two part episodes, which often told a deeper story involving more dramatic life and death situations for the Joes. Theme song 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 this 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.
- Jackson Beck - Narrator ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)
- Michael Benyaer - Airwave, Scoop 
- Don Brown - Drop Zone, Sub-Zero, Crimson Guard Immortal (The Greatest Evil)
- Jim Byrnes - Alley Viper, Rimpoche (Operation Dragonfire)
- Garry Chalk - Pathfinder, Shockwave, Gristle, Metal-Head, BIOK
- Brent Chapman - Red Star, Salvo 
- Lisa Corps - Lady Jaye (Operation Dragonfire), Zarana, Range Viper 3/Evy
- Kevin Conway - Rock 'n Roll, Topside
- Ian James Corlett - Rampart, Gnawgahyde, Billy Blaster
- Michael Donovan - Cloudburst, Flint, Night-Viper
- Suzanne Errett-Balcom - Lady Jaye (Season 1), Scarlett, Baroness (Season 2)
- Ed Gilbert - General Hawk (Season 1) 
- Ted Harrison - Duke
- Phil Hayes - Airborne, Tracker
- Fred Henderson - Lt. Falcon 
- Jerry Houser - Sci-Fi 
- Lee Jeffrey - Stalker 
- David Kaye - General Hawk (Season 2) 
- Terry Klassen - Altitude, Cesspool 
- Josh Andrew Koenig - Ambush (Season 1), Night Creeper Leader (Season 1)
- Maurice LaMarche - Big Ben, Dusty, Heavy Duty, Low-Light, Mercer, Ozone, Psyche-Out, Spirit, Copperhead, Destro, Major Bludd, Serpentor 
- Chris Latta - Cobra Commander 
- Morgan Lofting - Baroness (Operation Dragonfire and Season 1) 
- Blu Mankuma - Roadblock, Guardian of El Dorado
- Scott McNeil - Big Bear, Freefall, Skymate, Storm Shadow, Dice, Headman, Slice 
- Rick Poltaruk - Range-Viper (Season 1)
- Bob Remus - Sgt. Slaughter 
- Alvin Sanders - Stretcher 
- Robert O. Smith - Grunt, Wet-Suit 
- William Taylor - Bullet-Proof, Static-Line
- David Wills - Bullhorn
- Dale Wilson - Capt. Grid-Iron, Mutt, Overkill, Skydive 
- Mark Acheson -
- Jay Brazeau -
- Babz Chula - Metal-Head's Granny
- Tom Davidson -
- Marcy Goldberg -
- Annabel Kershaw -
- Terry King -
- Lalainia Lindbjerg - Cindi
- Shane Meier -
- Pauline Newstone - The President of the United States
- John Novak -
- Doug Parker -
- Derek Peakman -
- Margot Pinvidic -
- Tomm Wright - Sandstorm
- 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)
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. Buena Vista Home Video later distributed a series of three VHS tapes in 1992, each containing a single episode.
- Revenge of the Pharaoh (packaged with "Rapid-Fire" action figure)
- El Dorado the Lost City of Gold
- 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
- "Gi Joe - Dic". Joeheadquarters.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- "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.
- "Rapid Fire (v1) G.I. Joe Action Figure". YoJoe Archive.
- "VHS tapes". Yo Joe!.
- Grusd, John (2012-07-10), G.I. Joe Series 2: Season 2, Shout! Factory, retrieved 2017-03-16