Rambo: The Force of Freedom TV Series Overview


Introduction

Rambo: The Force of Freedom (also known simply as Rambo) is a 1986 American animated series based on the character of John Rambo from David Morrell’s book First Blood and the subsequent films First Blood (1982) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).

The series is part of the Rambo Franchise.

Outline

On Colonel Trautman’s request, John Rambo leads special unit “The Force of Freedom” against General Warhawk’s paramilitary terrorist organisation S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion) all over the globe.

Cast

  • The Force of Freedom is a team that goes around the world fighting the forces of S.A.V.A.G.E. Among the members of the Force of Freedom are:
    • John Rambo (voiced by Neil Ross) – The main protagonist of the series. He leads the Force of Freedom in fighting S.A.V.A.G.E. when called in by Colonel Samuel Trautman. When not on missions, Rambo would either be shown tending to an animal or helping kids with their survival training.
    • Colonel Samuel “Sam” Trautman (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) – He serves as the group’s commanding officer. He would often call in Rambo during his break time. Colonel Trautman would sometimes accompany Rambo on his missions.
    • Edward “Turbo” Hayes (voiced by James Avery) – An African-American mechanical engineer and race car driver. According to his toy bio, Turbo is also a First Lieutenant who graduated from the US Air Force Academy.
    • Katherine Anne “K.A.T.” Taylor (voiced by Mona Marshall) – An Asian-American military woman who was a master of disguises, gymnastics, and martial arts alike. K.A.T. seemed to have a crush on Rambo. She is based on Co-Bao from Rambo: First Blood Part II.
    • White Dragon (voiced by Robert Ito) – A heroic ninja who is Black Dragon’s twin brother. According to his toy bio, White Dragon had also developed a ninja training program for the US military forces.
    • T.D. “Touchdown” Jackson (voiced by George DiCenzo) – A former football player and ally of Rambo. He joined the Force of Freedom at the time when Mad Dog’s gang forces elderly couples out of their homes as part of General Warhawk’s plot to dig into a military base and steal a top secret new supertank in “Blockbuster”.
    • Chief (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer) – A Native American ally of Rambo. He joined the Force of Freedom after he rescued his friends in the swamp and from S.A.V.A.G.E. following the plane crash and helped prevent General Warhawk from burying the gold in the sacred grounds on Spirit Island (where the graves of Chief’s forefathers are located) in “Skyjacked Gold”.
  • S.A.V.A.G.E. stands for Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion. Their goal of world domination leads them into conflict with the Force of Freedom, especially Rambo. In addition to a substantial number of soldiers, among the members of S.A.V.A.G.E. are:
    • General Warhawk (voiced by Michael Ansara) – The reflective sunglasses-wearing leader of S.A.V.A.G.E. who serves as the primary antagonist of the series. General Warhawk was previously a European army captain (possibly West Germany) who was convicted of selling state secrets and deported for his coup. He then organised and built S.A.V.A.G.E.
    • Sergeant Havoc (voiced by Peter Cullen) – General Warhawk’s second-in-command and top enforcer. He has strength that rivals Rambo’s strength. Sergeant Havoc was previously a drill sergeant for the free world. After being court-martialed for spying, he joined up with S.A.V.A.G.E.
    • Gripper (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) – A European mercenary with a metal right hand (hence the name) that wears an eye-patch. He was a former member of the French Foreign Legion until he was dismissed after failing to recognise the surrender flag.
    • Nomad (voiced by Edmund Gilbert) – A burnoose-wearing Middle-Eastern terrorist. He was a wandering nomadic warrior that calls no country his home. Nomad leads a group of outcasts which consists of cutthroats and thieves.
    • Mad Dog (voiced by Frank Welker) – The leader of an unnamed biker gang who sports a Mohawk and a S.A.V.A.G.E. logo tattoo on his chest. He is first called Spike in the episode “Battlefield Bronx,” but renamed Mad Dog in all subsequent episodes. According to his toy bio, Mad Dog was found unfit for military services and has an extended criminal record for theft, reckless driving, and arson.
    • Animal (voiced by Frank Welker) – Member of Mad Dog’s biker gang.
    • Jerkface (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) – Member of Mad Dog’s biker gang.
    • Razor (voiced by Peter Cullen) – Member of Mad Dog’s biker gang.
    • Black Dragon (voiced by Robert Ito) – A rogue ninja who is the twin brother of White Dragon. He is known as the greatest assassin that ever lived. Black Dragon would sell his service to any group that would pay his fee with his recurring clients being S.A.V.A.G.E. He sometimes has other ninjas under his command. Black Dragon’s ultimate goal is to kill White Dragon.
    • Snakebite (voiced by Stanley Ralph Ross) – A man who was born and raised in the Okeefenokee Swamp and likes wild animals like venomous snakes, insects, and black rats which he carries in his Beast Pack.
    • Dr. Hyde (voiced by Edmund Gilbert) – A cybernetic mad scientist whose head is in a dome-shaped helmet. He, along with X-Ray, according to General Warhawk, in the episode “Robot Raid” were thought to be long dead, but became mad geniuses and thus created Max as their enforcer.
    • Max (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) – Dr. Hyde’s android henchman.
    • X-Ray (voiced by James Avery) – Dr. Hyde’s cybernetic henchman. Along with Dr. Hyde, was also thought to be long dead, and like Hyde, also became a mad genius in his own right.

Trivia

  • Rambo: The Force of Freedom was the first cartoon to be adapted from an R-Rated film series.
    • In order to meet Federal Communications Commission decency standards and make the series viewable for children, the violence level was significantly reduced compared to the films.
  • This series was adapted for television by story editor/head writer Michael Chain and also spawned a toy line.
  • The series ran for 65 episodes, and was produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises.
  • It debuted on 14 April 1986 as a five-part miniseries, and was renewed in September as a daily cartoon.
  • It was not renewed for a second season.
  • Rambo: The Force of Freedom also spawned a line of toys from Coleco (as with the majority of older series, the Rambo toy line lasted longer than the television series itself).

Rambo: The Force of Freedom Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s): Don LaFontaine (opening narration).
  • Director(s): John Kimball, Charles A. Nichols, and Michael Hack.
  • Producer(s): Joe Rigby, Ken Spears, Walt Kubiak, and Cos Anziotti.
  • Writer(s): Michael Chain and Jack Bornoff.
  • Music: Jerry Goldsmith (opening and ending theme), Haim Saban, and Shuki Levy (composers).
  • Production: Ruby-Spears Enterprises and Carolco Pictures.
  • Distributor(s): Worldvision Enterprises.
  • Release Date: 14 April 1986 to 26 December 1986.
  • Running time: 25 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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