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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989 TV series) facts for kids

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe Series 2 Season 1.jpg
DVD cover for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Series 2 Season 1.
Genre Military action-adventure
Created by Hasbro
Voices of
Narrated by Jackson Beck (Operation Dragonfire mini-series only)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 44 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Andy Heyward
Robby London
Running time 30 min.
Production company(s) DIC Enterprises
Distributor Claster Television
Sunbow Productions
Original network First-run syndication
Original release September 2, 1989 (1989-09-02) – January 20, 1992 (1992-01-20)

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a 1989–1992 half-hour American animated television series based on the toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. The series was produced by DIC Enterprises.


The series debuted in 1989, with a five-part mini-series titled Operation: Dragonfire, where we see Cobra Commander being returned to human form. The regular series began in 1990, lasting for two seasons and 44 episodes. The series continued the original G.I. Joe animated series produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions that ran in syndication from 1985 to 1986.

In order to cut production costs for the original animated series, Hasbro dropped Sunbow and contracted DiC to continue the series. Story editor Buzz Dixon explained in an interview: "Hasbro had been funding G.I. Joe out of their own pocket; they got a ridiculous deal from DiC to take over the series and they pretty much let them."

The DiC series is a continuation of the Sunbow show, though it chose to focus primarily on new characters of the period. Hawk was retained as G.I. Joe commander, and at times shared his duties with Sgt. Slaughter as head of the G.I. Joe team. Captain Grid-Iron was given field commander duties in Season 1, with Duke regaining his old position and appearing more often in Season 2. Storm Shadow was also now a member of G.I. Joe, as action figures of the character had been sold as a Joe rather than a Cobra since 1988, keeping in line with the story of the comics, where he had abandoned Cobra in 1986–87.

The first season centered almost exclusively on the 1990 Joes; meanwhile, Cobra, having a less extensive cast, was augmented by select characters from 1989 and the yet-to-be-released 1991 figures. This new ensemble had a much wider variety of Cobra forces, with viewers being introduced to the Night Creepers and many different forms of Vipers.

The first season of the DiC series was mainly standalone episodes that focused on establishing new team members and plots. After the "Operation Dragonfire" miniseries, the DiC show lowered the animation budget and began a series of two part episodes, which often told a deeper story involving more dramatic life and death situations for the Joes. The theme song called "Got to get tough... Yo Joe!" and underscore for both seasons were provided by Stephen James Taylor.

Also a casualty of the animation company changeover was the extensive voice cast Sunbow employed, which largely consisted of voice actors employed by West Coast American companies. Because the DiC series was produced in Canada, an almost entirely new cast was assembled. Only a few actors from the Sunbow series returned for the DIC series; Sgt. Slaughter, Chris Latta (the voice of Cobra Commander), Ed Gilbert (General Hawk), Jerry Houser (Sci-Fi) and Morgan Lofting (Baroness). With Season 2, Chris Latta was the only voice actor to return, and the Baroness and Hawk were recast with new voices.


  • Mark Acheson –
  • Jackson Beck – Narrator ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)
  • Michael Benyaer – Airwave, Scoop
  • Jay Brazeau
  • Don Brown – Drop Zone, Sub-Zero, Crimson Guard Immortal (The Greatest Evil)
  • Jim Byrnes – Alley Viper, Rimpoche ("Operation Dragonfire")
  • Garry Chalk – Pathfinder, Shockwave, Gristle, Metal-Head, BIOK
  • Brent Chapman – Red Star, Salvo
  • Babz Chula –
  • Lisa Corps – Lady Jaye (Operation Dragonfire), Zarana, Range Viper 3/Evy
  • Kevin Conway – Rock 'n Roll, Topside
  • Ian James Corlett – Rampart, Gnawgahyde, Billy Blaster
  • Michael Donovan – Cloudburst, Flint, Night-Viper
  • Suzanne Errett-Balcom – Lady Jaye (Season 1), Scarlett, Baroness (Season 2)
  • Ed Gilbert – General Hawk (Season 1)
  • Marcy Goldberg –
  • Ted Harrison – Duke
  • Phil Hayes – Airborne, Tracker
  • Fred Henderson – Lt. Falcon
  • Jerry Houser – Sci-Fi
  • Lee Jeffrey – Stalker
  • David Kaye – General Hawk (Season 2)
  • Annabel Kershaw –
  • Terry Klassen – Altitude, Cesspool
  • Josh Andrew Koenig – Ambush (Season 1), Night Creeper Leader (Season 1)
  • Maurice LaMarche – Big Ben, Dusty, Heavy Duty, Low-Light, Mercer, Ozone, Psyche-Out, Spirit, Copperhead, Destro, Major Bludd, Serpentor, Night Creeper Leader (Season 2)
  • Chris Latta – Cobra Commander
  • Morgan Lofting – Baroness ("Operation Dragonfire" and Season 1)
  • Blu Mankuma – Roadblock, Guardian of El Dorado (in "El Dorado: The Lost City of Gold")
  • Scott McNeil – Big Bear, Freefall, Skymate, Storm Shadow, Dice, Headman, Slice
  • Shane Meier –
  • Pauline Newstone –
  • John Novak
  • Doug Parker –
  • Margo Pinvidic –
  • Rick Poltaruk – Range-Viper (Season 1)
  • Bob Remus – Sgt. Slaughter
  • Alvin Sanders – Stretcher
  • Robert O. Smith – Grunt, Wet-Suit
  • William Taylor – Bullet-Proof, Static-Line
  • David Wills – Bullhorn
  • Dale Wilson – Capt. Grid-Iron, Mutt, Overkill, Skydive
  • Tomm Wright –


  • Madeline Bascomb – Voice Director (Season Two)
  • Marsha Goodman – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series), Casting Director (Season One and Two)
  • Shirley McGregor – Talent Coordinator
  • Ginny McSwain – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)
  • Doug Parker – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series and Season One)
  • Paul Quinn – Voice Director (Season Two)
  • Victor Villegas – Voice Director ("Operation Dragonfire" mini-series)
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989 TV series) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.