Rambo: The Force of Freedom is an animated series based on the character of John Rambo from David Morrell's first book; First Blood, and the films First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II. This series was produced by Ruby-Spears Enterpises and originally aired 65 episodes over the course of one season via First-Run Syndication from September 15, 1986 till December 26 of the same year when it was canceled. However it deputed on April 14 as a five part miniseries before being renewed as a daily show.
In Rambo: The Force of Freedom, John Rambo is part of a G.I. Joe-like team called "The Force of Freedom." They go 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).
Fictional countries and back-stories are frequently featured, some of them echoing historical or current events.
The cartoon is filled with hand-to-hand combat and gunfire, with accurately-illustrated guns; yet unlike the original R-rated films, there is never any sensational violence, blood or gore, since this series was intended for family viewing. Moreover, no one ever died. 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 films.
The Show as produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises and Carolco Television under executive producers Joe Ruby, and Ken Spears with Walt Kubiak as the designated producer of Rambo: The Force of Freedom. The show had caused a stir among the production crew. Rambo had been an R-Rated feature film, and the idea of making a family friendly series revolving around a troubled Vietnam Vet with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder seemed impossible. The child psychology adviser for the series believed that the target audience wouldn't be able to grasp such traits, and suggested the staff avoid making references to POWs, Vietnam, and any experiences from the two films.