This week’s theme of discussing cartoons was my idea, so where do I start and end?
I had an older brother and sister so I was watching cartoons as soon as my mother brought me home. I adore the original Warner Brothers and really must break down and buy the DVD sets of them some day. I was glued to the TV on Saturday mornings. Some will never be seen on TV again, such as “Southern Fried Rabbit” because of an unfortunate scene of Bugs Bunny in blackface and his portrayal of a slave makes me cringe, but the rest is pure gold.
The Ralph Philips cartoons, with a boy whose imagination runs away with him like Walter Mitty, are fantastic.
“Rocket-Bye Baby”, where through some cosmic collision a baby intended for Earth and one intended for Mars got sent in the wrong directions, is a gem. I should not like it, because the opening line starts: “In the Summer of 1954…” I was born in June of 1954 and so my sister often says that is what explains me, and that I am from Mars.
(We have excellent family dynamics!)
For those who are too young, Saturday morning cartoons were THE Thing. There were sometimes local shows in the afternoon, with a few cartoons, but they were often themed, like Popeye.
(Speaking of Popeye, some of the back grounds in those cartoons are pure art. I wish I knew how they were made.)
My first school lunch box had Rocky and Bullwinkle on it. My mother explained some of the jokes that were aimed at adults, such as the “Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam”. I used to watch TV with her and knew the play on words like “Kurward Derby”, (Is there anyone else out there who remembers Durward Kirby? He threatened to sue the producers!)
I still quote some Huckleberry Hound lines, such as “Y’all are joshin’ me, General”, and Quick Draw McGraw, as my sister will often come out with “I’ll do the thinin’ around here, Babalooey”.
In fact, I am inserting this extra line on Friday morning as my husband came out with “I’ll do the thinkin’ around here, Babalooey” at a very funny point yesterday. (You had to be there.)
Later on, TV had more afternoon shows. I had kiddie-crushes on Hercules, then Thor. (I know, I am pathetic). Thor’s alternate ID was a doctor and who could resist a smart, compassionate, and handsome, doctor? (Not this kid when she was about 13!)
My nieces were born when I was a teen and so I watched Sesame Street. I still check in on some of the old-school clips once in a while on YouTube. Sesame Street changed, and not for the better, in the fun department when my grandkids were little, so I found new favorite cartoons.
My kids love Rug Rats and I was hesitant, as the cartooning was not attractive, but the stories were very cute and very family-oriented. We watched the Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh where the colors and art were beautiful and restful and the stories, the flights of fancy mostly, were nice, A particularly funny one was when they harkened back to the Wild West and waited for “horse thieves” who were supposed to enter the town. A group of tough-looking horses, who walked on two legs and were led by one who spoke like Jack Nicholson, explained that they were HORSE THIEVES, thieves that were horses. It was very, very funny.
The oldest Paddington Bear cartoons, animated in England roughly in shots of cut-outs, were darling. The English actor who did the reading and narration was fantastic. The ‘upgraded’ ones lost so much in charm.
I avoided my sons’ well–loved G.I. Joe cartoons, and Ghost Busters, (but one line I heard that stuck with me was from their secretary who said, “Men; you can’t live with them and you can’t sell them for parts.”)
I’m still amused, but I had spaced those out until I asked Son #1 last night, as I knew I was missing their favorites.
He also reminded me of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[Ma1] , which I also purposely avoided, but some of the lines I heard were pretty funny, Dude.
My sons loved Animaniacs. I found most of those funny, really, but nowhere near the quality or substance of the original W.B. Studio productions, and I doubt that more than a few of them would even now stand the test of this short amount of time, let alone the 80+ years of the original Bugs Bunnys.
My great-nephew had been addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine, and had many, many VHS tapes. We still had/have a VCR, and so my grandson received the tapes from my sister and, well, Thomas et al became part of our family. I can still sing some of the songs.
(“Night Train” is actually a really good.)
Charlie and Lola are adorable, as was Sarah and Duck, which was off-the wall, but sweet, again, both English productions.
Topping the list of my favorite cartoons of the older grandkids was The Koala Brothers. This is an Australian production and Disney had them for a while, but they left America. I heard that they went on for years and years ‘Down Under”; (are we “Up Over” to them?). My husband ran across on DVD of the earliest episodes, but when I hunted online for more some years ago they were rare and a worth a fortune. The characters are distinct and surely, there is a backstory to one of them which I would love to speak to the creators about. (Seriously, I became that engrossed!)
The short time that the Littlest Grandchild was here as a toddler, (he will be three in January), he was hooked on all things Mickey Mouse. Only some of the shows were really cute, and I was not crazy about them, but they would throw in some classics, like the old Chip ’n Dales, which were always my favorite. One came on and I nearly cried; I had the Little Golden Book of it when I was little. It was the story of the Chipmunks loading a tree with acorns but Donald Duck wanted to cut it down to put his riding train track in a line.(Does anyone else remember that one?) I seldom watched “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights, unless the cartoons were on. I left the Swamp Fox and Daniel Boone to my brother and the nature ones to my father.
Most of the modern cartoons, even of Disney, are just not the same caliber as the old ones. Some are so awfully dark and so many are just so preachy; why can’t kids just have fun?
I know there are more, many more, but these come to mind as the ones which have stayed with me.
Do you know these of my favorites?
I think I remember that episode of Chip ‘N Dale… or one quite like it.
Wow you have such a variety of cartoons listed which I’ve never heard of… or, at least, never seen.
Glad you suggested this topic… it’s been fun all week.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks, Jeff. My mind went blank at one point!
I forgot to mention this, but did your grandchildren like something called Teletubbies? I don’t know if it’s one word or two, but one of my grandchildren loved it. I’d say it was geared to a two year old, and I never did like it. There was another Australian show that he loved. It was called The Wiggles I think. It wasn’t totally animated, but he liked it anyway. Like Jeff, I’ve never seen some of the shows you watched, but if you enjoyed them I’m sure I would have too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
My great-nephew was into those Teletubbies, but thankfully, I did not have to deal with them. My grandson was very into The Wiggles, and although I was sometimes annoyed, I did like some of their shows.The early ones were fun.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That’s about what I thought about the Wiggles.
LikeLiked by 1 person