Where Have All the Cartoons Gone?
For some reason, I couldnít get the song Where Have All the Cowboys Gone out of my head and came up with this title. Live with it, alright? Getting back on track, Iím sure many people have complained about this before. Anyone old enough to even have slight memories of the greatness that was 80ís cartoons, like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, Silver Hawks, Voltron, MASK, Masters of the Universe, Inhumanoids, or, possible the best of all, the Super Mario Brothers Show with Link shorts, probably feel that any new cartoons donít come close to matching. We remember these shows being so good, even though the exactness is a little fuzzy in our heads. I know I say that to myself all the time (and I do say stuff to myself a lot since Iím schizophrenic... um, you never heard that, Ďk?). The terrible thing is when we actually get the ability to time travel and watch some old episodes. A hype is all built up, but then... schraipt happens. (Think about it, and you should get it). The show turns out to be no better than the trash they air on Saturday mornings now. You think to yourself, "I use to not only watch but worship this?" and thusly pop a cap in the side of your cranium.
Iíll pull out some experiences that I can remember. When Cartoon Network had Thundercats on (Iím not sure if they still do, I donít get that station, I was visiting my granny at the time. Quality time was well spent!), me and my brothers were all excited, especially since they were the first episodes. Then, we watched it. Ro-bears? Ro-bears? Does anyone remember these rejects? They looked like trash, they sounded like trash, and they would dance! DANCE! It sucked sooooooo hard. I may have cried after that...
Ebay sure is a nice thing. You can buy back lost memories. I did this with an episode of Link on the Super Mario Brothers Show (Swing your arms from side to side! Come on, everybody, do the Mario! Thatís priceless, man!). Let me tell you that was the worse decision I ever made with fifteen bucks. Iím not sure whether it was just a bad episode, but it was just so bad. The dialogue was cheesy, nothing really happened in the episode, and Link kept on saying, "Iím going to try to kiss the Princess Zelda." But, he said that, like, every five minutes! ... If not more!
Thankfully, some of them are still golden. Transformers and G.I. Joe still live up to their names, but my most recent surprise was Inhumanoids, The Evil that Lies Within! We rented a tape of the first three or four episodes (for free! whoo!), expecting it actually be worse than remembered. Boy, were we in for a shock. I didnít know they could make cartoons that good. The animation wasnít choppy, the characters looked cool, some sly wit even appeared, no stupid distraction from the main plot, and they could get away with so much more back then. D.Compose makes zombies, so they kill the zombies, busting skulls open with lasers or just plain smashing them with rocks. Tendril attacks with... tendrils, so they hack them off, oozing forth not some blatantly non-blood color, but red. It was so refreshing to see actual action scenes, and long ones, too. It wasnít most of the episode is filler, morals, boring stuff involving stupid children characters. No, it was actual stuff happening and being cool. And they could say the work "die." I donít even think they let shows mention death unless in the vaguest way possible nowadays. What made this show even better was that it was made in America. So little good comes from this country in the cartoon district now. Well, nothing on local television, anyways. It all has to be imported. Not that Iím saying I hate that fact because I love anime. Itís just nice to see something made in the USA.
Theme songs. Thereís something that recent shows havenít come close to touching. Mario Brothers? Classic! Inhumanoids? Mega-classic! Transformers? Rockiní! G.I. Joe? Awesome as well! In fact, about the only things that come close are Samurai Jackís theme and the Digimon song (címon! that absolutely rules!).
Now, in case anyone is sitting out there saying to themselves, "Wait, youíre old enough to remember all those old shows, and youíre still watching childrenís cartoons? What are you, some sort of loser?", the answer is yes, duh! But if you donít remember all of these great treasures from the 80ís, then arenít you the real loser? ... What? Youíre not? ... Oh, okay...