I’m render-wrangling again, so I’ll just review something in the meantime.
For the last year or so, they’ve been replaying all these old classic cartoons from my childhood on Teletoon Retro (a Canadian channel.) I don’t do much TV watching these days since I’ve got people lending me box sets of Dexter, Entourage, and Gilligan’s Island to catch up on. But whenever I do catch one of these old shows, it’s interesting to see which ones have aged better – now that the rose-colored glasses are off – and which ones have gotten on my nerves.
The following lists are entirely my opinions, so no offense is intended if I happen to rag on one of your favorites. After all, at one point, these were all my favorites too.
Five Cartoons That Aren’t Holding Up Well For Me
Sylvester and Tweety
Out of all match-ups between Looney Tune characters trying to eat each other, this is the only one where I can’t bring myself to care as to whether Tweety gets caught or Sylvester gets clobbered by the dog. I just don’t like Tweety and… Sylvester keeps reminding me of Rob Schneider. In fact, there’s the whole problem right there. Much like Rob Schneider, Sylvester doesn’t have any original material and has to rely on his co-stars to keep the show interesting. This is why they’ll often swap out Tweety for someone else – because watching Rob Schneider get clobbered by a kangaroo is far more entertaining than watching him not eat a bird.
I tried watching this show again shortly after the movie came out and couldn’t get past eight episodes. They just recycle the same two-part story over and over again. Even Scooby-Doo had more depth than this one. Oh-no! A cliff! How will Speed get out of this? Stay tuned to find out! (Spoiler: He pushes the car’s jump button.)
The best parts of this show involve the theme songs and watching Chief Quimby explode. Otherwise, this show gets really annoying once the M.A.D. agents show up and try kill Gadget. They have only one job, but they always follow the same stupid three-step plan on how to do it. 1) Disguise themselves, 2) sneak up behind Gadget, and 3) ??? (the show never gets that far because they end up tripping over Gadget while he’s smelling a flower or something.) Also, listening to the sound effects on this show is like hearing someone button-mash an iPhone soundboard. They only have about five sound effects, but you’ll hear them all a hundred times before the credits run.
Rocky and Bullwinkle
I think R&B was a well-written show for it’s time, but what kills it is the bad production design. The jokes are rushed, the timing is off, the voice acting is horrible, and they’ll sometimes screw up the animation cels on a character, causing their eyes and mouth to fall off their face. I know animators were pressed for time back then, but even the Flintstones knew how to keep limbs attached to torsos.
Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-man
These are great shows to riff on with friends because of how ridiculous they are, but to sit and watch any of them alone can be very brain-damaging. The plots are stupid, the dialogue is stupid, the animation is stupid, and the characters always resolve their problems by shooting at each other until somebody runs away. They’re guilty pleasures at best, but ultimately, they’re just 30-minute toy commercials. Grimlock still rules, though.
Five Shows I’ve Grown To Appreciate More
Coyote and Roadrunner
If you’re like me and have forgotten how every single trap backfires on the coyote, then this is a brilliant show to watch. Will the boulder hit him or miss him this time? Sometimes it misses, but rolls over onto him. Or maybe he’ll walk away from it and accidentally step off a cliff. Or maybe all will be well until the roadrunner hits him with a truck. It’s the show that keeps you guessing!
I forgot how dark this show is. Some cartoons like to teach children to share and play nice; Astro Boy likes to teach children that they will someday die. I’m not joking – every other episode ends in Astro Boy failing to save the day, and mourning a friend’s death as a result. So why do I think it’s a good show? I think I just like the contrast between the parts of the show that seem targeted at preschoolers, and the other parts of the show that would scar them for life.
This show is just bad-ass.
I’m still going to argue that this is one of Disney’s best. Yes, even better than Ducktales or Rescue Rangers. The animation is great, the characters are likeable, the stories are awesome, and they did a really good job building an entire culture and mythology around these bears. Not bad, considering all they had for subject matter was candy.
Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Freakazoid
Steven Spielberg rocks at making cartoons. End of story.