ProStars (September-December, 1991; 13 episodes; Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan)
This quintessentially ’90s cartoon had everything a kid could want: sports, an into which was an homage to (or shameless rip-off of) Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and a group of heroes who take pride in helping kids, defending the environment, and fighting crime. The heroes in question were, of course, the sports stars of the era. They were chosen to represent all four of the most American sports in the early 1990s: football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. Though I loved the animated storyline as much as the next kid, my favorite part was the live-action sequences where the stars would tell us all about the moral lesson of the episode. One episode in particular completely blew my miniature child mind: the one where we find out that, yes, even Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson get scared sometimes. Whoah. If that’s not some life-changing information, I don’t know what is.
Most of the villains were pretty typically ’90s baddies. They were environmantally irresponsible jerks who stole from kids. So, no matter how poor our political awareness may be as adults, at least we grown up knowing that deforestation and strip mining are bad guy activities. Thanks, ProStars!
Though we didn’t realize it at the time, the animated versions of Jordan, Gretzky and Jackson were voiced by completely different people!