Produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises, Rambo: The Force of Freedom was a cartoon series of 65 episodes that was based on the violent character of John Rambo from David Morrell’s book First Blood (and the films that followed it). Obviously basing a children’s cartoon on a troubled Vietnam War veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might have a few issues so it was decided not make any references to Vietnam, POWs, or Rambo’s experiences in 1982’s First Blood and 1985’s Rambo: First Blood Part II. Also to avoid further issues fictional countries were used and the level of violence was significantly reduced compared to the films.
So what we were left with in the cartoon was a John Rambo who is part of a team called The Force of Freedom (not at all like G.I. Joe!). The Force of Freedom partake in missions around the world battling a paramilitary terrorist organization named S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion).
As well as John Rambo (voiced by Neil Ross), the Force of Freedom included Colonel Samuel Trautman (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer), Edward “Turbo” Hayes (voiced by James Avery), Katherine Anne “K.A.T.” Taylor (voiced by Mona Marshall), White Dragon (voiced by Robert Ito), T.D. “Touchdown” Jones and Chief.
S.A.V.A.G.E. consisted of General Warhawk (voiced by Michael Ansara), Sergeant Havoc (voiced by Peter Cullen), Gripper (voiced by Lennie Weinrib), Nomad (voiced by Ed Gilbert), Black Dragon (voiced by Robert Ito), Snakebite (voiced by Stanley Ralph Ross), Dr. Hyde, and Mad Dog (voiced by Frank Welker) who led his own biker gang which included Animal, Jerkface (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) and Razor (voiced by Frank Welker).