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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The Cartoons That Shaped My Childhood
When I was growing up, we didn’t have cable TV. We lived too far out of town for that, and back then satellite dishes were too expensive. Not to mention they were huge like ten feet across, it seemed. We got four channels on our rabbit ears: ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. And as Jeff Foxworthy said: And if the president was on TV, your night was shot!”
I remember when cartoons only came on during Saturday mornings. Programming usually started around 5am and lasted until noon. I was sometimes up at five, but it was usually six or seven. Sometimes I had the TV too loud and mom or dad would come in and tell me to turn it down.
As a boy, I watched the regular boy cartoons. Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, M.A.S.K. I also watched Looney Tunes (my all time favorite),Garfield and Friends, a not-well-known one called Wildfire, about a magical horse, Lazer Tag Academy, Captain Planet, and I’m sure plenty more I’m forgetting. But those shows have always stuck with me.
Aside from Looney Tunes, I’d have to say Thundercats was my favorite. There use to be a monthly magazine, and a nice lady at out church use to buy a copy for me every month and bring it. I remember having lots of G.I. Joe figures. Joe was the first time I suspected Santa wasn’t real. If elves built the toys (like I believed), then why did the G.I. Joe space shuttle set from Santa look exactly like the one at K-Mart?
If I had to pick a modern cartoon I love, it’s Johnny Bravo. The guy is a doofus but it is so funny. Hard to believe Seth “Family Guy” McFarlane use to work on Bravo. It was also one of the shows where I didn’t mind the art style. In the 80s, the art style was fairly standardized. It may (and does) look silly today, but at least it tried to look realistic. The styles of many modern cartoons like Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls drives me nuts. I like realistic art; I am the same way with comic books. If the art is too stylized, it turns me off.
What about you, readers? What cartoons did you watch? Or do today? As always, thanks for reading.