Friday, March 13, 2009

Cartoon Nostalgia

They've made me laugh. Some have even made me cry. They've filled the rainy days and happiest moments of my childhood. They've shaped who I am....

They are cartoons. And I love them so.

I was just bitten by the nostalgia bug after hearing the dreadful news that the face of Dr. Claw from the show, Inspector Gadget, (after years of being cleverly hidden from view by a strategically placed chair back) has been revealed....and is pretty frickin' lame:

This is sad. Especially because there are so many notable villains, Dr. Claw being only one in a myriad of evil-doers:

  • Krang, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Evil Pie Man of Porcupine Peak, Strawberry Shortcake
  • Ursula, The Little Mermaid
But I digress. In lieu of my precious memories, and the satiation of my inner child's hunger for the past, here is a list of my most favorite cartoons, for all of your leisurely enjoyment:

Inspector Gadget
- Penny was my favorite character of all time. I used to pretend I had my own computer book.
- I think my favorite episode was "Monster Lake" (September 17, 1983), where Gadget tries to save a missing scientist from a M.A.D. fashioned-monster a-la "Loch-ness." I love the crazy digital-esque underwater music, and when Penny sabotages the mechanics of the computer-generated monster, it goes haywire in a way that still makes me crack up to this day. Also, Gadget long neck?.....creepy....

The Little Mermaid
- This was my absolute favorite movie growing up. I've loved it ever since. I had mermaid sheets, curtains, clothes, purses, toys. I even had a room with a Little Mermaid world painted on the walls, and a porthole in my door.

Pee-Wee's Playhouse
- Dad and I watched this every morning. Not exactly entirely animated, but you know what was? Penny. Penny was claymation, had pennies for eyes, and didn't do drugs.

Tiny Toon Adventures
- The show was awesome, the movie even better. Any kids' cartoon that parodies "Deliverance," and is just as scary as the original, is a masterpiece. I gotta watch that again.

- The funniest show of its time, besides maybe "Freakazoid" and "The Tick" (which I didn't really appreciate at the time). The jokes were kid-friendly and adult-clever. My parents watched it with me every morning. I can still recite the main theme. "Good Feathers," and the clown that haad th voice of "Jerry Lewis" are just some of the greats.

Pinky and the Brain
- So good, they got their own spin-off show after Animaniacs. Oh god, soo many good episodes: Jeopardy with Brain in his man suit (does anyone remember the name he had??), Pinky in the world of cheese, the Napoleon episode, the 1996 Emmy award-winning Christmas special (which made me cry), the "War of the Worlds" parody....Also a plus was Brain's similarity to Orson Welles, and Pinky's "NARF!"

Muppet Babies
- I had forgotten about the random opening of doors and windows to reveal film scenes like battles from Star Wars!..and of course, more parody...

Looney Tunes
- My mom's favorite cartoons of all time. I literally was raised on this stuff. Still the most clever, historically educational, and entertaining animated cartoons ever. My fave? The banned World War II propaganda shorts, of which I wrote a paper on. Here's one you probably haven't seen:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- A Saturday morning staple for my dad and I. I Ninja Turtle colorforms, shrinkydinks, teeshirts, and a stuffed Michaelangelo. As manager for Kay-Bee toys, my dad went EVERYWHERE trying to find my April O'Neil figurine, equipped with ninja star, laptop and hand gun.

Disney Afternoon
- Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin, Rescue Rangers and Duck Tales. Such classics.

Strawberry Shortcake
- Almost sickeningly sweet. But who can lay fault on that? I had only one episode on VHS, and it was the one with "The Berry Song."

- The first 3D animated cartoon on television, I believe. Why don't they bring this back!? Even my parents loved this show...again, humor was superb (good writing makes a difference!) Best episodes had to be a.) the last episode of the 1st season, where Sailor Scouts get pummeled by a boulder as the system crashes, and the talent show where Bob & Megabite rocked out:

Sailor Moon
- Butchered when it came to the United States for younger audiences, I was still taken by its lead heroines and the awesome outfits. So began my 6am mornings before school, and an adolescent love of anime and manga. I had the freakin' musical wands! And I was fourteen!

The Simpsons
- This cartoon started two years after I was born on the Tracey Ullman Show, and has been going strong since. I remember as a young child I had a Bart doll. My family also grew up on this cartoon, to the point where my little sister's first memorization was an entire Simpsons episode (when Lisa becomes a vegetarian). The Treehouse of Horrors are some of the best written parodies ever, and my education for film school.

Science Court
- This show was pretty freakin' funny! Not many people knew about it, since it was a "kid's show" but the humor was very similar to "Dr. Katz," which was also the same animation style, called Squigglevision.

Doug, Recess, Pepper Ann
- Our Doug was "Brand-Spankin' New" (remember, I didn't have we got the leftovers.) But it was still great. Recess was clever, and Pepper Ann was a little strange but still awesome (and apparently they had it in Germany as well...)

Bump in the Night
- This claymation cartoon was crude but awesome. Mr. Bumpy lived under the bed, Molly was his cute doll gf, and Squishington spent his time in the toilet. "Night of the Living Bread" and "Karaoke Cafe" are just some highlights.

The Batman/Superman Adventures
- The older ones were better. Especially when they crossed over. Harley Quinn was rad.

Invader Zim
- Creepy looking, gross at times, but undoubtedly entertaining. Gir was one of the best sidekicks to come out in a long time. "I loved-ed you Piggy! I loooved-eddd youuuu!"

Sooooo, re-visit your fave cartoons.....It'll take ya back.

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