What Sylvester Stallone thought about the infamous 1980s Rambo cartoon series
Rambo: The Force Of Freedom was a 1986 cartoon series based on the hit R-rated films, but what did Sylvester Stallone think of the spinoff?
Rambo: the power of freedom made an unlikely cartoon hero out of the main character, but what did Sylvester Stallone think of the spinoff? First blood is a dark 1972 novel by author David Morrell, which follows a severely traumatized Vietnam veteran named Rambo who starts a war on a small American town after being mistreated by the local sheriff. The book is dark and gripping read, but Rambo’s character was softened for the eventual 1982 film adaptation.
This version of Rambo kills only one character in self-defense and, unlike the novel, lives to the end of the story. First blood is a relatively grounded action thriller, but the sequel Rambo: First Blood Part 2 dramatically increased violence and exaggerated sequence of action. Both the suite and Rocky IV were released in 1985 and were massive hits, totaling $ 600 million at the box office.
Although this is an R-rated adventure about a soldier with PTSD racking up a huge death toll, Rambo: First Blood Part 2 was still popular with young children. Given the success GI Joe was around this time too, it’s no surprise that producers saw the value of creating a Rambo cartoon and a line of toys. The series saw the title soldier recruited by Colonel Trautman to lead the “Freedom Force” against a terrorist group called SAVAGE. Each week the group fought against SAVAGE, although no one actually died. Rambo was voiced by Neil Ross, not Rambo franchise star Sylvester Stallone, who in a 1986 interview revealed he was neither a fan of the show nor of the toys.
During a conversation with the Tribute to Chicago promote Cobra, he revealed that he had no control over the license fees for the Rambo toys and even though he made a small percentage of the profit he was “mad” by them. ”It is not for children. The movie wasn’t meant to be for little kids, and I wouldn’t let my own kids play with these toys.. “As for the next Rambo: the power of freedom cartoon, he said he was told it would be a softened version of the soldier doing good deeds. To that he said ”First of all, it’s not Rambo, but more importantly, they tell me I can’t stop them because I’m not the one using them; it’s a resemblance to a character that I played and that I don’t own. ”
Rambo: the power of freedom sparked controversy before and during its release for being the first children’s cartoon based on an R-rated franchise. While the series itself wasn’t particularly violent, it was still odd to base a cartoon on an inherently bloody series, and in the same interview Sylvester Stallone made sure there wouldn’t be of toys based on Cobra. The controversies plaguing the series have meant that it only lasts for one season, although it has performed quite well in its only 65-episode series.
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