The Real Ghostbusters (1986-1991) is the Saturday morning cartoon spin-off of the smash Harold Ramis, Bill Murray movie Ghostbusters (1984). This made in Japan animation, which is slightly better looking than the usual American flat animation the Hanna-Barbera studio popularized for kid’s cartoons, may not be the fanciest around but most of the scripts were interesting enough and always contained a few in-jokes parents watching The Real Ghostbusters with their kids could get.
The Real Ghostbusters Slimefighters, one of three cartoon DVD collections recently released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, features 4 episodes concentrating on Slimer, the character that basically took over the series and its marketing offshoots (including the Ecto-Cooler Hi-C drink) to the point the series was renamed Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters. The cartoons on this DVD are quite fun to watch although no restoration was applied to them so the colors have faded somewhat and there are minor scratches and dust visible sometimes.
Adventures In Slime And Space starts off when Egon invents some kind of fancy-named contraption that will disintegrate the ghosts instead of just capturing them. Meanwhile, Ray has invented a computer program that will allow Slimer to communicate with the gang. Ray’s invention only seems to serve the purpose of setting up a HAL reference joke (from 2001, A Space Odyssey) while Egon’s machine splits Slimer into a million miniature Slimers that are set loose on New York City. This sets up a series of (overused) slipping on a banana peel jokes where slime replaces the banana peel and a really cool ending that echoes the movie King Kong.
They Call Me Mister Slimer (as in They Call Me Mr. Tibbs) starts off when Slimer is under pressure from the Ghostbuster team to pay for his keep. A geek hires him as a bodyguard to fend off the local, though not particularly threatening, hoods. This episode teaches the eternal lesson He who lives by the ghost shall perish by the even bigger ghost. Japanese Manga fans will notice that although the nerd says he is carrying Captain Marvel comics his comic books look more like Manga.
There’s something strange in the neighborhood when the Real Ghostbusters find a blue, friendly ghost at a local museum. Instead of capturing it they befriend it and this causes a lot of problems for a very jealous Slimer, especially since the friendly ghost (get the reference?) pulls a lot of pranks Slimer gets blamed for. Unfortunately, the little ghost has a secret and it is only thanks to Jeanine and Slimer that the Ghostbusters solve the mystery and catch the creature.
The supposedly “bonus episode” on The Real Ghostbusters Slimefighters is Slimer Come Home. Slimer leaves home when he gets in trouble for eating Winston’s birthday cake. He joins up with a group of poltergeists lead by a much bigger poltergeist. All is well that ends well though.The Real Ghostbusters may not have the fanciest animation around but the backgrounds are definitely artful and interesting. The stories are usually fun to watch and the many cultural references and in jokes make this cartoon DVD enjoyable.