31 Days of Monsters: #5, Some of the ghosts that kicked off the animated series!


By Shawn Robare




Welcome back to my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Ghostbusters franchise, not to mention my love of 80s animation, I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  These animation cels are culled from my personal collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve. 

Today’s trio of ghosts are some of my favorite, not necessarily for their design or concept, but because they’re the protagonists in the very first episode (2nd produced) of the Real Ghostbusters, "Ghosts R Us", that aired in the initial Saturday morning run of the show during the fall of 1986.  This family of ghosts is based on a familial conceit that probably dates back to the Stone Age, though for me it recalls the Looney Tunes shorts with the three bears and Bugs Bunny playing the part of Goldilocks.  You’ve got the seriously hot-headed father, the slightly distant mother, and the doofus overgrown baby…





If I remember correctly, these three want to put the Ghostbusters out of business by opening up a rival outfit that both causes disturbances and is always on the scene first to stop it.   Though I’m not a huge fan of the visual character design, I do kind of dig the faux-50s costuming, in particular the soda jerk getup the father is wearing.   It’s a weird but nice touch, and it’s yet another example of the 50s era nostalgia that was wildly rampant all throughout the late 70s to the end of the 80s.

Below are some screen-shots from the episode in question.  The first (on the left) is what these ghosts looked like in their normal ghastly form, and then on the right is the Ghosts R Us makeovers.  Also, that second screen-shot features my actual cel/frame of animation which is pretty neat.  Now you can put the cel in the context of the overall scene…




To add to the whole 50s theme, this episode also opens with a loose homage to the I Love Lucy Show where she gets a job in a chocolate factory.  When the GBs arrive at a call it’s at a chocolate factory where all the employees look a bit like Lucy, and there’s a gag where the ghosts are making the machines spit out chocolate pieces like a torrential rain.




If you’ve been enjoying these ghosts and monster animation cels, make sure to come back tomorrow for another installment of the 31 Days of Monsters here at Branded in the 80s.  Also, you can head on over to the Countdown to Halloween and check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event.  Tell ‘em Branded in the 80s sent ya!

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  • Todd

    After these few posts I’m now jonesing to watch some Real Ghostbusters!

  • PhillyRadioGeek

    Funny you should post this. On Friday night I put on this very episode of the show for my kids. A few episodes are available on Comcast Digital Cable on demand. On the main menu, click on “”Kids”" then the channel “”Kabillion”" and there they are. Thanks!