Saturday, May 31, 2014
If I can have one ranting old man tirade that I can rail against kids today, it's that they never had and can't appreciate the glory that was the Saturday Morning Cartoon. Sure, there is plenty of great animation being produced, but it is available anytime all the time. For years there have been animation centric channels like Cartoon Network or YTV or Teletoon, and now-a-days there is the technological wonder of DVR's, Netflix and streaming television shows vs waiting for appointment television. Hence, kids don't have to wait to watch episodes of Adventure Time or My Little Pony or Ultimate Spider-man or whatever they want.
When I was younger, the anticipation for new Saturday Morning Cartoons was probably secondary to only that feeling a greedy little kid has overwhelming them on Christmas Eve. I would wake up before sunrise, and sit in front of the teevee from 6am 'til noon. I would eat sugary cereal, I would watch the commercials for all the toys I wanted, and I would watch any cartoon that was being served up to me. The early morning hours was usually classic fare, the like of Top Cat or The Jetsons, interspersed with used car, guitar shop and butcher commercials from Buffalo, NY. In my era cartoons were mostly a mix-up of various commercials in disguise of a show, brainwashing us into wanting to go to the toy store to buy the latest G.I.Joe, Transformer, or He-Man action figure. I love cartoons so much, I would even watch a girl cartoon like Jem & the Holograms. I can still here the Jem theme song in my head when I think about it. I loved stuff ranging from Star Wars spin-off's Droids and Ewoks, bizarre seemingly Cthulhu inspired Inhumanoids, and I am just old enough to have caught the tail end of the DC Comics hero's in Super Friends / Super Powers. Then the morning would cap off with the glory that is Loony Tunes. It was a wonderful slothy time to be a kid.
On those times when I'm not working or busy or running errands on a Saturday, I try to take a break and watch a couple cartoons and eat some cereal on Saturday Mornings still. It doesn't happen every single week, my hectic schedule gets in the way of teevee watching, but lately I've watched some obscure 1970's, 80's and 90's stuff like Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, Fraggle Rock and Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. For something new, I can't get enough of the Regular Show, featuring The strange adventures of a blue jay and a raccoon working at a nature park. It's old school animation, with all the wonderful weirdness of Spongebob Squarepants, and is a bit more grounded then the over-the-top hallucinatory world of Adventure Time (it's sister series on Cartoon Network). The highest compliment that I could give it is that if I were a kid I would love watching it on Saturday Mornings, and this show passes that test with flying bizarre 1980's themed sci-fi wacky misadventure colours.