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Visionaries, the forgotten 80’s cartoon

June 29, 2007

visionaries.jpgThere was a show that I just loved as a kid, but have rarely ever seen or heard from since I last saw it back in 1987. The show was called “Visionaries”.

The show, according to Wikipedia, was “set on the planet Prysmos, located in another dimension, the Visionaries consist of two groups of knights — the Spectral Knights and the Darkling Lords, both of whom have their magical powers gifted from Merklynn after successfully completing a quest to reach Merklynn’s shrine on Iron Mountain. Each character had a different power that reflected their personality and could be activated by reciting a special verse.”

From what I remember, the show was about these mystical knights that wore cool futuristic armor suits with hologram symbols on their chests. Each knight had a different symbol, usually in the form of an animal, and could transform into that type of animal.

My favorite character was Feryl, who could transform into a Wolf. I remember I had the toy, which sadly, did not turn into a Wolf. It was still extremely cool, and was always one of my favorite non-Tranformers toys.

The other “good guy” characters would turn into animals such as a lion, bear, fox, eagle, cheetah or dolphin. The various animals allowed them to explore different types of terrain and battle on all sorts of landscapes.

The evil Darkling Lords would also “transform” into animals like the gorilla, lizard or shark. Apparently those are “evil” animals.

An interesting fact is that the character of “Cindarr” was voiced by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime. The leader of the Darkling Lords, “Darkstorm”, was voiced by Chris Latta. Latta voiced such legendary bad guys, such as Starscream and Cobra Commander.

I don’t really remember the actual plot line of the episodes, but I sure remember the cool characters, and the cool hologram chest plates and of course the animals, as well.

I was surprised to learn that this show only lasted 13 episodes. It seems to me I watched a helluva lot more than 13 episodes. More than likely, I watched each one several times as most kids usually do with their favorite shows and movies.

As far as I know, there is a region-2 DVD series released, but if anyone knows of a Region-1 DVD (U.S. & Canada), please let me know. I haven’t been able to find any information on one.

I’d be shocked if anyone else out there remembers this show, but for some reason it’s stuck in my mind as a very cool show, and one that I wished had lasted longer. I still remember going from video store to video store with my Mom trying to find copies of the show on VHS.

You can add Visionaries to the list of incredible shows that boys of my generation were fortunate enough to grow up on. From Transformers to G.I. Joe to Ninja Turtles, we were a lucky bunch.

Better than all the crap like Pokemon and Digimon and whatever ‘mon show that is popular these days. My kids are going to have all the great 80’s and early 90’s cartoons on DVD. They won’t be watching any of these horrible new cartoons, or disturbing puppet-like shows that air on television for today’s children.

> Read My Top 10 Childhood Heroes

> Read My Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Superheroes

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14 comments

  1. yeah dude! i remember the visionaries…i googled “80s cartoon with animal chest plates” and found you site, awesome…so yeah i still remember the vehicle that looks like a tanning booth that takes their holograms away…and the fact that my cousins who had an action figure wouldnt let me play with it…cheap bastard…so yeah i still remember it


  2. you tube has all of the episodes, if you didn’t already know that. Just watched episode one this morning.


  3. wooooh! i just googled “cartoon 80s transform into animals on chest” and found this site, haha wasn’t Visionaries just great. Similar to you i don’t really remember much about the actual cartoon except that they transformed into animals and I absolutely loved it… used to make chest plates and pretend to be those animals (which, looking back, was probably quite disturbing for the parents..) Well, thanks for reminding me of the name and those memories!


  4. I have been trying to search for this cartoon for the longest time! I for the life of me could not remember the name of it. I just remember the staf where they chant verses and something comes up. I was able to find your information when I googled “cartoons staf animal”. Thanks for the info. I’ve just finished the first episode!


  5. thanks amn i ve been looking for them for my son ..i used to see them in the 80s but i couldnt remmeber the name but u did that for me thanks alot man


  6. so cool!!!!!!! i couldnt remember this cartoon properly just that i loved it i googled turn into animals and it brought up this blog
    cheers !!!


  7. Yeah I loved Visionaries, my mother recorded every episode from TV in the 80’s so I always remembered them but I never knew it was Marvel.
    Someone should bring it back (without CGI) and start a new series. It would be much better that the crap shown on childrens TV today


  8. I love 80’s cartoon such as ThunderCats, Visionaries, Transformers, Challange of the Gobots,G.I Joe, Mask, Spiderman and his Amazing Friends and etc. As I grew up with this kind of cartoon. I very much agree that this kind of cartoon has been inspired me through out this years not like today it is so hard to find a good one.


  9. I I remembered it today coz I was watchin old Shera cartoon on utube and I googled it and found this site. I loved this show as a kid. I used to pretend to be the dolphin while I take a shower when I was a kid and I made my G.I joe figurines into those characters using a clay to mask them.. I wanna go back to my childhood!!!..


  10. A whim, a thought
    and more is sought
    awake my mind
    thy will be wrought


  11. Some aunt or uncle bought my brother and I a VHS tape of 3 visionary episodes when we were young. We never found the extended series so I have been harboring a need to know what happens after they enter the cave thing for like 20 years. I’d love to get a hold of the whole series on region 4 DVD. Anyone know if it’s available?


  12. Yes, I do remember watching that show when I was a kid. I don’t know what possessed me to Google the show’s name, since I haven’t seen it in years, but I’m glad I did. Cartoons back then were so awesome.


  13. I googled “retro cartoon animals morph chest” and vwala I’ve found you, now off to youtube!


  14. i watched this cartoon when i was young in jamaica and it just stuck with me tht it was cool. I googled a list of 80’s cartoons from a list of alphabetically arranged cartoons. V was way down on the list.



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