All right everyone, it’s time to play a game of “Is it Racist?” If you’ve never played this before, here are the rules: Take a picture, show, or just general depiction of something questionable and ask yourself, or your friends, “Is it racist?” It’s a gas to play on road trips. Today’s subject: the 1987 cartoon BraveStarr. I’ll present you with the evidence, then you can judge for yourself (spoiler, the answer’s yes).
BraveStarr was somewhat of a fly-by-night cartoon. The standard 65 syndication episodes were produced by Filmation, makers of such fine shows as He-Man, She-Ra, and the live action Shazam show. Created in conjunction with a toy line, blah blah blah, I’m sure you’ve heard it by now. This was the last show Filmation created before shutting down. I’m sure this show’s quality and Filmation shutting down after the monstrous success of He-Man are completely unrelated.
The show shoves 19th-century Texas down your throat while disguising most of it with sci-fi elements. On the far-off planet of New Texas there’s an ore, Kerium, that its inhabitants mine. Kerium is capable of producing vast amounts of fuel. Everyone wants Kerium, including outlaws. Marshall BraveStarr watches over the local Prairie People, who mine the Kerium. BraveStarr, a Native American, has the eyes of a hawk, ears of a wolf, strength of a bear, and speed of a puma. He, alongside his talking cyborg horse, Thirty-Thirty, protect the people of New Texas from outlaws and aliens alike. And the horse occasionally walks upright and fires a gun.
So a Native American with totemic powers protects indigenous people from foreigners trying to steal local resources and take their land? Seriously? What did Marshall BraveStarr do when the alien Equestroids (that’s cyborg horse people) tried to buy the Prairie People’s land with beads? Did he point out in a history book how that might not be a good idea? Let’s not forget the very special episode where the Porcinoids offered the Prairie folk space-pox ridden blankets for the winter. I’m surprised one of the outlaws wasn’t named Custer. I think the series ended with BraveStarr teaching the locals the ancient art of casino building.
On a side note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the opening credits. There is no way you could convince me that the theme song wasn’t taken from SilverHawks. I mean, both have space cowboys, so, why not? Give both a listen and let me know what you think.
All right everyone, time to tally up your scorecards. Is it racist? Let me know your answer in the comments below. Also, drop a line if you have any suggestions for another show.
I’m surprised he wasn’t Chief BraveStarr.