When Ghost Hunting Cartoons Get Global in This Top 10 List on What to Binge!

The theme for this year is a list of ghost hunting style cartoons from around the world, and where to find them!

The Real Ghostbusters Samhein introducing Ghost Hunting Cartoons with SlimerHalloween is not always about trick or treating. While it may be fun for some to go chasing after ghosts, others may well be preparing for that last harvest before winter sets in. In what I like watching are ghost hunting cartoons. It beats trying to find them for real, since there’s no proof positive method for an experience. As for what lurks in that cornfield, well….

What I offer is a list of animated series I often like to revisit as the nights get cold, and I don’t want to go out. The theme for this year is a list of ghostbusting style cartoons. Sometimes, peace with the supernatural can be made. At other times, they are chance to communicate. While the best thing is to work out those grievances, mileage will vary depending on the creator’s beliefs on whether to preach or simply entertain. By that definition, I begin with the series that inspired this top ten, which begins after talking about The Real Ghostbusters!

The Real Ghostbusters Creatures of the NightThis unofficial sequel about New York’s finest paranormal investigators is just good ol’ fashioned fun! And what makes this series shine is in how the stories show how they function as a team, deal with personal issues and resolve those conflicts.

Although there are a few episodes which bring back some recurring nasties, namely The Boogieman and Samhain, these spectres are so powerful, they often need help. Because the series wasn’t designed to be a serial, there’s no grande plan. When considering the official Ghostbusters YouTube page often adds to or prunes the list of episodes, perhaps there is a huge story arc to be found. Only the dedicated may find it!

Filmation's GhostbustersFilmation’s Ghostbusters

Not to be confused with the other series, this cartoon did it stranger and had different technology which I’m sure Egon Spengler would love to reverse engineer.

Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr. are the leads in this unusual team up which includes a talking gorilla (named Tracy), a time-traveller (conveniently named Futura) and a news reporter (Jessica). The series concept may sound like they have ripped it from He-man, but the concept works. This group often fought a lich who wanted to take over the mortal world.

Anyone curious about this show which fought for airtime alongside The Real Ghostbusters can now find it on YouTube or pick up the home video release (Amazon).

Scooby-Doo Mystery IncorporatedScooby-Doo, The Definitive Must See Series Set-List

It’s not easy to say which series was best. My choice is the classic Scooby-Doo! Where Are You (available on Amazon Prime) and Mystery Incorporated (ibid). The latter delivers the perfect serialised format to an otherwise standalone episodic series, and 13 Ghosts which puts Daphne Blake at the helm.

But for fans of the Hex Girls, who sometimes make an appearance due to a Halloween event in the series, The Witch’s Ghost and Legend of the Vampire are highly recommended! The fact they are included in various series also shows fans love them! Hopefully the rumours of their own series will finally manifest.

Martin Mystery
This series is available to view on YouTube.

Martin Mystery

This adaptation of the French comic book differs from its original, and although the series is more about the teenage comedy than the terror, it had its moments. It’s not your usual toon either when the adventures put the team in danger. This production was made in Canada and although the dub changed locations around, referring to various cities around this country, it’s amusing to compare scripts.

Although it suffers from formulaic writing and it has to follow a template with the reuse of cut scenes for transitions, the show is enjoyable for those wanting to watch a brother and sister team deal with the paranormal! And they have a caveman to act as muscle!

Archie's Weird Mysteries
Available on Tubi and Amazon Prime.

Archie’s Weird Mysteries

Although this series was developed to be something different from Scooby-Doo, there’s no denying that the two share a few similarities. What makes this series stand out is that it tested the waters for a darker spin of the Archie mythos.

In later years, readers got the Afterlife with Archie series to start, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Jughead: The Hunger and Vampironica quickly followed. Technically, the former didn’t inspire the other. Back then, the publishing company had a different board of directors in charge. They want this IP to work with the times, and it’s terrific they stay up to date!

Goober and the Ghost Chasers
Available to purchase, view on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

Goober and the Ghost Chasers

To say this cartoon is a carbon copy of Scooby-Doo is an understatement. Although there’s only three paranormal wannabe sleuths in this version with their hound named Goober, the big difference between Fred and company to the gang of Ted, Gilly and Tina is in what they got to chase down ghosts with. The former have some funky equipment The Real Ghostbusters would love to get their hands on and the latter only have their wits (and Fred’s traps).

As for what makes this series special is that it often had cameos from the Patridge Family, a popular sitcom for its time, and if that isn’t scary (or cool) enough, they meet up with some classic spooks of yore!

Legend Quest Team PosterLegend Quest

Not to be confused with the live-action series of the same name, this cartoon follows the teenage adventures of Leo San Juan as he tries to save his home from the supernatural. In Mexico, it’s common to believe in the supernatural. And while they may think Día de Muertos is a walk in the park, their everyday life is much worse! It’s a terrific series which deserves a home video release. Maybe one day that will come. Thankfully, this series and its sequel, subtitled Masters of Myth, are on Netflix.

Victor and Valentino Poster
Available on Amazon Prime

Victor and Valentino

Thankfully, the list of Mexican cartoons is not limited to just one. In this take, two half-brothers have to deal with the bizarre goings-on in their hometown of Monte Macabre. What makes this series work is that their grandmother doesn’t exactly dote over her grandkids. Plus, their goth-girl buddy, Charlene, just makes the kooky even more brooding.

GeGeGe no Kitaro
Available to view on Tubi and Crunchyroll.

GeGeGe no Kitaro

No list can be complete without this classic anime. When all of Japan has this brave kid who has an eyeball companion as a companion, they should be safe.

Kitaro has been entertaining readers and viewers since 1960, and has been active in protecting humanity from yokai and obake for decades! The original publication run lasted for 10 years and due to this series massive popularity, it was made into an animated series and films in later years. Kodansha republished this series in English, and select films/series can be found on select streaming services.

Ghost Sweeper MikamiGhost Sweeper Mikami

The 90s introduced to western audiences a myriad of franchises, and out of them all, Ghost Sweeper Mikami stood out.

That’s because this heroine not only knows how to fight but also what’s right for yokai but obake too! Mikami runs a company that specialises in performing exorcisms, and while this term is used loosely, what she does is sweet. She can either banish those entities that are truly evil or provide a means for those docile entities to simply cross over.

Although the manga never got an official English release, at least the anime is available on YouTube.

Trese Series PosterTrese

This Filipino made animation on Netflix deserves mention as an original video animation comprising six episodes. There are aspects of the story to love, and it’s best summed up in the official plot synopsis: “When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.”

Press The Button! Day Zero is Upon Us in this Crazy Zombie Mayhem Flick.

The nature of leaving some bits of the narrative in Day Zero open-ended suggests there’s more story to reveal.

Day Zero Blu-Ray Disc Case
Available to stream on Amazon USA

Release Date: July 11, 2023.

Sometimes, it’s not tough to determine just where a Filipino zombie flick will go when it’s titled Day Zero. After ex special forces’ agent Emon (Brandon Vera) gets freed from prison, the carnage begins right away! We don’t have to ask why he’s been put there. Instead, we just have to wonder how he managed to not get infected by the Dengue virus that’s caused many to turn into mindless human eating creatures.

This movie isn’t like Train to Busan with its better defined characters and sweeping cinematography. But what’s presented here shows just how much the hero wants to be together with his family. He’ll stop at nothing to get to this endpoint, and what’s presented is like a videogame, like Last of Us. This grungy world also shows a side of the Philippines rarely seen.

Continue reading “Press The Button! Day Zero is Upon Us in this Crazy Zombie Mayhem Flick.”

On Why Leonor Will Never Die on Home Video!

Ramirez Escobar delivers a lot of classic and cheesy 80s action in Leonor Will Never Die. We can see why this “Mom” loves the genre.

Leonor Will Never Die Movie PosterMusic Box Films
Available to order on Amazon USA

Worlds collide, and as for why Leonor Will Never Die is because she simply refuses to give up! This elderly woman (sweetly played by Sheila Francisco) wants to be a screenwriter for those movies she loves watching. She adores action films and did work in the industry long ago.

Although what she writes is for a Filipina audience, her love for the genre is very clear. I’m sure she can be the next Stephen J. Campbell if she wanted to. But her son, Rudi (Bong Cabrera) can’t put up with her. He plans to leave the nest, and little is said about how the other, Ronwaldo (Anthony Falcon), died. In classic ghost story fashion, he can’t move on until he sees the rest of the family is in a good place.

Continue reading “On Why Leonor Will Never Die on Home Video!”

Joe Koy’s Easter Sunday in October. It’s Not Strange At All.

This character study about the inner workings of this Polynesian family in the movie Easter Sunday isn’t too deep. It’s at least entertaining.

Easter Sunday
Available to purchase on Amazon

Joe Valencia (stage name Jo Koy) is a comedic talent worth noting because he cites two comedy legends—Robin Williams and Steve Martin—as huge influences. Both made successful transitions to the big screen, and to be on par in Easter Sunday will take a lot more work.

He can do it. This movie sees him getting top billing, and its success must go beyond being a family sitcom about a Filipino household coming together for their Asian style holiday. The theatrical release in August and home video issue in Oct is unusual, but I welcomed this change of pace. The bonus material is nothing to rave about, and the best takeaway is that it was filmed during the pandemic. As for what it took to bring two of my favourite entertainers to this production, I was hooked.

Continue reading “Joe Koy’s Easter Sunday in October. It’s Not Strange At All.”

Kent Donguines’ Kalinga Digs into a Strange Social Problem

Kalinga (Care) is a very emotional documentary about a group of Filipino women who left their families to become nannies abroad.

KalingaPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the 2220 Arts + Archive venue on May 10, 2022, 7:00 pm (BUY TICKETS)

Kalinga (Care) is a very emotional documentary with a local connection. It examines a group of Filipino women who left their families to become nannies abroad. Some arrived in the ironically named Terminal City (Vancouver, BC) to help non-Asian parents who don’t fully have the time to always spend with their children when managing a successful business. They’re going to need help. These people pay well, and those hires tend to mail those funds home to help their families.

Continue reading “Kent Donguines’ Kalinga Digs into a Strange Social Problem”

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