Forgotten Childhood: The Real Ghostbusters – Ragnarok and Roll
I loved The Ghostbusters as a child.. and still do. I remember crashing out in the sitting room as soon as playschool was over and I was set for the afternoon.
There are a lot of moments that have stuck with me from both The Real Ghostbusters and the movie franchise. The music, the acting, the characters, I could go on. Short of writing a very long piece on The Ghostbusters as a whole but instead I’m going to focus on one particular episode that I can safely say haunted myself and my sisters for many years. The Real Ghostbusters: Ragnarok and Roll
This is an episode that surpassed the show in its darkness, its emotion and its general feeling. The episode was excellently laid out with on point animation, voice and script bringing together a solid half hour of engrossing television.
It starts as many a great story starts, with a broken heart. Cool guy, Jeremy and his one eyed dwarf friend DiTillio go to a remote place to send for the Ragnarok – The Power To End The World. Why? Because Jeremy has just been through a breakup and is taking it quite badly.
He recites an inscription and he turns into something strange with a flute that will bring the destruction of the world as he plays it. After demonstrating the power to a quite terrified DiTillio Jeremy brings his friend to New York “where the pain started”
Over in New York, The sky is dark and the Ghostbusters are working away on an unusually large amount of strange activities where their proton packs don’t work on the monsters. The are audibly stressed over this and there doesn’t seem to be as much wise cracking to emphasize the darkness that is about to come.
They delve deeper into the darkness and discover that the chain of events are focused on Jeremy’s ex girlfriend Cindy, who wasn’t ready to get married, wanting to focus more on her career. Jeremy is on top of a skyscraper in New York proclaiming to DiTillio that “The second adagio in the symphony of destruction.” The sea begins to swirl and the sky begins to darken as he plays the Song of Destruction on his flute once more.
The track Jeremy and try to stop him by blasting him with their proton packs. Alas he has become too powerful and this proves fruitless. Cindy then tries to talk to him while Egon is seeking other options. After Cindy is rejected The Ghostbusters set up their packs for overload with the understanding that they could be destroyed in the cross fire but they realise that the world is more important.
DiTillio is blown away by a savage wave and Jeremy tries to save him but DiTillio refuses his help preferring to die than live in a hell that was created by his best friend. DiTillio expresses his love of the world and thinks that destroying the world is wrong in one of the most memorable quotes from any childhood cartoon I’ve watched:
Jeremy comes to his senses promising to stop the destruction to save his friend. He starts to play the Song Of Life. Things start to return to normal but the Dark Entity is now powerful enough to intervene in the attempt to stop the destruction. Jeremy is then struck with a near lethal energy blast draining him of all the dark power of it gave him. It is up to the Ghostbusters to blast The Dark Entity back to its world and sealing the gate. Jeremy is alive but is unable to complete the song to restore the world. He begs everyone to help him get the strength he needs. Jeremy is able to complete the song and the world is restored.
This easily is the episode of The Real Ghostbusters that you have to watch. It covers a lot of darkness in such a unique way that it doesn’t terrify us as children. You are shown images of destruction in the form of news pieces which to this day we can somewhat relate to when we see images of natural disasters and other evils in the world. It is almost eerie how well done it is presented in the form of a cartoon, especially one that doesn’t tend to focus on reality.
The idea of love is also presented very well. Real friendship of DiTillio and Jeremy as DiTillio provides his friend some serious reality check and how DiTillio despite the card he has been dealt with in life still has hope and cares dearly for the world that no doubt has been cruel to him.
If you are ever to watch a cartoon with some serious depth but also have the ability to include the wise cracks that are standard with the Ghostbusters this is the one for you!