Due to a mix-up. Sgt. Slaughter takes Wetsuit's place in a martial arts tournament put on by an international criminal, but it is actually a contest to see who is good enough to serve COBRA in the capacity of an assassin.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Low-Light / André Vélocité (voice)
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Wet Suit / Pierre LaFonte (voice)
Jackson Beck ...
Narrator (voice)
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Beach Head (voice) (as Bill Callaway)
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Serpentor (voice)
Ed Gilbert ...
Gen. Hawk (voice) (as Edmund Gilbert)
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Sci-Fi (voice)
Chris Latta ...
Cobra Commander (voice) (as Christopher Latta)
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Leatherneck (voice)
Patrick Pinney ...
Mainframe (voice)
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Sgt. Slaughter (voice) (as Bob Remus)
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Storm Shadow (voice)
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Due to a mix-up. Sgt. Slaughter takes Wetsuit's place in a martial arts tournament put on by an international criminal, but it is actually a contest to see who is good enough to serve COBRA in the capacity of an assassin.

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22 October 1986 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
No holiday from stupidity
25 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When you hear "G.I. Joe" and "Ninja", a few names come to mind. Storm Shadow. Snake Eyes. Sgt... Slaughter? Introduced at the beginning of season 2, Slaughter quickly came to symbolize much of what was wrong with the property as it reached its mid-80s zenith. When it first rebranded itself "A Real American Hero" in 1982, Hasbro's G.I. Joe was certainly heightened (featuring a Jet Pack and a Laser Rifle Trooper), but relatively grounded, with much of its tech based on real world military gear. The Marvel comic (written by the great Larry Hama) in particular tried to at least keep a foot in the real world and was filled with authentic military strategy, jargon and nomenclature.

From the start the cartoon (which launched as a mini-series in 1983 and then became a daily series in 1985) had more fantastical elements and soon the toy line followed suit. By 1986 Cobra was lead by an emperor created from the genetic material of history's greatest tyrants, and the Joes roster was supplemented by a popular professional wrestler named Sgt. Slaughter. Voiced by his "real world" counterpart, Slaughter was about as subtle as a kick to the taters, yelling every line (the Sarge has no indoor voice) and consistently facing 10-1 odds without breaking a sweat. There's a tipping point with such ventures and by season 2 Sunbow's 'G.I. Joe' had reached it.

"Ninja Holiday" is even more ridiculous than it sounds, with the Sarge finding himself (through preposterous circumstances) in an underground martial arts tournament whose aim is to find someone worthy of being a Cobra assassin. What follows is Slaughter smashing his way through a sea of ethnic stereotypes until Cobra arrive, and then he smashes his way through them.

Despite my rather lengthy diatribe, "Ninja Holiday" isn't a terrible episode save in contrast to the series at its best. If that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it is. At its best, 'G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero' is an exceptionally entertaining cartoon. Filled to bursting with colorful characters, globetrotting adventure and what I term "cheerful heroics", it wasn't, as its critics claim, just a 22 minute toy commercial. Even at its worst it endeavored to tell a story, to entertain, and to reinforce the notion that the good guys always win... even in the 80s.


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