Western Animation / Rambo: The Force of Freedom

Left ro right: Colonel Trautman, (John) Rambo, Turbo and Kat.

Rambo: The Force of Freedom was a 65-Episode Cartoon produced by Ruby-Spears. The cartoon was based on the character of John Rambo, from David Morrell's book First Blood, and the subsequent films First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II and adapted for television by story editor/head writer Michael Chain. The series debuted on April 14, 1986 as a five part mini series, and was renewed in September as a daily cartoon. Rambo was cancelled in December of the same year.

In the cartoon, John Rambo was part of a G.I. Joe-like team called "The Force of Freedom." They went on missions around the world battling against a paramilitary terrorist organization named S.A.V.A.G.E. (short for Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion - although in a toy advertisement included on a VHS tape of episodes from the series, it's said to mean the Secret Army of Vengeance And Global Evil).

Fictional countries and back-stories would frequently be featured, some of them echoing historical or current events.

The cartoon was filled with hand-to-hand combat and gunfire, with accurately-illustrated guns; yet unlike the original R-rated films, there was never any sensational violence, blood or gore, since this series was intended for family viewing. Moreover, no one ever died or got (seriously) hurt. The only real injury on the show happened when Rambo broke his arm in a survival episode. Rambo (who was seldom called by his first name, even by Trautman) used violence as a last resort and relied on his resources and guile to outwit his opponents a character trait not consistent with the later films (Rambo avoids deliberately killing anyone in the first movie). Additionally, there were no references to Vietnam, POWs, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.note 

Rambo: The Tropes of Freedom:

Alternative Title(s): Rambo