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So begins David Morrell’s harrowing novel “First Blood,” which I read in one white-knuckle sitting more than three decades ago. Back then, a film adaptation was still a ways off, but the cinematic quality of the writing made a movie version inevitable. The idea that such a brutal book could inspire a children’s cartoon, however, was completely absurd. Which makes the 1986 animated series “Rambo: The Force of Freedom” one of the most unlikely kids shows ever broadcast. Since this month marks the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster movie “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” I spoke with the cartoon’s cast and crew, including Rambo voice actor Neil Ross, head writer/story editor Mike Chain and writer/assistant story editor Jack Bornoff, about the challenges and rewards of bringing Morrell’s iconic character to the small screen.
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