After reading another one of Rob Wantz’s posts, at My Side of the Laundry Room, it got me thinking about the cartoons I grew up watching versus what my kids are watching these days (excluding Nick Jr. and PBS)—which for the most part, is a whole lot of nothing.
Cartoons of the 80s and early 90s were great escapes and fantastic adventures of all kinds and getting lost in the imaginations of writers and animators for hours was easy. They were fun, entertaining, funny and educational (but we all ignored that stuff). There was something awesome about waking up after a week of the drama that is grade school, pouring a bowl of Captain Crunch and unplugging from reality for awhile. These mornings would shape the creativity that would spawn from my mind throughout the rest of my life.
But then technology happened and changed everything. Cartoons are on demand these days, so there’s no need for networks to devote time blocks no one is watching to cartoons anymore. They all phased out over time as the way we viewed television changed, in the same way the internet killed MTV—well, actually, the reality show and MTV killed MTV, but the internet did have a big hand in the murder.
Between their mother and me, my two oldest appreciate some beautiful gems from our era and enjoy them via the interwebs, but they also look at some of them like, what-the-fuck? Kids can still find good toons on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, DC and Marvel are making some good animated movies these days and there are some good anime. I’m not much of an anime fan, but there are some good ones, but it’s not the same.
I watched and enjoyed almost every cartoon on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, but some of my favorites over the years were: G.I. Joe, He-Man, DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bat-Man TAS, X-Men TAS, Spider-Man TAS, Ren and Stimpy, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Doug and RugRats.
Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons were made for cartoons. All these younglings watch these days are live action programming geared towards their generation, my older kids eat that Disney shit up. Cartoons are probably more popular then ever and with the right writers, the networks could resurrect the Saturday morning magic once again. It could be done, it should be done—but in reality, will probably never happen.
I miss Saturday mornings, enjoying a bowl of cereal with cartoons, then running around outside like a maniac all afternoon with a wild imagination. I wish my kids could have experienced that, the way that I did. I would totally get up on Saturday mornings, spark one up, and get down with some animated goodness over breakfast—if only they still existed.