G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Animation, Action, Sci-Fi
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The GI Joe Special Missions force must battle to build a counterweapon to Cobra's teleportation device.

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Series cast summary:
 Dr. Vandermeer / ... (5 episodes, 1983)
Arthur Burghardt ...
 Destro / ... (5 episodes, 1983)
Chris Latta ...
 Cobra Commander / ... (5 episodes, 1983)
 Scarlett (5 episodes, 1983)
Morgan Lofting ...
 Baroness / ... (4 episodes, 1983)
Marla Frumkin ...
 Selena (4 episodes, 1983)
John Stephenson ...
 Gen. Flagg / ... (4 episodes, 1983)
 Timber / ... (4 episodes, 1983)
 Cover Girl (3 episodes, 1983)
Buster Jones ...
 Doc / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
 Ramar / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
 Tripwire / ... (2 episodes, 1983)


In this first GI Joe film, the team must contend with COBRA who, after a successful raid for a special broadcast satellite, now threatens the world with a teleportation devise called the MASS devise which can snatch anything seemingly out of existence around the world as well as normal teleportation. GI Joe find the original designer of the device who advises the only way to counter that weapon is to build a MASS device of their own. However to do that, three rare exotic elements are needed to power the device properly. Now the team must race around the world and find those supplies, while battling COBRA who has the same need for them as well. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

12 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

G.I. Joe: The MASS Device  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(5 parts)


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Did You Know?


The scene in the opening montage of Flash firing his laser rifle at a target is actually taken from the commercial for the "GI JOE #1" comic. See more »


After Selena and Scarlett are foiled in their rebellion, they are shackled and chained. Selena says "You are very brave", but it is Scarlett's mouth that is moving. See more »


Breaker: Nobody's perfect.
Duke: No. But we do okay.
See more »


Followed by G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

"I'm gonna kick the mustard out of that crazy hot dog!"
5 November 2015 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

G.I. Joe, what would my childhood have been like without you? A lot less awesome, that's what! This is the initial mini-series that launched the classic '80s G.I. Joe cartoon series. As we're told from the narration during the iconic theme song, G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring highly-trained special mission force whose purpose is to defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. In this mini-series, the Joes battle with Cobra over the MASS device while Duke is kidnapped and Snake Eyes suffers radiation poisoning. In addition to Duke and Snake Eyes, some of the Joes introduced in this first series include Scarlett, Stalker, Breaker, Snow Job, and Cover Girl. Snake Eyes also meets his pet wolf Timber in the third episode. Cobra here is Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, Major Bludd, and assorted nameless Cobra soldiers. The animation is nice for the '80s, which is a backhanded compliment I guess. I love '80s cartoons but freely admit the assembly line animation was not the best. But it gets the job done for TV and that's what matters. The exciting music is perfectly suited for an action adventure show. The voice work is exceptional with greats like Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Morgan Lofting, and Arthur Burghardt providing their talents to bring these characters to life. Any child of the '80s will instantly recognize their voices from this and other cartoons.

As with the rest of the G.I. Joe series, this first batch of episodes is action-packed with healthy doses of humor. G.I. Joe is one of the many '80s cartoons that's often dismissed as just "a commercial to sell toys" but, for those who actually watch the cartoons with an open mind, it's far more than that. The characters and concepts are interesting and unique. The writing is a cut above most TV cartoons from the time or before. Compare this to something like Super Friends and you'll see it's superior in every way. But, yeah, the toys were very cool also. It's an entertaining series that holds up very well today and plays well for young and old alike.

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