I have vague memories of a cartoon which would have been made in the 80s or early 90s - I would say that the animation looked like it was from the 80s but I would have seen it on UK television around 1990-94. I get the impression it was European in origin, possibly originally produced in a non-English language (German? French?) and later re-dubbed. I think it was shown in the UK on channel 4 in an early morning slot (like 6:30am or something).

It was set in space or had some space elements and I believe the main character or another very prominent character had a full beard and he (and the show?) may have been named after a character from greek (or other ancient) mythology? I want to say Hercules but I know that's not right. Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


Could it be Ulysses 31? Its original release was 26 half hour episodes shown from October 10, 1981 to April 3, 1982, but indeed, Wikipedia lists broadcasts in the UK from 1985 to 2009. It was a French-Japanese collaboration, so that would fit with you thinking of it as European, and dubbed.

The plot line of the series (made by the French Jean Chalopin) describes the struggles of Ulysses and his crew against the divine entities that rule the universe, the ancient gods from Greek mythology. The Gods of Olympus are angered when Ulysses, commander of the giant spaceship Odyssey, kills the giant Cyclops to save a group of enslaved children, including his son. Zeus sentences Ulysses to travel the universe with his crew frozen until he finds the Kingdom of Hades, at which point his crew will be revived and he will be able to return to Earth. Along the way they encounter numerous other famous figures from Greek mythology who have been given a futuristic twist.

The main character is named after a mythological one, and he does have a very full beard:
Splash image for Ulysses 31


Found by searching for cartoon space "greek mythology" beard, which pointed me to http://metro.co.uk/2014/04/25/10-cult-cartoons-from-he-man-to-jem-that-made-you-proud-to-be-a-child-of-the-80s-4709120/, wherein I saw the mythological name and the sweet full beard.

  • Soundtrack by Spinal Tap? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 6:56
  • 1
    Oh god I'm back at 1996 now.
    – Ege Bayrak
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 7:48
  • In my memory I had a scene where a space ship with an eye in the middle collides with the border of the universe, which I always found too little of a hint to ask a question here. I am glad someone reminded me of that thing, now I just need to get it from somewhere ^^
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 9:35
  • 1
    +1 anyway, but I'd give you +lots if I could for including the best intro ever (with the possible exception of Mysterious Cities of Gold).
    – tardigrade
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 11:09
  • @ToddWilcox: there's a special place in Hades reserved for the band that did that theme song. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:32

Definitely Ulysses 31

I watched it during the late 80's on French TV, it was a great cartoon (not so French but more Japanese style when you come from Switzerland like me), and the music and lyrics (in French) are still in my head 30 years later ... :) This show was very popular in France/Switzerland, and the parents allowed kids to watch it because it did not promote violence (unlike Ken the Survivor), but rather intelligence and moral values from the heroes through the episodes. I would rate this carton 9,5/10 and would watch it again with my future kids. Other GREAT cartoon I personally recommend is (in French) "Les Mystérieuses Citées d'Or" (story about Esteban and Zia, two kids travelling to South America during the Conquistador invasion circa 1550, in search of the ancient and mysterious Inca civilization & cities).

I would say that what triggered me is the Greek with beard (the character does have a beard, a laser sword and a electromagnetic shield which grows instantaneously on his arm when he decides to use it) and that the whole story takes place in space because the character is searching for the Kingdom of Hades to help bring back his frozen companions to life.

...and this is the B version of the intro in French, which was the one showed on French TV. All the kids were singing this in the schoolyard :)

If anyone wants translation of the French lyrics in English, I'll be happy to indulge

  • 1
    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! Thank you for adding more details. I've undeleted this since you've added some details about the cartoon in question.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 23:40
  • Heh I don't really remember Mysterious Cities of Gold but it's something my older brother always mentions when we talk about classic cartoons.
    – WhatEvil
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 11:50
  • this and Cities Of Gold were my favourites as a kid :)
    – Anentropic
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 15:27
  • We had both Ulysses and Mysterious Cities of Gold in the UK too - some of the best intros ever! These along with M.A.S.K and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors were my favourite theme songs
    – Sc0ttyD
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:53

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