Talking Picture Box: Volume I
Cartoons of Our Youth
This collaboration has been a long time coming. My wife Kelly and I (regretfully), have compiled a list of some unforgettable cartoons from our youth.
70's Gym Coach - 80's Fitness Instructor
This is a departure from my usual article style but I wanted to have her thoughts and memories out there for the site to harass.....instead of mine for a change. We each went back and forth and narrowed it down to these shows. I realize this topic seems very cliche and overdone, but I don't care because I want her to stop bugging me about submitting so I can go surf!
I remember watching this on Saturday mornings on NBC and it was so fun. Pop music and cartoon adventures; always are a good thing! I couldn't recall the name of the show but Jason knew what I was talking about by deciphering, "You know, that music cartoon show", from my ramblings. I'm a ditz.
Beverly Hills Teens
This cartoon was such a piece of crap but I couldn't stop watching how ridiculously fortunate these brats were. I mean this show would never work now. Wait a minute. It has...albeit not in cartoon form. I don't remember the show lasting very long but the theme song was catchy.
Dungeons and Dragons
Finally, my turn. Yes, this cartoon aired very early on Saturday mornings. I want to say on CBS but it was probably NBC that carried the show. The old dungeon master was bald and creepy. The story lines weren't terrible. However the cartoons premise of a roller coaster leading to a realm of adventure was a stretch.....even for a 6 year old.
The Real Ghostbusters
Superbly animated with very dark story lines. This was one of the only cartoons ABC had, (other than Sonic) that was any good. I want to go back and watch all of the old seasons but I believe there are quite a few episodes to the shows lifespan. This cartoon was superior to the other "Ghostbusters" show put out buy "Filmation", although neither were directly influenced by each other.
Captain N: The Game Master
Even though they got it right (for the most part) with the story backgrounds and characters, I never understood how they could make "Mega Man" look like a green munchkin in a space suit and "Simon Belmont" a vain sissy. His nickname is the "blue bomber" for crying out loud! Okay, I am done ranting. My favorite was the crossover episode with "Link". I loved the "Super Mario Bros. Super Show" only because on Fridays they aired "The Legend of Zelda".......so to see that on saturday morning with "Captain N" was a real treat. The animation was not bad either. "Lana" was a slut.
"Jem" was like "Barbie" to me, only with hotter guys and she could rock out! The cartoon was fun and probably one of the only shows I can recall made just for girls other than "Rainbow Brite", "She-Ra" and "My Little Pony". Jason says, "Jem" was a "hot piece of ass" but now probably "wants to be the cool mom, so she hangs out with her son's friends and buys them alcohol". I think she's 50 years old with fake tits who dates her latino landscaper and does karaoke for free shots. I guess we'll never know the truly outrageous post cartoon lifestyle of "Jem"!
Oh, "Cheetara" you foxy lady! Was it me, or was "Rankin/Bass" trying to make "Panthro" sound black/urban? I guess even in a world of mutated cat humans we still must identify with something. Other than that, the cartoon was one of the best! Kelly liked it too; though she thinks that "Lion-O" was a "sissy leader".......I think I need to beat my wife. "He-Man" on the other hand.........
"Fozzy" and "Gonzo" were the best! However, "Nanny" needed some new clothes because she wore those same freaking socks in every episode. What's up with that? Jim Henson could do no wrong in the 80's.
One of my most favorite cartoons of the 80's with a theme song that could easily be the most catchy of all time. Despite the fact that the show took a different approach later in its existence with the "racing" plot line.......this show still had killer episodes and awesome vehicles.
Oh my gosh! Captain Planet had a mullet but I watched the show all the time! One gripe though. What is the deal with the kid with the heart ring? I never understood what the purpose of the character was though it seems like it was nothing more than a ploy to satiate another demographic of kids in South America. So I reckon that the 1% who watches feels special and represented when they tune in, if at all. I'm sure "Linka" is really pulling in the ratings in Russia. It's a cartoon for goodness sake! This was the turning point when cartoons started to worry about the audience not identifying with the characters. Yes, it's really come to this.
Spiderman and his Amazing Friends
Great show, even had an "X-Men" crossover episode with "Spiderman" in the "Danger Room" and "Wolverine" eating fruit with his claws. "Firestar" was a pointless character that didn't need to be created. Why not recruit some other female? I really wish they didn't make "Iceman" seem like some dumbass lackey, when in retrospect he is considered an omega-level mutant with "Jean Grey" caliber powers......which we learn in future comics. Sorry....... I blacked out and might have gotten too geeky for a second. What happened??
I love how "Bluegrass" plays a fretless guitar without an amp and still rocks the house! That's what I'm talking about......who needs accuracy in cartoons!? "Copperkid" and "Hotwing" were my least favorite but nevertheless I had the toys. I really enjoyed the plethora of bad guys in this series. I actually am in the minority and prefer this show over "Thundercats". Ahhhhhhh, let the flame war begin. This cartoon, like "Voltron", was one of a slew of animated creations set in space in the 80's.
Batman: The Animated Series
This was actually done right. Very dark and macabre with a host of interesting villains and comic based stories to pull reference. "Croc" and some of the other more obscure villains were new to me seeing as how I grew up "Marvel". This is probably the only "DC" show that ever gave me hope for their books to which I am still not a fan.
This was one of the last cartoons I watched. I was getting older, yet I wanted to see the stories I read growing up translated to cartoon format. I sure was pleased for the most part. No funny "Wolverine" accent, equal coverage of all mutants and somewhat cannon story lines pulled directly from the comics. My only complaint was this "Morph" character. Did I miss something? I couldn't understand the point of focusing on him and then killing him off. I thought the character was pointless and took the steam out of the momentum of the first few episodes. Any thoughts?
Okay Jason, enough of your ranting and comic book crap! It's "Disney" time!!!!! I watched this show every morning before school and I think it came on after as well. This really brings back the memories and wonderment of how some feeble old miser could dive into a sea of hard, dense coins without breaking his neck! I remember the movie too, but this show created a spin-off so it had to be mentioned as a favorite! "Webby" was a brat!
"Chip", "Dale" and the rest of the "Rescue Ranger" team was a show that grew on me and soon surpassed "Ducktales" as one of my most favorite cartoons. I think it was a very original and creative show. Who else could convert a toothpaste tube into a plane? "Gadget".... that's who, chump! Girl power!
Well, the cartoon was great but to this day the "PSA's" at the shows duration really stuck with me. Without "G.I. Joe" I wouldn't know how to tread water or escape a small fire in my own kitchen. Bless you, "Deep Six and "Blowtorch". And knowing is half the battle....G.I. Jooooooooeee!!!!!
"Yakko", "Wacko" and "Dot" were more edgier than "Tiny Toons" and had better episodes. "Pinky and the Brain" were my true favorites. The theme song was so cheesy that it actually infiltrated my brain like a crappy "Aerosmith" song, never to be forgotten. This is my life, this is my pain.
Instead of talking about how much this cartoon rocked. I'm going to rant about the new sequel. No character development, dumbed down story, racist robots, absurd plot. I'm sorry but if you are actually reading this article and not skimming pictures, tell me this. When "Prime" got "killed", weren't you hoping for a new autobot to take over as leader? "Hot Rod"???? Hello, anyone out there? I got chills when he "died". It could have been so seamless and perfect. However, they decided to fuck me with a whack story. Sorry, hate all you want! I wanted that so bad, and it could have paralleled the 80's movie and I believe no one would have been upset. Then in a possible part 3, "Optimus" could return and reclaim the leadership role. If I'm out of line, blast me in the comment box. Even Kelly said, "I thought that "Hot Rod" guy was gonna be in this movie"? Damn you Michael Bay!
Rocko's Modern Life
So anyways, this "Nickelodeon" gem was so ahead of its time it's not even funny. "Rocko" was a wallaby and with his friend "Heffer" have many comical misadventures. Much like "Spongebob" but with the maturity of a "Ren and Stimpy". Most on this site know what I'm talking about so I'll let you remember the goodtimes while I get a soda.
This cartoon was cool for about a month which was almost as long as the show lasted. Macaulay Culkin, fresh off of his "Home Alone" fame starred on the NBC saturday morning lineup as "Wish kid". It was a about a kid named "Nick" who could grant one wish a week by punching his baseball glove three times. Instead of wishing for more wishes or some wish that could modify the current wish rules, he kept punching the glove never really doing anything except amusing the 6 year olds with no intellect who watched his show. As a girl even I thought that was some pussy shit!
Another "Disney" classic back when "Disney" made quality stuff instead of stupid "tween" shows and cartoon-less comedies. "Max" the son of "Goofy" was the star of a great series about the small "Goofy" universe which most thought never existed. I mean to clarify, who actually thought "Goofy" warranted a show? No one right? It exceeded all expectations when truthfully there weren't any to begin with. Gotta love the theme song!
This cartoon was almost forgotten then Jason reminded me of the "Lion/Bumblebee (Bumblelion) character". "The Wuzzles" was a very short lived "Disney" cartoon. Much like other cult cartoons like "The Popples" and "Shirt Tales" it really captured the spirit of the 80's in my opinion.
Ren and Stimpy
Years later this show still makes me laugh and really pushed the limits of what "Nickelodeon" could do with an edgy cartoon. "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksman" is a personal favorite along with "Powdered Toastman". Take that "Family Guy"......you aren't that cool........wait don't go, I was kidding....... I love you!
This was a pretty violent show in retrospect. "Central Organization of Police Specialists" was one of those cartoons that had a loose idea then ran with it and made a cartoon. The board meeting was probably a bunch of coked up executives throwing around words like, "machine gun chest", "robot canine" and "black guy in sunglasses". I'm not hating this show, it was a product of its time.
What is the deal with "Disney" and their catchy theme songs? I liked the fact that this was a spin-off from "Ducktales" and actually stood on its own as popular cartoon fixture. I can't say that kids today had more of a selection than us growing up as far as cartoons are concerned. "Let's get dangerous".
"Doug" was with the new crop of "Nick" cartoons like "Rugrats", that really snagged a large portion of children watching TV. This was in "Nickelodeons" prime when they could have 6-7 really good programs on non stop. I would sit glued to the TV all day with all the great programming that was on. With that being said I loved "Doug" and the fact it didn't dumb down the audience. It was a smart show that even parents could tolerate. "I loved the "The Beets" episode and the "Nematoad" one. It eventually ended up on ABC but by that time I wasn't watching anymore.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Not that this needs an intro or description.....I will say this. The CBS version sucked ass. I like how they took "Mikeys" nunchucku away and gave him that crappy "turtle line". That's what happens when parents stick their noses in great shows and start dictating what's safe. Just because "Johnny" smacked himself in the face with the nunchucku doesn't mean an entire generation must suffer a "TMNT" rewrite. I realize it was a UK mandate that carried over to our CBS version. Though renaming them "hero" instead of "ninja" turtles is not addressing the violence in the cartoon, just making it sound gayer.
If Jon Lovitz died tomorrow at least we would have one great show to celebrate his life. "The Critic" was the last cartoon I watched on a regular basis. It was a little bit of "South Park", "Family Guy" and the "Simpsons" rolled into a very smart cartoon. If you have not seen this show I implore you to go to "Youtube" and watch the entire series. It will change your life. This was the "Family Guy" of the 90's to put it more bluntly.
Coming soon from Kelly and I.......
Talking Picture Box: Volume II
TV Shows of Our Youth
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