By Modest Demand, The Conclusion To:
Tomorrow Never Knows
Disney Channel = McCartneys
Disney is far and away the pioneer of children's programming, if there was no Disney There would be No Nickelodeon.
In the late 80's and 90's the Disney Channel and it's sister network Toon Disney came out with a series of new shows for children, these shows were updates of their old animation styles and characters except with new surroundings and stories. These cartoons looked more like classic Disney serials as opposed to the "Squashed and Stretched" animation of Nickelodeon. This can be attributed to the fact that many of them were recycled Disney shorts in an attempt to save the studio money.
I never watched too much Disney but a few shows I did enjoy, the first being DuckTales.
The show was based on a comic book series called Uncle Scrooge, where The Adventures Of Scrooge McDuck would make an appearance. The show was about the adventures that Scrooge McDuck and his nephews; Huey, Dewey and Louie would embark upon. The boys lived in the mansion with Uncle Scrooge after Donald Duck left them in his care; I think he joined the navy or something like that. Their adventures mostly dealt with the many attempts of others to steal Uncle Scrooge's money, most notably the Beagle Boys and their mother Ma Beagle. Not terribly complex story lines but there was something very enjoyable about the adventures they would get into.
I would go on about Darkwing Duck but I feel it would keep leading into too many other shows, I think ducks must have been testing well with kids back then because there was an unnecessary amount of shows involving ducks on Disney (Mighty Ducks, Darkwing Duck. Quack Pack, you get the picture) so enjoy these photos as I segue to the next show.
Another Good Disney Show with a strangely soulful theme song was Goof Troop.
Goof Troop was a show that featured a widowed Goofy from the original Mickey Mouse cast of characters and his son Max dealing with suburban life. Max is well adapted to life in the real world whilst Goofy still seems to exist in the zany world of his past Disney bachelor life, to the dismay of his son. Goofy is kind of like the Bradys in the Brady Bunch Movie where they are trapped within the confines of the reality of their sitcom yet still manage in the real world. Goofy was comically unaware of his blundering rival Petey who is also the father of PJ, Max's bestfriend. I enjoyed this show quite a bit because every kid knows what it's like trying to get along in the world while dealing with the antics of parents that inadvertently embarrass you. It was also nice to see how Goofy went from a shameless clown to a somewhat responsible father while that freeloader Pluto is probably still chillin in a doghouse in Mickey's backyard just prolonging the dog stereotype.
have you no shame
Disney did their own spin on the cartoon Doug after Nickelodeon cancelled it. Disney's Doug was a far cry from what made the first Doug so good. Doug was shockingly sporting long pants as opposed to shorts; I let it fly in the Christmas episode but not on an everyday basis. Roger became rich somehow and patty got a haircut. I also recall an episode where patty acquires an eating disorder feeling it will help her run faster in track followed by her educating us with the anorexia hotline at the end of the episode, thus concluding the end of me watching it.
Disney however got their hands on a show that used to be on ABC called Pepper Ann.
Is she cool, is she lame, i'm talking about what's her name
The animation in Pepper Ann was more contemporary then the aforementioned Disney shows. It was created by a woman named Sue Rose who created another show with different and interesting animation called Angela Anaconda. Pepper Ann was a lot like Doug in some ways, she was socially awkward and would express her emotions in fantasy. There were many female characters about whom many episodes were based on, different then most kids cartoons but no less enjoyable. The opening sequence has a Simpsons like couch gag where Pepper Ann would find something different in her desk every time. Pepper Ann also had a version of Mr. Bone from Doug, known as Principle Hickey who's not a fan of Pepper Ann's tomfoolery. It was a nice little show and one of my favorites on Disney's One Saturday Morning.
Disney Channel and nickelodeon were very different in terms of cartoons back in the day, as was Paul McCartney and John Lennon; they both provided you with different things when you wanted them, whether it is experimental, edgy or just comforting and classic standbys. Disney was Penny Lane to Nickelodeon's Strawberry Fields if you will. There is no war that exists between the two, both networks worked to entertain us. Whether you prefer Disney, Nickelodeon or both, it makes no difference, tis all one in the long run.
I've walked by my little sisters watching TV and i'm usually disgusted and scorn them for viewing such abominations, but it comes full circle when I think about it because my older siblings would do the same to me. It reminds of something Jim Morrison once said, "New music is just old music played faster and worse." I'm sure quite a bit of what I watched when I was a kid was watered down versions of old kids shows, with some exceptions, but it didn't and it still doesn't matter to me,it's what I grew up on. I don't believe I was exploited and fed corporate approved ethics the way kids shows do now but there has to be something in them besides self indulgence that draws young kids to these shows and one day they will reminisce about the shows that they loved when they were kids.