Old Soldiers Never Die

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Sgtsavage video title

Series title screen

Old Soldiers Never Die was a single 22 minute cartoon produced by Sunbow and animated by AKOM. It was designed to promote the short-lived Sgt. Savage toyline and a video tape of the episode was included with a certain Sgt. Savage figure. From the packaging:

"World War II had many heroes, but few achieved the stature of Sgt. Robert Steven Savage. In 1944, after years of combat experience and countless medals of valor, Savage was ambushed by a traitor in his own platoon. Savage's body was never recovered, but his legend never died. Now, fifty years after that fateful night, Sgt. Savage's cryogenically frozen body has been discovered among the ruins of a mysterious laboratory. Savage is revived by the G.I. Joe team, and given command of a new platoon of combat soldiers: the Screaming Eagles. What does the future hold for a hero from the past? Will Savage ever seek revenge on his old enemy? What really happened that fateful night so long ago? Find out the answers, and a whole lot more, in the exciting battle-action video adventure starring Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles!"

Detailed synopsis

Sgtsavage titlecard

Episode title card

The first and only episode of Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles to be released begins with an old "Movie Tone News Reel." It details the story of how Sgt. Robert Steven Savage, a tough, imposing and decorated soldier in European theater during WWII, is 'killed' along with his entire company in a failed raid on a German scientific facility. Later, when the facility is discovered, it turns out that Savage survived. The hero's frozen body is discovered, and is given to the Joes for further research. A robotic trooper invades the base, and Sgt. Savage awakens in the nick of time to rescue the Joes.

According to Savage, the raid where all his company died was spoiled by a traitor. Later, a scientist called Dr. Garret Stromm tells the Joes that their security detail for a new super advanced space platform which is about to be deployed, is unnecessary. Savage identifies the scientist as Krieger, the traitor himself. Savage is told that he was Krieger's guinea pig for certain experiments and now he possesses abilities such as increased reflexes and super strength. These new found "powers", as well as his whole physical condition, wanes from time to time. Savage is then introduced to his new team, a squad of six experts in different scientific fields, all well seasoned sergeants, but unable to follow direct orders. After a brief skirmish, Savage takes control of them, now calling themselves the "Screaming Eagles".

Krieger is later seen communicating to Cobra Commander that the ties between their two organizations no longer bind and if he seeks to interfere with his plans, he will destroy his organization as easily as he helped create it. At the same time, the Eagles are checking the invading robot's remains, and they realize that the space platform Krieger, who now calls himself "General Blitz," helped to build is really a "doomsday device" meant to control every computer system on the planet, so Savage and his Screaming Eagles go forth to stop Blitz, his plans, and his new, completely robotic I.R.O.N. Army.


Directed by: Wally Burr (voices), Bob Nesler (animation), and Dorie Rich

Written by: Lloyd Goldfine


  • Kathleen Barr: Lady Jaye
  • Garry Chalk: General Blitz
  • Michael Donovan: Sgt. Savage
  • David Kaye: General Hawk
  • Scott McNeil: Cobra Commander
  • Brent Chapman, Julian Christopher, Robert O. Smith: other voices

Produced by: Joe Bacal, Tom Griffin, C.J. Kettler (executive producers), Bonni Freeman (coordinating producer), and Michael Hack

Music by: Doug Katsaros

Featured Characters

G.I. Joe Screaming Eagles I.R.O.N. Army Cobra

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

Screaming Eagles I.R.O.N. Army
  • Grizzly SS-1
  • P-40 Warhawk, modified
  • M4A1 Sherman, modified
  • Krieger's plane

Notable quotes

  • "Old soldiers never die, just fade away"

Other notes

Real-world references

  • Screaming Eagles is also the nickname of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
  • By the time Savage's body would have been discovered in "East" Berlin, the city (and country) would have been re-unified for years.
  • The location of the secret lab indicated on Lady Jaye's map is near Tierpark Zoo in Berlin.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This episode was released only on VHS cassette and was packaged with Commando Sgt. Savage.
  • The VHS cassette is labeled "Old Soldiers Never Die," but the title shown in-program is "Old Heroes Never Die." Since the last spoken line is "Old soldiers never die, just fade away," it can be presumed the animated episode title card is incorrect.
  • Savage is seen using a GE M134 "minigun" during his WWII scenes, which is anachronistic as the minigun wasn't developed until the 1960s.
  • Since he was attacked before the end of 1944, and he was frozen for nearly 50 years, the exact date of his journal entry should be April 20, 1994.
  • Aside from Savage and Krieger, there are six other GIs in the platoon sent on that last mission in 1944 (or at least there are six GIs seen on screen at the same time). The smallest unit normally commanded by a 2nd Lieutenant is a platoon, which usually has between 15 and 30 members. It could be what is shown is merely one squad of the platoon, or (since it is a special op) it is not a typical platoon. Most likely, however, is that the animators just didn't want to animate than many "greenshirts."
    • It is not abnormal for Second Lieutenants - who otherwise out-rank NCOs like a Master Sergeant - to follow the instructions of an experienced Sergeant.

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