We all remember our favorite cartoons growing up as a kid. Especially, as a 90’s kid. Everyone remembers Doug trying to get it with Patti Mayonnaise, the Stoop Kid afraid to leave his Stoop, and us laughing at Dexter whenever Dee Dee entered his laboratory.
We were given good cartoons as kids. As I touched on my first post, there were a lot of good cartoons, like Rugrats, that gave me a better insight on a different culture, or educated me in some way. The cartoon Hey Arnold! was very sensitive and situational. It focused on the relationships that the main character, Arnold, had with the other variety of characters within a large New York-like city.
One of my favorite examples was when three of Arnold’s classmates were mischievous (if my memory serves me correctly, I believed they mooned the principal), and somehow the blame shifted to Arnold. Arnold knew the culprits, but never said their names. He believed that it wasn’t his place to do so. That stuck with me for a long time and became one of my own philosophies when I got older.
Another character from another fantastic show was Steve from Blues Clues. He had such an impact on us because of how he talked to us through the camera. It was very personable, and he worked well with the writing of the show. Reddit recently brought a video of Steve Burns to their frontpage where he talked a bit about his experiences on the show (some of it a little racy, but nothing too terrible).
Even though his life was so vastly different than how we imagined, he was still able to come through and give us good content. Creators really did know what they were doing.
Then there’s creators where I’m not too sure they knew what we really wanted.
As some of our favorite cartoons started cancelling and or wrapping up their final seasons, some new cartoons emerged to fill in their spot. I really wanted to touch this subject and period of time because it was a really weird time for cartoon television. A good note here is that I will only touch the ones that really stood out to me…in an unfortunate way.
Between the years 2004 to 2010 I started seeing these shows pop up. It seemed like a period of really uninspired, lackluster shows that would either insult your intelligence or annoy you. Some shows that were mostly spin offs of movies, like Back at the Barnyard, which I didn’t pay much attention to for obvious reasons, and I don’t think anyone else did either. Another one that baffled me was Tak and the Power Juju, which was originally a video game from 2003 that was just okay, but got a lackluster show in 2007 that didn’t last very long.
Then there were shows that I just didn’t like at all. My Gym Partner’s a Monkey was one of them. It was a creative and cute situation, a child stuck in an animal’s school, but it didn’t really go anywhere. Another one was Camp Lazlo, which was done by the same people who did Rocko’s Modern Life. I loved all the characters in that show, but it never really got anywhere. Total Drama Island was very popular, and got picked up for several more seasons. My brother really loved that show but I was pretty indifferent. I didn’t like the animation style because I wasn’t a fan of tweening at the time (that’s for a later blogpost), nor did I like the teen humor at the time. Just wasn’t my cup of tea.
But the bane of my existence was certainly Squirrel Boy. How that show even got picked up, I’m not really sure.
It could be that since I was getting older, that I just wasn’t the demographic anymore. Those shows weren’t suppose to appeal to me because they weren’t for me. My brother really enjoyed watching Total Drama Island, and I would sit with him and watch it. Some people really enjoyed My Gym Partner’s a Monkey, and would even draw fanart of it.
Nobody liked Squirrel Boy though.
Maybe I was just out of the loop now. Maybe I was growing up? Maybe I wasn’t suppose to like cartoons anymore.
However, some creators were about to blow that thought out of the water, and save everyone’s day.