Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hanna Barberra got it right

Today we have discovered the Boomerang channel by Cartoon Network. Boomerang plays old school cartoons. I feour pure joy at seeing a cartoon start with the roaring lion and the brag line " in technicolor"!!! You know that equals some greatness. Aside from nostalgia, there is another reason to appreciate these cartoons. The creators of these had parents in mind. Characters don't even talk in these shows! The soundtrack is instrumental, classical music. Kids learn the difference between staccato and legato. Kids learn to read facial expressions and body language if the characters to derive meanings and emotional context of situations. No Baby Einstein needed.

My favorite perk of the old school cartoon.....the creators had the foresight to know that naming a show "yo Gabba Gabba" and having characters with ob-nox-ious voices and lame catch phrases. Ever see Wonder Pets? The damn show has a duckling with a lisp. And it comes on as I'm cooking dinner. Highly dangerous considering I'm weilding knives and hot pans when I hear those voices. Oh, and the lack of character voices and theme songs means I don't run the risk of having said theme song stuck in my head at 2:00am. This happens every time we watch Caillou, which is banned from my house. "I'm just a by that's four, each day I learn some more.". Shut the F up, Caillou! Why are you still bald, you little punk?

I'm convinced that the evil geniuses who create today's cartoons are a modern mix of advertisers (who know how to brand the shit out of something so you can't go to any store without seeing a tempting $15 Mickey Mouse tampon your toddler HAS to have) and druggies who know that Backyardigans are f'ing sweet to trip out with. That does me no good either.

I have major beef with those who try to "bring back" my favorites but end up totally bastardizing them. My Little Anime Pony? 3D Care Bears that don't ride in cloud cars and do the "Care Bear Stare"? Where the hell is Inspector Gadget when I need him? Bring him back!!

Another unexpected perk of old school cartoons? The moral lessons. These Puritan creators scare little minds into doing good in life, lest they end up in hell. Check out Bugs Bunny. Ever notice how Yosemite Sam is always going to hell? And it's hilarious to see who they run into down in hell. I just saw an episode that was mafia themed. Bugs has to outsmart Babyface and gang. It's violent as, well, as hell so I don't know how it ended, but it was totally going to be good times for parents. I guess it was old school Southpark.

One benefit of today's cartoons is the emphasis on education and making sure our kids don't turn into fatties. Thanks to Dora Cade can speak Espanol, Mickey taught Cade to count, and Special Agent Oso has taught Cade how to blow his nose, brush his teeth, make salad, and buckle up. (Oso is our family favorite!).

Just like all things in life, we need a balance. I just hope Disney and Boomerang brings back some more old school favorites. Original Mickey Mouse Club, Care Bears, and even some Maya the Bee would be nice. Until then, we will be a loyal Disney channel family. With occasional trips to Sprout for Sesame Street who keeps it real AND keeps up with the times. (Bert and Ernie do CSI skits! Hilarious!!)

What are your favorite old school and new school cartoons? Any beef you have with modern cartoons? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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