Sky Commanders!

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Oh Sky Commanders! What can I say about this great 80’s animated…adventure show? Seriously, what can I say? Confession time friends; except for the fact that I know this cartoon existed because I’ve heard the name before. I don’t know anything about this show other than the name and the fact that, by looking it up on you tube there seems to be some debate as to whether it was “anime” or now. I guess I’m about to find that, and everything else, out while I watch Sky Commanders: Episode 9: Deep Freeze!

Part: One
Wow. that’s one heck of a cartoon intro! I don’t know what’s going on yet but it looks like a frozen mountain based zipline action adventure show…of the future! Two rival factions (who’s names I didn’t quite catch) seem to be fighting over some kind of element that can be used to rule the world. Think: Kerium, or Energon… Aside from all the action there was some weird imagery in the opener. There was a ghostlike picture of a smiling guy; kind of “in memorial” and also a part where the ground broke open and there was fire, and something that appeared to be the devil. Hmmm.

The show opens up with a rugged blonde commander man explaining…lava?

Has caused a wasteland to become the highest mountain peak in the world at 60,000 feet. (their science it totally legit on this…I ran it by the boys in R&D) Now the mountain has large surface deposits of Beta-7 (that magic element I mentioned earlier) They are at some kind of command base in the city (I don’t know why I thought it was arctic based) So the very GI Joe like team starts throwing around ideas for the mission and a creepy acting Australian dude starts teasing a Jamaican green beret guy about how cold it’s going to be to which the Jamaican replies “Mon…I can’t take de cold!” the Aussy acts super creepy and the whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. You know, like cartoons are supposed to!

Speaking of awkward the stuff is actually called Feta 7… Not Beta 7 and they want to climb the mountain because the element can be handled if retrieved from such attitudes and they can find out how to destroy it. Before Plague (the rival team) can find it they need to get their buts up that mountain! We start going up a mountain in the sky drill, piloted by an old dude and the Jamaican guy. They get some awesome beeping and readout displays on their “video map” If you’ll notice, it also appears as though he has an email notification.

They continue driving with some bland banter that contains a lot of “hey mon” and they get passed by some guys on cables in fancy motorized zipline/cable car things (it’s pretty obvious what kinds of toys we were trying to sell here) and the guys get so destracted that they don’t notice they’re inside the mouth of a Boulder Monster!

This thing is awesome, fierce, and adorable! Really I want a cool toy…or a tattoo or something, of this monster. Hands down, the best part of the show so far! They’re all fighting amongst themselves and walking around in the snow and so far in terms of enemies all we have seen was the awesome monster (that they pushed off of a cliff) it really all seems a lot more like Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer than a GI Joe style cartoon.
The good guys are now not just wiring, they are HOT wiring…which I guess means that the cable glows and you fly way faster. Then we get introduced to my favorite part of any show…the baddies! At first glance they seem pretty uninspired.

They all wear a TON of eyeliner and one has a scar. They catch wind of what the good guys have planned and hint that they might be ruining their day, with a little weather tampering!

The Japanese good guy accidentally detonates a bomb that causes an avalanche. He tries to warn everyone else but they are already suffering the consequences. The “avalanche” is actually giant, apparently adamantium, ice cycles that fall from…uh….well since they are on a mountain and these giant ice spears are falling, it’s really hard to say where they might be falling from but I would guess that they broke off of a giant rain gutter on a big ass roof! The icicles start raining down and cutting through stuff. The giant metal cable, even one of the zipline ships, seriously injuring Charles Nelson Reilly!

Then the snow waver (the actual avalanche part of an avalanche) begins to overtake the drill which is land based (which is the only vehicle that should have been affected by an avalanche) Man! The boys at Plague are gonna be pretty mad when they finally show up and all the good guys are dead by their own hands! The avalanche buries the drill but they are able to escape because they are of course in a giant drill. Everyone is celebrating and we see that the crew is being watch…by The Heat Miser! I knew this was a Rankin Bass Production!

The bad guys figure out what the good guys are after! Feta 7!!! Maybe this wasn’t as central an element as I thought it was, I mean could you picture Megatron saying…wait a minute I think the Autobots might be trying to get Energon! We must stop them! The bad guys all use vehicles that are very similar to the heroes, except they look was more sinister!

The Jamaican guy and the Japanese guy are out goofing around on the lines (the Jamaican guy still hates the weather…it must be a running joke) While they are talking about this the line breaks and the Japanese guy falls, probably to his death. This equipment seems pretty lousy. This is the second time it’s failed just in this episode! Two other good guy crew members find the Feta 7 and start to collect it.

Part Two:
The Japanese guy rescues Striker (the Jamaican) and they go hide in an ice cave.
We rejoin the bad guys, and speaking of faulty equipment one of their lines breaks the mountain top that it was tethered to, off and one of the sky riders falls to his death. He ACTUALLY falls to his death. The bad guys all look down and one of them says. “we lost another one” Haha! Wow.

The bad guys finally launch their attack and it is incredibly successful. They confuse the good guys, steal the Feta 7, enough of it to destroy every city on earth ( I think I really misjudged the nature of Feta 7.) they ride away saying that the general will be all tied up caring for his injured men! Things are finally starting to look good for the bad!

The heroes are planning to stop Plague just because they want to kill everyone on earth. They send Kodiak (the Japanese…of maybe Eskimo? Guy) to follow the baddies while the rest of the crew plans an ambush. The general and his men reach the baddy base-camp capture the guards at gunpoint, strip them down to their underwear tie them to a pole and leave them their…in their underwear…in the snow.

They put on the badguys uniforms, murder two more members of The Raiders and catch the Heat Miser’s ship on fire.

Then they take the material that explodes in heat and drop it in a hot spring, wear it…explodes. Plague gives the typical “you may have won this time but I’ll still destroy you!” speech. The mountain shrinks back down into the earth like real mountains do and they day is once again safe for…whatever the Sky Commanders are trying to make the day safe for. At any rate they won and more importantly Striker is back in the warm, warm cabin, kicking back and drinking booze. Because he really…really…hates cold weather.

Recap:

Ummm this show was interesting. So far it’s definitely my least favorite of all these reviews. It does have it’s good points, that boulder monster was incredible and the technology from the suits, to the zipline backpacks, to the sweet vehicles. They move right they seem to use real(ish) physics and I bet they were some awesome toys. (they had to have had toys for this show, right? Anybody?) The characters were REALLY one dimensional at least in this episode they tried for diversity and ended up bordering on stereotypical it seems way more likely that the writers were focusing on tech and didn’t give one iota about character or story. Except of course for Heat Miser…he was a great guy. I really hope he’s okay.

ClaymationWerewolf

Dedicated fan of puppets, horror and classic animation. Fueled by nostalgia and driven to spread my own brand of "truth" to the fandom. Remember playing as a kid and trying to tell a coherent story with totally mismatched, unrelated toys? It's like that....of the mind!

Latest posts by ClaymationWerewolf (see all)

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required

14 thoughts on “Sky Commanders!

  1. Doug says:

    Yeah, there were toys. I had one. Were the Aussy and Jamaican bad guys? The way you describe them and the picture you post makes them seem like every bad guy interaction I’ve ever seen in these cartoons. Hilarious.

  2. Another excellent piece! I was aware of this property as a kid, but never owned any of the toys, nor did I ever watch the show (though that rock monster leads me to believe I may have made a mistake!!!). Can’t wait to see what gem you bring to us next!

  3. Drahken says:

    I vaguely remember sky commanders, though I never watched it at the time, I mostly just remember the ads for the toys. I did watch a couple eps online about a year ago. It reminds me an awful lot of centurions. It also has a certain resemblance to the significantly later show “dragon flyz”.

    As far as it being anime, not a chance. It’s hanna-barbera, not even close to anime.

  4. @Doug that’s really funny! When I watched the episode I actually did wonder if I was confused and they were badguys. They were heroes though…at least I think. The Aussie has a Zartan look about him. Sky Commanders infiltration?
    @D13 thank you sir. Like I mentioned that rock monster is great I think he should have gotten a spinoff show! …or at least a plush toy
    @Drahken Yeah I agree. Not anime in the least. Were the toys any good? They seem like they would have been really cool. Never heard of dragon flux? Any Good? Possible future post?

  5. Drahken says:

    Dunno about the toys, I never had any. The commercials made them look good, but they also look like a lot of false boasting.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXhCTQExcQs

    Not “flux”, “flYZ”, as in a trademarkable way to spell “flies”.
    It was a good show. Much like sky commanders, it was based on a war between characters who could “fly”. The difference is that dragon flyz really could fly, they had wings of their own, plus they commonly rode dragons.
    Also similar to the sky commanders, dragon flyz were based on a toy line: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0DcS7Hwk0
    These toys were very short lived though due to 2 factors; First and foremost, they caused a lot of safety issues because of the way they flew about uncontrolled, with their wings sticking way out. The second issue was that they really didn’t work. You’d get better results just throwing your GI Joe figs into the air.
    There was also a corresponding toy & cartoon for girls, “sky dancers”.

    If you haven’t given dragon flyz a watch yet, you should. It’s a very good show, noticably better than sky commanders.

  6. “Dragon Flux” was courtesy of my phones auto correct lol. Definitely going to check out dragon flyz! Probably do one of these reviews for it. Also LOL @throw your GI Joe’s into the air!

  7. Transformedhero says:

    Great review! Yeah, the characters were one-dimensional – the focus was, unsuccessfully, on selling toys. The toys were kind of cool, but I remember thinking that it was weird to have strings all over my room!

    I wouldn’t call it anime. I believe it was done by Ruby Spears, who also did “The Centurions.” This library of animation has been absorbed into the Hanna-Barbera library. These shows sometimes pop up on Boomerang.

    Again, great review! Looking forward to what you will look at next!

  8. Drahken says:

    “Dragon Flux” was courtesy of my phones auto correct lol.
    ^Stuff like this is exactly why I always turn spellcheckers off. At best they nag you about stuff that’s not in their dictionary, at worse they auto “correct”, thereby creating the very problem they’re supposed to solve.

  9. Awesome review, CW! I can honestly say that I’ve NEVER heard of this toy line much less the animated series before. How did this slip past my radar?

  10. @Drahken sometimes I feel like doing that but you have to admit it can result in some great unintended hilarity!
    @Th1rte3n hahaaa! That is perfect. I gotta form that band now!
    @TransformedHero thank you man! It did seem to be a little shallow on the character developement end. Glad to know were toys were cool. We need more string based action figures!
    @Vic thank you! And I’m right there with you. I can sort of see the Toon slipping through the cracks(its pretty weird) but how did I not know about the toy

  11. Drahken says:

    Btw ClaymationWerewolf , if you ever need ideas for these reviews of yours, feel free to hit me up. If it was a cartoon that aired on american TV in the 80s or 90s, it’s a safe bet that I’ve at least heard of it, and a pretty good chance that I’ve watched it.

  12. The toys were amazing and I owned all of them as a child. I loved setting up scenes in my room with lines going all over the place. I don’t remember much of the show but I remember I enjoyed it. I had no idea it only lasted one season. The only draw back to the toys was having to untangle all the lines each time I got them out, that was a nightmare.

Comments are closed.