When it comes to 80s cartoons, Galaxy High carved out its own little niche in the universe.
Premiering in 1986, this animated series was more than a flash in the pan of Saturday morning cartoons—it was an ambitious venture that combined interstellar adventures with the very earthly trials of high school life.
Galaxy High took its audience on a journey that was both out of this world and familiar.
The Premise of Galaxy High School
The show’s concept was simple yet brilliant: two Earth teenagers, geeky Aimee Brightower and jock Doyle Cleverlobe, win scholarships to attend Galaxy High, an intergalactic high school populated by aliens from all over the universe. This twist on the classic fish-out-of-water tale stood out for flipping the typical high school dynamic on its head: Aimee, previously overshadowed on Earth, became instantly popular, while Doyle, the jocular star athlete, found himself struggling to fit in and the target of the school bully who went by the name of Beef.
Impact and Influence
Galaxy High aired for a brief but memorable 13 episodes. Its impact was two-fold: it presented relatable high school and young person issues—peer pressure, the quest for identity, and the struggle to fit in—against a colourful cosmic backdrop, making it easier for kids to digest these heavy themes. Secondly, it showcased what can be considered a progressive outlook for its time.
A Cosmic Cast of Characters
The student body and faculty of Galaxy High were a collection of creatively designed aliens, each with distinct personalities that contributed to the show’s charm. Here are a few of the stand-out characters:
Aimee Brightower: A former Earth girl who quickly becomes the star at Galaxy High thanks to her intelligence and adaptability. She’s compassionate and serves as a moral compass throughout the series.
Doyle Cleverlobe: Doyle’s transition from Earth’s celebrated athlete to a struggling student at Galaxy High serves as the central narrative drive of the series. His journey is one of humility and self-discovery.
Principal Kirkpatrick: The stern but fair principal of Galaxy High, he acts as a father figure to the students, guiding them through their interstellar educational experience.
Professor Icenstein: A four-armed mad scientist teacher, he represents the quirky and unpredictable nature of the school’s curriculum.
Booey Bubblehead: She was a friend to both Aimee and Doyle and was the gossip girl of the school.
Luigi La Bounci: A bubbly classmate who serves as a close friend to Aimee and Doyle. His ability to bounce like a ball provides some of the series’ most humorous moments.
“Beef” Bonk: The school bully and a thorn in Doyle’s side, Beef is a stereotypical jock with a small brain but a big heart, often showcasing that he’s more than just a one-dimensional antagonist.
The Creep: This four-eyed alien with a penchant for mischief often gets involved in schemes that cause more trouble than they’re worth.
Animation and Art
With character designs by acclaimed comic book artist John Kricfalusi, who would later create the 90s classic Ren & Stimpy, the visual aspect of Galaxy High was both distinctive and ahead of its time. The warm and vibrant colour palette and imaginative design of the galaxy set it apart from its contemporaries and have given it an appeal that still endures today.
Galaxy High Legacy
Though its run was short, Galaxy High has achieved cult status over the years. It was a precursor to shows like Recess and Saved by the Bell, which would explore the high school experience in more terrestrial settings.
The Galaxy awaits if you can find it
Galaxy High School may not have had the longevity of some of its peers, but its legacy is significant. It pushed boundaries, both in storytelling and theme, combining the relatable pains of high school life with the imaginative possibilities of science fiction.
In may have had only 13 episodes but Galaxy High left an big mark in the minds of its viewers. It wasn’t just a show—it was a galactic ride that was just one of the many awesome things that helped shape childhoods everywhere the 80s.
Galaxy High is not on any streaming services at present and even buying DVD’s of the show is getting harder to source. For now YouTube seems to be the only place at present where you can catch the nostalgia that is Galaxy High including the catchy vocoder heavy intro music.
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