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Was THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS Cartoon a Ripoff?

Animation lovers know all about the The Real Ghostbusters, the beloved cartoon spin-off of the hit film starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. What many fans might not know though is that the show wasn’t the only cartoon to premiere in 1986 with “Ghostbusters” in the title. There was another animated series about a team of apparition hunters that was a spin-off of a live-action children’s sitcom from the ’70s that was called The Ghost Busters. While they were very different, each show “borrowed” ideas from the others’ franchise. So which Ghostbusters series was the real ripoff? When there’s something strange in the cartoon world, who you gonna call? Animation Investigation!

This week, host Hector Navararro explains the history of how a ’70s comedy about a trio of “ghost busters” (one of them an actual gorilla) first lent its name to the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, which then went on to become a cultural phenomenon. From there, a failed deal and a desire to capitalize on the film’s success led to two different cartoons with “Ghostbusters” in the title. As if that’s not confusing enough, they even premiered within five days of one another. But which one was clearly stealing ideas from the other? Is the answer actually both?

The Real Ghostbusters was one of my absolute favorite cartoons as a kid, and I never once wondered why they added the word “real” to the title. And I never would have guessed it had something to do with a gorilla and a silly ’70s kid’s sitcom.

Truth be told, I would have watched both. They sound like they had a lot in common.

Which show do you think was a ripoff of the other? Post your thoughts in the neighborhood of our comments section below.

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