Feed on

Remember that cartoon? 3 kids – Esteban the adopted Spaniard, Zia the Inca girl and Tao the descendant of Mu – go on a quest for cities made out entirely of gold throughout South and Central America in the 16th century. Cue evil conquistadores, bumbling adventurers, mysterious temples that are all fitted with self-destruct devices, solar powered ships and planes, and alien-looking bad guys. Oh, and not just one but two misplaced fathers.


Yeah, if you’ve never seen the series, that description ain’t gonna sound too great, but the truth is, it WAS. It was one of the best, most iconic cartoons of the 80s – not just something pretty different from many of the offerings of the time, with endearing characters and brillant music, but it even had a 5 minutes mini-documentary at the end of each episode on meso-American civilizations and cultures. Fun AND educational. When was the last time we saw that on TV, mmh?

Anyway. I was doing my monthly scramble for space on my hard drives and deleting the stuff I’ve backed-up on DVDs when I found the series. I watched it again over the course of last week – memory lane with Inca architecture. Yep, still fun! Desultory browsing afterwards led me to this great bit of news: they’re making a sequel! 3 seasons of 26 episodes, release in 2011. Yum! As Jean Chalopin, the original creator, is involved in it, I have great hopes for the quality of this new production.

But 2011 is a long way away…

Still. This is not what prompted this sudden return to my poor, forgotten blog. It was that silly brainburp I had at the end of the last episode. If you haven’t seen the series and plan to, stop reading now, here be spoilers:

Last episode, our three heroes have concluded their adventures in Maya country and have decided to go look for the other cities of gold, which are said to be scattered across the entire world. Their destination of choice: West, over the Pacific. They get onboard their solar-powered flying gold condor and soar up and away to happy music. The end.

And now, I can’t help but imagine the conversation that must have followed inside the condor’s cabin.

Esteban: Soooooo. This is a pretty big ocean, eh?

Zia: Oh yes! We can’t see land anymore.

Esteban: Nope.

Tao: I told you.

Esteban: You never said it was THAT big!

Tao: I didn’t KNOW it was that big. That’s what I said, I don’t know how big it is.

Esteban: Humph.

Zia: The sun is setting…

Tao: Yep.

Zia: And we still can’t see any land.

Tao: Nope.

Zia: And the condor only flies while the sun is out.

Esteban: Yeah…

Zia: So, when it sets, we’re going to land – except on water.

Tao: Yep.

Esteban: D’you think the great condor will float?

Tao: A 10 metres tall, 20 metres wide bird of solid gold? What do you think?

Esteban: We’re fucked, aren’t we?

Tao: Yep.


I know, it’s terrible. Sorry!


8 Responses to “The Mysterious Cities of Gold”

  1. on 09 Mar 2009 at 2:04 pm Julia

    Nope, I’ve never seen this series. As I was born in a country which doesn’t exist anymore and if it showed cartoons in TV they were more politically orientated (coomunism, socialism and all that). We weren’t allowed in those comics to fly on golden condors. Even less so, would these cartoons play in such exotic places like South America. The most exotic place we would get to was Yugoslavia or Rumania at the time and that just with a visa you’ve had to apply for months in advance. Mind you, we had lots of boring educational TV programs at the time, probably to fill in for the lack of adventures children comics. That’s the reason why I was and now am quite ignorant of “essential” comics. I hope this excuse will count with you for me not knowing…?
    Nonetheless I’m very happy for you, that it gave you a little kick and made you happy. Actually what about Atlanta?!

  2. on 09 Mar 2009 at 2:10 pm Julia

    Did I say “comics” twice, I meant of course cartoons!!!

  3. on 09 Mar 2009 at 2:15 pm Julia

    Oh sugar, forget about my spelling today. It’s nearly funny to have “coomunism” instead of “communism”. If thäre ar eny moare soch meestages jost egnore thäm…. yu know wat I meen..

  4. on 09 Mar 2009 at 6:59 pm Grumpy Frenchman

    Hey Julia! Long time no see, m\’Lady!Don\’t worry about your spelling – I have the advantage that I can repair my own mistakes easily, so you\’re not seeing the extent of my screw-ups!

    As for Atlanta, I\’ll have to finish that series of posts, even 6 months too late… And as far as Atlanta next year is concerned, I have to admit it\’s a bit up in the air – since I have no idea if I\’ll still be in Ireland by summer, I might be in a new job in a different country and unable to take holidays. Sorry. (

    Also: wow. I tend to forget you\’re from East Germany. Hell of a place to grow up in… Of course, not knowing about cartoons is not THAT much of a problem, really! Your ignorance is forgiven, for I am good and merciful.

  5. on 10 Mar 2009 at 3:32 pm Julia

    Oh thank you, your majesty for your forgiveness I shall appreciate your mercy on me. It’s of some use to pull the “innocent East German show”…

    And yes it’s very true; we haven’t seen each other for a while. When I’m in Athlone I usually hang out with the Wedher Family and I love those kids. I very often forget about time, which is flying and then I just nip into Net Café before I leave and sometimes I don’t catch you and other times you are to busy anyway.

    Well maybe next time. It actually sounds very interesting, you going to another country not knowing where yet.
    Well and if Dragoncon has to wait for you that’s no Drama, I might simply go on my own and so safe myself the embarrasment of you seeing me in a not “half as good a costume” as your ones. Well I should be in Athlone within the next two weeks, I’ll make sure to say Hello.

  6. on 10 Mar 2009 at 9:09 pm Grumpy Frenchman

    You’d better! And gimme warning so I can roll out a proper red carpet.

  7. on 20 Nov 2009 at 10:37 am Bean

    Captain Frenchy!
    Hope all’s well across the pond, we gonna see an update soon?!.. )
    I remember this series vaguely, I think the had them on until the early 90′s here, as the recycle all TV stuff for years after it’s over.
    Twas great!

  8. on 22 Mar 2010 at 9:55 pm dee

    this cartoon kicks ass!

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