Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What happened to good Cartoons? (Rant of an 80's Baby)

I've been watching intros of 90's cartoons for the past hour and I got reminded why I had it so good during my childhood. I got into a Facebook conversation about great 90's kids shows and it made me feel nostalgic about a golden era.

We literally had our pick of shows on every major channel on weekday afternoons and summer mornings. Of course, Saturday mornings was the best - literally pick a channel between CBS, NBC, ABC, WB, Fox Kids or UPN and ride with our favorite shows.

Me? I started out loving NBC with Super Mario Bros. and Captain N. Then I graduated to Fox Kids with Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Bobby's World, Eek! The Cat, and many more (of course still watching CBS for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Finally I enjoyed the end of my childhood with ABC's One Saturday Morning and Kids WB by the time I was in junior high.

Weekdays would be The Disney Afternoon. Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, Aladdin, Goof Troop. And that doesn't even factor in Nickelodeon's cartoon dominance with Doug, Rugrats and the acid trip of Ren + Stimpy or Disney Channel or discovering Cartoon Network when we had more cable

Funny things about looking back on the era now. First, I was surprised how many classic cartoons lasted for like one or two seasons. It felt like they were on much longer but long enough to make an impact.

Second, they mixed in education with funny stories. Animaniacs taught me the 50 states and the countries (United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru). ABC still showed "School House Rock", Hysteria! made history fun on WB. Captain Planet taught us about taking care of the environment. It wasn't all mindless entertainment and if it was, so be it. We had plenty of balance.

You could watch a typical 90's block of some show with heroes saving the universe or the city or some zany adventure with some animal. That was the basis of nearly EVERY cartoon growing up and they worked.

But now you look at the cartoon landscape and you say what are these poor kids watching? Digimon was a weaker knockoff of Pokemon, the new Ninja Turtles are too corny even if they look better, and there's no longer a wide variety of shows. They ripped off anime with terrible American knockoffs (an old trend since the 80's) and suddenly original cartoons became a thing of the past.

Can you blame animators for making shows that appeal to adults? We know how good we had it and they still cater to us now. Sad to me that Pokemon will probably be the last great cartoon of that era - unless you count Sponge Bob Square Pants and after I slept through that awful movie, I don't even know if I can.

Back then, cartoons had a full media blitz - you had the cartoon plus the video games, action figures and straight to VHS movie. I still have the Animaniacs game

Thank goodness for sites like and Youtube which help keep our childhood alive for the future and remind us of shows we may have missed. If you want to know more about why Saturday Morning Cartoons are dead, here's are some good reads. Til then just reflect on the good old days

1 comment:

  1. वित्त मंत्री अरुण जेटली बोले, सुधारों को आगे बढ़ाएगी सरकार
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