Ho boy. It’s difficult to discuss the 1989-1991 G.I. Joe animated series without stirring up strong emotions. Pop culture recognizes the fun of the 1983-1987 series, whether it be Cobra Commander’s voice, the Public Service Announcements, or all the property damage. And dig a little deeper, and you get superb voice acting, smart writing, and strong characterization. And of course, action! But these are not as present in the later episodes. Artist extraordinaire Russ Heath, who designed the animation character models for the Marvel/Sunbow episodes, did come back for most of that second round, but the change in tone and lower production budget didn’t treat his design work as well. The DIC run is hard to watch.
Case in point: Cubby. Winter Operations Specialist Sub-Zero has a polar bear cub named Cubby. He wears clothes, stands upright, and he gives Sgt. Slaughter a hard time. Man, I’m just going to have to do an episode review next post, it’s just too replete with weird and crazy. Anyway, here’s Russ Heath’s awesome drawing:
Or do think too hard about it and let me know in the comments.